To grow your business, you must build and maintain IT systems that support your long-term commercial objectives. While you can make some IT-based decisions without professional help, it’s best to consult experts when you’re looking at the bigger picture.
What IT consultants do
IT consultants work with business and commercial clients to help them fulfill their company goals. They work offsite, which means they aren’t company employees. They are outsourced technical specialists who help businesses effectively integrate IT into their workplace. Put simply, they are indispensable to growing organizations.
But are there any decisions you can make before working with an IT consultant, and where does their expertise come in?
Decisions you can make alone
It’s empowering to make some of your own IT decisions–here are some examples of choices you can make yourself without any special technical knowledge.
Only you can decide whether your employees need mobile phones and other portable devices to work outside of your office space and business hours. It all depends on your consumer base, your business needs, and your culture. This is a decision you can make independently.
If you’re looking for cybersecurity advice concerning remote working, a professional can help you. However, the type of workplace environment you want to establish for your business, whether it’s remote or in-house or a combination of the two, is up to you.
Marketing and social media
You don’t need IT consultants to tell you whether to market your business through social media. If you do use social media, you can craft your own content or hire external marketing resources to do this work for you. Again, your online marketing strategy doesn’t require an IT consultant’s opinion.
Project and task management
If you want to use task management or time management programs, such as time tracking applications, you can review the options and even install your selection(s) without consulting an IT professional.
In general, small-scale software upgrades can be made without expert help–unless, of course, you want it!
Decisions you should get help with
Some IT decisions can have a long-term impact on your business, and they can affect your operations, your customers, and your ROI if you don’t think them through.
This is where IT professionals come in.
Securing your network, your data, and your infrastructure is critical–especially since over 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
An IT consultant can review your entire network computing setup and advise you on exactly what cybersecurity tools you need to keep your business safe. They can also help train your staff on cybersecurity threats such as phishing, spoofing, and ransomware.
Your IT system should be flexible enough to grow and adapt as your business needs change. IT consultants can assess your situation and tell you what infrastructure supports your business objectives. Whether it’s new hardware, better software, or a network server upgrade, IT consultants can point you in the right direction.
What’s more, IT consultants can help you devise a plan for updating and maintaining your infrastructure, and they’ll work with you to fix things if they go wrong.
Cloud-based storage and data solutions are increasingly common across small and medium-sized businesses. If you plan on expanding your company, you want secure, scalable and reliable storage solutions that grow with your business needs. IT consultants will help you install and maintain digital storage solutions to ensure that your organization runs as smoothly as possible.
Essentially, it’s best to consult an IT professional for long-term IT solutions. Hiring professional technology experts helps you save time, money, and resources when it comes to the “big” decisions, such as scalability, integration and cybersecurity. You should always consult a professional if you’re making changes, for example, to infrastructure.
On the other hand, it makes sense to keep some IT decisions in-house, and the right IT consultant helps you strike that balance.