IT Consulting: How It Works and Why you need it
What is IT consulting?
IT consulting is an activity focused on supporting all kinds of work processes in the enterprise, using modern technologies. To put it plainly, it is specialized advice in the field of computer hardware and software. They allow the enterprise to find out the effectiveness of using information technology, obtain significant benefits when working with clients, and significantly increase profits.
Why is it important?
There are many reasons to consider IT consulting a powerful and thus necessary tool for any enterprise. We will review only the most significant ones.
IT consulting helps to overcome the stagnation period and ultimately increase the profits. This applies to new companies that doubt which way to choose and companies that have already achieved great success but need to develop it further.
Moreover, the world develops very rapidly, and modern technologies take more and more place in the life of any person and any enterprise. The further we move, the more digital we become. If you want your business to grow and prosper, you can’t do without digitalization. And IT consulting is meant to help you with that.
Digitalization is the implementation of modern technologies into the business processes of an enterprise. It is aimed at increasing the organizational efficiency of your company.
Digitalization involves installing modern equipment or software and bringing fundamental changes in management, corporate culture, and external communications. Consequently, the productivity of each employee and the level of customer satisfaction will increase, and the company will gain a reputation for being a progressive and modern organization.
Another common problem is outdated workflows. Workflows are standard ways to achieve important goals. The workflow is the glue that joins all the components together, and, therefore, the tasks are carried out systematically, in an organized manner, and with a minimum of errors.
But all too often, managers impose the same outdated workflow on their subordinates and expect different results each time. But this is the catch – the workflow is not a thing that can be set up once and for all. Workflows need to be constantly evaluated to find out what is not working, and then this information is used to create a system closer to the ideal.
Outdated and ineffective workflows waste the time and resources of any organization. Furthermore, they abuse the patience of employees and may not meet current corporate auditing requirements. In this regard, IT consulting can fix everything related to these issues.
Furthermore, IT Consulting uses best practices and proven methods tailored to the client’s specific needs to help the company achieve its sales and market development goals and analyze and assess its development prospects.
When you need IT consulting.
1. Lack of experience in the formation of strategic planning processes for the development of information technology.
Frequently, the IT director is a technician who has grown to the level of IT management. Therefore, for most IT leaders in companies, the issues of strategic planning of IT development based on the goals and demands of the business are not always transparent.
And even if these processes are based on common logic, the specialist will have to reinvent the wheel many times. It will not make the work in the field of strategic planning of information technologies more effective.
Any miscalculation in the strategic planning process can result in considerable financial losses and loss of competitive advantages. Therefore, an external qualified consulting expert can save time and resources.
For IT consulting professionals specializing in information technology development strategies, this is a typical task. Moreover, it is crucial to form the IT strategy and create a mechanism that will make it possible to control the implementation of this strategy in the company.
2. Lack of mechanisms for making well-grounded strategic decisions in the field of information technology.
Customarily, key decisions in IT development are not based on an analysis of the current market situation, development strategy, and the requirements of business processes but only on materials in periodicals and conferences.
The choice of an enterprise management information system is a vivid example of such a decision. Often the implementations of corporate information systems are unsuccessful. Often the main cause for the failure of an implementation project is the wrong choice of both the system and its supplier.
In most cases, the main customers of IT solutions are large companies, but the interest of smaller companies in the implementation of information systems is firmly growing. The choice of corporate information systems for the former is determined mainly by the business scale, and it is limited to only several alternatives. For the latter, the choice is not so unambiguous.
Currently, there are many different corporate information systems for all sectors of the economy, and all systems differ in price and functionality. In addition, some of the most popular systems have several suppliers, the implementation teams of which can vary significantly in professionalism.
All this diversity can lead to mistakes when choosing a corporate information system and its supplier and the lack of the required effect from automation. Therefore, inviting IT consulting specialists to support the strategic decision-making process is vital.
3. Lack of qualified internal resources to carry out projects.
One of the main reasons for inviting external IT consulting specialists is the need for large-scale automation projects, after which there is no need for outside resources. At the stages of describing and improving business processes before implementing IT solutions, employees are required to be trained both in the methods of describing business processes and in the information technologies used. IT consulting specialists have this experience and knowledge of the industry specifics, so their involvement in the project is necessary.
4. Evaluation of the effectiveness of using information technology.
For most international companies, internal IT efficiency is an issue that falls under the control of not only management but also external auditors. For most large companies, the requirements of the SOX are now relevant, and these requirements are increasingly affecting the activities of IT departments, which tightens the requirements for the internal control system in IT.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, often called SOX or Sarbox, is U.S. law meant to protect investors from fraudulent accounting activities by corporations. The law mandates strict reforms to improve financial disclosures from corporations and prevent accounting fraud.
It also covers auditor independence, corporate governance, internal control assessment, and enhanced financial disclosure. Therefore, most CIOs are forced to implement a process, risk, and control procedure management system.
Let’s consider the task of building an internal control system without being tied to a specific standard. Its construction is inextricably linked with the methodology for managing processes and operational risks, which requires building processes in accordance with ITIL and a full-fledged implementation of the risk management process.
ITIL (formerly Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of detailed practices for IT activities such as IT service management (ITSM) and IT asset management (ITAM) that focus on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.
To improve the activities of the IT department, it is necessary to use the COBIT (a framework for developing, implementing, monitoring, and improving information technology governance and management best practices.) information technology audit standard. At the same time, we must not forget about the information security requirements described in the ISO 27000 standard.
Only IT consultants can have knowledge and experience using these standards in aggregate since it is quite difficult and expensive to accumulate this competence within one company.
Hence, the need for IT consulting services arises at the time of strategic business decisions – entering new markets, changes in marketing strategy, implementing corporate information systems. HiTech Service is a company that has been successfully working in this market for more than ten years.
We have provided high-quality consulting services to many international and local companies such as USAID, CBS, Odyssey, Milkiland, Payfone, etc. Our areas of activity include but are not limited to medicine, cryptocurrency, non-profit organizations.
How IT consulting works.
IT consulting involves the following stages:
1. Management analysis.
The subject area where the information system will be implemented is analyzed. Namely, the organization that ordered IT consulting services.
Management analysis shows what is hampering efficiency, whether there is a vacuum or duplication of functions, coordination mechanisms, how effective the executive vertical and horizontal links are, whether powers and responsibilities are balanced, etc.
The purpose of management analysis is to provide information to the client for management decisions, choice of development options, determination of strategic priorities.
2. Creating As-Is and To-Be models.
At first, the following models are built: structural, functional, simulation, and several others that allow describing the current state, that is “AS IS.”
The “AS IS” model can be created based on studying the documentation (job descriptions, directions on the company, orders, reports), surveys of company employees, and other sources.
Model analysis can easily identify unnecessary, unmanageable, redundant, or inefficient functions. The model gives a holistic view of the system as a whole and the ability to understand the relationship of all components.
Correction of deficiencies, redirection of information and material flows leads to creating a TO-BE model. Based on this model, a data model and an information system are designed.
3. Formation of the concept of the future information system.
The client creates a technical task, demonstrating their understanding of the concept. Depending on the task, the consultant forms a technical plan, which shows the conceptual model of the information system, taking into consideration the client’s needs. Through further discussions, the consultant and the client find a common solution.
4. Technical project development.
Requirements and technical tasks for components of the information system are developed.
5. Development of a business plan for implementation.
The estimate and necessary organizational changes for the realization of a TO-BE model are defined.
6. Organizational work.
This stage includes the implementation of required actions to launch the project (bringing the necessary orders and instructions to the organization’s staff), the formation of the project team, the creation of a system of incentives, and the organization of working conditions.
The changes are made in the organizational structure, the system of duties and responsibilities of employees, administrative regulations of their activities. Training and retraining are provided.
7. Implementation and improvement.
At this point, training of end-users, preparation of documentation, and complete verification of the system are conducted.
After the commercial operation of the system is launched and the work of departments is stabilized, the system is updated, and the necessary improvements are determined.
Information consulting is not just about creating automation of the organization’s business processes; it offers a special virtual environment, some business noosphere.
Naturally, working in a new environment will raise some questions and difficulties. IT consulting company supports the client until they can handle the processes without any help.
Benefits of collaboration with IT consultants:
- Ability to focus on core business functions. IT consulting companies take on the complexities of managing IT tasks, relieving executives and employees of the extra workload and enabling them to focus on core business functions.
- Access to broad knowledge bases. IT Consulting provides immediate access to broad knowledge bases that enable better technology solutions and services.
- Significant reduction in terms of implementation and cost reduction of the project. It is achieved by combining a wide spectrum of knowledge and the latest technology.
- Reduced time costs. IT consulting companies use well thought out approaches to ensure ongoing system maintenance, security backups, and disaster recovery that keep downtime to a minimum.
- Control of costs and operating expenses. With the help of an IT consulting firm, it becomes possible to reduce overall costs and expenses during the planning phase of the IT budget. At the same time, the developed IT strategy will meet all the specific needs of the business.
- Technological advantage. IT consulting allows you to implement the latest, best technology. It is a real competitive advantage that is crucial in rapidly evolving digital technology and standards.
IT consulting services is a tool that serves to improve the efficiency of your business. One-time, long-term or even outsourcing contracts are suitable here. An excellent consultant can conserve hundreds of dollars and your business years, provide excellent solutions, and quickly enhance the company’s profits. IT consulting will help your company to stay progressive and competitive in the market.
- Posted by Borys V
- On July 20, 2021
- 0 Comments