For small businesses, managing IT systems can often be a delicate balance of time and budgets, with many new and growing companies unable to commit to hiring their own large team of IT managers and support staff.
But from new website launches to regular system maintenance, there are many IT jobs that need the skills of an IT professional and aren’t things that you can easily handle yourself. To help their companies with IT tasks without a full-time team on staff, many business owners make use of IT consultants - often part time or freelance experts who can be brought in to help with specific tasks or projects.
Here are just some of the benefits that hiring an IT consultant could bring to your business:
Project Planning and Management
While you or other members of our team may have experience of project management, you probably don’t have experience of running IT projects - something which can require specialist skills and connections.
An IT consultant with years of experience behind them will know exactly what your business needs when you bring them onboard. From understanding how to get a return on your investment, to managing costs and integrating with your team, a good consultant should be able to manage any project that you throw at them, whether it’s a website relaunch or setting up a new network in your office.
Negotiating With Suppliers
Unless you have a lot of experience working in IT, doing deals with service providers and IT hardware businesses can be a little one sided - with them knowing better than you what you need and having the advantage in the sales process.
Your business can regain the advantage in negotiations, however, with the help of an IT consultant - someone with years of experience in the industry. Through their connections and their knowledge of the IT world, an experienced consultant should be able to get you good deals on yourIT services and help to cut unnecessary expenses out of your service contracts.
Having a consultant on call can help you to get your business ideas and vision put into practice too - with them answering to you while suppliers and salespeople might be more interested in asking you to sign up for expensive contracts instead.
Saving Time and Money
As with hiring any other sort of freelancer or short-term staff, an IT consultant can often work out both cheaper and more time efficient for your business compared to hiring a full-time team.
From not having to offer training and staff benefits, to no ongoing costs like employee contributions to worry about, using a contractor can be considerably cheaper and easier - despite the high daily or hourly cost of hiring one.
Hiring a contractor also gives you a level of flexibility that would be hard to find in an in-house team. If you have networking issues, you can find yourself a specialist who deals with those problems, and if you’re launching a new website, you can find a contractor who has experience in that field. Hiring an entire team full-time to cover the whole range of IT issues that your business might face could be very expensive in comparison, or at least require a lot of time dedicated to staff training.
Providing Expert Knowledge
Thanks in part to their many years’ of experience in the industry, and their need to edge out their competitors, most IT consultants are experts in their field - with some being IT generalists while others focus on a particular niche.
Because of their links to the IT world, their experience, contacts and the fact that they often keep up to date with the latest industry news, contractors can be an invaluable source of knowledge for you and your team.
Having someone with advanced knowledge and insight join your team for a short while, or just provide training sessions, is a great opportunity to reevaluate your existing IT setup and get suggestions on areas that you can improve on. Whether you ask them to audit your business’ IT systems or seek recommendations on any upgrades you can make, a day with a consultant can be a real benefit to your company.