Consultants in the Information Technology (IT) industry can be a tremendous asset to your organisation. Yet this is only on the proviso that they happen to be sourced correctly.
Plenty of enterprises from all domains will leave IT either to an unqualified internal employee or quickly take on a specialist who is not catered to the specific demands of your business.
There are all manner of reasons why a company would want an IT specialist to contribute to the operation. Their knowledge can add value, innovate something new, fill a gap in the staff or promote a change to a more progressive direction.
Whatever the rationale, there are fundamental points that should be considered before signing off on a new consultant.
Just how does this IT specialist plan on communicating with you? How often will this occur and in what manner will they present the information to you?
They might happen to be one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, but if they cannot articulate clearly how they have identified, negotiated and solved your IT problems, then the business will not be able to identify future concerns.
This also takes a degree of personable skills and depending on your circumstance, an ability to work well within a team environment.
Industry standing and reputation
Every single one of these IT candidates should come courtesy with an extensive portfolio that illustrates exactly why they are perfect for the role.
Firms like Red Hat Consulting, IPP Consulting, Synapse IT Consultants and Hybrid Cloud Solutions are just the tip of the iceberg for domestic companies in this industry, all coming equipped with qualified specialists.
However, it is best to take the time and examine how they solved issues with past projects and whether or not they have the tools to meet your needs.
Knowledge of your circumstances
Speaking of which, it is paramount that the IT consultant does not enter your business cold turkey. They should already have undertaken enough research to understand what is required by the owner or department head.
It might have to do with specifics with a hospitality enterprise or an accounting firm that has their own mode of operation. This consultant should be geared to tackle any challenge thrown there way without any surprises in store.
The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are a mode of ensuring that standards, practices and objectives are maintained from the start of the project to conclusion. It is easy to lose track of a consultant who was brought onboard in one phase before losing focus on their progress.
There should be scheduled reporting periods where the methodology is laid out clearly for both parties to analyse performance. Complete transparency has to be bought into because a hidden agenda won’t provide a satisfactory outcome.
References and work history
If the standing and reputation appears to be on the money, then it is worthwhile investing some time and energy into their references, history and accreditation.
Every consultant should arrive to the job or job interview with certification that matches their resume of work, demonstrating that they are up to date with modern guidelines and industry expectations.
It also helps their individual cause if they illustrate to being a member of an accredited community of IT consultants. This could be the PCSL IT Consulting Institute or The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes.
This will inform your enterprise is that the specialist is not in the role just for the short-term boost to their own finances, but are wanting to establish a long-term commitment to the field of Information Technology.