To many smaller and mid sized businesses, IT consultants are a way of life simply because the size of their business doesn’t allow for an in-house IT employee or staff to handle their IT needs. Information technology is becoming a larger and larger field and as such, the services of a consulting company of IT experts are huge for companies unable to do it on their own. However, just because these services are valuable doesn’t mean that there aren’t sometimes mistakes that companies make when hiring IT consultants. If you’re looking into the services of an IT consulting company here are just a few common mistakes to avoid making to help maximize the relationship and help boost your business as much as possible.
Some mistakes to avoid
- Protect Your Property– Protecting your company’s intellectual property should be your number one priority over everything else. You don’t want to leave your company’s information in the hands of a consultant who won’t give you passwords or data or login information. Be sure that if you’re going to receive an IT consultant’s help and services that you establish the issues of intellectual property first and foremost.
- Don’t Hire a Firm at All– A surprisingly common occurrence, many companies believe that their projects seem within reason and capability and decide not to hire any IT consultants but they can quickly get out of hand and become something much harder to handle. Hiring a company from the start will keep it less expensive and allow the problem to be solved before it gets too big.
- Conduct Thorough Interviews– Interview potential consultants just like you would a potential employee. Follow up on any recommendations and make sure that the consultants you’re looking in to have the proper experience working on the problems that you are looking for help with.
- Have a Detailed Contract– Cover all possibilities in a detailed contract that includes things like costs, hours available, milestones, deadlines and who exactly is in charge for paying for any outside expenses that should happen to accrue. Having your company and the IT consulting company on the same page is crucial to communication staying healthy and allowing for a long and successful working relationship.
- Ensure the IT Consultant Trains Your Staff– It is unlikely that your company will rely on the services of an IT consulting company forever but it’s important to establish early on if the company will continue to train employees after the main project has been worked on and completed. This gives you extra insight into the type of company they are and what their standards may be.
- Choose the Company Carefully– A lot of IT consultants offer specific expertise and will help you get projects done and complete any business goals, what is important is finding the right one for your company’s needs. Maximizing the value of your company is the primary goal so finding the consultant company with experience in your area or with experience dealing with your current issue will help resolve the situation even faster.
- Hiring Without Assessing the Problem– One thing to avoid is hiring an IT consulting company without letting them even gauge the issue that you’re having. Consulting companies should be able to provide straightforward answers to your current situation and their proposal to fix or improve it. This step will also help you avoid unnecessary costs by buying more work than what is needed. Ensuring the company gives you a plan with an exit strategy will go a long way towards giving you exactly what your company needs.
It’s easy to allow yourself to get enticed by an extremely low price or a company that gives a lot of “yes” answers or tells you what you want to hear but that won’t go a long way towards actually positively impacting the company. Instead of rushing to hire someone, make sure that the IT consulting company can actually solve the problem and give you the facts as they need to be heard. Each company offers something unique and there is no one company that can handle any imaginable situation so taking the time to find the right fit for your business will help you remedy the situation faster and the correct way.