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The Importance of IT Consultants for Small Businesses and Startups

by Olufisayo
Importance of IT Consultants for Small Businesses and Startups

According to a recent study by Deloitte, companies spend approximately 3.28% of their revenue on information technology (IT).

Today’s business environment is facing constant technological disruption. For your small business to remain competitive, you need to milk every IT benefit you can in your operations. But how do you compete with more prominent firms that employ in-house technology teams?

Hiring a technological expert to help you beef up your IT department is the best solution for a small business. IT consultants bring with them a broad experience having worked with diverse organizations, without you having to spend significant sums in retaining top IT talent.

Let’s look at some reasons why your small business shouldn’t do without IT consulting.

What Is an IT Consultant?

An IT consultant is an expert who assists businesses in understanding what IT is and helps them learn how IT can sustainably advance their business forward. Essentially, business IT consulting is the bridge between a firm’s strategy on paper and its final implementation.

An experienced IT consultant is often in charge of the businesses’ IT strategy, and some of the duties they handle include:

  • Analyzing the firm’s IT systems and infrastructure
  • Assessing and determining security threats (both virtual and physical)
  • Planning timelines for each project’s completion
  • Conducting any staff training on how to use the IT system
  • Provide insight on IT best practices the business can adopt
  • Diagnosing the IT systems weakness, inefficiencies, and troubleshooting
  • Delivering detailed reports on the performance of the IT system

If you want to get the most out of the IT consultant you are working with, make sure they are part of your firm’s strategy sessions. Their input can be essential to how well you ship the overall strategy.

Why Small Businesses Can’t Do Without IT Consultants

Any small business seeking to grow and establish its operations for the long haul will find the value of an IT consultant life-changing. Here’s a look at some vital benefits that small business IT consulting brings to the table.

1. Adoption of IT Best Practices

Many small business owners typically handle several tasks, all in a day’s work. Since the business is still at its formative stage, all hands are on deck.

Consequently, such an entrepreneur will barely have time to learn about the current IT best practices across the industry. Furthermore, since IT keeps evolving at such a rapid pace, it becomes even harder for a small business entrepreneur to keep track of new developments.

An IT consultant dedicates every hour of their workday (and at times off the clock time as well) to mastering the minutiae of new IT trends and standards. A consultant also invests significant time in sharpening their skills when learning new best practices.

In the end, your business is best served if you remain focused on what you are good at while allowing the IT consultant to focus on implementing best practices. Your business will grow by benchmarking itself with the best, all while you keep giving it your best.

2. Seamless Transitions

Not all small business entrepreneurs are oblivious to technology tools they can use. Let’s say you have been using an IT system you are quite familiar with, and it’s now time to move to a different system or adopt other tools.

Although you are familiar with one set of tools, learning what new technology to bring and how to use it can be a steep learning curve. You can take time away from your core role (that moves the business forward) to learn routine technology, or you can bring in an IT consultant for a smoother transition.

An IT consultant can help you avoid disrupting your firm’s operations by leading the transition as you remain focused on your core skills.

3. Security and Compliance

How in-depth is your knowledge of data compliance laws in your sector? Do you know the different security protocols you need when running your IT infrastructure? These are questions you can choose to slave over or bring in a consultant to help you successfully navigate them.

Working with an external IT expert, you can craft an approach that empowers your firm to meet its current and upcoming compliance responsibilities. You can then gain compliance capacity to handle international clients, knowing that your business understands what each region’s compliance rules are.

Additionally, an IT consultant can help you spot your security weak spots and help design technical and behavioral protocols that make it harder for malicious actors to compromise your infrastructure.

4. Less Downtime

Your small business needs every minute of operational time to maximize productivity. Whenever your IT systems go down, you begin to count the dollars you are losing.

An IT consultant can help you identify the cause of your unwarranted downtimes. On top of that. They can also help you develop monitoring protocols so that your small business can better predict the next system failure and, in time, reduce the total number of incidences.

5. Building Redundancy

As a business, you need to back up your information to ensure continuity in case of any disaster or damage. IT consultations can help you build the right redundancy measures into your system so that no one incidence can wipe out your firm’s informational assets.

Another aspect of continuity you can’t skip over is insurance. In case you lose your data, it might lead to some of your customers dropping their relationship with you. Alternatively, if an adverse event occurs when you are in the middle of facilitating a deal, then you can’t deliver on it should you lose the necessary information.

A data policy cushions you from the monetary losses due to such data loss. But to pick the right policy, you need technical input. An IT consultant can answer all your questions and ensure that the insurance coverage you end up with will best mitigate potential losses for you.

Scale Your Business

Today’s business needs to leverage technology if it wants to beat the odds. Regardless of the size, every company must find a way to bring technology to the table sustainably. For small firms, IT consultants can help you find ways that IT can impact your firm for growth, without your having to spend vast sums on salaries to retain top IT talent.

Are you a driven entrepreneur looking to grow your skills? Thumb through our business content to learn more about developing your venture.

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