IT consulting: why consultants should always be hands-on

David Wippel

David Wippel

digitalization

digitalbusiness

Ever thought of getting an IT consultant on board? Having someone at your side to help you make tech decisions is great, but deciding who you should get on board and what you can watch out for can be challenging. We've put together our thoughts on what makes a great IT consultant and why they should always be hands-on in the software business.

What is an IT consultant, and what role can they play?

An IT consultant has two main functions:

  • Point out technological opportunities
  • Give solid advice on how to implement a technical solution

The most important role an IT consultant plays is to point out opportunities to leverage technology for your business's benefit and point out limitations of technology and software solutions. Of course, you will also want to watch out for just what technology the IT consultant specializes in. In the age of blockchain and AI, no single person can know everything about technology anymore. Great consultants give objective advice and help you make technically sound decisions.

The first step in any collaboration consultation should be to define goals you want to achieve together. It also makes sense to work with the same consultant over a more extended period because the more the consultant knows about your company and tech challenges — the better advice they can give. How frequently you make use of their services is up to you. It usually makes sense to bring them on board when a big decision needs to be made.

At what point do I need an IT consultant?

Although you can bring an IT consultant on board pretty much at any stage, we would recommend working with someone in the early stages. Further down the road, it can be a bit tougher to switch systems or technologies, while at the beginning, you have a clean slate.

How can I avoid making tech mistakes?

Making mistakes isn't always bad because it shows us what's working and what's not. Luckily, nowadays, making the wrong tech decisions isn't as costly as it used to be a couple of years ago. Standard systems can be a pretty low investment, and if you develop custom software, you should use an iterative approach to figure out issues early on. Yet, you should avoid one huge mistake at all costs: not making any decision at all, and an IT consultant can help you make an informed one way quicker

Why IT consultants should still be hands-on

In our humble opinion, an IT consultant shouldn't just consult — but regularly get their hands dirty in what they are advising you on.

Why? Because otherwise, they're missing the sixth sense when it comes to identifying technology trends. Nothing develops as fast as technology and software nowadays, which is why you need to stay on the ball — it's easy to lose touch. Anything new we implement for our clients, we've already tried in our tech stack first— only when we're convinced it will also work for them can we start implementing.

To sum it up

Getting an IT consultant to point out technological opportunities and give solid advice to avoid mistakes and move fast is worth it. But be sure to have someone on board who gets their hands dirty and knows what they're talking about.

Interested in IT consulting? We'll give you solid, objective tech advice. Contact us at david@trigodev.com

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