Love your job again: hiring a Technology Consultant can make Monday your favorite day of the week
When did the Sunday Scaries, the anxious dread that precedes the beginning of the work week begin for you? The calendar is full, the to-do list is over-populated, and leaders fill multiple roles leading to burnout and negativity. It is no wonder that the modern professional is not excited to jump out of bed on Monday. A single hire could change this for your organization.
With such heavy workloads, energy toward creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is nil. Business leaders need energy that allows traction toward working ON the business, and not just IN it – spinning plates and wearing so many hats. A technology consultant may be the answer to “smarten” your tech to work for you, so you can work on the business you (used) to love.
What Is Technology Consulting?
These days, a Technology Consultant does much more than manage printers, assist with helpdesk repairs, or install networks; after all, technology is woven into every aspect of business. A consultant serves as a sounding board from whom you can ask questions, who will learn about your business, your goals, and how you implement technology. A good Technology Consultant is NOT an IT consultant; they look at a much broader picture, identifying efficiencies in processes, assessing risk, controlling costs, and advising on compliance and liability. Delegating these roles to experts will help you get back to the work you enjoy and may even help profitability.
A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the use of emerging technologies reduces costs. For example, the adoption of artificial intelligence, security analytics, and encryption saved companies up to $1.49 million compared to those who did not use these tools.
Emerging technologies are changing the definition of information technology. Technology Consultants can become strategic business partners through process consulting, which informs and empowers your company’s digital transformation.
Does your business hold personally identifiable information (PII) for your clients? Do you store banking information, such as routing numbers? Or healthcare data? It’s critical that you assess where your risk is and then make sure your policies, procedures, and practices align.
The right Technology Consultant has expertise in the implementation of best practices in information technology to achieve your business objectives. This includes the expertise to determine a reasonable level of security customized for your business processes. A large part of a good technology consultancy involves assessing where the risk lies for each individual client.
Why Would a Business Need a Technology Consultant?
Hiring a Technology Consultant is one way to address potential security issues proactively, instead of addressing problems after the fact. Every thirty-nine seconds. That’s how often a cyberattack occurs, according to a University of Maryland study. Cyberattacks cost companies more than $6 trillion worldwide in 2021, according to Cyber Security Ventures. Security is top-of-mind for any consultant who can survey your current cyber hygiene and make recommendations, including training your staff to recognize things like spear phishing and other social engineering that can give intruders access to our data and systems.
Technology Consultants specialize in the business impacts of information technology, freeing you to focus on what you are good at: managing your business. They monitor trends in innovative technology every day and see what’s coming to keep your company in front of emerging technologies.
Compliance as a Competitive Advantage
Are there compliance standards that your business MUST attain to do business? Work with consultants who are experienced in those frameworks. For example, contractors to the Department of Defense will be required in the near future to be compliant with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), a framework designed to safeguard information. A Tech Consultant will assist you in preparing your organization for readiness before your competitors have even written up a plan of action. Additionally, consultants can recommend compliance certifications that are not required, but that allow you to stand out from your competitors. Your company may benefit from attaining an ISO 9001 or ISO 270001 certification. Your consultant can help you weigh the benefits your business may receive against the effort to achieve them. They will walk you through the process, serve as an additional resource you can tap into while getting certified, and afterward toward maintenance.
Since compliance standards change, your Technology Consultant will keep you up to date, eliminating any last-minute stress and surprises.
Understanding Legal Ramifications
Did you know that it is illegal to do business with certain foreign computer companies if you work in some verticals? Without a partner consulting business with expertise in the regulations that affect your business, you may unwittingly do business with a forbidden entity. Worse, you could install equipment that covertly allows remote access to your computer.
Optimizing Your Budget
Furthermore, Technology Consultants can help you understand the big picture when you purchase equipment. Price doesn’t always tell the full story. Technology consulting services look at warranties, upgradeability, and scaling potential.
A Technology Consultant has expertise in handling your company’s data. That could mean the design of a robust backup system to protect your business recovery objectives, not just your data. Also, a Technology consultant helps identify potential vulnerabilities to thwart potential attacks before they can happen. Do you have plans in place in the event of a disaster? Having a business continuity plan in place to keep your critical systems operating when a flood occurs or a key staff member is unavailable will give you peace of mind that your business will keep running.
How Do You Find and Hire a Technology Consultant for Your Business?
Beware the helicopter consultant! Some consulting services will evaluate your business and make recommendations but fail to stick around. Use a technology consulting service that will partner with you for the long term.
Finding the Right IT Consultant
Ask any consulting firm you are considering these questions:
- Is there a fifty-state background check on employees? Are they trained and certified?
- Does the consultant have Cyber Insurance, including breach insurance? Does the insurance cover you if the technology consultant makes an error?
- Has the consulting company ever suffered a breach itself? How did they handle it?
- What is the average length the consultant keeps clients? How long does it retain employees?
Integrating a Business Solution
These days, the job description of Technology Consulting includes a solid dose of business consulting as well. Tech Consulting should include advice on avoiding wasteful spending on unnecessary upgrades or equipment and a proactive security plan. They should provide you with a comprehensive menu of offerings that make your business stand out, doing the research with their cumulative knowledge and experience that ultimately saves you the headache of devouring a brand-new alphabet soup when venturing into the vast sea of ever-growing tech acronyms.
Do you have existing IT staff managing your infrastructure? A good consultant will explore ways to augment and integrate systems you already have to maximize efficiencies and profitability and will work seamlessly with existing IT employees. With no interruption to an already-established relationship, the consultant nurtures trust by providing staff with workable solutions to annoying problems that may interrupt their days, helping them stay efficient and feel secure at a company that aims to provide for their needs. As we always say here at MNS Group, employees are a business’s most valuable asset!
The bottom line is that a Technology Consultant keeps you focused on your unique offerings, saving you time and money that otherwise may have been spent on training, overhead, and technology investments that never meet the needs of your specific field. Look forward to Mondays again by delegating tasks to subject area experts who are invested in helping your business thrive.
This article was featured in i95 Business.