Finding the right IT consultant for your organization can be a tedious process. Read below for the 5 key things you should consider when looking for IT consulting services!
Your Google search results will show that IT services companies and the IT consultants who work for them are a dime a dozen, but finding those who have both the technical knowledge and personality traits you’re looking for is tough.
We’ve put together the five most important characteristics to look for when selecting IT consultants to manage your IT needs, whether its a one-time project or ongoing IT services and support.
1. Your IT Consulting Services Company Needs Proven
Knowledge and Experience
Information Technology consulting, or IT consulting, encompasses a wide variety of different skills and focuses. Most IT consultants have a expansive range of skills, but watch out for choosing a provider who concentrates in one area and is weak in others. IT environments are very interdependent and so it's important your consultant has a broad yet deep knowledge in many disciplines.
Your consultant should be able to understand and manage your entire technical environment. From PC support to your phone systems, printers to projectors, servers to mobile phones, top IT Consulting Services Companies should be able to handle everything tech-related.
IT consultants come in many shapes and sizes, from huge national firms to small local shops. Who you hire depends on what you're looking for. Is it for a one-time project that your IT team just can't get to? Training on a new piece of software? Expertise you don't have in-house? Confused about which cloud infrastructure you should choose? Or are you looking to completely outsource your IT services on an ongoing basis.
Once you've determined what you're looking for, you can then dig into whether your chosen IT provider has the knowledge, experience and focus for your specific needs.
2. Your Assigned IT Consultant Needs to Mesh with Your Culture
Every IT services company maintains a different philosophy on how they run their business. Even though their website says "we put the customer first" it goes without saying that you need to ask for references.
Once you've done due diligence and chosen a provider who you trust, your assigned IT consultant should have a personality that’s compatible with the culture of your institution. If their vision and attitude aren’t the same as yours, you’ll waste time going back and forth over the very thing you want them to expedite.
Any business consultant should be very articulate with unusually strong communication skills. With an IT consultant, this is even more important as they need to be capable of working well with your existing team, sharing ideas and communicating often and early. It's important to meet and interview with the specific consultant who will be assigned to your project, so you can get a read on personality!
What is IT consulting good for if it not is truly transforming your business? When your cultures and priorities align, you’ll be in a much better place to achieve the goals you set out to accomplish.
3. Your IT Consultant Must Be Ethical and Honest
Any consultants you hire must be capable of maintaining the integrity of your organization.
It’s one thing to know what’s right when it comes to technical matters, but a quality IT consultant will also look out for the best interests of your organization. We’re of the opinion that every business can benefit from outsourced IT, but this is only true if the consultant is ethical in their work.
One way to get a feel a feel for their ethics is to present them with “what if” scenarios, and then listen carefully to their responses. Frame issues you’ve had in the past in hypothetical terms, and see if the consultant's solutions line up with yours.
The cost of outsourced IT services varies tremendously so be sure to investigate the provider's pricing model to be sure you know exactly what you're getting. Whether it's a one time fee for a specific project or managed IT services pricing for ongoing service and support, you need all the details defined upfront in the contract.
4. Both You and the IT Consultant Should Be Ambitious
The most ideal IT consultants are those that go above and beyond what is required of them. They understand the big picture, and how the actions they take today will affect the organization tomorrow.
Most reputable candidates will be well educated and experienced; but finding one that’s willing to go beyond what’s required is quite rare. Ask around to see who else in your industry has hired an exceptional IT consulting company, as word of mouth can be one of the best ways to find your new consultant.
Additionally, a good IT consultant should be capable of both continuous learning and teaching others. Since technology is always changing, the best IT options for your business may change as well. You need the peace of mind that comes with an IT consultant who knows how to scale and grow your business for the future.
In fact, you might want to invest in virtual CIO expertise, a dedicated resource that will manage your IT strategy and goals. Having a permanent resource in place to help you drive strategic growth can be well worth the investment.
5. Have you searched for IT Consultants Near Me?
If you have, you've likely discovered a ton of ads for various IT consulting companies right at the top. How do you determine which ones are top of their game?
Information technology is a field that’s constantly evolving, and today’s bleeding-edge tech may be thrown in the garbage heap next year. Without adaptability, any IT provider or consultant will let you down. You should be able to rely on your IT consulting services company to help future-proof your business, which means they are able to stay on top of fast changing technology.
Your business needs to invest in technology to stay competitive - here's a good article that explains the key signs that outdated IT is killing your business! If your business is struggling to keep up with everyday IT demands, or is growing at a rapid pace, an IT consultant can help you navigate through the difficult times. Of course, if their values don’t match up with yours, it may be a bumpy road so be sure to do your due diligence.
We know that testimonials and case studies can help prove value in real-life situations. Check out our case study below, to see how our Virtual CIO offering helped provide a competitive advantage to a growing Washington, DC firm.