IT consulting has evolved over the years to becoming a major asset to companies who need to save on IT costs. The only problem is that anyone can use the word "consultant", and it may give assumptions of true expertise. In truth, a business has to evaluate these individuals to make sure the experience is there to take on the biggest IT challenges.
An IT consultant already has a set pattern in their career that rises above an in-house team. One of those benefits is field experience, which is a major plus in the realm of tech knowledge.
You may still have an in-house team in your company, yet still fret about whether they should stay on your payroll. The good news: many IT consultants work well with existing IT staff to provide more valuable insight.
What's important is to realize the true value of consultants and find the best ways to vet them. Plus, you'll want to analyze whether the one you hire could easily work well next to your loyal IT team.
The True Value of IT Consulting
As mentioned above, all IT consultants work for myriad businesses year-round rather than staying in one place. The value of this is each technician sees different situations that can add up to a greater sum of awareness.
The world of IT is considerably more complex than ever. With massive cyber threats and potential equipment failures, the more real-world situations a technician knows, the better. It only helps in finding quicker solutions and knowing what really works for businesses.
Conversely, your in-house team has only worked for you. While they may keep up on the latest technological trends, they may run across a problem that can't be completely solved by the in-house team alone. When this happens, it only leads to severe downtime in your company. In the process, you lose more money from profit losses and still paying a monthly salary to your IT team.
Consultants only charge for the services they do, so you can hire them temporarily. Or, they can become a steady part of your IT force. First, you need to carefully evaluate their background to back up their stated expertise.
Evaluating Your IT Consultant
Checking proof of the consultant's previous experience is imperative so you know you're getting what's advertised. That includes requesting references and calling those so you receive more detailed information.
The above is equally important as vetting credentials of the technician. Also, don't forget to do personal background checks, like checking for criminal records, financial issues, and government clearances. Anyone can say anything in advertising that could contradict after conducting research.
Afterward, checking to see how well the consultant communicates is the true backbone of the hiring process. It's here that determines success or failure on working well together. Likewise, if you intend to keep your in-house IT team, a consultant has to know how to work well with them.
Working Well with Others
Remember, an IT consultant has to work with you as well as your IT team. In any background checks, request some testimonials from others on how well communication occurred to solve problems.
Some of your IT team may initially resent having to work with a consultant. If the latter can communicate well with anyone, attitudes will likely change. What's essential is having a technician being able to explain complicated subjects in an understandable way.
One of your biggest concerns is perhaps trying to understand technical information from IT staff. The best consultant translates anything complex into layman's terms so anyone can comprehend what's happening.
Be prepared for your conversations with an IT consultant or IT Services company. Learn the 16 Critical Questions You MUST Ask Before Hiring Any IT Company by downloading our free guide.