Information and data have become the lifeblood of businesses in the post-industrial age. It follows then that the information technology (IT) infrastructure that makes it possible for data to be distributed and shared quickly is as critical to a business as the circulatory system is to the human body. Unlike the body, however, IT systems don’t do such a good job of growing or healing themselves. In many companies, the jobs of repairing and expanding IT systems fall to outside IT consultants. Even in many businesses that employ in-house IT staff, specialized consultants are sometimes brought in as needed to handle specific projects or to perform an independent IT audit. Services provided by consultants can include:
- Analyzing IT user requirements and developing cost-effective solutions
- Recommending software or hardware products that will add the most value to the company
- Managing large IT projects
- Providing training for users of new software or systems
- Designing and/or managing networks
- Installing or upgrading network security systems
Finding an IT consultant isn’t difficult, but finding one who will bring the right skills to the table and provide you with excellent customer service is a little more work. You should conduct an initial interview with any prospective independent IT consultant or IT consulting firm to determine how well their areas of expertise and experience match your needs, and to get some idea of their style of working and serving their customers. Some things to ask about and consider when making your choice include:
- Word-of-mouth recommendations from other clients, especially ones with businesses similar to yours
- Guaranteed response time – if any – in the event of an emergency call
- Vendor certifications held by the consultant or by employees of the firm
- Assignment of a dedication technician to your account, so that you deal with the same person each time who is knowledgeable about your business
- Ability to communicate and explain issues in clear language without tech-speak
- Rate structure for services – is a flat-fee remote monitoring and maintenance package available?
- Awareness of emerging technologies such as VOIP and cloud computing; ability to determine cost-saving potentials through an IT bill audit
Telanalysis is an experienced IT service audit and telecom management firm that has served private businesses, educational institutions and government agencies at all levels for more than 25 years. Call Telanalysis at 866-300-6999 and let us help you get the most out of your organization’s telecommunications and IT expenditures.