Understanding Consulting Services for Information Technology: Commonly Asked Questions

Companies invest lots of money in information technology (IT) components and feel that these components are critical to their day-to-day success. These components are utilized to store, retrieve, translate, and manipulate data held by the company so that all decisions are properly informed. Given how critical these components are to the success of a business, it is understood that the company will come to a stand-still when a disaster affects data accessibility. Companies invest thousands of dollars to create a disaster recovery plan, which ensures business continuity by minimizing downtime during a disaster and improving the system’s recovery point.

When companies want to implement a disaster recovery strategy or simply want ideas for improving IT operations, they turn to IT consulting services. These companies provide advice for boosting network efficiency, and can even recommend cost savings by identifying services that can be outsourced to a managed services company. While some managed services firms also offer IT consulting services, there are still differences between the two options. The below answers to commonly asked questions will help businesses differentiate between the two services

What do IT consulting services entail?

Consultants are brought in to improve oversight and usage of IT components. These individuals will start by analyzing current IT systems to determine if everything is working properly. Once it has diagnosed existing problems, it can begin implementing, deploying, managing, or administering IT systems so that the organization can focus on its core competencies. Consultants start by gaining an understanding of the company’s objectives and then matching device utilization to these goals.

What suggestions do IT consulting services make?

Consultants are primarily hired to suggest improvements to the existing infrastructure, including tips for cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and improving overall operations. The specific suggestions that consultants make will depend on the structure of the company receiving advice, but frequent suggestions are:

  • Improve overall network efficiency by replacing older machines with newer, more efficient machines
  • Lower energy bills by purchasing new, energy-efficient models
  • Outsource tasks like data storage and data security that a managed services firm can perform more efficiently

What does a managed services firm do?

Organizations outsource tasks associated with managing and running an IT configuration to a managed services firm so staff members can be assigned to more critical tasks. Since these firms focus specifically on providing certain IT management services, they are able to provide them more inexpensively than what it would cost for a company to provide them.

What services do these firms provide?

It is up to an organization to determine which services it wants to outsource, but an organization can receive advice from a firm offering IT consulting services as to which services to outsource. A managed services firm is usually equipped to offer data back up, data recovery, data storage, network security, and 24/7/365 monitoring.

Instead of having to choose between hiring a managed services firm or a firm that provides IT consulting services, businesses will frequently find firms that serve as consultants who also offer managed services.