Owning a small business is an exercise in chaos. You can’t wait until all the lights are green before jumping in and figuring things out. However, you will inevitably hit roadblocks if you do so.
Your IT infrastructure may be struggling to keep up with rising demand. While your dedicated in-house team produces excellent results, they are not magicians. We recommend bringing in an IT consultant if you run into these or other roadblocks.
But not everyone is equally qualified. Don’t waste money on a bad hire; instead, ask the following questions of potential employees:
1) What is your level of experience?
In general, an IT consultant’s effectiveness increases with their experience level. This statistic, however, can be misleading. If a prospect has primarily served corporate clients, they may not be the best fit for a startup.
It’s also best to hire someone who has worked in your industry before. E-commerce companies, for example, have very different requirements than blue-chip companies.
In this case, a knowledgeable IT consulting Firms New york can provide the answers you need. Before making a final decision, make sure to get multiple professional references.
2) What IT areas do you have specialized knowledge in?
Having a team of IT generalists will only get you so far. So why hire an IT consultant who describes themselves as a “jack-of-all-trades”? You can’t solve existing problems by thinking the same way you created them.
Do you have problems with scaling? Hire an IT consultant who has previously assisted startups in moving forward. Do you need to strengthen the security of your network? Hire a consultant with a strong cybersecurity background.
You’ll save money, time, and headaches by hiring experts in your problem area.
3) What is your procedure?
IT Consulting Companies in Dallas have the expertise to help you transform your company. However, if you and your partner aren’t on the same page from the start, unnecessary conflict can arise. A prospective consultant should not only sell you on their vision; they should also explain how they plan to get there.
In-house staff should participate in this road map and how they will communicate progress to project managers. You can avoid misunderstandings this way.
4) What is your project completion timeline?
Hiring an outside contractor brings a slew of new variables into your daily routine. Their presence can disrupt employees’ flow, especially if consultant work involves unexpected outages or meetings. If you bill by the hour, their extended company will be more expensive than anticipated.
Obtain a time frame from a potential consultant to complete rendered services. You’ll gain a level of certainty that will simplify budgeting your organization’s resources.
5) What is the maximum amount of money you can save our company?
You’re in business to make money. Any changes recommended by an IT consultant should result in lower costs. Anyone can copy/paste best practices from the internet, create a website, and claim to be an expert.
You can see if they can cut IT costs by forcing them to make a business case for their services. You’re on the right track if they respond to your inquiry by comparing the current price of in-house team members versus outsourced solutions.
6) How Would You Improve Our Company’s Productivity?
A good IT consultant should do more than save you money. If they know what they’re doing, they should be able to boost your company’s productivity as well.
Poorly designed systems stifle productivity. If your lead programmer is constantly putting out fires (e.g., assisting users in logging in), they won’t be able to focus on adding real value to your company.
7) Can you help us secure our network?
The World Wide Web is still a scary place after 25 years. Every day, hackers attack businesses all over the world with impunity. Cybercriminals will soon flood your company’s servers if they haven’t already.
According to a CNBC report, half of the small business owners polled said they had been targeted in the previous year. Those who were hacked said they lost more than $200,000. Sixty percent of businesses shut down within six months of a cyberattack.
8) Do you have any training sessions available for my team?
It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s most eloquent tech solution if your team doesn’t know how to use it. For example, implementing new security protocols isn’t enough. End-users must understand and follow these directives for them to be effective.
Potential hires should be eager to schedule training sessions. They must also be capable of teaching technical concepts to non-IT audiences.
9) Do You Have A-Team Support?
A good IT consultant can help your company perform better. Their effectiveness will be magnitude better than solo operators if they have a team behind them.
Let’s say your consultant specializes in cybersecurity. However, they realize that a cloud-based solution is the best option as they work to improve your network. If you hire a team-backed consultant, they can bring in someone with cloud server experience.
10) What Are The Most Recent IT Trends, And How Do They Impact Us?
Technology changes at a breakneck speed that shows no signs of slowing down. The best IT consultants should be able to keep you up to date on the latest trends and explain how they affect your company.
For example, they would bring it up if you asked them about Heartbleed in 2014. They’d say it wasn’t a virus but rather a severe flaw in the OpenSSL code. They would recommend that you patch all affected OpenSSL servers as soon as possible. Finally, they recommend contacting customers to have them change their passwords.
Always do your homework.
Hiring an IT consultant is similar to hiring any other employee. You must determine which contractor will add the most value during the selection process. You’ll have all the information you need to make the best decision if you ask the above questions.