Does your business understand the importance of having a long-term IT budget? Your organization needs to be privy to the latest technology trends, which can change drastically depending on the year’s developments. Does your budget take into account the current value (or lack thereof) of your organization’s technology assets? Do you think about where you want to be in the future? If this sounds like too much to handle, the consulting service of an IT professional will provide you with an accurate plan.
The Value Proposition
If it feels like your IT budget is coming out of nowhere, you might want to rely on an IT professional to build one; in this case, it’s either your internal IT department or an external service provider. You can see the value of having your IT service provider act as a consultant, as they are oversee the functionality of your infrastructure. Your IT provider also comes with the benefit of being familiar with your internal operations and business model, so they will understand where your technology stands and the changes you need to make.
Speaking of your IT budget, do you have a plan that allows for routine IT consulting? There needs to be complete transparency between your consultants and your business’s management. Furthermore, it’s not like you have all of the time in the world to research how to best improve your IT infrastructure, so a relationship that fosters trust is, more or less, necessary for successful business ventures.
If your business doesn’t take proper precautions, you could implement new software that creates complications for your network, or you could spread your network too thin and cause downtime. Conversely, you could go without important patches or software updates and risk sensitive data, or you could go without implementing a helpful solution and lose out on the benefits it provides.
When looking for an IT consultant, you can trust, consider the following tips.
What To Do
- Make clarity a priority: Don’t let your consultant assume that they understand your organization’s needs, as you could be running the risk of them assuming incorrectly. Instead, make sure that you clearly deliver exactly what your organization wants to focus on in your IT budget.
- Go out of your way to find a proper fit: A good IT consultant is like finding the perfect-sized piece of clothing. You want to find one that fits your business just right, and one which can adapt to the changing needs of your organization.
- Keep user error in mind: Be sure to keep in mind that not everything that goes wrong is the fault of your IT consultant. Chances are that you could be partially to blame, specifically if you’re the IT decision maker for your organization. Don’t make your consultant the scapegoat. Instead, work with them to resolve the issue.
- Find a consultant with skills you don’t have: Hiring people who have skills that you don’t have is a great way to shore up any potential problems you might encounter. This helps minimize the chances that you’ll run into a situation that you won’t be equipped to handle.
What Not to Do
- Consultation isn’t a fix-all solution: While consultation can help you prevent problems from happening, it’s not always going to be an immediate fix to your problems. While advice can help, the only way to keep issues from escalating into larger problems is by keeping an action plan in mind and doing what you can to stick to it.
- Confuse responsibilities: It’s important that both your IT consultant and your organization’s management know which responsibilities fall to them, so be sure to discuss these before signing a contract.
- Get distracted from your endgame: Your IT budget is likely to be rather complex. Therefore, be sure to create an outline of your goals and discuss it with your IT consultant. This will help you accomplish your goals in the most timely and efficient manner possible.
Are you looking for your next IT consultant? If so, give Sagacent a call at (408) 248-9800. We’d be happy to discuss the ways in which your business can best take advantage of its IT budget.