Information technology consultancy is a service guides businesses on the best course of action to take, to use IT to meet their company’s objectives. IT consulting can also branch into technology consulting and business and technology consulting.
In addition to the advice IT consultants offer, they often implement, deploy and administer IT systems on behalf of a business.The IT consulting industry can be broken down in to a three tier system; professional services, staffing and independent consultancy. Professional service firms take care of large professional workforces and can command high fees for doing so. There has been a recent shift by these companies to start sourcing their employees from low cost nations.
Staffing firms are known for placing specialists from the field of technology into businesses on a temporary contract. They are slightly different to consultancies as their commercial practice is to price their service by the day rather than by the result of their work. Staffing firms, also known as ‘body shops’ are usually limited geographically by their customers, but are able to exploit the global cost differences by bringing guest workers to their host country.
Independent consultants usually operate as contractors, employees of staffing firms, or as subcontractors in their own right.There are close links between IT consulting and management consultancy, with the two areas of expertise often overlapping one another. It is common for IT consultants to have achieved degrees in computer science, electronics, technology or management information systems. Management consultants will often hold degrees in accounting, economics, industrial engineering or finance.
IT consultants can address the most critical challenges a companies Chief Information Officer (CIO) could face. These include aligning IT strategy to achieve greater business value. High performance businesses see IT as a strategic asset, so Strategic IT Effectiveness (SITE) experts can help a company’s management adopt this approach, allowing IT to become a source of operational excellence and add a competitive advantage to the organisation.
Other ways that IT consultants can offer advice to businesses include through transforming an organisations IT infrastructure, improving IT security, the construction of an enterprise architecture ‘blueprint’, renewing legacy applications and engineering performance into systems and applications.
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