Five Key Trends in IT Consulting
The consulting industry as a whole is evolving, expanding and changing. As our world becomes increasingly more connected and technology continues to disrupt the business world, even the definition of “consulting” is becoming broader.
In a 2016 survey of nearly 500 top-tier companies, the consulting firm RGP found that “consulting” now means different things to different organizations; it can range from individual freelance advisors to large advisory firms and can encompass everything in between.
Nowhere is this evolution and disruption more evident than in the field of IT consultancy. The rapid deployment of new technology gives IT consultants the opportunity to help move clients into formerly unchartered territory, allowing the organization to experience the benefits of the “latest and greatest” offerings, regardless of the size of their operation.
There’s now a great deal of opportunities for IT consultants who can identify and resolve challenges, while at the same time offering businesses a solution that’s more cost effective than their present in-house system.
More Skills, More Services
Today, as the scope of technology available to businesses has changed and expanded, so have the duties of an IT consultant. In the current fast-moving environment, an IT consultant may perform any of the following services:
Providing expert input on the use of computers, distribution networks or other hardware and equipment used in business operations
Assessing the effectiveness and capacity of a company’s IT environment
Purchasing hardware and software systems on behalf of a business
Training and advising employees (and/or the company’s clients) on how to use specific IT technologies
Planning, implementing, testing and managing certain IT technologies for a business
Writing technical or user documentation
The widespread need for greater IT expertise in virtually all segments of business has played a key role in changing IT consultancy. Here’s a look at five key trends that have emerged in consulting for 2018 and the opportunities that can accompany them.
Trend #1: Selecting Consultants by Solutions
In the past, many companies employed a consultancy that could provide a bundled package of services. This typically meant hiring a consulting firm that could basically provide “one-stop shopping.” But today’s business environment is leaning toward a more a la carte approach, with companies choosing consultants for a single project or for a certain segmented solution, such as transaction services or change management.
This allows businesses to avoid general solutions and focus on specific solutions for areas of their business that need assistance or improvement. It also means that IT consultants can benefit from specializing in a certain aspect of services.
Trend #2: Outsourcing IT Operations Rather Than Hiring
The idea of having an in-house IT department is losing steam. Instead, many companies are choosing to bring in IT consultants who already have expertise at managing a company’s existing solutions. This allows businesses access to experts who specialize in the fluid, ever-changing dynamic of IT and can keep the organization up-to-date, while at the same time cutting the cost of having a full-time, on-site team.
Consultants can benefit from staying on top of the latest innovations and tech trends to be able to keep their clients competitive and ahead of the curve.
Trend #3: Using Consultants for Big Data Integration
Big data is a growing trend that isn’t going away, and that means companies are now looking for ways to develop best practices around data management. Some are still working to understand what it means for their company and how it can be implemented in daily operations.
An IT consultant specializing in systems integration can help a company identify its objectives, understand how best to use business analytics and may even help get a big data team up and running.
Trend #4: Using IT Consultants to Move to the Cloud
In a business climate where cloud computing is quickly replacing many on-site storage options, having a guide to help navigate the cloud is not only helpful, but it can keep companies from making costly mistakes.
As companies move to the cloud, IT consultants can play a valuable role in helping them get there. Migrating to new technology is rarely painless or flawless, so consultants who have already walked other clients through this process can help make the move more efficient.
Trend #5: Relying on IT Consultants for Cybersecurity
Securing data and private information has become one of the biggest concerns and challenges for businesses of all sizes. Cybersecurity presents perhaps one of the greatest areas of opportunity for consultants who have the expertise to identify weaknesses in the system and stay proactive in warding off cyberattacks and potential threats for customers.
As the IT world continues to expand and evolve, consultants will see additional business opportunities. Following current and changing trends in IT consulting allows you to identify where new opportunities may arise and position yourself to provide services that can help businesses of all sizes.
At Aventis Systems, we work with IT professionals to make your jobs easier by providing customized solutions and personalized support. Contact us today to see how we can help with your next project.