What Can an IT Consultant Do for Your Business?
The right consultant provides advanced technical skills, the confidence to tackle complex IT projects, and much more.
Choosing the right IT services provider can be a challenge.
For overall stability, most businesses opt to partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP), who provides proactive, 24/7 support to keep a business’s network and endpoints healthy.
But sometimes organizations have projects or goals outside the MSP’s realm. They want targeted expertise to solve a difficult technology problem, implement a new technology or system, or help them achieve a higher level of efficiency.
In those cases, the best person for the job is an IT consultant. They’ll provide the expertise you need on a project-basis, so you can achieve an ambitious IT goal without anxiety or cost overruns.
The Many Roles of an IT Consultant
Businesses hire may IT consultants to help them achieve a variety of technology goals, but oftentimes the core reason is a misalignment between a business’s goals and technology. This misalignment, which has been a topic of concern for decades, can cause a variety of business problems, from low staff morale to cybersecurity vulnerabilities, lost revenue, poor productivity, and others.
Here are some of the ways an IT consultant can help a business align their IT and business goals.
Develop an Impactful, Long-Term IT strategy
Businesses must always seek ways to improve efficiency, but most struggle to keep up with the fast-evolving IT landscape. This is especially true at small and midsized businesses, who lack a chief information officer (CIO) or equivalent technology leader, whose primary professional focus is big-picture technology success.
A consultant will leverage their up-to-date knowledge of the latest technologies to help streamline your productivity and help your business along its digital transformation journey. This includes:
- Develop an IT roadmap with clear goals and milestones
- Keep hardware and software systems patched and updated
- Plan an IT budget that maximizes the ROI of your IT spend
- Future proof your organization against technology disruption
Achieve Disaster Recovery and Business Preparedness
Simply backing up data is not enough to protect businesses from catastrophic downtime. Systems have become too complex. Instead, businesses must think of backups as a part of an overall disaster recovery solution that protects sensitive data from harm (both physical and digital), then ensures it can be fully restored in a timely way.
Some organizations may wish to extend that protection into a comprehensive plan for business continuity. This larger concept includes redundant resources that your organization can “fail over” to in case of disaster, including backup office space, equipment, staff, third-party services, and data.
In both cases, having a consultant who can guide you through the many complexities and pitfalls can make the difference between success and failure. If you’d like to learn more about backup and disaster recovery planning, you can read more here.
A Cloud Computing Consultant Can Future-Proof Your Business
Cloud is a transformative technology whose impact continues to grow. By moving applications and services out of on-premise data centers and into the cloud, businesses free their production data to move securely between teams and individuals in a way that best suits productivity.
The benefits of cloud computing, including streamlined budgeting, reduced administrative overhead, greater service, and better business efficiency have driven cloud adoption to record high levels. But with those benefits comes several dangerous pitfalls. For this reason, many companies seek the help of an outside cloud consultant to help them navigate the complexities.
Ensure an Efficient Cloud Migration
“Cloud migration” is a term that refers to how organizations move a particular set of services or applications to the cloud. For example, moving from traditional Microsoft Office, where the software is installed on each individual computer, to a cloud-based Office 365 system, is a common cloud migration.
But even straightforward migrations can be fraught with problems. How to best secure user data while still allowing for free collaboration and innovation? What kind of permissions should users have to access company network resources?
Without a skilled expert or consultant in your corner, the ambiguity surrounding those issues can accumulate quickly, undermining the efficiency of the migration. An experience cloud consultant will help you navigate those difficulties, making your cloud migration a success.
- Strategically plan the entire migration journey
- Determine how to move legacy applications to the cloud
- Keep cloud computing costs from unexpectedly spiking
- Limit service downtime during the migration process
- Ensure security as data moves to and from the cloud
65% of companies see cloud migration as a top priority, with 94% saying those migrations happen over many months and potentially years.
The Benefit of a Cybersecurity Consultant
Small and midsized businesses are the new frontier in the war with cybercriminals. After years of concentrating on large organizations and enterprises, criminals are now going after small and midsized businesses at an increasing rate.
What makes this trend so devastating is that few companies of that size are up to the challenge of achieving a strong security posture on their own. According to research by Mimecast, fewer than one third of businesses with less than $50 million in revenue have a cybersecurity program in place.
Working with a cybersecurity consultant is the fasted and most effective way to put your business on a track toward strong security. By bringing the full range of security skillsets, they enable you to efficiently identify and close any shortcoming, without taxing your internal resources.
- Risk assessment
Proactive assessments help identify which threats are most likely to affect your systems, software, and physical devices. Having a clear prioritized list of your weaknesses allows you to best allocate security budget while readying your organization for future threats.
- Strengthen Remote Workers
Work from home is fast becoming the new norm. While many organizations made hasty improvements to security at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important that they now take steps to make flexible work arrangements a permanent feature of their culture. A cybersecurity consultant can plan the infrastructure upgrades and software improvements you’ll need to keep data secure as remote workers settle into long-term remote productivity.
The IT Consultant with Decades of Service to Ohio Businesses
Whether you want to achieve a targeted IT goal or need long-term IT support partner to help keep your network stable, Astute Technology Management is here to help. We’ve earned solid 5-star reviews over decades of experience helping businesses in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Have a question? Reach out to our team any time. We look forward to helping you make the most of your IT investment.