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Every year, we hear about emerging trends, like NFT or AI, and watch day by day how they are disrupting one industry by another. So now, it is hard to overestimate the importance of technology to business.
Yet, sometimes it takes more than integration to make a specific technology a part of your business. So, in this case, you might want advice from tech development experts – go for IT consulting.
From my experience as a Business Developer, startup co-founders face certain uncertainties (pun intended) when it comes to IT consulting:
- What is IT consulting?
- How is it different from business consulting?
- When should I turn to IT consulting?
- Where to find a reliable partner?
So in this article, I am going to give answers to them.
Let’s dive right in!
What is IT consulting?
Put simply, IT consulting is providing advice on a particular business's tech setup to increase its tech efficiency.
That said, the advisor gives a strategic or operational consultancy and helps with the implementation. For example, they may help create a prototype or testing software to run user tests or pitch the idea to investors.
Let’s take an example. One of the typical client’s requests for IT consultancy may be laying down a road map for AI implementation into the business. In this case, the IT consultants will help the client to decide on the following:
- The specific solutions;
- Architecture and technology to use;
- What the team should consist of.
In other words, IT consultants are your team of experts that will help you where your team needs more tech expertise.
Other cases where IT consulting can be helpful are:
- Creating an organized system for business management;
- Automation of business processes;
- Finding optimal IT solutions and implementing them;
- Timely modernizing business’ IT system or software;
- Detect all the weak spots of the existing IT system and reorganize it;
- Launch a new IT product;
- Make an IT market research, review competitors and measure risks.
IT Consulting vs Outsourcing
One of the popular misconceptions about IT consulting is that it is the same as IT outsourcing. Yet, there are nuances here.
IT outsourcing might be the option when you want to upgrade your programming code or develop new software. You will have to manage this team and frame tasks for them yourself – they will not do the analyses themselves. IT outsourcing might fit the bill if you already know what tech solutions you need to implement.
But if your goals are more missionary, like changing the IT infrastructure of your business, then IT consulting is your stop.
To outline specific steps, the consultant will audit the existing infrastructure, conduct market research, conduct a TA survey, analyze competitors, or even be the “Mystery Shopper”.
IT Consulting vs Business Consulting
What about IT vs Business Consulting? Many business owners mistake one for the other, remaining unsatisfied in the end.
So where’s the border between the two?
Traditional consulting companies help co-founders in all business issues, like profit increase, business restructuring, and cost optimization. Some of these issues are intertwined with the IT consulting sector.
Yet, business consultants may not be the best choice for a business when launching a whole new product or developing high-edge technologies. Business consultants need to focus on the details in order to make big takes.
“Traditional consulting companies help co-founders in all business issues, like profit increase, business restructuring, and cost optimization. Yet, business consultants may not be the best choice for a business when launching a whole new product or developing high-edge technologies.”
So you can turn to business consultants when you want to, for example, learn about certain domain specifics. But IT consulting will be a better fit when it comes to tech solutions.
“IT consulting will be a better fit when it comes to tech solutions.”
What Does IT Consulting Include?
Ok, we got it – IT consulting is a more complex and thorough process than outsourcing. Indeed, the IT consultant cannot simply give you profound personalized advice without diving deep into the context. Here are the steps that IT consultants usually take to give clients an in-depth perspective:
Audit of IT System
It all starts with the software code audit and overall IT system audit. At this stage, the consultants will check the productivity of the app, websites, and data transmission channels. The IT consulting team will review their reliability, security, and compatibility with business purposes.
IT Strategy Development
Depending on the audit results and the business need, the IT consultant creates a strategy for implementing an IT system. The new system must be smoothly integrated into the existing ecosystem to support all ongoing business processes, like marketing, financial operations, etc. That said, the strategy should envisage the scale-up of this system with time and its timely update.
Outlining Requirements for the New System
Once the audit and research are completed, it is time to get something new started. The product manager usually frames the requirements to guide the team's development process further.
At Uptech, we usually draft Product Requirements after the Discovery Stage, where we explore users' real needs. This is important because building a product that neither solves any user problem nor matches their real needs heralds a failure.
Read more about how Discovery helps to know the user better and why it is essential in our blog post What Are Real User Needs And How To Define Them?
The next thing on the list is the implementation or development process. Using the tech stack defined at the preparatory stages, the team of developers, UX designers, and QAs, guided by a Project Manager, start making the idea a reality.
At Uptech, we work by the Agile methodology, dividing our work by sprints with special ceremonies. By this approach, we develop a product by sprints, moving out the app’s features by iterations and improving them immediately.
This flexible approach helps us quickly get the product's first version and start testing it immediately to make improvements. Thus, we secure ourselves from developing an unnecessary feature that turns us useless. Instead, we cut the useless right at the buds.
Read more about how we use Agile in our work in our blog post How Agile Development Lifecycle Helps To Build Great Products.
When Should I Turn to IT Consulting?
So when is IT consulting actually worth the try? Well, every situation is different and individual, but here are the most popular requests that clients have when turning to IT consulting:
Scaling Up Your Business
When you want to enter a new niche or market, your IT system better stays caught up. For example, if you are not a leader in your domain (yet), you can turn to IT consultants for advice on how to reach the competitors and make a statement on the market from a technical perspective.
Often comes the time when the native borders fit too tight. That is when businesses consider going global, searching for new markets to conquer. The IT consultant can recommend which region is better and which IT solutions may help achieve this goal.
Building No-Code Business Solutions
As co-founders, you can dream that all your team members can code, making it easy to do specific tasks and collect reports from data storage. But while you can’t teach everyone to code, you can make it easier for them to get by without it – using no or low-code programs. IT consultants will help you smoothly integrate these programs into your existing system.
IT Market Analysis
Usually, when entering a new niche or region, companies need a clear review of competitors. Knowing what tech potential top businesses have will help you build your strategy to at least keep up with them and stand out simultaneously.
Preparation for Investment Fundraising
Whether at an early or growth stage, startups seek new investment to start or scale up their businesses. The solid technology behind your product is a massive advantage in the eyes of investors.
So turning to IT consultants at this stage can bring big wins to your business.
Why Choose Uptech as Your Business Consultant?
Spoiler: not only because we wrote this article.
When looking for an IT business consultant, the first thing you want to see in your partner is experience. And in this, Uptech got you covered.
Since 2016, Uptech has been a reliable IT consulting partner for more than 50 US and European businesses. Moreover, we also build new companies and launch technology-driven products that solve users’ problems and gain global acclaim (Plai, Rozmova, DYVO). For example, our AI-driven avatar generator DYVO got a Google award for development.
So we know firsthand what it takes to build a successful product and enjoy sharing this knowledge without clients.
By the way, let’s hear what our clients have to say about our work:
“They ask questions, provide suggestions, and learn about our business in order to make a proper product.”
True, Uptech is all about the unique approach to every client.
Using the hypothesis-driven approach, we dive deep, exploring the niche, user needs, and existing solutions. Only based on research, do we suggest solutions and help to implement them on the product.
We always treat our client’s projects as our own and make the communication flow transparent and smooth.
You can check other reviews of our clients on our Clutch Profile.
IT consulting is a tech-focused service that will help to adapt your IT infrastructure to the business goals you want to achieve. So when any drastic change is going to happen to your business – scale-up, entering new markets, or trying a new niche – tech consulting ensures your IT system keeps up.
If you want professional advice from the Uptech Product Development Team, please get in touch with me, and we will gather a dedicated team of IT specialists for you.
What is IT consulting?
IT consulting is providing advice on a particular business's tech setup to increase its tech efficiency. IT consultants give strategic or operational consultancy and help with the implementation. For example, they may help create a prototype or testing software to run user tests or pitch the idea to investors.
What does IT consulting include?
Here are the services that IT consultants usually offer to give clients an in-depth perspective: IT system audit, IT strategy development, requirements crystallization, and implementation of all the improvements.
When to turn to IT consulting?
When your business goes global or scales up, you should turn to IT consulting to help you move faster. When entering a new niche or region or starting a startup, or passing the growth stage – it's worth supporting yourself with an experienced IT consulting company.