Technology is a part of life. You can’t get away from it, especially when it comes to running a business. But with the ever-evolving tools, software and applications on the market, it’s difficult to keep up with technology AND run the many other aspects of your business.
Let’s compare technology with a trade like plumbing. You may know how to maintain and even fix some plumbing in your home, like a dripping faucet or clogged sink. But when it comes to more complex areas or issues, like a broken pipe or replacing a toilet, you’re likely to call in the experts.
The same can be said about using technology for your business. You and your staff probably know how to use Microsoft Office for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and such. You may even have proficiency in running software tools for specific applications that are used to operate your business. But overseeing your overall information technology program requires specific expertise.
Sure, you can attempt to hire an employee in-house, hoping that he/she has all the qualifications needed to address all technical requirements that arise. But in reality, one person usually doesn’t possess all the expertise to handle all tools, software and applications. Even in the rare circumstance that you hire someone who is qualified in all IT areas; their knowledge will quickly become dated and obsolete unless they are trained to update their knowledge on a regular basis.
Hiring an IT consultant may be a better option for your business. Here are some reasons why.
1. Cost Savings
You can’t expect your current staff to take on the role of an IT expert. That would likely be an exercise in futility and frustration. An alternative is hiring a candidate that is an IT expert. These experts can be quite expensive when hired as a full-time employee.
Small businesses may not need full-time IT support. Using consultants only when they are needed can save you money. For example, if you are having a new software system installed, you could hire the consultant to install the system, train the users and provide ongoing support to resolve issues that arise. On the contrary, if you hire a full-time employee, you will be paying for their continuous salary, benefits and more.
2. Data Security
With all the data breaches and computer hackers that have occurred in recent years, data security is a high priority. Introducing new technologies or applications into an existing environment can sometimes leave loopholes that can be missed by a novice. IT consultants are keen on identifying any possible issues that could arise.
Also, if business owners or managers suspect a security breach, calling on an IT consultant would be a wise decision. They can concentrate on investigating and resolving any issues that internal staff may be too busy or inexperienced to address. Consultants will provide you with the solutions, processes and technologies capable of protecting your data.
3. Improved Productivity and Customer Service
IT consultants can look at the big picture and uncover ways that could improve efficiency within your company. They can advise you on better ways to use current technology, or recommend additional tools to increase productivity.
Customer service can also benefit from technology in ways that are not always obvious to the untrained eye. Consultants can offer ways to use technology to better communicate with customers and increase client satisfaction.
Even though you are the person who knows most about your business, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees because you are immersed in its daily operations. A consultant can look at your business functions objectively and with no personal stakes in the business. Often, politics can get in the way internally, creating resistance to change. IT consultants use their experience in recommending what’s best for the organization as a whole, despite potential internal resistance.
5. Professional Expertise
IT consultants have the knowledge and experience to integrate the latest technologies and software solutions. They are used to the dynamic nature of the beast. Professional IT consultants can analyze the environment and predict current and future trends specific to meeting your business needs.
IT consulting requires that the professionals be trained and experienced in the technology for which they are hired. After the job is complete, they move onto the next. You have the benefit of utilizing their knowledge and skill with “no strings attached.”
Depend on E3 Consulting to be your IT Consultant
E3 Consulting specializes in providing small and medium businesses with IT consulting support. We’ve been in the business for over 30 years, helping manufacturing, distribution and professional services businesses grow and profit.
If you want to know how we can help your business succeed, take a few minutes to complete our Business Fitness Evaluation Form.