How to Choose an IT Consulting Company
Choosing an IT consulting company to help with one’s information technology issues can be a daunting task. Running one’s business is tough enough without having to decide what IT consultancy will be capable of providing all of the right tasks on time and within budget. Although it is impossible to predict the future, below are a few criteria that can help small business owners choose the right IT consulting company for them:
1. Experience. Contrary to what many new college graduates may believe, experience really does matter when it comes to choosing an IT consulting company to help solve information technology issues. Small businesses choose to hire qualified, experienced IT consultants because they want the job done right and done right now.
While it is possible to save money hiring a young intern to perform many duties, one runs the risk of time delays, wasted money and even make matters worse. Although technology changes almost daily in the IT world, the principles involved with developing IT solutions for small business are age-old.
2. Pedigree. Experience shows what a consultancy has done in the past, but are they keeping up with the present and the future? A company actively engaged in industry-recognized certification programs demonstrates a firm commitment to staying informed with modern technological trends. This commitment also demonstrates an IT consulting company is committed to providing their customers with the latest the market has to offer.
An IT consulting company who trains its consultants and certifies them in the skills and technologies needed by its customers is more likely to provide its clients with top-notch service when compared to those who do not.
3. Reputation. When a business outsources to another company, their own credibility becomes linked to that of the company performing the outsourcing. When choosing an IT consulting company, it is important to research the company’s background.
How long have they been in business? What are their specialities? Are they capable of developing the solutions they claim? What do other customers say about them? Do they stand behind their work? Choosing an IT consulting company with a good reputation not only provides peace of mind, it also keeps one’s own reputation above board.
4. Costs. Although everybody wants to have their cake and eat it, in reality compromises have to be made. Small business owners are well aware of their budgetary requirements, and as such need to choose an affordable IT consulting company. Making the choice to outsource IT work is definitely a step in the right direction, as hiring such specialized expertise in-house is most often an unaffordable option for small businesses.
However, small business owners are cautioned not to “go cheap” when it comes to selecting an IT consulting company to augment their computer and networking needs. When it comes to weighing the costs of hiring an IT consulting company, it is important to try to compare “apples to apples” whenever possible. Some companies may boast low hourly rates to attract more customers. These “teaser” rates may ultimately prove disastrous if the above suggestions about experience, certification and reputation are ignored.
Try to take a holisitic view of the costs involved whenever possible. Assess a consultant’s entire approach to your solution, including equipment, design and support. Although one proposal may initially look more expensive than another, it may turn out to be cheaper in the long run. Small businesses rarely invest in IT solutions for just a few days of temporary use; the budgetary decisions involved with IT solutions should likewise be given thought for the long-term as well.
Hiring an IT consulting company can be a rewarding task, leading to one of the best business partnerships one could possibly make. The Technology Consultants at IT Direct are very familiar with these and the many other issues small business owners are faced when seeking the services of a reputable IT consultancy. IT Direct is a computer and network support provider with the experience, skills and reputation small business owners seek in an IT consulting company, all at a cost that won’t break the bank. Contact IT Direct to schedule a consultation today at (860) 656-9110.