IT CONSULTING in Virginia, Maryland, DC
Most businesses today have a hard time keeping up with their core business challenges, let alone maintaining in-house technology expertise. Technology is changing so fast and is getting so complex, it's difficult to keep up.
And yet, there is a huge opportunity to take advantage of these new technologies to transform your business, including trends such as digital transformation, cloud, analytics, AI, security and more.
Many companies are turning to Information Technology (IT) consultants to help them translate these new technologies into a competitive edge and a better bottom line.
IT consulting represents a significant portion of overall IT services spending, and consultants are widely engaged throughout all industries and business sizes.
According to IDC, IT consulting spend for 2017 was $115 billion. While growth in the overall IT services market is steady, demand for digital transformation and
Management Consulting Vs IT Consulting
As IT becomes even more integral to business transformation, the line between management consulting and IT consulting is blurred.
Management consultants must be well-versed in IT to successfully promote digital transformation, while IT consultants need to consider business benefits and return on investment (ROI) when advancing technology initiatives.
In broad terms, management consultants focus on improving business performance by examining organization structure and current business challenges. Often these consultants have backgrounds in accounting, finance or general business.
IT consultants typically have a technology specialty (such as cloud, security, or a specific applications suite) with degrees in computer science or management information systems.
Ntiva IT consulting services provide strategic technology guidance which is focused on helping businesses grow and succeed based on choosing and implementing the right technology. A good example of this is our IT consulting case study which highlights how we helped a financial services firm expand their business model based on our guidance.
WHY YOU SHOULD
CONSIDER HIRING AN IT CONSULTANT
CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and IT leaders face a wide range of challenges. As more and more new technologies are being introduced, cyber concerns soar and their CEOs demand more, it's hard to keep up.
On top of this, they must manage headcount restrictions and face increased competition when it comes to to hiring experts with specialized technical skill sets. It's hard to find them, expensive to pay them, and challenging to keep them.
Even the best internal IT team will have its limitations.
Technology is getting much more complicated, the rate of change is accelerating, and the range of expertise needed to stay on top of technology enablement is incomprehensible for most businesses. That's where IT consultants can help.
Here are eight benefits of engaging an Ntiva IT consultant:
Hiring an IT consultant is a good option for companies who are looking for specific technical expertise to augment their current staff. Consultants such as Ntiva can provide access to a wealth of specialized talent, proven best practices, and winning processes, all based on thousands of hours of experience across hundreds of clients.
- Experience: In many small and mid-sized companies, IT resources are generalists rather than specialists. With a consultant, you can choose the specific skills you require, and they will have in-depth knowledge about current solutions, tools, and vendor capabilities.
- Faster project completion: Many consultants can engage quickly and require minimal time required to onboard. They can also work fast, as they have a specific mandate and focus on their project alone.
- Potential savings: An outside specialist may complete projects faster and with less resources than in-house efforts. You’ll have an accurate upfront estimate regarding the cost of the engagement, and you won’t have to keep the specialist on your payroll once the project is complete.
- Skills transfer: A consultant will help educate your team by sharing expertise and providing training throughout the engagement.
- Reduced risk: Consultants, particularly security specialists, can help identify and resolve security threats in your network or systems. They will work with your team to establish processes and protocols to ensure better ongoing protection.
- Increased productivity: Often IT teams are overwhelmed by conflicting projects and priorities, especially in smaller organizations. Engaging a consultant to complete specific projects frees up your team to focus on core business functions and key priorities.
- Improved processes: Consultants deliver more than technical expertise to your organization. They also use proven, repeatable processes that can be passed on to your team through documented ‘playbooks’ and training.
- An outside, objective view: Armed with experience and a toolkit of best practices, consultants bring a fresh perspective to your environment. They can identify issues that may have been overlooked and make recommendations about improving or replacing legacy systems and practices.
20 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR
CONSULTANT BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM
Hiring an IT consultant often means giving them access to your company’s most sensitive information and resources, and relying on them to complete high-profile projects. Just as you wouldn’t hire a job candidate without conducting multiple interviews and performing reference checks, it’s critical to vet potential consultants thoroughly.
While not an exhaustive list, here are 20 questions to get you started:
1 How many technical resources will you assign to my project? Will they be dedicated? Are they local?
2 How many relevant industry and vendor certifications does your team have?
3 Have you completed similar projects (technology and industry) successfully?
4 Who will be my primary point of contact for the project?
5 Can I meet with your team members before signing the contract?
6 What is your geographic coverage?
7 Will you be using subcontractors for my project, and if so, how?
8 What is the contingency plan if a technical resource leaves your firm or becomes unavailable?
9 How often will my project prime meet with me? Will they meet live, or via conference?
10 Will your team provide training and documentation to my team as part of the engagement?
11 How long do you see this engagement taking to complete?
12 What potential risks do you see in this project?
13 Do you carry liability insurance? What are the details?
14 How are you paid, and what are your payment terms?
15 Do you provide outcome-based consulting?
16 Are you or your firm compensated by any vendor that may be involved in the project?
17 Can you provide a copy of your standard contract?
18 What are the terms if we wish to end the contract early?
19 What performance guarantees do you offer?
20 Can you provide references in my industry, and for solving technology challenges similar to mine?
MANAGED IT Consulting Services NTIVA
STRATEGIC IT PLANNING AND BUDGETING
One of the most common services we are asked for is assistance with strategic IT planning and budgeting, both critical business functions. The strategic plan lays out the direction and goals of the business, along with the actions needed to achieve them - and of course budgeting is an important part of any planning process.
A growing business should be thinking of IT as a core competitive strength. Without investing in new technology initiatives that prepare the company for tomorrow's needs, companies hit a wall. And hitting that wall is very painful for a business - it impacts sales, you make mistakes with customers, delivery slows.
Ntiva IT consultants can help companies realign both their strategic plans and their budgets to implement much needed innovation, which often can't be achieved by in-house IT staff alone. We can help create an ‘end-state vision,’ craft short and long-term road maps, and help build executive support across the organization. Having an outside IT consultant pull together a documented strategic plan along with an approved budget can also assist with executive buy in across the company, allowing for much quicker and efficient execution.
VIRTUAL CIO SERVICES (VCIO)
- A temporary opening due to illness, long-term leave, or executive departure
- Current IT leadership that is more tactical or less experienced
- A requirement for executive experience in driving specific technology initiatives
- To support an acquisition or large-scale organizational change
Our virtual CIOs can provide many of the benefits of an experienced IT leader without the associated costs of a full-time executive, including detailed knowledge of how companies drive successful technology transformation, and the experience, network and leadership skills necessary to succeed.
In this role, there are many ways in which we can provide value:
- Serve as a subject matter expert for advice on strategy, acquisition issues, and disruptive technology investment
- Provide methods and processes to drive change
- Offer input on regulatory and compliance matters
- Evaluate current team skills and alignment
- Support strategic vendor relationships
- Help set strategic priorities, key initiatives, and identify ROI
COMPLIANCE REVIEWS AND AUDITS
According to PwC, “...organizations may spend between $1 million to $5 million (on compliance) for every $1 billion in revenue.” While the financial requirements may seem significant, the costs of non-compliance are much more — almost three times as much, by some accounts.
The consequences of non-compliance can be severe, from a tarnished brand to a loss of key customers, to being shut out of government contracts. Non-compliance can also result in heightened regulatory scrutiny, mandatory changes, and personal liability for executives.
Our IT consultants who specialize in regulatory compliance can deliver value in many ways:
- Provide an understanding of the regulatory environment, including recent changes that could impact your business
- Bring an external, non-biased perspective to examining your organization
- Create and documents processes, ensures compliance with vendors, and establishes an ongoing reporting protocol
- Act as a liaison with regulators or government agencies
- Help your business prepare for compliance audits and inspections
- Build remedial or corrective plans to address any outstanding issues
Ntiva goes beyond evaluating and addressing compliance issues, to providing fully outsourced compliance services. Depending on company size and operational complexity, outsourced compliance services offer many potential benefits:
- Improvements in efficiency through the use of proven processes
- Access to a variety of subject matter experts
- Data analytics and reporting capabilities
- Program scalability and faster deployment
- A reduced administrative burden on internal resources
- Predictable (and potentially lower) program costs
IT SECURITY CONSULTING
Cyber attacks around the world are getting more powerful and harder to stop. According to a 2018 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Raytheon, less than half of IT security practitioners surveyed believe they can protect their organization from cyber threats.
To make matters worse, qualified security professionals are difficult to recruit and retain, and are often priced at the top of the market. This is why more and more businesses are choosing to outsource their IT security to a qualified IT service provider.
Ntiva's qualified security consultants, which include an in-house Chief Information Security Office (CISO), are all extremely knowledgeable about current threats, tools and security vendor capabilities, and will bring a fresh perspective to your organization’s existing security protection and protocols.
We also have a team of fully qualified resources who have obtained Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND VENDOR SELECTION
Often large projects will tax internal IT resources and place additional demands on team members. As an alternative to ‘staffing up,’ companies may engage our IT consultants with specific project management experience to fulfill key project roles. Our project managers are well-versed in all aspects of planning, including project plan creation, program coordination and control, performance follow-up, and contract administration.
Typical Projects include:
- Cloud Migration (including Microsoft Office 365)
- Data Migration and Relocation
- Virtualization Services
- Business Phone Systems - Selection, Install, Support
- RFP Creation and Vendor Selection