When hiring an IT consulting professional, you have a few different ways to go about narrowing down what type of consultant is best for your company. Whether you’re posting to a job board, working through a recruiting service, or evaluating incoming pitches from different types of local consultants, you will want to narrow down the specifics of the IT consultant that’s right for your business.
Consider Your IT Infrastructure
Different types of IT consultants and consulting firms may specialize in different servers, hardware, and software Does your business have highly specific needs to work with particular equipment and specific software? Then you need IT consulting that can address those specifics.
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Some things to consider when hiring an IT consultant:
- Is your team Mac based, PC based, or both?
- What kind of server setup do you have? What are your servers’ needs?
- Do you team members use specialized software for accounting, marketing, or project management?
- What are your backup needs and procedures? What are your inhouse capacities to manage ongoing services?
- Do you need one-time installation, regular maintenance, or full-service IT management?
One consultant or several?
Of course, every business is unique. It may make the most sense for you to hire multiple part-time or contract with several temporary IT consultants to cover only the services you need.
Consider Your IT Growth
Your IT may be addressing your company’s needs right now. But what about next year? How are you planning to grow your company, and what IT needs might you have in the near future?
If your business buildings may physically grow, you may need wi-fi expanded or new security IT installed. If your team may grow, you may need upgraded servers, expanded networks, or upgraded remote access features. If your business is going to launch a new app, upgrade your website, or update your online payment services, your IT needs should be addressed before the growth begins.
Your IT Consulting Should Grow with you
Hiring an IT consultant who meets your needs now is great – but it won’t do you any good if your business doesn’t stay at the same level it’s at now. When you’re reviewing IT consulting applicants, evaluate not only what they know how to do, but what you will need them to learn as well. Ask all your questions – from social media growth to phone and communication board updates as needed. To get the right consultant, you need all your needs addressed.
Consider Your IT Customer Support
Does your team offer inhouse IT support to your clients or customers? Is there a place on your website or in your social media for people to report issues to a webmaster or IT address? Who manages this type of feedback?
If you offer a line of contact for your customers or the public at large to report issues with your website, a login portal, or another IT-related concern, you may want a specific IT consultant who specializes in client relations. You may want to consider adding questions regarding client response if you need IT consulting to handle this on your behalf.
Your employees’ IT support needs
In addition to handling your clients’ IT issues, what are your business’ needs for addressing IT issues? For example, if your business has an online chat feature where your customer service can interact with customers, but the chat goes down, you may need immediate, around-the-clock response.
Other businesses may have designated days that they need to go “offline” and delay handling IT issues until a pre-determined periods. When you’re looking for the right IT consulting services, it’s important that you find a consultant who can respond in the way that your employees need.
Professional IT Consulting Pays Off
Sure, most of us know plenty of people who are “good at computers.” But there’s a difference between calling in a favor from a knowledgeable friend and hiring a professional IT consulting service to fully push your business to its potential. IT consulting may seem like a huge expense, but it’s something you can do once if you do it right the first time.