Selecting an IT Consultant to advise you about your technology is one of the most important decisions you can make. But how do you choose a competent, reliable, and appropriate consultant for your needs?
There are so many IT service providers in Langley, Surrey, and Abbotsford. But you shouldn’t choose just anyone or decide one is best because they are the closest to your business. To help, we’ve listed some questions below that you should ask when meeting with an IT Consultant for the first time.
What types and sizes of businesses have they consulted for? Have they worked with companies in your industry? What kinds of projects have they completed? What types of IT issues do they regularly find in businesses like yours? Do they have expertise in any one area of information technology? What certifications do they hold if any? Do they manage projects or do they perform hands-on technical responsibilities? Ask all of these questions along with a request for references and examples of experience they have with your IT solutions.
Make sure the IT Consultant covers the following things in his assessment:
Ask what methodologies the IT consultant will use for situation review, problem analysis, and recommended solutions. Ask for documented samples. Your IT Consultant should be able to show you a written strategy with procedures they’ll employ. For example, if you’re looking to increase IT security ask, “What is your process for improving our cybersecurity and what steps will you take to do this?”
Any IT Consultant with experience should be able to provide a timeline for completing the project, with your understanding that things might change along the way if he finds problems that he didn’t expect. Make sure he plans to document everything he does and finds along the way and will share a written report with you at the end of the project. Documentation is an integral part of any project. Ask in advance for the consultant to provide samples of documentation he’s completed in the past
Your IT Consultant should be able to present some statistics and benchmarks to measure the success of a project. He should openly discuss how these measures were calculated and how he defines success. The outcome isn’t all that matters in assessing the success of a project. Follow-up and engagement are essential to ensure the longevity of the desired outcome.
However, remember that we’re all human and no one can predict the future so nothing is guaranteed. But you should be assured that the consultant will keep track of project improvements or failures going forward and not say, “Everything’s completed” then walk out the door forever. In his mind, he should be a part of your team and keep working towards desired outcomes.
Make sure your IT Consultant has the patience and ability to communicate to your staff in the non-tech talk. He should explain what he’s doing, along with why and how it may impact their day-to-day workflow. He should also be able to educate your staff on various IT solutions and help them deal with software issues they may face.
If you want your team to learn how to use a particular program (like Microsoft Office 365), your consultant should have the ability to hold an in-service educational session to teach your staff about the features it provides. He may not have all the answers, but he should try to find out what they are so your staff can get the most out of your IT assets.
The proposal should be more than the tasks the consultant will perform, such as doing interviews, surveys, and assessments. It should include an agreed-upon outcome that both you and the consultant’s company have settled on. This should take into consideration any budgetary constraints on your part, future business plans, and anything else that might affect the defined outcome of the consultation project.
The success of our clients is the reason we provide IT Consulting. No two organizations are alike. That’s why our consultants must have a broad range of capabilities and experience. With clearly defined goals and a team-like approach, the right IT Consultant can help you take your business to the next level with efficient and secure-running IT.