Even when operating at their best times, companies must be careful about how they spend their IT resources. These days, shifting markets move in unexpected directions and political maneuvers confound even the most expert of experts.
Understandably, it’s hard for an organization to make a clear IT budgeting decision based on reliable information. It’s times like these when circumstances are so confusing that you could really use the services of a qualified IT consultant.
Why should you talk to a consultant?
In general, consultants are brought in to solve an immediate problem. They typically bring with them years of experience and a history of expertise that are typically not available in younger staff members or even other industry professionals. Plus, consultants are often able to see both the short- and long-term gains that any single decision might garner. And, because they work on a project basis, their clients don’t need to make a capital investment in a long-term employee but instead can glean their insights through the use of the operations budget.
But why an IT consultant?
In a word: economics. Recent research reveals that this year, every sector is spending more on IT than ever before and that SMB firms with 10 to 999 employees are spending more than they used to. Between 2016 and 2021, companies with less than 1,000 employees will spend an estimated total of $684 billion on IT services, software, hardware, and business services.
That volume of purchases represents two-thirds of all global IT spending, with 30% focused on IT services and the rest shared by both hardware and software. (Note, though, that spending on IT services such as IT consulting services is growing in popularity and will overtake spending on hard- and software by 2021.)
For every company in every sector, the volume of IT technology and services purchased by competitors only makes that competition more difficult to overcome.
How can IT consultants help?
The best use of the IT consultant is to make IT decisions, which isn’t as simple as it sounds. There have never been so many IT solution options available as there are today. It’s always hard to sort out the true value of a product from the hype in its marketing materials. The IT consultant can help you determine which types of hard- and software are best suited for your purposes, and which IT managed services or if a consumption model would best serve your needs and those of your customers.
Think of all the choices you have to make:
- It may be time to trade out your old machines for newer technology that can handle advanced programming. While those end-of-life decisions may appear to be no-brainers, the true challenge is deciding what to replace those assets with.
- Hand-held devices are also almost mandatory in today’s hyper-wired world, and that purchase raises the same question as the replacement concern above: which device is best suited for the needs of your company?
- You’ll need software updates more often and at a faster pace than before. Too many companies still run computers driven by Office 2003 (and some still function on Office 97!).
- In-house purchasing of the assets above may not be necessary, either. Cloud computing offers a wealth of opportunities to every enterprise, and it takes time and, often, an educated voice, to become familiar enough with it to make the leap in that direction.
Add in the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and 3D capabilities, and it becomes clear that just choosing from these options is a daunting endeavor.
Want to give it a shot? Contact us and see how we can help your organization overcome IT struggles.