You've invested a lot in your technology but it's not working out the way you were hoping.
The software or infrastructure you were sold was supposed to solve all your business's problems — things were supposed to get easier for you and your employees. But what seemed like a good idea when you were making that purchase, has turned into a hassle and now you are seriously considering kicking your IT to the curb and starting over.
Hold on right there because we have good news and bad news.
Here's the good news: It may not be the technology itself. Certain situations strain information technology capabilities. For example, if your organization's structure is changing — if there's a merger or you're scaling up — you probably need to modify your infrastructure.
Here's the bad news: you probably can't do this yourself. Big projects, like a Cloud migration or an infrastructure change, mean you're going to need to call in an expert, someone who knows the technology, has seen your problem before and knows what to do to fix it.
IT consultants can help augment your IT staff
Consultants are usually engaged for big picture problems; to address concerns your IT staff can't handle because they're busy working on day-to-day tasks or they may be too close to the problem to solve it.
An IT consultant, as an outside expert, has experience with both the technology you're working with and with business structure challenges. They've worked with a wide range of businesses and can use that knowledge to help you.
While a technology consulting company can be engaged for a range of reasons, there are common challenges IT consultants are often asked to solve.
If you are experiencing one of these six challenges, it's time to call a consultant:
- Your infrastructure, software or equipment is broken and needs to be fixed
- Your business — and IT infrastructure — is growing
- You need to cut IT costs
- You're migrating to the Cloud
- Your company is concerned about compliance requirements
- Your organization has recently merged with another company
Let's get into more detail on each of those:
Something is broken and needs to be fixed
This one's the most obvious. Something — your IT infrastructure, your devices, your software or your hosting — isn't working the way it's supposed to. Either it's broken or it's just not living up to your expectations. Whichever it is, it needs to be fixed and if you're a small to medium-sized business, you may not have the IT personnel to devote to this challenge.
In this way, calling a technology consulting company is like calling a plumber — you really need a problem fixed, so you call in an expert. (And, as with a plumber, you should probably call in a professional rather than try to do it yourself.)
Your business is growing
A period of growth is an exciting time for an organization. Business is booming, the organization is planning for the future and new initiatives are being launched.
Unfortunately, a time of business expansion also brings significant business challenges, including the need to quickly scale up your IT infrastructure. Maybe you're going from a small staff to a bigger one and you need to make sure every new employee has the appropriate software they need to do their jobs immediately. Maybe your existing databases or other infrastructure just can't handle the influx of new data. In this case you need an IT consultant to look at your existing infrastructure, make recommendations and help you implement change.
You need to cut IT costs
There's no getting around it — information technology can be expensive. You may know you need to cut spending on IT but you’re not sure how to cut costs without cutting corners.
Luckily, there are a lot of options in IT — you just need a trusted advisor who knows the field well. A good IT consultant can learn about your business needs, look at your existing infrastructure and then make specific recommendations about software, infrastructure and other solutions that will give you some of the same functions and features at a lower price point.
Your organization is migrating to the Cloud
Back in the day, companies invested a significant amount of money and time in customized legacy systems that lived on premise in their very own servers. At the time, the systems were cutting-edge and meant to last a long time. Now such systems can be cumbersome and expensive to maintain — they need to be updated often, for example, and changing their configuration to meet a new business challenge takes time.
The Cloud provides a flexible, agile alternative but migrating a legacy system to the Cloud, although it is inexpensive in the long run, is a daunting challenge.
An IT consultant can help your company make this change as painlessly as possible, illuminating costs and headaches associated with legacy systems, while offering advice about security, and flexibility of the Cloud.
You're worried about compliance
Earlier this year, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, imposing huge penalties on companies that are non-compliant when it comes to collecting, processing and storing the information of EU residents. Companies scrambled to see if their IT was compliant — even if they weren't in the EU.
Laws, policies and regulations are constantly changing and being compliant is daunting. It can be difficult, if you’re a small to midsize business, to know if your existing information technology is compliant or if you're at risk. A good consultant can advise you — they know which platforms are the most secure and which have the best records with compliance.
Your company has merged recently
Merging multiple IT operating environments is no small feat.
You're bringing multiple platforms, systems and environments under the umbrella of one company. You may be merging IT departments or DevOps teams. You may have one company that uses DevOps and another that doesn't.
The margin for error is huge — you can have redundancies, unnecessary expenses and cumbersome processes. An IT consultant can help you make a plan and execute the merger so that all the systems are working for everyone.
Working with an IT consultant
A good technology consulting company will take a step back, listen to your challenges and then recommend the consultant who is the best fit for your business. Likewise, a good IT consultant will learn how you work before jumping in with suggestions.
Omni's first step, for example, is to understand your business. Our consultants observe how your team works and ask focused questions to get at the heart of the issues that are bogging down your business. Once we understand your problem, our team works with you to introduce technologies and methodologies that will help you maximize your existing investment in your IT.