In recent years, IT consultants have gained increasing importance as Information Technology has transformed how businesses operates. Keeping up with the trends and ever-changing landscape can be a full-time job, and maintaining a full-time IT department to ensure your company remains competitive can be very expensive. An IT consultant has the necessary expertise, can guide your company to become more efficient, and help increase your return on investment (ROI).
1. Focus on core business functions
No matter what business or industry you are in, employees perform best when focusing on their core competencies. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, office managers and almost all other employees are the most productive working on what they do best. The frustrating and distracting task of trying to figure out Information Technology has a very real opportunity cost. By leveraging an IT consultant, your employees can focus their time on their core job and increase your bottom line.
2. Enjoy help from a specialist
Having an IT department can be great when you need the printer fixed right away, but that same person likely won’t have, for example, the cloud solutions experience to help reduce on-site infrastructure and operational expenses. An experienced IT consultant likely has completed several previous projects similar to your current situation. Knowing that your business is being guided by an industry expert can give both peace of mind and increase the likelihood of success.
3. Get an outside take on your operations
Technology can be a disrupting factor, not just in business, but in society. Just because something has been done a specific way for years, doesn't mean it can't be done in a more efficient and effective way. An outside consultant can lend a new perspective based on their experience supporting a variety of project and industry best practices, and help your organization increase growth and improve overall efficiency.
4. Cost effective
The value of IT consultants goes well beyond the cost reduction of their efficiency strategies. Paying for a salary, benefits, work space, and all other expenses to a full-time employee can be very expensive. Consultants are often hired to tackle a particular problem within a specific timeframe, which allows for a more cost-effective and efficient use of time.
5. Increased security
Cyber security has never been more prevalent and critical than in the year of 2017. Large corporations are not the only ones at risk; small businesses actually get targeted in 62% of all cyber-attacks and according to U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack are out of business in 6 months. An IT consultant who specializes in cybersecurity can conduct an assessment of your network to identify possible vulnerabilities, establish data security protocols, and help develop a disaster recovery solution. They can also train your employees on how to identify viruses or other potential dangerous malware.
6. Improve productivity and efficiency
IT consultants are experts on new technologies and their jobs are dependent on helping companies find new ways to increase productivity and efficiencies. Technologies that achieve these goals range from file servers, central databases, mobile platforms and many others. To best realize the benefits of these complex technologies, they need to be planned, implemented, and managed the right way.
7. Experience and expertise
Identifying what steps of your business processes that can be eliminated for efficiency requires experience from prior projects with similar aspects. This way they can confidently recommend a solution that will fit your business the best, they have knowledge of how to best implement the solution, what mistakes to avoid, and can train your team on how to best use the new application. This is the best way to ensure that your project runs smoothly, is being delivered on time and your company receives the best possible ROI.
8. Access to wider breadth of knowledge
In business, economies of scale gives you an advantage, but the high barriers of entry keeps small businesses from benefitting. This is also true in the IT world. IT consulting firms can afford to keep the best experts on staff as they distribute them amongst multiple accounts. As a small business hiring a consultant, you gain access to the very best expertise without committing long term like hiring a full time employee. In this model, even small businesses can tap into economies of scale and gain the benefits from the very best of advice as the expert is shared amongst multiple businesses. Even if you have the most competent network engineer on staff, he's not likely an expert in cyber security, cloud migrations, mobile platforms etc. A consultant allows your business to access expertise outside your regular areas, but you don’t have to pay for the consultants when you don’t need them.
9. Attract and retain employees
Employees want to do what they were hired to do. Smaller companies that are growing quickly tend to give its employees more "hats to wear" and responsibilities as time goes on. This is rarely a sustainable model as your accountant was hired to be in charge of your bookkeeping and not to figure out networking issues. This often leads unhappy employees and poorly configured IT systems that results in downtime and low efficiency. Hiring an IT consultant can solve your efficiency problems by implementing the right solutions and it will also help you retain your employees from "moving to the company next door" that offers them challenges that are within their field of interest.
10. Managing IT staff
Managing IT staff adds additional burden to managers of other departments as they are not aware or not interested in typical metrics that determine the success of an IT staff’s work. Additionally, much like adding other employees, there is an added cost for paid time off, benefits, bonuses, etc that do not come into play with a consulting company.
Not sure what expert is the right one? IT consulting firms have resources you need.
Choosing the right IT consultant can be difficult because it’s often difficult to distinguish between different consultants. So, instead of trying to find the right consultant, why not look for a reputable IT consulting company? SMPC is an experienced IT consulting company and Managed Service Provider (MSP) with more than 25 years of combined experience. We can provide the right resource to match your new project requirements. As an MSP, SMPC can also manage your project from start to finish, and also offer maintenance and support to provide incredible long-term value.
Information Technology is a rapidly-changing and complicated landscape, which is often best left for experts. If consultants never delivered on their promises, they would be out of business, so it’s important to partner with a reputable consultant with a proven track record. SMPC delivers IT consulting services throughout Nebraska and regional midwest. Fill out our contact form or reach out to us at 402-261-1660 to find out how SMPC can help you!