Some business owners believe that they alone know best what is good for their companies. Even for people with great experience, it could not be farther from the truth. At all stages of new product development, companies need expert opinions and guidance from advisors, analytics, and consultants. This is especially important in the current digital era when computer technologies are essential for businesses in order to be productive, competitive, and popular. New technologies emerge extremely often, and the existing ones are constantly evolving. Only the most tenacious experts can keep up with all those changes. And such experts are the consultants you can rely on.
Why IT Consulting Is Important
Even highly successful enterprises can end up losing their dominance in the market or going bankrupt because they have failed to make proper use of digital technologies. One of the most illustrative examples of such a fall is the story of Blockbuster. In addition to bad financial decisions and unsuccessful business models, the company was too late to realize the potential of online services and make them appealing to customers.
On the other hand, Netflix turned essentially the same DVD rental business into an online empire that both distributes and produces digital content. Its success was shaped by the agile business strategy combined with the work of IT experts who advised, planned, built, and enhanced the required infrastructure. Now, thanks to timely IT consults, among other things, the annual revenue of Netflix is about 31.6 billion US dollars, and its users have convenient access to the impressive video library from their mobile devices, smart TVs, etc.
The lack of IT consulting caused many promising startups to crash and burn, burying great ideas and losing investment money. Still taking the video streaming industry as an example, Quiby and LeSports are two well-known failed startups that had the biggest funding. Each of them lost about 1.7 billion dollars of their respective investors’ money.
Any startup or enterprise should take into account the recommendations from both types of experts and treat them as equally important for future success.
Just like business advisors evaluate the financial perspectives of an enterprise, IT consultants focus on the practical implementation of digital technologies. Any startup or enterprise should take into account the recommendations from both types of experts and treat them as equally important for future success. So for the sake of business, it is simply not wise to follow financial advice and disregard the opinion of IT specialists, or vice versa.
What Are IT Consulting Services?
As the name suggests, IT consulting services are when a client turns to software development experts for advice. These specialists usually have significant experience and skills to deal with the hardest questions in their field. They analyze the needs of a client’s business and suggest the most efficient way to solve the existing problems, ensure productive operation, and chart the course for future development. This is a complex process that includes several stages with specific consulting on each of them.
A good IT consulting company always researches the needs and capabilities of each particular client before suggesting a course of action. For startups, for example, a simple mobile or web app might be enough to showcase their features, provide basic functionality, and draw first customers without going overboard with the budget.
For large-scale enterprises, it depends on how “digitized” they want to become. For whatever reasons, some of them intend to remain as “traditional” as possible and stick to “analog” methods with minimum essential digital technologies. Most likely, such businesses will need the same basic services as many startups, unless the consultants persuade them to make more drastic changes in order to fit better in the modern world.
However, many modern companies are not afraid to undergo a complete digital transformation and integrate IT solutions into all stages of operation. This task involves building a complex infrastructure that allows remote monitoring and management. It also binds all activities and departments into one robust network. Correspondingly, the scope and complexity of IT consulting services required for such customers increase greatly.
Stages of IT consulting
As a rule, the process of IT consulting has a certain flow, meaning different sets of services take place in a predetermined order. Generally, experts recognize four main stages of IT consulting:
- Requirements analysis and feasibility investigation. At this stage, IT specialists take a close look at their client’s idea and define what it is going to take to turn the idea into reality. The experts determine whether it is physically possible to realize the client’s wish and how to do it effectively given the current state of technology. They also estimate the rough budget of the future endeavor to correlate it with the investment fund and intended profits.
- Solution specification and structure development. After it has been determined that the client’s idea can be realized within the given budget, it’s time to elaborate on its implementation. The IT consultants plan and specify the architecture and structure of the proposed solution, whether it is a single application, several apps integrated into a common platform, or a complex work environment comprising several systems. The experts also determine the optimal tech stack for a solution or for all its parts, if needed. According to the determined set of technologies and the scale of the projects, the IT consultants can also estimate the number of team members required to deliver the solution.
- Scalability and integration research. Depending on the scope of a project, the consulting specialists should suggest implementing the scalability feature. This way, the delivered solution can be extended and upgraded as the business grows. IT specialists can also foresee and provide the requirements for the future integration of a solution into a system that unifies several modules or applications into a single work infrastructure.
- Modeling and simulation. When the structure and scale of the solution are outlined, tech specialists can evaluate its behavior under various conditions. These IT consulting services involve careful modeling of the proposed solution taking into account the scale of the business, the stack of technologies, and other factors. Then, this model is tested by simulating possible stress situations to find the vulnerabilities. Ultimately, the IT consultants come up with measures to make the solution more secure and robust against malicious attacks, heavy loads, or other threats.
It should be noted that a customer may order any particular stage separately if they are sure that the rest of the consulting services are not needed. However, it is more beneficial when the whole process is performed without omissions.
Benefits of IT Consulting Services
Now, when we have defined IT consulting services, let’s see how they can benefit your business.
- You will get a sensible evaluation of your business concept. If you come up with a new business idea, you may be biased and overconfident in your insights. That’s why it is always better to get an outside perspective from a group of experts. This can prevent a financial disaster at the earliest stage before it leads to heavy losses.
- You will get comprehensive technical advice on the optimal ways to realize your business concept. Simply put, the IT consultants will tell you exactly what types of software and tech you need to get an effective solution. Whether you need a mobile app, a web app, an enterprise management system, or any other software product, the experts will tell you what technologies are optimal for building it and how many developers should be involved.
- You will get estimated budget calculations. Based on the tech stack and the size of the development team, IT consultants will draft an approximate budget. Depending on your needs, it may include development, deployment, and post-release support.
- You won’t have to worry about the quality and security of your software solution. IT consultants will recommend putting it to extensive tests to detect weaknesses and find ways to fix them. Usually, the consulting specialists work alongside the skilled developers who will perform this task at your request. Sometimes, IT consultants themselves have the required skills and experience to provide both consulting and development services. If so, they can suggest testing, perform tests, and fix the found flaws in the software. This way, your digital infrastructure will be fool-proof, robust under load or during accidents, and protected against unauthorized access. As a result, your enterprise will have a safe and smooth flow of operations and tightly secured documentation and other sensitive data.
- You won’t fall behind your competitors due to outdated technologies. The consultants will suggest the ways and the tech to modernize your existing environment with minimum downtime and a reasonable budget.
- You will increase the productivity of your business. Switching to modern technologies under IT consultants’ guidance will boost the performance of your existing business and processes. New tech requires investments but gives much more in return: higher efficiency, lower costs, less maintenance, and as a result – more potential revenue.
Why Choose Intellectsoft for IT Consulting
Considering the risks and the impact of decisions, IT consulting should be performed by highly experienced specialists who take full responsibility for their advice. Over the last 15+ years, Intellectsoft has gathered a skilled team of professionals to provide a wide range of consulting services, including:
- Enterprise architecture consulting;
- Digital strategy consulting;
- Software requirements consulting;
- Data security consulting;
- Emergency recovery consulting, etc.
So, if you need comprehensive research, reasonable opinions, and expert advice, contact us. Our specialists will help you to get a head start with the new business, perform a digital transformation of your existing company, or develop a custom IT solution from scratch for any given task.