One of the biggest challenges that small to medium sized business owners face is the constant lack of resources. Yes, Fortune 500 companies have resource limitations, but from a practical standpoint, if they need something, they can find a way of acquiring it. These are companies that can afford to keep a wide and deep bench of IT expertise to handle any challenge that may arise. For the rest of us though, that’s just not practical, and in truth, even Fortune 500 companies have begun to increasingly rely on computer consulting firms as a means of “renting” selected expertise when and as needed.
In the earliest days of computing, it was reasonable to expect that a small staff of IT professionals could more or less keep abreast with all the cutting edge changes occurring in the industry. These days, however, there’s just a dizzying array of fields and sub-fields within the industry, and the number expands, if not by the week, then certainly by the month. The industry has become so complex, and the pace of change so blindingly fast that even the most talented IT professionals can’t hope to keep pace. There’s just no way that a company of any size could hope to maintain a bench that would be capable of handling any and every issue today, and any that might arise as technology changes in the future. That’s the real value of the computer consulting firm.
So what kind of expertise do you need? These types of firms come in two basic flavors. Those who specialize in functional consultancy, and those who specialize in technical consulting. Choosing the “right” firm to assist you is of the utmost importance. Broadly speaking, companies that specialize in functional consultancy are the ones you’ll be interested in if you’re looking for a way to bridge the gap between business needs, and the ability of current technology to meet those needs.
Essentially, these are the people who help you make your technology do things that they may not have originally been designed to do. IT consultants are the people who you’ll want to call if you need to update, upgrade, or re-engineer your technology. This is also the group to call if you’re not sure precisely what new equipment you need, but know that your current tech suite isn’t cutting it. Both can be critical to your success. It’s simply a matter of clearly and succinctly identifying your needs, and shopping for the firm that best meets them.