Oftentimes, employees who provide IT maintenance are expected to supply strategy, as well. Many companies rely on their in-house IT staff to suggest new technologies, which is rarely the best approach. In-house IT employees often lack the perspective required to select the best solutions for the business.
Too often, IT workers are persuaded to choose a product with a dazzling feature set, but which doesn’t actually work for the company in the end. For instance, a company may be persuaded to switch to a new VOIP (voice over the internet) phone system only to discover that the new system’s “bells and whistles” (SalesForce integration, voicemail access from multiple devices, etc.) are less important than the basic call quality that their previous setup provided. Those who manage information technology consulting firms have heard dozens of horror stories along these lines – times when the solution proposed by an in-house employee just didn’t meet the company’s needs.
Not that it’s necessarily the IT worker’s fault. Indeed, IT staffers are often overworked. They are expected to put out fires, keep the whole system working properly, provide server maintenance and backup, trouble-shoot individual employees’ computer problems and anticipate what will be needed in the coming year. With such a workload, it’s not surprising that their bandwidth to vet new products is frequently limited.
In contrast, IT consultants have years of experience sifting through different technological solutions. We have the “big picture,” industry-wide view in-house employees often lack. And because information technology consulting firms work with an array of different SMB clients, we have expertise in discerning which product or package will work best for a certain company.
When hiring IT consultants to discover ideal new technology, an SMB will benefit from reliable rates and the easier-to-calculate ROI they represent. In many cases, a company may need high-quality advice but is too small to justify hiring a full-time IT worker. Whether or not you have an in-house IT worker to turn to, it makes sense to partner with information technology consulting firms to vet new technological solutions.