Modern IT technologies, tools, and approaches are essential components of every digital transformation project today. But not every organization has the capabilities on board to properly assess their current IT strategy and make sure that it aligns well with the business processes and goals.
This is where IT consulting comes in to help companies use technology to solve the most pressing problems and achieve business goals. But what exactly is the value of consulting for an organization like yours? What do you gain by engaging external IT consultants instead of expanding your in-house team?
Keep on reading this article to learn what tech consulting is, what its pros and cons are, and when to engage an IT consulting company to reap maximum benefits.
Table of contents:
- What is IT consulting? Definition and examples
- 8 examples of IT consulting services
- What does an IT consultant do?
- IT consulting – pros and cons
- IT consulting services – conclusion
What is IT Consulting? Definition and examples
IT consulting is a branch of services that help business clients to evaluate different technology strategies and align their strategy with business processes and objectives. Such services support IT initiatives by offering strategic, operational, architectural, and implementation planning as well as product ideation guidance and assistance.
Let’s take a look at these five elements to understand the value of technology consulting:
- Product ideation - a strategy session (or series of sessions) that brings together the entire team to build upon the experiences and ideas of product owners, designers, developers, QA, and architects for product development.
- Strategic planning – this includes advisory services that allow businesses to evaluate their IT requirements and develop systems implementation plans.
- Architecture planning – this area is based on advisory services that bring together strategic plans and knowledge of emerging technologies to develop the logical design of the system and as well as the supporting infrastructure meeting all of the key customer requirements.
- Operational assessment or benchmarking – this includes a range of services that address the operating efficiency and capacity of the clients’ IT environment.
- Implementation of planning – these services focus on advising customers on the rollout and testing of brand-new solution deployment.
The market for IT consulting services is worth $48 billion, which amounts to a 21% share of the global consulting market.
8 examples of IT consulting services
Digital risk management
These are digital processes that improve your risk evaluation and monitoring, including third-party risk, operational risk, cybersecurity risk, and others that may impact your operation, reputation, and financial performance.
This process defines how the IT system should be built, ensuring that it’s operational and meets all of the key quality standards via quality assurance and a proper disaster recovery plan.
IT enterprise security
This area focuses on all the methods organizations use to protect their IT systems, information assets, and data from theft, data breaches, and cyberattacks.
Business process automation (BPA)
BPA refers to the use of technology for automating repeatable daily tasks. It helps to accelerate the work by using user-defined rules and actions. This helps to increase the productivity of your employees and eliminate any chance of errors and risks.
Enterprise resource planning is a type of software that organizations use to manage their daily business activities such as project management, accounting, procurement, compliance, and supply chain operations. An IT consultant not only advises on the choice of the best solution out there but also assists you during its implementation, configuration, and the overall change management process at your company.
Information technology advisory focuses on capturing the organization’s problems and business needs to assess potential solutions and suggest an implementation roadmap for the selected ones. IT advisory services support complex IT transformations within the organization to optimize costs and improve infrastructure performance.
Technical experts can help you make the most of your data and harness its value to make smarter decisions, enable automation, improve processes, and drive innovation.
The service is all about activities like:
- modernizing data analytics with cloud-native solutions,
- building flexible architectures using the right technologies,
- taking care of data quality,
- implementing brand-new approaches such as machine learning and AI,
- and creating Business Intelligence and data visualization platforms to empower your staff, so they make the most of data for decision-making.
In this area of technology consulting, specialists work to define, organize, standardize, and document the entire IT architecture of a department team or organization. The idea is to create a document that enables the next steps in digital transformation initiatives.
What does an IT consultant do?
IT consultants are hired to support the organization with their experience and knowledge of innovative technologies and ability to map them onto business objectives and key challenges of your organization.
The type of work a consultant carries out can take many forms:
- strategic – for example, developing a new IT strategy or big data approach matching your business strategy,
- tactical – such as the implementation of an ERP system or selection of the right DevOps solution,
- operational – for instance, the development of a mobile application for the company.
IT Consulting – pros and cons
Pros of IT consulting services
Quality over the long term
In the long term, teaming up with a consultancy that delivers high-quality work and efficient output is definitely worth it. Sourcing the same level of expertise on the job market will be much more expensive and time-consuming.
Cost efficiency and speed
There’s no denying that IT consulting comes with a potentially high short-term cost at the beginning.
That’s because consultants can reduce costs and point you to more cost-effective solutions. When comparing the service to hiring an in-house IT person, you also win because the cost of engaging a consultant is much lower since you don’t need to worry about any administrative or overhead costs.
This also makes the process much faster, bringing you closer to your digital transformation goals at an accelerated pace.
Access to top expertise and talent
IT consultants work with a broad range of companies across your industry and beyond. They have extensive expertise and domain knowledge. In their work, consultants draw from their experience gained across different industries and backgrounds.
That’s why they bring a fresh perspective to your IT problems and offer you top-notch technology recommendations around innovations like microservices, containerization, and cloud services. They have the most updated know-how on how to solve different problems and what technologies organizations are using to do that.
If you’re curious about the current market situation or wondering whether you’re making the most out of your technology investment, a consultant will be able to answer all your questions confidently. And then make recommendations so you can use technology to build a strong competitive advantage.
Naturally, you don’t need to hire an IT consultant all year around. Sometimes, you might launch a project or two within your company and bring in a consultant for an assessment. Hiring a consultant on a per-project basis is a smart move, especially if you’re planning to optimize your operations via a number of smaller digital transformation initiatives.
Cons of IT consulting services
Hiring an IT consultant means that your company needs to reach outside to engage a consultant from a specialized information technology consulting firm. The process of picking the right candidate might become time-consuming.
Consultants usually service multiple clients simultaneously, which means they're usually available at limited times. You might need help urgently and they may not be able to respond instantly. Also, a consultant only gives you a strategy. They don’t execute it, so you'll need internal team members to carry out the plan.
Uncertainty about analysis results
The consultant analyzes and draws conclusions that are not always in line with what the client expects. Let's say a client hires a consulting company to increase production by 50% without additional financial outlays. After the analysis, it turns out that increasing production is only possible by 30%.
IT consulting services – conclusion
IT consulting is an excellent choice for companies that want to build a competitive advantage using technology, make sure that they’re using available resources efficiently, and win the race with competitors.
By bringing in an IT consultant, you gain access to a high level of knowledge and technology expertise acquired across many different projects developed across various sectors. The job of the consultant is to bring you a wealth of insights and recommendations so that you can take the next steps in reinventing your approach to IT, making even smarter technology investments.
If you want to achieve all that, there’s no better way than by using the skills of IT consulting firms. It may become a real strategic partner to your organization and power your business strategies with a custom solution and proper IT infrastructure.
Feel free to take a look at the consulting services that we can offer you at Codete at our dedicated IT consulting page – get to know our consulting experts and see how we can help your company use technology to achieve its business goals.