Information Technology (IT) is an integral part of any business, making IT consulting a valuable tool to support it. As more companies embrace technological innovations, Global IT spending is expected to reach $4.5 trillion in 2022. Not only is the industry growing, but new software, applications, and devices are reaching the market ongoing. With this trend expected to continue, IT consultants have become essential to keep pace with these changes.
Administering an in-house IT staff is both expensive and time-consuming. With an increasing reliance on outsourcing, consultants provide added flexibility. They’re used as needed for many tasks, such as overhauls or to offer a second opinion. Once hired, an IT consultant can provide many types of services to their clients.
This guide will go over everything you need to know about IT consulting. That includes what an IT consultant is, what they do, what types there are, industries that use it, and how it can help your company.
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An Introduction to IT Consulting
IT consulting is a $500 billion industry that many consider a standard for any business with technology needs. They cater to unique circumstances with on-demand services. This removes the need for companies to fill and maintain the role full-time. Whether it’s a small business looking to expand, or an established corporation looking to rework its infrastructure, an IT consultant can support those changes.
The biggest hurdle for the IT industry is not the lack of need but rather a shortage of skilled talent. Due to this, IT consultants are often involved with the implementation process too. For those wondering how to get into IT consulting, having hands-on IT experience and knowledge of the latest practices goes a long way.
What Do IT Consultants Do?
IT consultants tell clients how to best use technology based on their needs and goals. This can include assessing security, networks, hardware, software, applications, workflow, and staff training. Through this process, they can provide IT solutions consulting tailored to areas that need improvement. It also involves coordinating with in-house or outsourced IT staff on implementing the desired changes.
They can also provide support with the latest IT trends. Once-specialized technology, like artificial intelligence, is becoming more mainstream. For example, automated chatbots can provide basic FAQ answers or redirect users to a live agent. Behind the scenes, AI can track data, automate tasks, and increase efficiency. The future of IT consulting involves adapting to these shifts.
The main undertone of a consultant’s work is trimming IT costs while finding ways to improve productivity and uptime. Impactful changes are prioritized over minor shifts with minimal effect. Doing so creates a better return on investment and increases the value of hiring a consultant.
How Much Do It Consultants Make?
An IT consultant with less than a year of experience starts at an average of $51,000-$65,000 annually. This translates to an hourly rate of around $25 to $31. The base salary can vary depending on the types of IT consulting services and whether the position is commission-based or not.
With more years of experience, the IT consulting rates scale up. It may also include tips, bonuses, overtime, and profit-sharing. With 1-4 years of experience, an IT consultant’s salary is 72K on average. At 5-9 years, they make 88K. And at 10+ years, they’re paid 102K-115K. Rates vary higher or lower depending on the industry, market area, and clientele. 80% of positions also include medical benefits, 71% have dental, 65% offer vision, and 19% have no employee benefits.
IT Consultant vs. Software Engineer: What’s the Difference?
An IT consultant will look at the broad picture by finding issues, giving guidance, and helping with high-level decisions. This applies to both hardware and software-related challenges. In contrast, a software engineer will take that information and focus on software systems to resolve or improve the noted areas.
While they often work in tandem, a consultant is also involved with more sides of the process. Doing so gives them a broader view of the situation, allowing them to discern the best course of action. Software engineers may be less efficient without a consultant’s guidance toward higher-impact improvements.
What Is the Difference Between IT Services and IT Consulting?
IT services can install and manage most types of solutions based on the needs of an organization. These services can vary, such as cloud, security, data monitoring, software, and remote services. IT consultants will help the business pick and choose from those services.
Teams can better plan and implement services with recommendations from an IT solution consultant. That will improve staff efficiency by focusing on projects that are higher priority. It also helps avoid resource wastage on changes with little to no benefit.
What Is an IT Consulting Company & What Do They Do?
An IT consulting company focuses on providing guidance, solutions, and training to any industry that uses technology. They’re well-versed in all aspects of IT. This includes managed services, security, cloud, digital transformation, hardware upgrades, and software development.
Due to the range of experience, IT consulting companies can serve many industries. They help develop personalized fixes aligned with individual or company-wide needs and goals. Consultants can also partner with in-house IT staff to help adapt and improve existing infrastructure.
Types of IT Consulting
There are many types of IT consulting services. Some offer broader insight and direction for a variety of functions. Others are specialized by focusing on specific areas for ease of implementing solutions. The consulting needed depends on the organization, the scale of what they want, and anticipated future growth or changes.
IT infrastructure consulting
IT infrastructure consulting providers give advice and solutions for hardware, software, and network challenges. The goal is to improve productivity, reduce costs, and strengthen security. This is done through comprehensive changes in an organization’s IT framework.
IT security consulting
IT security consultants analyze hardware, software, and networks to check for security vulnerabilities. They help develop and install solutions to protect organizations against high risks areas. Consultants also provide tactics and training for unexpected threats.
Software development IT consulting
Software development IT consultants provide recommendations and solutions for software-based issues. This can be developing a direct strategy or offering a different perspective on a client-developed plan. IT consulting solutions can range from third-party software to custom-modified programs.
Cloud IT consulting
Cloud IT consultants focus on cloud computing challenges by helping define the needs. This factors in cost management and future growth to get the best value that scales based on cloud usage. From there, they select the appropriate cloud service to match. They can also help with data migration to help ensure a smoother transition.
Enterprise IT consulting
Enterprise IT consulting targets larger organizations across many industries. It involves analyzing the greater picture and providing cost-effective but impactful changes. These align with both short-term and long-term goals. Solutions can comprise many kinds of related IT services and the framework to manage them.
Digital transformation consulting
The goal of digital transformation is to add value to organizations through shifts in technology. This type of consultant will often fundamentally change how a company operates for employees and customers alike. The process is very collaborative and more hands-on due to the effect of these changes.
IT compliance consulting
With IT compliance, consultants will evaluate what systems are currently in place. Next, they help organizations understand current regulations and how to update their framework. Meeting compliance requirements protects the business and the customers. It may also give incentive eligibility.
8 Industries That Benefit from IT Consulting Services
Most modern businesses have technology integrated into multiple ways. It includes everyday factors like processing payments, data storage, email, and voice services. Not only is maintaining these systems necessary, but proper IT compliance and security habits are vital to protecting both the organization and the customer. There are a variety of industries that benefit from IT consulting services.
Healthcare IT consulting
The healthcare industry has a unique set of demands as they manage a steady flow of medical, financial, and other private data of their staff and patients. Data security, HIPPA compliance, and disaster recovery are at the forefront. Secondary improvements may focus on productivity and trimming costs. Broader strategies can enhance data management, cloud migration, server virtualization, and network services.
Hospitality IT consulting
IT consulting for hospitality is driven by customer satisfaction and efficiency. There are many moving parts, including hardware, software, website interactivity, and payment processing. Fast and stable Wi-Fi will let guests stay connected online, while network security will help keep that traffic safe. Having up-to-date PCI and SOC-2 compliance safeguards from fraud or database breaches.
Financial services IT consulting
With financial services, cost efficiency and return on investments are high priorities. IT goes together with profitability since it involves most facets of a modern business. That includes end-user experiences, such as software and web design, which increase opportunity conversions. It also looks at the operational side, like compliance, cybersecurity, optimization, and upkeep.
Small business IT consulting
Small businesses often have limited budgets, resources, and time. This makes IT consulting services invaluable, as they find high-value areas of improvement. Recommendations can be scaled down, individualized, and focused on essentials. That can include accounting software, documentation, email systems, cybersecurity, and cloud storage.
Nonprofit IT consulting
Nonprofit organizations require different IT strategies than a standard company. There’s an increased emphasis on minimizing costs to best use available funds. An IT consultant can discover areas of improvement that match those needs. It includes web development, form building, fundraising tools, donation processing, and automation.
Retail IT consulting
Retail is a quick-changing environment, requiring adaptable and complex IT infrastructure. A retail IT consultant will do an in-depth examination to learn the logistical flow. They’ll develop flexible and secure systems to handle suppliers, retailers, and customers. Training is also provided for key staff members.
Automotive IT consulting
The automotive industry leans on software as there are a lot of interconnected pieces. Supply chain, acquisition, bookkeeping, manufacturing, aftermarket servicing, and more all play a part. An automotive IT consultant can centralize data, improve coordination, strengthen data security, and reduce risks.
Construction IT consulting
Due to its dynamic nature, the construction industry has some unusual challenges. There are temporary job sites, communication needs, shifting user numbers, remote duties, and material logistics. A construction IT consultant will assess those layers and how they interact. Solutions are flexible based on current and anticipated needs.
Learn How IT Consulting Can Help Your Company
Technology is crucial to productivity. Day-to-day operations require its usage from top to bottom, making system management and improvements challenging. With the growth of the remote workforce since 2018, many companies have been unprepared to take advantage of these changes. As industry demands have continued to shift, the value of IT consulting outsourcing has continued to increase steadily.
Having the appropriate software, network, and hardware infrastructure is essential. Data security, backup services, and training staff to have good habits are needed too. IT consultants can assess which services and training are required based on scale, need, and budget. Whether you’re a startup business or have a growing enterprise, they can provide valuable insight.
With ITonDemand’s IT consulting services, you can comfortably take on any IT challenge. We’ll help you address inefficiencies and cost bloat with improvements that save time and money. Our team will also prepare your infrastructure for staff, logistics, and productivity changes. Your technology should work with you, not against you. With ITonDemand, we can make that happen.