Given the fast-paced transformation of business models, investing in technology has become an imperative. However, investing in a new technology, or building it in-house can often be laborious due to innumerable factors including stretched timelines, unavailability of manpower, or as simple as the technology being too niche for your team to work upon.
As they say, “every problem has a solution,” you don’t have to worry about your digital transformation or technology plans even if you don’t have an iota of knowledge to lead the transformation. Roping in an IT consulting company is always a good idea to get your transformation and business plan to reach its potential. However, to some it may sound like an abysmal plan as trusting an external IT outsourcing services provider would be an extreme idea. Many organizations are pretty skeptical on whether an IT consulting firm will understand the solemnity of the project and would execute as per their expectations.
This dilemma of reaching out to an IT consulting company is not new and several businesses experience a hiccup while outsourcing IT solutions.
Working with an IT consulting company doesn’t mean that the company will not acknowledge and understand your expectations and there exists a gap in what you expect and what they deliver. Working with an IT consultant means instant access to cutting-edge technology and highly experienced and skilled individuals that will offer the best support, guidance, and direction in executing the needs you have.
Many businesses, especially small and medium-size businesses do not have sufficient capital to invest in-house for capability or infrastructure development. Lack of right skills, infrastructure, and experience can lead to problems and difficulties in carrying out business activities. Receiving support from an IT consulting company can help you realize your business potential and success.
What is IT Consulting?
An IT consulting company offers advice, support, and skills to organizations enabling them to use information technology in the best possible way and thus empowering them to realize their business objectives. It offers services like software development, app development, infrastructure management, business intelligence, testing services, analytics, and much more).
It is the business of providing information technology support services in terms of skills (programming, project management, business intelligence, analytics, and maintenance) and human resource.
When should you Consider Outsourcing your IT Services?
At first glance, it can be puzzling why you would want to seek out help from an external firm to help you with your project needs and you might question your and your team capabilities. But the scenario is completely different. There are many reasons companies need an intervention by an IT consulting services company:
For an outside view
While making tough decisions for your business especially in context to new technology and infrastructure, it is always viable to have an outside perspective. IT consulting companies work with a variety of clients from diverse industries, sizes, and projects. It is a fair chance that they have worked on a problem that you are currently dealing with and they would have the right set of expertise and directions as to how you can proceed with your existing challenge. Not only they will put forward the right skills and experience to support you but will also share best practices, innovative ideas, and possible roadblocks that you may have ignored or not taken into consideration.
Take care of temporary skill shortage
By outsourcing IT solutions, you pave a path to accessing some of the highly skilled and efficient individuals that might be absent in your team. A highly skilled resource comes with a huge sum and it might not be a viable option for you to hire a full-time specialist for a temporary task. Hence, it makes sense to engage with an IT consulting firm that comes with highly specialized skills and experience to deliver on your needs.
You need extra hands at work
Sometimes there are too many things an organization has to focus on and at times critical problems take a backseat due to lack of human resources. Hiring more employees for one time projects can prove to be expensive. In instances like this, consultants serve as temporary, highly skilled employees. And, by hiring outsourcing IT services you allow your internal employees to focus on their actual jobs and don’t overburden them into things they don’t have expertise in.
Avail special expertise that is available only with a particular consultant
Consider a situation where you want to leverage a new technology or tool, say Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Change management, unclear strategy, and how much to invest in terms of money and resources are some of the challenges that often prove to be detrimental to the success of leveraging BI tools.
It is a common challenge with most organizations that they lack the required experience and expertise to achieve meaningful information from the data which can contribute to better decision making for the organization. Since you are fresh to BI and lack the necessary in-house expertise, outsourcing Power BI services to an external BI partner is the wisest, economical, and advisable choice to ensure value and desired outcomes. If outsourced to an IT consulting company one can observe several benefits like In-demand BI services whenever needed, improved regulatory compliance, access to modern infrastructure, etc.
Today, BI tools are no longer confined to traditional data reporting, and hiring for an IT outsourcing firm can be tricky due to niche areas of expertise and you should trust only the industry-leaders who have that special expertise.
How to select the right IT Consulting Company for your Business?
Most companies struggle to find the best IT consulting firms for their needs. However, searching and selecting the right IT outsourcing company can prove to be a daunting task if you haven’t been through the drill earlier.
Selecting the right consulting company for IT outsourcing service is critical and you mustn’t make a hasty decision. Here are some of the considerations to decide which IT consulting company to hire:
Right & relevant experience
The last thing you would want to have is having an inexperienced project manager handling the project for you. You must have first-hand knowledge about the skills, capabilities, and experience of the consulting partner you plan to work with. Until you assess the capabilities, experience, and skills of the consulting partner, you shouldn’t get the consulting firm onboard.
An experienced and skillful IT project manager and IT consultant understand challenges better and come out with solutions faster.
Ability to handle grievances and success ratio
Always partner with consulting firms that display a high success ratio. Go through the company page and determine the kind of projects being handled by the company. Have a double check on the success ratio of the projects delivered and also the projects where a client wasn’t satisfied with their services. A project will might fail if you hire a company that doesn’t have a proven track record in terms of delivery timeline, execution error, behavioral issues, etc.
It is also a good practice to ask the partner if they offer support in maintenance and issue resolution. To help you succeed in the transformation, you need an IT consulting company that is committed to supporting your company right from selection to post-delivery support. The company should commit themselves to stand by your requirements day in and day out and offer 24×7 maintenance, updates, and issue resolutions at any time of the day.
IT Consulting Firms who offer Training and Support
What makes an IT outsourcing service firm credible is its employees. Check out the firm’s workforce and know if the consultants and project managers they employ are upskilled on the latest trends and tools. Know if the workforce of the consulting organization has access to the latest training manual, understands the best practices, and have complete knowledge of the latest project management tools.
If you feel the information is not readily available on the company’s website, you can check the professional social accounts like LinkedIn to track the profiles of the employees. You can also ask the company during a one-to-one conversation on their investment in upskilling their consultants and engineers and their training methodologies on upgrading their skills from time to time.
Ability to handle complex projects and a variety of clients
One of the parameters on selecting the right IT consulting firm is the clients they have worked with. Determining a firm’s reputation based on their clientele is a good measure. Capture information like how many clients they have worked with, what kind of industries these clients operate in. Whether the consulting company serves only national clients or has worked with international clients too. Check the client testimonials or client case studies available on their websites or their social page.
Pricing and ROI
ROI plays a big factor while considering hiring an outside firm to execute on your business requirements. Hence, the amount you pay should justify the impact and value the services an IT outsourcing company offers. Another challenge one must have to acknowledge is the leadership buy-in on budgets and hence you must select a company that not only offers great services but is also aligned to your budgetary limits.
While outsourcing work in information technology is a good cost-saving option, it is suggested that you avoid the temptation to invest in the cheapest consulting firm around. A good consulting company will charge a little higher but the impact and value they create can be long-term. During the selection process, many consulting companies may try to lure you with low rates but they may not be able to offer you the right expertise to meet your business and IT needs.
It is good to have costs as one of the factors in deciding and selecting your IT consulting partner but don’t allow cost to be the sole driving factor in the decision-making process.
In-Depth understanding of your business
Consider this situation– You want to migrate your 2,000 mailboxes to Office 365 and you want to make this switch as soon as possible. While on the surface the process seems easy but companies can face a bunch of issues during the transition due to factors like security and compliance requirements, hybrid prerequisites, legality, networks, etc.
Thus, you need an experienced outsourcing services partner for Office 365 migration that understands your business and helps you build a right migration strategy. For example, if your partner suggests cutover migration over staged migration, they are aware that your priority lies in migrating mailboxes.
Hence, verifying the partner you select completely understands your business and the expectations are important. Determine if the partner has put effort and did research in understanding your business challenge when he submits a proposal to you.
We are going through one of the most turbulent times that anyone of us has ever experienced. The impact caused by the disruption, driven by the ongoing pandemic, is multifolds. This wave of disruption has forced businesses to be adaptable and accepting of digitalization. To survive, sustain, and respond to the emerging transformation needs of your business, it is indispensable to have the right IT consulting services to support your information technology needs.
Who We Are and What Makes Us One of The Most Trusted IT Consulting Companies?
Flatworld Edge, a subsidiary of Flatworld Solutions, is an ISO certified global company that offers outsourcing services to support technology needs and equip and enable businesses to build efficient products and services. At Flatworld Edge, we are determined to make business transformation time and cost-effective. We continuously reinvent and reimagine ways to augment business capabilities and empower companies to deliver services that surpass expectations. Our core competency lies in our expertise. Being an MS certified partner, we provide you with the best insights on technology and its implementation. With an extensive experience in custom software development, mobile app development, Microsoft 365 migration, Power BI, Data Science etc. we have decoded better ways to optimize technologies and help our clients grow overcoming all competitive challenges.