Modern Technology is at the core of more businesses but not everyone knows how to best utilize it and that’s okay. Tech consultants are the solution for a corporate world that needs to implement, learn, and use software to its full potential. You may be surprised to learn just how helpful a technology consultant can potentially be for you and your team.
What is a Technology Consultant?
The answer to the question “what is technology consulting” really depends on your specific needs. A simple definition is that they are an independent consultant, or one from a consulting firm, that offers advice related to technology. This advice can be for consulting on technology trends in the tech industry, Information Technology (IT) services, Cybersecurity, and risk assessment. It’s a huge umbrella term and it can cover so many different services.
The goal of the consultant is to help you manage software, procedures, or practices related to the latest technology. One of the most in-demand use cases is for business technology solutions like IT systems, cloud computing, or cybersecurity.
Common use cases for business software are pretty varied. They might help you choose software, especially if you are unfamiliar with the tech industry in general. There is some extremely complex software that is described with frustrating and dense language. For example, it can be hard to interpret “this dynamic solution can offer full digital transformation of your IT infrastructure in real-time.”
Consultants will help you navigate through tech terms and find a good solution for your team. From there consulting services would refer to the implementation of the software into your team’s workflow with training, education, and set-up best practices.
It doesn’t need to be short-term either. It may be better, in the long run, to keep them on the payroll as a management consultant for your tech stack and overall operations. You can hire them as a freelancer, or permanently as a guide for navigating the world of technology.
Other tech consultants can help you manage your team operations such as addressing business problems like slow workflow or overspending on software and hardware. The software doesn’t have to be something super complicated like low-code but could be helpful for getting the most out of customer service relationship (CRM) software.
Some tech consultants in the form of software development consultants, can custom design applications to handle specific business processes. On the flipside, tech consultants can also help software developer teams offer the best customer experience. While your team’s job is testing and development, consultants can offer outside perspectives that benefit consumers like technology trends, pricing or new accessibility initiatives.
What you get from a consultant really depends on their background since it’s certainly a career path with multiple starting points. Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, you can still benefit from help making informed decisions about new technology.
What is a Tech Consultant’s Background?
What a tech consultant can actually help you with depends on their actual knowledge or expertise. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in web design is unlikely to be able to help you with IT consulting on what hardware and software to buy for your startup marketing company.
You would want someone whose degree gave them practical training with office hardware and that same person may not be able to advise you on business marketing software. The point being, just because someone has a techy background doesn’t mean they can do literally anything technology-adjacent.
There are related fields in the world of technology and there are fields that have zero communication between them almost as if they are both speaking foreign languages. A web designer and a web developer have areas of expertise that cross into each other, but computer engineering is nothing like a B.A. in information technology services. Someone that works with an IT system will understand computer hardware, but that doesn’t mean they can build a supercomputer.
With all of that in mind, it is important to know that those with one degree may try to learn more about related fields so they can work in consulting jobs requiring multiple skill sets. You can find experts with knowledge in both web development and design, as well as degree holders in computer science that can offer expert writing skills for employee training manuals (writing for an audience is often a skill STEM fields can struggle with).
Below are some examples of degrees tech consultants may have. These degrees could be associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Someone with a business BA may also get an associate in computer science. By mixing up their areas of expertise, they can offer different levels of understanding like help with setting up developer teams, but from a business management perspective.
- Computer Science
- Computer Programming
- Computer Engineering
- Data Science
- Data Analytics
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Information Technology
- IT Management
Now there are complementary degrees that can expand a consultant’s skill set. Communication skills and writing alone are huge benefits to a job that requires instructing others what to do.
- English: Professional Writing
- Human Resources
- Project Management
Do You Need a Tech Consultant?
Teams of all sizes and abilities can benefit from tech consulting in one area or another. They might be a freelance IT consulting team or a computer consultant with the know-how on what software and hardware to buy.
Whatever business problems or needs you want to address, your expectations should be as clear as possible. That way your consultant can understand all the areas you expect help with and they can access what they can actually provide you. Consultants can be miracle workers.
If you’re not sure whether you actually need a consultant then we have some questions you can ask yourself and your team.
Can Your Budget Handle It or Can You DIY IT?
Tech consultants are highly paid professionals because of their educational backgrounds. You will be hard-pressed to find someone just out of college for less than 70K annually. The majority of salaries for tech consultants are reported close to 100K and over.
If you decide to hire your own, whether it’s freelance or salary, you’ll need to keep in mind that if the pay isn’t competitive then they can take their high-quality experience elsewhere.
|86K with range 47K – 173K
|179K with range 146K – 225K
|83K with range 63K – 119K
Depending on the situation, not all services require a tech consultant. There are online resource materials for choosing software, or for improving team collaboration with technology. You can find video tutorials, articles, and webinars from a number of tech help websites, even including our own site.
As long as you don’t need to completely revolutionize your team and their workloads with training and software management, then you may be able to do it yourself. If you’re unsure, you should see what is available online for your current business needs. Then if you find those learning resources are not enough it may be time to consider help from professionals.
What Type of Services Do You Need?
When you’ve decided you need a tech consultant for your business, then the step is figuring out all the exact areas you need help. The only way you’re going to find the right expert is if you’re able to ask for what your team needs.
A great way to go about this is brainstorming with your team with the goal of finalizing a list of all the services you’re going to need. It can also be helpful to do some research and figure out the preferred background of a tech consultant based on your desired end result.
If you’re a dev team that needs a consultant to help develop the best customer experience plan for your product, then someone that understands software development could be helpful. The last thing you want is to be told what to do by someone who has no idea the efforts you go to.
How Often Will You Need Help?
The next big question after how much you want to spend on a consultant is how frequently you need their help. You may want a full-time in-house consultant, a part-timer, or a short term freelancer.
Your budget can come into play here but it’s still important to be realistic about the cost of your actual needs. If you need a full implementation service for integrating new software then time is a big factor.
For example, if you assume it will take 2 weeks rather than maybe 2 months, and only budget for that then the resulting mess hurts productivity more. You don’t want to ever cut corners when it comes to training and educating your team. The best approach might be to include an estimate for longer periods of time.
How Do You Hire a Tech Consultant?
Once you’ve decided that your team can truly benefit from a tech consultant, then the next step is an even longer process, hiring one. In one scenario you can find your own independent (or salaried) contractor yourself using your own organization resources for hiring, like through your HR department. In another scenario, you can look for a consulting firm and find an independent contractor from there that can help you.
When it comes to hiring them yourself, you can split the process into two parts. Part one is creating the job post and being as transparent as possible about what you’re looking for and then posting it on platforms where they’re most likely for a consultant to find. Part two is sifting through the applications, interviewing, and then hiring.
It may help to take time and sit down with your team as you write a list of problems and needs that must be met. Something not everyone thinks about with a job posting is the fact they are resenting their team and work environment.
You can talk about what your company does and why you’re a successful business all day long, but what a potential employee wants to know is frankly how sane you are. A good job posting will describe the team they will be working with, and the majority of your expectations. It will also be particularly helpful when hiring a consultant to give background information about your team’s experience levels, and accurately describe their current workloads.
The key to not having lightning fast turnover is to be as clear as possible about your goals so that the person you want to hire can assess for themselves whether they want to take you on as a client. One quick reminder is to refresh yourself on laws around independent contractors because they are vastly different from salaried employees and legally cannot be treated the same way.
For working with a firm it’s best to shop and open up a conversation to go over your needs and what they can do. There are consulting firms and there are also consulting software platforms. A platform will offer expert help but will not loan you a physical person. Instead, you get access to a group of people with know-how and experience to help you with specific tech services as outlined on their website.
Examples of Consulting Service Platforms
For some, it’s much easier to just find a consulting firm and utilize their experts for help. This can be especially helpful if they are professionals with different skill sets so you can receive help for diverse problems.
Most firms aren’t going to give you upfront pricing like software subscriptions (or at least the transparent ones). The table below goes over popular companies and their different types of consulting services.
Deloitte is a platform that specializes in IT services for enterprise-level teams. Some of their services include AI & Analytics, Tax Technology Consulting, and Enterprise Technology & Performance. They even offer help for your marketing team and resources for your HR team like diversity and inclusion training.
Secureworks is designed for all-around cybersecurity needs. Whether it’s prevention or detection they have services to protect your data and team members. They have Proactive Security Consulting and Emergency Incident Response services available. You can learn more about what they do here.
The Accenture platform has a diverse set of services for teams. They can help with Technology Consulting, Technology Innovation, Automation, and Sustainability. There is quite a bit they can offer to help transform your organization.
You can find many more consulting service providers listed right on our website with reviews from real users. Those interested can find our consulting and advisory services here, and cybersecurity consulting services here.
If you’re ready to find a tech consultant or consulting company then you’re in the right place. For anyone looking to hire their own professional, we offer listings for recruitment automation software, and recruitment agency platforms.
Teams that want to work with consulting platforms can find a number of choices:
For those that have used any of the platforms discussed here, please leave a review to help other buyers make informed decisions.
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