Five Things To Consider When Choosing An IT Consultant
By Anthony Hakim
Selecting the right IT consultant for your small business is an extremely important decision, and it certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly. Typically, this is a person who will be entrusted with access and control of your sensitive data, systems and accounts, which your business relies upon. Some of the important factors to consider are:
- Communications Skills – Ever had your IT person explain something to the point where your eyes roll back in your head? Select someone who has the capability of changing the technical content of a conversation based on the audience. Sometimes you may prefer to know that something is fixed, not about the minutia of how or why. Of course, if you ask how and why, they should be able to tell you that too.
- Technical Skills – This skill set should be a combination of technical knowledge that has depth and breadth. You are looking for someone who has a diverse technical background, not someone who is so deeply focused on a given technology, who are unwilling to tackle something out of their comfort zone. Keep in mind that sometimes you might need a specialist depending upon your environment, but this is typically in addition to a core IT consultant.
- Experience, Experience, Experience – An ideal IT consultant should have a solid IT work history, be able to work independently and manage multiple projects.
- Strategic Thinker – It’s OK for your IT consultant to keep things running smoothly, but it’s also important for them to be able to steer your company in the right direction from a technology perspective. Also look for someone who can assess your current situation and streamline/improve processes.
- Vendor Neutral – An ideal IT consultant should be able to recommend and work with a variety of systems and applications.
Anthony Hakim is Principal Consultant and Founder of Longreach Consulting Group, which provides enterprise-class IT consulting to small and medium sized businesses in the Saint Louis, Missouri area. Anthony can be contacted by calling 314-630-9486 or please visit us at www.longreachcg.com.