Information technology (IT) is experiencing a massive boom as our society transitions from our old paper methods to the new digital era. Currency, personal information, banking, medical information, company files, buying, selling, and marketing, it’s all online now.
Practically every organization needs IT knowledge today if they are going to be competitive in the marketplace. But most business owners don’t have the level of expertise required to make educated, high-level decisions for their own organizations. And many companies can’t afford to hire their own IT consulting specialists in-house.
What Is an IT Consultant’s Job Description?
IT consulting firms step in as the technology experts to help organizations wade through important IT decisions and develop big-picture, high-quality technology strategies. They lead businesses through the daunting maze of emerging technologies and help formulate the best IT business strategy game plan. They protect companies’ infrastructure to avoid costly data breaches and make sure their systems run at peak efficiency.
IT consulting companies bring a fresh new outsider’s perspective. They help decide what information should be stored in a data center and what should go to the cloud. They help optimize workflows. An IT consulting company determines what kinds of technology will be needed to meet an organization’s day-to-day business objectives in a cost-effective manner. The IT consultants also help determine a company’s cybersecurity needs and strategy or assist with process automation.
Firms help to manage big data and use data analytics to capture, manage, and filter important data to help companies make the best business and IT decisions. They improve attrition rates, increase sales through loyalty programs, or manage shipping more efficiently, improving companies’ profitability by tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases.
Consultants address strategy and services, including everything computer related from making hardware and cloud computing decisions, assisting data centers transformation, thwarting cyber threats, implementing artificial intelligence/machine learning, performing systems integration, and finding patterns to make decisions about how best to position the company for future success.
Types of IT Consulting Positions
If you are in the market for a great consulting company, you may want to consider the pros and cons of working for a small business, a large firm, or as an independent consultant.
Small IT Consulting Companies
Small firms tend to be great places for people to work who like to develop a close working relationship with clients and who love to provide good customer service with a personal touch. In a small firm, professionals don’t feel like they are “just a number.” They feel valuable and like they have a great deal of autonomy and a voice in the direction the firm takes.
There is a lot more freedom to create your own niche and the opportunity to develop mastery across many sectors. And many professionals feel there is more personal motivation because incentives and rewards are often shared among the team.
In a small company, when there is a time crunch, everyone pulls together to get the job done on time. There are many opportunities to widen one’s professional skills. Often, a small firm has more of a family-feel so the team members try to look out for each other. Promotions tend to be based on personal achievement and quality work, when they are available.
Of course, smaller firms are a greater risk, many times, than a large well-established firm. They often depend on a few large clients. And there may not be many in-house training opportunities.
Large IT Consulting Firms
Large corporations generally offer great benefits, insurance, and perks. They tend to have very competitive salaries and may offer many more opportunities for lateral or vertical career movement. Large firms tend to try to be a bit more flexible with schedules and employee needs because they often have a larger staff and may be able to be more accomodating.
Larger firms can often offer more opportunities for career growth and progression. But they do sometimes have limitations due to quotas and corporate policies required by their human resources departments.
They tend to also have wonderful training programs for all employees. But large firms can feel a lot more impersonal and sometimes consultants don’t experience as much job satisfaction because they don’t have as much autonomy in a large firm.
Large firms also tend to have their own research departments, laboratories, innovation centers, and studios. They have access to a more intricate knowledge base and the capability of doing jobs that smaller firms couldn’t begin to handle.
Some traditional firms are developing independent professional divisions. IT professionals can then have the best of both worlds and experience the flexibility of working independently but still have the greater stability and guidance of a firm.
Independent consultants tend to be extremely satisfied with their work situation. They have more freedom to do what they want to do, to offer consulting only to clients that appeal to them, and to decide their own schedule. Many independent consultants actually work fewer hours but earn the same paycheck or more than employed consultants.
An independent consultant accepts greater risk and uncertainty, and they give up many perks and benefits that come with working for a traditional firm. Most of the time, people need a good bit of experience before going out on their own. But when they do, these consultants tend to love the work/life balance, the flexibility, and intellectual satisfaction of this lifestyle.
Things Top IT Consulting Firms Do Well
The world’s top IT companies understand the consulting industry and which consulting services they want to offer. They understand their clients’ needs, the tech world and its trajectory, and they know how to run their own businesses successfully.
Top IT Consulting Companies’ Strengths
Top technology consulting firms know they need to offer the best the industry has to offer to both their clients and employees if they want to be global leaders. These giants hone their professional services to appeal to top clients.
The best consulting companies create strong client relationships by building trust and incorporating core values clients appreciate. They know and drive the industry’s best practices. Global leaders provide digital transformation for every facet of a client’s business and produce a quality digital customer experience.These companies custom match a team for each client based on employee skill sets and experience. They know their specific niche thoroughly and can provide specialists in whatever area may be needed like IT business consulting, healthcare IT consulting, government IT consulting, or nonprofit IT consulting.
The top companies stay on the cutting edge of technology in their IT consulting services and help to blaze the trail into the future for other consultancy firms to follow.
These IT consultants provide cost-effective solutions that offer value to their clients by streamlining their business processes and integrating IT strategy and business strategy seamlessly. They save their clients significant amounts of money while improving productivity and efficiency for their companies.
The best IT consulting companies build a strong company culture to attract and retain employees complete with competitive IT consultant salaries, high quality of life and a good work/life balance, and a strong commitment to diversity and gender equality.
These companies often have recruitment programs to attract the best college talent into their ranks in their sophomore or junior year of school. They provide remote work options and offer alternate office location opportunities in the United States, as well as international career options.
Global leaders in this industry provide amazing amounts of formal training to help develop their employees professionally and personally, striving to achieve a high level of overall job satisfaction/employee satisfaction among their ranks.
And the best companies have a strong outlook for the future for the company as a whole, for their own business intelligence strategies, and for individual employees who are looking for greater career growth opportunities.
In organizations where employees feel empowered, supported, valuable, and like they have proper work/life balance, clients generally have the best experiences, as well.
Ready for an IT Consultant Job?
If you are interested in finding an IT consultant job in the United States or even in another country, consider using a recruiter. If you have the skills, a recruiter, like TM Floyd & Company can help you find the best consultancy company for you. We can match up your skills with the needs of major firms and help you prepare your resume and get ready for your interview to give you a huge advantage in finding your dream job.