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What is the basic job description of a typical IT consultant?
They help business partners and clients to achieve excellence in areas of transportation, business operations, travel, hospitality, education, government, marketing, health care, technology and financial services etc. The areas of expertise which IT consultants have span across a variety of practices and industries. IT consultants can be based worldwide, so they can provide help to their clients from any geography.
What is the role of an IT consultant in success of a firm or business?
They offer support and advice to businesses on how well technology can be used to achieve business targets and solve problems. In addition to the advice they offer, they can also take part in the implementation, deployment, maintenance and support of their client’s IT infrastructure. Consultants primarily work through three types of firms such as staffing firms, independent consultants and service firms.
What is the role of a staffing firm in supplying IT consultants?
They provide the working force, on a temporary basis for a client’s business, but they may also become a more permanent part of the organisation. For example, a worker who is employed on a temp basis may be introduced to the client through an external agency who specialises in recruitment. These recruitment agencies are responsible for the payment of salaries to temporary workers. They also pay the NI to the Government, and offer holiday pay. The total cost, including the agency’s spending is then added to the profit margin of the agency. The net total amount that is calculated is then charged to the client.
What is a professional service firm and how can these help other firms with their business development?
Professional service firms manage a large professional pool of people and charge a high bill. The firms recruit employees from low cost nations and place them to work under the client’s projects. These professional service firms get involved in contracts which provide services such as appraisers, business development managers, translators, web designers, researchers, law firms, archaeologists, public relations and also individuals. The selection processes of these consultants who provide the services are based on the ethnics, creativity, reputation, knowledge and the skills possessed etc. Some of these providers may offer fixed rates for specific projects; others may give a price only after they have performed a brief analysis of the work involved. Many of these professionals may be hired on an hourly rate and for the full length of the project.
Who is an independent IT consultant and how do they find work in different companies?
In the competitive market of consulting, independent consultants must strive to work as differentiators. To accomplish this, they require carefully positioning themselves and having a focused marketing strategy in place. To position themselves means they define the marketing strategy so that their customers understand it fully, hence the consultant can differentiate themselves and create their own identity in the consulting sector. They must give great attention to the moral behaviours and ethnics within which they can distinguish themselves from other consultants. They must also equip their office with modern equipments like copying machines, fax machines, updated computers, communications networks and quality telephones etc. They also need to define their fee structure, maintain their finances, work on marketing plans, set contractual relationships and deal with insurance and other legal issues.
What are the typical work activities of an IT consultant?
Some of the roles that an IT consultant may be involved in, could include:
Meeting to outline the scope of a project with their client;
Determining the requirements with their client;
The planning of time scales and what resources are required;
Understanding the nature of a client’s business and their work practices, plus discussing the specifications of the system with the client and clarifying those system specifications;
Travelling to the site of the client;
Liaising with staff with a clients organisation, who are at various levels in the firm;
Defining hardware, software and the requirements of the network;
Offering objective and independent advice on information technology and analysing the IT requirements within the client’s company;
Implementing new systems and developing agreed solutions;
The presenting of solutions in oral or written reports;
Where appropriate, the purchase of a new system;
Helping their clients with any change management activities;
The installation, testing, designing and monitoring of new systems;
The project management of the implementation and design of the preferred solutions;
Preparing the documentation for clients and presenting the reports to them;
Where appropriate, getting involved with sales and support and maintaining contact with the client organisations;
Identifying new potential clients and maintaining and building new contacts;
Organising of training for consultants and other users.
Will problem be resolved by IT consultant’s response time limits?
The response time given by an IT consultant is just guidance for them to follow so they can respond to their client’s need for help. The cause of the problem may be outside the reach of the client and may be dependent on the hardware, software or internet service provider agreements. An IT consultant will do their best to resolve the problem as soon as they can, but if their client requires assistance before a consultant is contracted in, they should offer this service.
What is the difference between an IT consultant and a management consultant?
Many people may think that these two consultants stem from the same field, but there is in fact a difference between the two. Although there are frequent overlaps between both fields of consultancy, only by seeing the educational degrees of the employed consultants, can a client know what they offer in terms of consultancy. The persons who have a degree in computer science, electronics, technology, company applications and management information systems function as the IT consultants. The persons who have a degree in accounting, industrial engineering, business administration, economics and finance function as the management consultants.
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