You’ve conducted many Google searches for the best IT consultants that can effectively work for your business. But just because their website says they’re an IT consultant doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the best fit for your technology or will work well with your management team.
Before giving a third-part IT consultant full access to your sensitive and critical information and infrastructure, let’s take a look at five things you can do to vet IT consultants. Then we’ll detail the questions you should be asking them before making a final hiring decision.
Do They Have the Experience Needed for Your Type and Size of Business?
IT consultants that work with a lot of large, Fortune 500-type businesses will struggle when trying to meet the needs of a small business. Similarly, consultants who do a lot of work for manufacturing-based businesses might not do well working for a finance industry-based company.
When you’re considering a slew of IT consultant prospects, ensure that they’ve had success working with businesses that are similar to yours in scope and nature.
What Is Their Relationship With Vendors?
Would you rather work with an independent consultant or one that has established relationships with vendors?
You might run into a situation wherein you get advice from your consultant without realizing that they have a financial benefit in the outcome they propose. The benefit they receive could be a referral fee, commissions or a chance to staff more of their employees on you as their client.
Simply stated, they may be putting their interests in front of yours.
It’s important to always ask prospective IT consultants what relationships they have to vendors before signing any contracts with them. Is this consultant unbiased, or do they get a commission fee paid to them when they chose a solution for your business with a vendor they sell for?
Get Samples of Their Work
Prior to hiring IT professionals, take a look at their online portfolio. Also look into them on sites like Coderbits, CloudSpokes and GitHub. This is a big step toward seeing the quality of the actual work they’ve done in the past, rather than just accepting their word for it.
Of course, references are important too. But it’s even better to see with your own eyes the projects they’ve completed for other clients, and how successful they were.
Affiliations and Credentials
According to Ascendant, a company that does IT consulting in NJ, you want to work with an experienced service. But do they have industry accreditations or official certifications? If so, ask them if their certifications are up-to-date. As you know, technology changes in a heartbeat.
Beyond this, you’ll also want to see if they have memberships in certain professional IT organizations like the Independent Computer Consultants Association, or the Institute of Management Consultants. These types of professional memberships show you that they are committed to excellence in their industry.
Do a Full Background Check
The IT consultant you hire will have full access to your critical business systems. As such, it’s important to do a complete background check.
Look for issues such as convicted criminal offenses (even misdemeanors), inconsistent credit scores and location stability.
If you’re working in a governmental field, make sure they have all the needed government clearances. And of course, make sure you check a minimum of three business and personal references.
Questions to Ask Before Making a Decision
Here Are Five Key Questions to Ask Every Consulting Service Before Making a Hire.
1. What Experience Do You Have With My Business Type?
They should be able to give clear and concise answers.
2. What Is Your Familiarity With My Business’s Hardware?
It’s not always the case that “a server is just a server.” Every manufacturer puts their own spin on their products. This can cause IT professionals to require different steps in order to perform similar functions. When you hire the best IT consulting service for your business, you’re not looking to wait out a learning curve.
3. How Familiar Are You With the Software We Use?
Again, you’re not looking for a learning curve here.
4. Tell Me About Your Certifications
The answer to this question gives you valuable insights into what they enjoy doing and what they probably do most often.
5. What’s Your Process for Working With Clients?
Prior to making a hire, you need to know what their process is for client relationships. Verify their answer with the references they provide.
Get the Best IT Consulting Service
Your business can only operate as well as your technology allows it to. While it’s no simple task to find the best technology partners, with these bases covered, you’re sure to find the IT consulting service that best suits the needs of your business.