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5 Basic Facts About The IT Consulting Industry You Should Know Before You Make That Call

Every industry at one point in time hires an IT Consulting firm. Some for short-term projects, others for long-term contracts. And to be fair, part-time IT consulting services do work well for some companies and can be a perfect solution with cost-saving benefits.

Before you make that call, because you decided your situation requires hiring an “As Needed” consultant, we’ve put together a few facts and the eye-opening pros and cons when bringing in a third party to consult, you may want to check-out first.

Fact 1. The IT consulting industry consists of various professionals at four different levels:

  1. Professional services firms with large workforces and billing rates are high.
  2. Staffing firms, which bring in technologists for businesses on a temporary basis.
  3. Independent consultants, who are self-employed.
  4. Information Technology security consultants.

Fact 2. There are four different purposes an IT consultant is brought in:

  • The client wants outside objective advice and recommendations
  • The client wants access to the consultants’ experience and knowledge
  • The client has a one-time temporary project
  • The client is ready to outsource all or part of their IT services

Fact 3. IT consultants possess eight consulting skills:

  • Advisory, Advisory Language, Business, Business and Management Language Skills
  • Communications, Management, Technical, and Technical Language Skills

Fact 4. There are two IT consulting fees and rate structures charged by consultants, and they are:

  • Charge per day, per consultant – this structure is for non-timeframe projects
  • Charge a fixed fee per project – this structure is for a specific amount of work with a deadline

Fact 5. There are educational differences between IT consultants and Management consultants:

  • IT Consultant Education – Degrees in Computer Science, Electronics, Management Information Systems, or Technology
  • Management Consultant Education – Degrees in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Industrial Engineering, or Generalized MBA

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Part-Time IT Consulting Services

IT Consultants are third-party entities that bring in growth strategies, train your staff, implement a leaner IT operation, and organize your vendors or business associates. And you bring them in to understand how your IT operations work.

What they find ultimately results in further improvements and streamlined strategies. But the Pros and Cons provided are not about the good and bad of hiring the services. Instead, it’s about what you are gaining and what you may not want to hear from the overall assessment.

The Pros – You Receive, or You Spend Less

You Receive Needed Help From an IT Specialist – Your consultant will have experience from past projects similar to your situation. Your network speed issues from a 50mg fiber circuit are not the first time they’ve seen this problem and resolved it.

You Receive Fresh Eyes on Your Operations – Rather than trying to improve operations on your own; having an outsider come in offers their view to resolve or improve overall efficiency. It’s possible they may find issues with the original installation no one noticed previously, that’s causing network speed problems.

You Spend Less With a Consultant than Hiring an Employee – Hiring an employee you must pay for benefits, their workspace, technology and more. Hiring a consultant, you pay them per the project within a specific timeframe.

The Cons – You Will Get, or You Are

You Will Get Candid Feedback You May Not Want To HearHiring a consultant to step in and find where your system is failing, or your network speed continues slowing down, could unknowingly be you or your staff’s fault.

You Are Shown Dangerous Shortcuts Practices Being Used – Instead of best practices, using dangerous shortcuts, because management will not follow proven processes, must be addressed to your attention. You must be mindful, you and your it consultant have a common goal; improve your company’s IT issues, even if it’s just a network speed glitch.

You Are Notified Your Solution Will Not Apply – While an “As Needed” consultant brings their expertise; creating customized solutions for your business, some clients have the notion a one-size-fits-all solution will always work; merely to rush the consultant through their process. Unfortunately, all IT issues are unique and approached through the consultant’s systematic assessment process.

In Conclusion

While the part-time consultant you hired to focus on your 50mg fiber circuit, with 75 computers and you having network speed issue, a one-time project, consider what else they might find, that will lead your company to eliminate costly IT expenses. Having them onsite would be a prime opportunity to tap into the consultant’s knowledge.

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