If you’re reading this then chances are, you’re either in charge of IT or have been tasked with helping management find an IT Consulting Company to help you with your IT headaches that you’ve been putting off. Do you know where to start? What does a successful engagement with an IT Consulting Company even look like?
Here is our 8 Step Proven Process that details a successful engagement
1.Understanding Your Business
How many times has someone tried to sell you something without doing any prior research as to what your business does or how it should operate? If you’re a healthcare or pharmaceutical organization then you have strict compliance regulations that you need to ensure are met, if you’re a financial institution then you also have strict compliance regulations to meet in addition to protecting sensitive client information. These are just a few examples, but the point remains that every business is different, and an effective IT Consultant will understand your business before even setting up a meeting.
2. Qualification Meeting
Whether it be an IT Consulting Company or any business partner in general, there should be full transparency in the relationship. Does the partnership make sense? Just as the IT Consultant has done (or at least should have done) their research on your company and business, you should be doing your due diligence as well. Going into a meeting, both parties should have a solid understanding of whether there is potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. If it’s determined that the engagement isn’t a fit, being transparent will just get you one step closer to the solution and partnership that your business demands.
Great! There’s a determined fit for the engagement with the IT Consultant and now they need to better understand your IT Infrastructure. An assessment tool will be used to run an analysis on your IT infrastructure in order to gain a better understanding of your current and potential future utilization, & gaps that need to be filled to enhance your environment. All of this is done with a goal of meeting your present and future business demands.
You work hard on your business, so a solution needs to be designed that you’ll be proud to show off to your team. Before you even receive pricing, the IT Consulting Company will be designing, documenting, and verifying the right solution for your business as well as your business goals. A great benefit of working with an IT Consultant is that they typically work directly with the Original Endpoint Manufacturers (Dell EMC, IBM, HP, VMware, Etc.) to technically validate the solutions that they’re proposing; The more eyes, the better.
5. Solution Proposal
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for; PRICING! Budgets are usually tight, and you want to make sure every dollar is effectively spent. Earlier we talked about how the IT Consultant will work directly with the manufacturer to propose a solution; a major benefit of that is that there is already an established relationship between the consultant and Original Endpoint Manufacturer (OEM). How does that help you? The manufacturer will offer larger discounts to the IT Consultant which can be passed directly to the end user (you).
With the exception of your data, time is your most important asset. Once you’ve agreed on the proposal, you’ll want a solution that can be implemented not just effectively, but quickly as well. Engineers should spend at least 20% of their time training and learning new technology so that the implementations are seamless with minimal disruption to the end user. This also means that your employees no longer need to be continuously trained on new technology because it can all be done for you without the training expense or time investment that the training usually comes with.
Your solution is now fully implemented and live, but you will definitely have some questions or updates that need to happen from time to time. Every solution needs maintenance to continue to perform optimally after implementation. How do you know how well your environment is performing? Reporting and analytics are offered on a monthly basis for all managed environments along with documented best practices. Throughout the relationship there is a knowledge-transfer from the engineers directly to those in your business responsible for IT so that you’re well informed.
8. Customer Retention
The solution has been successfully implemented and everything is working great, so the engagement is complete, right? Wrong, you should get frequent check-ins from the IT Consultant to ensure everything is running optimally and improved upon as time goes. Hint hint, some will even send you coffee on your birthday!
Although no engagement is the same, the steps outlined above should be clear and concise within every engagement with an IT Consulting Company. If you’re looking to enhance your IT Infrastructure or just have some questions, feel free to reach out and our team would be happy to help.