Most businesses aim to experience growth. Growth and company expansion often go hand in hand. In order to expand, companies need to upgrade their information technology capabilities: adopting new technologies and increasing the scale of their operations. Third-party consultants are frequently hired to help during this process. Here are a few reasons why.
Tailored Advice and Budget Advice
Although consultants may work for several clients at the same time, a good consultant will always assess the individual factors influencing a business’s expansion success. Bespoke advice is one of the main benefits of hiring in a consultancy.
IT infrastructure is inherently expensive. IT consultants can help companies get a realistic idea of the budgets they need to set aside for IT during their expansion. Realistic budgets keep shareholders happy and allow companies to keep on track. IT consultants are often called in to analyze the potential expenditure that will be needed in order to efficiently expand a company.
A big part of any expansion plan is often the adoption of new technologies and services. IT consultants can guide their clients through the process of adopting and incorporating new tech. Poor technology procurement choices made by inexperienced IT teams or non-IT executives can have serious knock-on effects on how an expanding company operates. Experienced consultants can spot duff technology from a mile off and can advise on sensible procurement. They can also offer training so that company staff can successfully migrate to new tech assets.
Although contracted to work for a company, consultants are not part of the corporate structure of their client’s business. This means that they are in a good position to offer unbiased advice. Internal commentators and experts may worry about job security or interpersonal impact when they offer advice. Consultants? Not so much.
One of the great challenges for any company expanding and adopting new technologies is the maintenance of air-tight data security. Businesses need to guard the data they possess like a dragon guards its treasure: jealously. Data breaches can cause huge issues, destroy consumer trust and lead to massive losses. Consultants can help a company ensure that any new technology is airtight.
Crisis Planning and Management
Good IT consulting firms are experienced in crisis planning and management. Expansion and growth – although positive – can often lead to chokepoints and crises related to the adoption of new technology. Internal IT departments – busy with the day-to-day maintenance of a network – may be unable to predict and provide contingency planning for potential hiccups. Consultants typically analyze the factors involved in an expansion and forecast the issues that may arise.
They develop what is known as a crisis management plan, which is essentially a series of protocols that must be followed in order to prevent a crisis from severely damaging a business’s ability to operate. They can also be hired in as an emergency response: efficiently sorting out a tech-based crisis so that growth can continue unchallenged. A crisis requires quick decisions to limit damages to an organization, its stakeholders and the public.