As your business grows, you will likely find that you need to increase your IT capacity, bring in new technology and software, and potentially even new hires to manage it all.
For some this is time and cost that can be easily absorbed into the business, however for others, the costs involved in training staff, researching equipment, or recruiting are just too much – and that’s where a consultancy service can help by integrating with your business to help you deliver a critical transformation project, or potentially becoming a permanent solution depending on your business needs.
IT Consultant or IT Service Provider – what’s the difference?
Consultancy may sound intimidating, and you possibly think that as a small business, it is a bit overkill for your needs. However, There are many ways that businesses of all sizes can benefit from outside support.
It is important at this point to differentiate between an IT consultancy and a service provider. The latter is the outsourced help you would call if your systems crashed, servers were locked, or passwords were lost – an IT service provider is your external tech department. Whereas you would likely bring in a consultant for a short period of time to help you plan and execute the integration of new technology or migration from one provider to another.
An example might be if you were migrating all your IT infrastructure to a new operating system, upgrading your server capacity, or moving to a cloud-based system such as AWS or Microsoft Azure – all of which can be complex, time consuming, and expensive.
IT terminology may even sound like a foreign language, meaning that owners may not even realise that their infrastructure is holding their business back, which is where a consultant can be a valuable asset.
What does an IT Consultant do?
Most consultants will start a project by carrying out an audit of where your systems are now, what your business needs are, and what is likely to change in the future – providing a solid foundation to build on and future proof your systems to prevent unnecessary costs further down the line.
They will then set out a plan of action for the weeks and months ahead, allowing all parties to have an understanding of what must and can be delivered before moving to the design stage, where they would then design a bespoke solution tailored to your individual needs, budget, and timescales.
Ultimately though, the real value of consultancy comes at the point where the project is being delivered. At this stage they would work with you to set out a timescale that works, giving you as little downtime as possible while systems are changed over and taking care of everything from liaising with suppliers, managing contractors, and training and upskilling staff.
What comes next?
Previously we discussed the differences between an IT Consultancy and an IT Service Provider and it is after your project has been delivered that your consultant may suggest you engage with a service provider to keep your new technology working as it should and delivering the benefits to your business that you have invested in.
At Tekserv we understand that your time is valuable, so our consultancy is designed to make your life as easy as possible and let you focus on your business and not the minutiae of niggling IT issues.