Many small to midsize companies outsource their IT support, but even if you’re a larger company with in-house staff, there may still be situations where you can benefit immensely from the services of an IT consultant.
IT consultants work with clients on a contract basis, generally for a limited period of time. They offer advice and strategies on how to optimize IT support and make the best possible use of data systems. They’re often brought in to assist with large, mission-critical projects, or to find areas of inefficiency that can be optimized to cut costs and increase efficiency.
IT consultants offer a range of benefits for companies, including those with their own IT employees:
- External, objective recommendations and advice. Sometimes it’s hard to see a problem from the inside. Bringing in an outside consultant for IT support can offer a new perspective to help solve a problem.
- Specialized expertise. IT support is a rather broad umbrella, and different professionals specialize in different skills and technologies. Many consultants offer specialized experience and knowledge that can be useful for projects outside the scope of your regular IT staff.
- Help for temporary projects, without the overhead of a full employee. Sometimes you only need temporary consulting and support, rather than a long-term employee. IT consultants are well suited to these situations.
When Should You Hire an IT Consultant?
Your business may want to consider hiring an IT consultant if you don’t need to hire a full-time employee, but you’re dealing with a short-term project that requires outside expertise.
Employee or Consultant?
It’s worth examining whether you need an additional IT support employee, or whether your needs are better met by bringing in a consultant on a contract basis. However, for longer-term or more intensive projects, there are legal issues that surround whether your consultant should be classified as a contractor or employee. The nature and type of work that you need will help you make a decision. If what you need is a key aspect of your business, you may need to hire someone as an employee.
Project Scoping & Planning
In many cases, a business owner may have some idea of what they’re going to need, but no idea what it involves, how to implement it, or how new IT resources need to be maintained. For example, if you need a website, you might not know what features it needs, how many pages you should have, whether you should maintain a blog, or how to optimize your new site for search engines. An outside consultant can help you figure out your needs, then come up with a plan to implement it.
Project Management Support
You may not have staff in-house who know how to manage projects that involve software, network infrastructure, and other IT resources. A consultant can provide leadership, guidance, and support for the duration of your project.
A server failure can be absolutely catastrophic for your business. An IT support consultant can help you set up your servers, as well as offering a maintenance plan that provides you with ongoing support and peace of mind.
Hiring an IT Consultant for Your Business
If you’re considering new operational resources that rely on IT, but that are outside the expertise of your existing staff, hiring an IT consultant is a logical choice. At TechWerxe, we provide expert IT support and consulting for small and midsize businesses.