Published on November 1st, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
7 Questions To Ask When Hiring An IT Consulting Firm
If you’re finally ready to employ an information technology (IT) consultant for the IT tasks in your company, it’s ideal to not act on impulse and to take precautions in choosing the right candidate. After all, the IT aspect of your company can either make or break your operations. You need reputable and credible professionals who are well-versed in their fields and who’ll contribute to your business growth.
Contrary to what some entrepreneurs think, hiring the right IT consulting firm can help save costs and effort. Instead of performing all the tasks by your internal team, you can hire additional help for your search engine optimization (SEO), cybersecurity, computer maintenance, and software installations. It’s only a matter of time before you realize how much savings you’ll have because of seeking support from an IT consulting firm.
But before picking the right one, here are some questions to ask to assess them better.
1. Have They Worked With The Same Business As Yours?
The first thing to ask any IT consulting company is whether they’ve worked with businesses similar to yours or are part of your industry. It’s important to ensure that the IT consultant you hire has experience in the industry in which you work. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing they’ve already had previous experiences and their expertise has already been honed.
This is a good question, especially if your business requires specific IT tasks and activities. You’ll be able to sort out your IT consulting list of candidates since this aspect is an important consideration for you. Ask which companies they’ve previously worked with that are similar to your business model and workflows.
The technology needs of every industry are different. Whether your business is reliant on some IT roles or not, the right IT firm will need to meet your needs and expectations. In the event that a security risk arises, you’ll want an IT team that can act swiftly to rectify the problem. They should know what risks are part of your business operations. And they should have experienced the same situation before so they can handle your risks successfully whenever possible.
You shouldn’t wait until you’ve already signed a contract before you discover your IT consultants don’t understand your industry. This will be a headache for both parties, as both can’t be on the same page. No matter how much you explain your business needs and operations, they might never be able to understand and digest the process. Another IT team would be needed to fill in the gaps. And this would mean you have to pay double.
Now, if the firm that you’re going to work with indeed has experience handling a similar company, all you need to do is explain your business procedures. They’ll easily understand your structure and won’t feel confused about keeping up. Therefore, it’s important to keep your search relevant and choose a firm that has experienced working with your industry in the past.
2. How Do They Prepare For Accidents, And How Can They Resolve Them?
Another important question to ask your future IT consultants is whether they’re ready for unprecedented accidents and situations. Ask how they can be prepared for such events and how they can resolve these situations.
It’s important that you find an IT company that’s proactive in staying on top of emerging trends. They should be equipped with the right tools and techniques to fix cybersecurity risks and threats. It’s important for an IT company to do more than just fix problems. In addition to keeping an eye on the horizon, these consultants should be able to communicate with you all the time about the current standing of your IT structure.
A reliable IT provider will plan everything and assess any risk that comes your way. They should be flexible, adaptive, and quick to respond to problems. It’s necessary to discuss their action plans when your IT structure gets glitched or compromised. When it comes to your hardware and software, they should keep an eye on your technology and help you plan to replace parts as they age. Needless to say, no matter what changes occurs, they should help you adapt to them.
3. How Many IT Consultants Will Be Working With You?
If you have an internal IT department, it’s expected that they work and collaborate well with your hired IT consultants. Your employees should be able to work with them, but their own teams should also be able to support them. It’s a good question to ask them how many team members are assigned to your IT tasks.
In many large projects, multiple people are required to contribute, so it is crucial to have others available to assist when needed. If you feel like there’s a need to add more members, let them know the right head count you expect will provide better service for your IT needs. After all, their task can be made easier when more heads, talents, and skills work altogether for your business.
4. What Are Their Communication And Collaboration Methods?
Communication and collaboration are two of the most crucial elements in a business. This is even more important because an IT consulting firm is a third-party company that could be difficult for you to work with.
Fortunately, there are many ways to communicate and collaborate effectively with them. The ability to communicate and work effectively with different audiences within an organization is necessary for IT professionals. Therefore, ask what their methods are and ensure to let your internal staff adapts to these methods successfully.
IT professionals must come up with solutions daily to resolve any hurdles in your IT operations. Communication is necessary for both your end and their end. Non-technical users need to understand complicated technical topics communicated in clear and easy-to-understand terms. It’d be best to speak to them and encourage them to use non-jargon terms when communicating with your staff who are not familiar with the complexities of IT.
5. What Are Their IT Service Offerings And Inclusions?
Before considering an IT firm seriously as your business partner, you might already know what they’re offering to you. For starters, you can head to their website and check their service inclusions. Their website may list a few bulleted services, but you might not be able to find everything that you want or need.
Henceforth, it’s crucial to inquire and get a quotation from them personally. At this point, it’s okay to give them a call or send them an email about their service offerings. Ask for an estimate, and feel free to add any additional service feature they haven’t included in their package. By understanding their offers, you’ll be able to assess whether managed IT services are right for your business.
Also, by inquiring early, you’ll know and understand whether the services you’re looking for are something they can offer or not. You won’t want to sign a deal with your IT provider only to discover later that they won’t be able to fulfill the service that matters most to you. When this happens, you’ll need to hire additional IT pros, which will only yield more expenses on your end.
Be sure to fully understand the scope of an IT consultant’s services before you end your inquiry. When you now have all the details, you can better compare the services of each consulting company. Also, don’t focus only on what you need now when reviewing an IT consultant’s list of services. Be mindful of your future IT needs too, and ask whether this company can be able to help you grow.
6. Can They Give You A Detailed Contract?
Make sure you know exactly what you want from a consulting firm when you’re looking to hire one. If you want to hire an IT consulting firm, you need to be open and honest about everything about your business. Discuss your terms with them and ask them to be transparent with you too.
Ask for their detailed contract before you decide on signing a deal with them. Discuss any term and component on the contract that you feel is a bit blurred for you. The consulting firm needs to be provided with a timeframe as well.
You can definitely decide which firm to sign with if you are being specific with your needs. This type of detail will be included in a comprehensive consulting contract outlining expectations, timeframes, and your recourse if you’re unsatisfied. There won’t be any lock-in contracts with vague terms when you’re dealing with the best IT pros.
7. Can They Provide Customer Reviews?
Lastly, the next question you want to ask is about their brand image. You want to know what their customers are saying about them. Especially online, IT company representatives need to know a lot about what’s being said about their services. If they’re confident with their service, they’ll be able to provide you with links and sites that portray honest reviews about them.
While some reviews could be genuine and true, be mindful that some could be fake and paid. Thus, do your own research. Participate and discuss in forums and ask for feedback and reviews about the IT consulting firm you want to work with.
There’s a lot to consider when working with an IT consultant partner. The best advice to remember is not to act on impulse and sign whoever you want. Consider asking them the questions listed above first, and you’ll be able to get your answer. You can better understand what each IT pro does by asking the questions discussed here.