Did you know that the demand for IT positions is expected to grow by 13% by the year 2030? When you consider the increasing reliance that everyday businesses have on their tech systems this statistic isn’t surprising.
However, it’s important to note that every business will have different IT needs. That’s why everyone should meet with an IT consulting firm to formulate an IT strategy for their specific needs.
Sadly, finding the right IT consulting firm can often be easier said than done. That’s why we made this guide.
In it, we’ll walk you through how to find the right IT consulting firm by looking at services and factors that fit your needs. That way you can end up with a business that’s both more secure and more efficient. Let’s get started!
What Is IT Consulting?
Before we dive into finding the perfect IT consulting firm it’s important to first understand exactly what this service provides. An IT consultant is there to help formulate an IT strategy for your specific business.
In doing so, they make sure that you’re using your technology as efficiently and safely as possible. The suggestions they make won’t be random. They’ll be based on data and evaluations of your current tech.
The ultimate goal of any IT consulting firm is to completely streamline the IT infrastructure, save you money, and make things easier in day-to-day operations. However, it’s important to note that most IT consultants aren’t there strictly as advisors.
A good IT consultant will not only recommend solutions but also have an active part in implementing these systems.
So, what areas do they focus on? We’ll go more into that in the next section. For now, all you need to know is that they typically work on areas related to:
- Data storage
- Tech functionality
- Business goals that IT can help with
- Network infrastructure
If you’re generally satisfied with your current IT set-up, you might be wondering why you need IT consulting. The answer is your competition.
If your competition is benefiting from an optimized IT system, it won’t take them long to outplay you.
And, once you fall behind it will be expensive and difficult to catch up. So, by working with an IT company you can easily stay one step ahead.
How Can an IT Consulting Firm Help You
During a time when every business is trying to save money, you might be wondering why it’s worth investing in IT consulting. First off, it helps reduce downtime.
When your team experiences a problem it can lead to a complete stall in operations. But, strategies that an IT consulting firm can help implement reduce downtime by fixing these problems quickly and efficiently.
Next, it allows you and your team to focus on day-to-day operations. When someone isn’t experienced with complex IT tasks it can take them hours to implement something that would take an expert a few minutes.
By delegating these tasks to the experts it allows you to focus on areas of your business that require your help. IT consulting can save you money too. It does this by allowing you to more strictly control operating expenses.
IT consulting can also reveal valuable insights that are related to your specific business. These insights can allow you to streamline your operations and work more productively.
Lastly, there’s improved security. We’ll go more into the importance of cybersecurity in another section. However, for now, all you need to know is that an IT consulting firm can help protect your network from cybercriminals.
Common Service That IT Consulting Helps With
Now that we know what an IT consulting firm does we can dive into some of the services they offer. Every IT consultant is different. Some might specialize in certain IT consulting services over others.
That being said, there are typically a lot of overlaps in what these firms offer. In this section, we’ll be going over some of the specific services that we here at Truit offer.
That way, you can get a good sense of what a full-service IT consulting company can provide you.
Did you know that last year the FBI received nearly 800,000 complaints of suspected internet crime? In the past, cybercrime used to be a rare, and often minor, worry. Sadly, that’s no longer the case.
These days, entire networks can be crippled. Identities can be stolen and sensitive data can be leaked to the public. Because of this, cybersecurity is often one of the first concerns clients bring to an IT consulting firm.
The specific type of security system you need to implement will depend on what your company does. For example, if you’re like most companies, then you rely on email for your day-to-day operations.
One study found that the average employee spends approximately 201 minutes every day checking emails.
If your business falls in this category, then you should consider the IronScales platform that we offer.
This security platform is AI-driven which means it can quickly and efficiently detect email phishing scams. It also prevents account takeovers, BEC, and credential harvesting.
Our SentinelOne platform is also vital for protecting sensitive data on your computer devices and the cloud. LastPass is another essential for password security.
On top of all of this, patch management makes sure that all software systems by providers are continually upgraded. That way, your up-to-date system is at peak efficiency in terms of protection.
If you rely on an onsite server environment, then you want an IT consulting firm that can be there in person. That way, they can install a server system that gives you complete domain control.
On top of this, they should also manage and maintain the server environment that they set up.
For example, here at Truit we provide server updates, troubleshoot any problems, and create backup servers. That way, you’re always covered in the event of server problems.
Every day, both hard drives and virtual storage methods fail. When this happens, you could lose potentially irreplaceable data. The good news is that we offer data recovery services in many cities including Spokane.
Specifically, we provide you with software that’s capable of recovering data that you lose. More importantly, we put strategies in place to prevent data loss from ever happening in the first place.
This comes in the form of managed backups. Making sure that all your data is redundant ensures that a faulty hard drive is never an issue in the first place.
Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to important data.
Paper to Digital Conversion and Storage
There are a lot of reasons why companies are interested in converting their paper files to digital files. For one thing, it takes up less space. Without the need for bulky filing cabinets, you can downsize your office space, or use the space more effectively for another purpose.
It’s also more convenient. No more digging through paper files to find the document that you need. Instead, you can just easily search for it. Lastly, there’s the environmental impact.
It should come as no surprise that offices and schools use a lot of paper. It all helps contribute to the roughly 67.4 million tons of paper waste that our country produces every year.
Regardless of why you want the paper to digital conversion, IT consulting firms can help you out. Our firm does this by using optical character recognition software.
This technology will scan your paper documents for a text that instantly becomes searchable.
This data is then stored in a central digital location that allows you to access it whenever you need it. What’s more, the process is fast and secure.
These days, cloud services aren’t just for storage (though that is still an important component). One invaluable tool that cloud services provide is the ability to monitor the workstations of your remote employees.
During the early days of the pandemic, many businesses transitioned into a remote work setting out of necessity. However, many are making it a permanent shift thanks to technology like remote cloud monitoring.
This gives you full control over everything that your remote employees do – however, it doesn’t stop there. Cloud services can also allow your team to access documents from any place in the world in a way that’s remote and secure.
In addition, servers and software are also accessible. So, no more waiting for a vital email to get to work. Lastly, there’s the storage component. Physical hard drives get expensive.
They also make it incredibly difficult to scale up your business in times of intense growth. Luckily, the scalable nature of the cloud is perfect for this. All you need to do is change your cloud plan to add on more space.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cloud services so make sure to work with an IT consultant to find some that fit your needs and budget.
When companies are just starting they tend to put little to no thought into network engineering. Unfortunately, this usually comes back to haunt them.
Specifically, it can lead to faulty wi-fi connections around your office, poor firewall security, and cramped wiring that makes sense.
When you work with an IT consulting firm on network engineering it helps ensure that none of these problems occur. First, they’ll help you design wire plans that are functional instead of a hindrance.
This is true whether it’s new construction or just a remodel. Next, they’ll place wi-fi access points throughout your physical building. That way, every corner has access to the same speedy wi-fi connection as everyone else.
They’ll also buff up your firewall to ensure that any data in your network is secure. Network engineering services are also capable of connecting your office to a VPN.
That way, you can more easily share important documents and files with remote employees.
When you rely on technology in your workplace you’re bound to run into problems. Sometimes these problems can be caused by your employees that aren’t completely computer literate.
While complex computer skills aren’t always necessary for every job, your employees that aren’t very skilled will likely encounter problems associated with them.
In these cases, IT support (whether it’s on-site or off-site) can be a huge help. Other times, the problem isn’t related to your employees. It can come from an internal problem (like bad infrastructure) or an external one (like cyber criminals).
In these cases, IT support like the kind offered by Truit in Seattle can help. It doesn’t matter if it’s a minor road bump or a full-blown disaster. We can help get you back on the right track and work with you to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
But what should you do if you already have an on-site support team that you like, but need additional help? In these cases, look no further than hybrid IT support models.
This is when an off-site team helps augment your on-site team. They together to both fix problems and implement solutions.
Factors to Look For When Picking an IT Consulting Firm
As you can see, the IT consulting industry offers a variety of different services. And, each one uses different platforms, tech, programming languages, and methodologies to achieve its goals.
Sadly, this means that quite a few IT consulting firms might not be a good fit for your business. For example, some consultants might be great at security but struggle when it comes to network infrastructure.
If you’re like most companies, you want a firm that’s well-rounded and knowledgeable in every area of IT consultation. So, how do you find these types of IT consulting firms?
By looking for the factors found in this section. As long as you find a company that checks all of the boxes in this section, then you can be confident that they’ll be a good fit for you.
If your IT consulting firm has only been around for a year or two, you might want to consider a different option. There’s no denying that a new company might be competent and knowledgeable about the latest trends.
But, if they don’t have the track record to back up this knowledge it can lead to road bumps between their planning and execution. Everyone knows the common situation of messing up your first pancake when making breakfast.
If you don’t choose a company with experience the IT consulting firm could make mistakes that permanently impact your business.
For example, here at Truitwe have over twenty years of experience in the IT industry. This time has given us the benefit of knowing exactly what works and what doesn’t.
It’s true that globalization the multiculturalism is changing how the world economy operates. These days it’s not uncommon to see some companies outsourcing their IT needs to European, Asian, and South American countries.
However, at the end of the day, the reality is that location matters in IT consulting. At the bare minimum, you want someone that operates in the same time zone as you and speaks your language well.
Ideally, they’ll be within driving distance of you. If you have hardware on site it can be important for the IT consultant to see it in person.
For example, if you live in Vancouver, Washington, look for an IT consulting firm that operates out of that city.
At the end of the day, pricing shouldn’t be the only factor when looking for IT consulting. If you prioritize trying to find the cheapest possible option, it’s going to show.
This will come in the form of poor communication, low-quality solutions, and huge gaps in your security. That being said, you don’t want to be overcharged for services that you don’t need.
The key is to look for a firm that offers as transparent a pricing structure as possible. Look for an honest company that makes suggestions based on your business’s needs, not what sells for them easily.
Professional companies indeed come at higher rates than amateur ones. But, as long as this money is going toward aspects of your IT system that need it, then it’s money well spent.
You want to get a good sense of what the average customer experience has been like with the IT consulting firm. An easy way to do this is by looking at online reviews.
Make sure that you look for them on a third-party website. That way, you’re sure that the company isn’t just cherry-picking the good ones to put on their website.
If you can’t find reviews, or you want a more in-depth take on the IT consulting firm’s work, you can ask the firm for some referrals. That way, you can hear firsthand from their clients what their experience has been like.
If you go this route, make sure you prepare questions to ask them. Some good ones include things like:
- What types of software, systems, and projects did the IT firm work on?
- How often did the IT consultant meet with you?
- What channels did they use to communicate with you?
- Were you satisfied with the end product?
- What was their pricing structure like?
- How did they handle unforeseen costs and services?
- How did they respond to any emergencies you had?
The answers to these questions should give you a much better picture of what the firm is like than a brief review.
If you have a question about your IT systems, then you want it answered as quickly as possible. Every second the firm isn’t responding to you is wasted time. In some cases, IT problems can cripple your day-to-day operations.
In these situations, you not only waste time but also money. So remember that IT consulting firms that are providing support services need to be responsible.
How do you find this out? First, you should email them and see how long it takes them to respond. You can also try calling them to see how long it takes them to return a call.
In addition to responsiveness, you also want an IT consulting firm that keeps you up-to-date on what they’re doing to your systems while they’re working on them.
This is especially true if you’re going with managed services in Tacoma. Because they’re not on-site to talk it makes constant updates all the more important.
That way, you’re kept in the loop when it comes to potential challenges and roadblocks.
The IT industry is changing rapidly. Solutions that might have worked five years ago can quickly become outdated. Because of this, you want an IT consulting firm that’s up-to-date on the latest technological advances in the field.
That way, they can implement cutting-edge solutions that your competition hasn’t gotten wind of. You can check this by looking for companies that invest in the latest software.
Need IT Consulting In Washington? Contact Truit LLC
We hope this guide helped you learn how to find the best IT consulting firm for your needs. The most important thing is to find an IT consultant that meets you where you’re at.
And, if you live in the Washington area, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than Truit. Here at Truit, we know that every business has different needs. Want to rebuild your IT system from the ground up?
We can help. Or, if you’re happy with your current IT provider, we can work with them to improve parts of your system. So, if you’re ready to start your IT journey with us, then follow this link to get started.