As a business owner, there are many different decisions that you must make with regard to managing the company. One of the most important has to do with maximizing current technologies in order to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive landscape. Business owners have an eye to do this as cost effectively as possible, and in many situations are doing so with a team that has very little direct information technology experience. IT Consulting offers a solution to this problem.
Benefits of IT Consulting Services
It is often too expensive for a small business to maintain a dedicated full-time IT department, or even an IT person in-house. This is also often inefficient and time consuming. One of the premier responses to this is to use an IT consulting team. This allows a small business owner to tap into the expertise and experience of an outside professional. There are several different reasons why it makes sense to maintain an IT consulting team.
Tap into Economies of Scale as Well as Purchasing Power
Technology service providers achieve greater economies of scale and efficiencies because they have a primary focus on IT. This means that with deep access to broad knowledge bases, they can also consolidate purchasing power, and therefore, deliver cheaper, better and faster technology solutions and services. This means cutting through all of the common questions where individuals get tripped up in their IT services and working to arrive at a solution that is most in line with a small business in mind. This translates to real cost savings in terms of money and time.
All businesses can benefit from leveraging someone else’s talent in a very specific manner, and IT consulting is just one example. This leaves employees to be able to work on their other tasks without the interruptions of IT problems and ensures that the company has an IT strategy aligned with their individual needs.
Focusing More on Core Business Functions
Individuals are typically happiest and most productive when they focus on what they do best. Getting frustrated with outside tasks can be overwhelming and can lead to disengagement. The time spent trying to figure out information technology as a business owner, comes with a serious opportunity cost that could even decrease the revenue of the company. Implementing new technology, fixing IT related crises and researching solutions is very inefficient for a non-IT professional. Engaging the services of an IT consultant allows internal staff to focus their time on the revenue generating activities for which they are better skilled.
When each person on the team is working on projects and tasks aligned with their personal preferences and zone of genius, productivity increases for the entire company. This is just one of the reasons why it makes more sense to take a look at an organizational chart and to give everyone assignments based on their zone of genius. Someone who gets roped into IT, for example, may not feel entirely comfortable with this role and may resent being asked to step in for a position they did not really want in the first place. It can also put that employee in the line of fire should there be consistent IT-related problems.
Control Operating Expenses and Minimize Cost
One of the primary interests of a small business owner today is to generate predictable IT costs. The value associated with the technology service provider goes well beyond reducing costs and can even lead to significant savings. In the majority of cases, leveraging an IT consultant will cost as much as 50% less than paying the annual salary of one mid-level IT professional.
Cost savings can also be realized as a result of not having to deal with vacation, training, recruiting, sick days and management issues that are all removed from the equation when you leverage an IT consultant. Costs are planned, controlled and budgeted using an outside IT consultant.
One of the biggest problems for any business owner is not being able to plan ahead from an expense perspective. Particularly with IT, which carries solutions across the board that can be extremely expensive, just a handful of IT problems within a given year can put unnecessary pressure on the entire business.
A business owner gets additional peace of mind from knowing that expenses are being controlled and managed as much as possible through the help of an IT consultant. The consultant has a deep understanding of all the key issues in the IT landscape, as well as within the business and can therefore suggest solutions in line with exactly what the company is looking for. This has ripple effects that help with controlling expenses and giving the business owner an idea of what he/she can expect with regard to IT consulting.
Even just a couple of minutes of downtime from a company’s websites or internal server has tremendous business costs. It is a primary goal for the majority of small business owners today to maximize their uptime. Small businesses cannot afford issues associated with corrupt data, internet connectivity, email communications or systems failure. The cost of even attempting to react to such events is extremely high. An IT consultant can offer a measured and planned approach towards maintenance, backup, disaster recovery, and systems maintenance. When this is combined with remote systems monitoring, this can eliminate expensive and frustrating downtime.
An IT consultant can also assist with enhancing productivity by enabling collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing that allows individual employees to innovate in the day to day aspects of their job. Such capabilities are delivered through multiple technologies including central databases, file servers, mobile platforms, email communications and broadband connectivity. Businesses can benefit from true productivity when this technology is properly maintained, implemented and planned. Best practices around maintaining, implementing and planning allow service providers and technology to obtain maximum productivity enhancements.
Tap into Highly Specialized Talent
The rapid change associated with the information technology world and its complicated nature can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming for a business owner to attempt to understand. Tapping directly into an IT consultant allows a small business owner to tap into specialized expertise that would otherwise be too frustrating or expensive to develop in-house. Small businesses cannot achieve the human flexibility and scale necessary to support technology environments. Even a dedicated IT employee will have limits to their individual skills.
An IT consultant comes with an extensive background, most likely working in the field, as well as having the necessary training and education to assist with all aspects of your IT needs within your business. This means that without having to pay the salary and benefits to keep this person within your office at all times, you get the peace of mind in knowing that you have leveraged such talent in an affordable and meaningful way. Working with someone outside of the office allows for a consultant who can step in and provide valuable information without additional expenses. Furthermore, the longer a company is with an IT consultant, the better that consultant will understand the company’s challenges, laying the groundwork for an effective relationship together.
Retain and Attract Employees
Most companies do not want to have to hire IT services in-house. For one, there may not be enough of a consistent need to leverage a person in this situation. This can put unnecessary financial pressure on the company and lead to an employee who feels as though he or she is not really needed, thus pushing productivity downward. Without a clear understanding of all that is offered by an in-house IT professional, the company may also struggle to supervise such a role. With all of the costs involved in having a full-time employee at the office, if often does not make sense for a company to have a full-time employee available. It can actually be a big mistake to hire an IT person to work within the company when there is no room or opportunity for this person. This is one of the leading reasons why a company will start to think about how to accomplish their IT goals without a full-time staff member.
However, it is not just IT employees who need working computers and systems. When an IT consultant is used, the company gets the benefit of another person’s expertise on these complicated issues, without having to pay salary and benefits to a whole other employee. Furthermore, the employer benefits from having numerous support systems in place to help with current employees.
Employees want to work in an environment where the computers are up and running. A constant downtime associated with IT problems can be extremely frustrating and can drive people to leave their jobs or to be less productive in general. Employees expect to be up and running with timely technology solutions that help them exceed expectations rather than just meet them. Those entering the workforce today will analyze a company’s technological prowess before agreeing to work in a job. It is important to maintain this not only for smooth business operations, but to draw in top of the line talent in terms of employees. Contact Network Depot today to schedule a consultation.