The first blog in this series addressed some of the frequently asked questions in the industry about exactly what we mean by domestic IT outsourcing. The second delved a bit further into the topic by discussing the advantages of keeping IT outsourcing domestic. The third taught us some little known facts about time zones and how important it is for businesses to understand them.
The final three blogs in the series are focused more on tips on choosing a temporary or occasional freelance contractor, or an IT firm for your projects on more of a permanent basis. This final installation will specifically discuss the role of a consultant.
Information Technology Consulting is a term used to describe a field that focuses on advising businesses on the best way to utilize IT to meet their individualized business objectives. IT consultants work on behalf of businesses to estimate, implement, manage, or administer IT systems.
Skills to Look For In an Experienced Outsourced IT Consultant:
· Excellent communication skills
· Business and management language skills
· Technical language skills
· Advisory skills
· Technical skills
· Business skills
· Management skills
IT consultants should possess degree in areas such as computer science, electronics, technology, or management information systems.
Use of a Freelance Website
Searching for an experienced IT consultant that possesses all of these traits can be difficult; however viewing freelancer websites can provide you with several qualified candidates. By utilizing a freelance website you can find, hire and pay some of the world’s best freelancers, which makes it easier to build a successful company with thriving careers. We discussed in depth how to find the right freelancer in our fourth installation in this series.
Considerations before Closing the Deal
Before closing the deal with your chosen IT consultant, be mindful of the qualities and skills he/she possesses. Consider other factors such as status of the portfolio, did he/she actively listen to you and understand your desired outcomes, was he/she able to speak effectively to convey what services they could offer your business to reach your desired outcomes and how will he/she help your business reach its goals?
Be sure that the consultant feels confident in their ability to deliver the agreed upon deliverables in the time allowed.
Review your consultant’s version of the work to be done for accurateness. Again, making sure he/she has a thorough understanding of what any particular project entails and understanding of how to utilize skills and tools to achieve project completion is necessary. The scope of work will have an impact on your business processes or systems; continual monitoring, communication and verification of progress are important. Be sure your consultant understands this.
The use of a consultant non-disclosure agreement should be thoroughly discussed and agreed upon. This is a standard business contract useful for businesses that contract with consultants who may be working with trade secrets or confidential information. If there is fear that any pitched business ideas to a consultant are at risk for being misused, an agreement would be paramount.
Finally, the hourly rate needs to be discussed and agreed upon before closing the deal. Keep location in mind when negotiating price. Areas where taxes, fees, living expenses etc. are higher, naturally a business can expect to deliver a higher hourly wage.
Well, we hope that this series will prove to be helpful to those who run businesses and organizations and wish to domestically outsource their Information Technology work. From acknowledging why it’s beneficial to keep it domestic, to the importance of understanding time zones, to choosing a freelancer or an IT firm, and, finally, the nuances of having a dedicated IT consultant. We hope you’ll continue to visit our blog for information on the many technological aspects of running a business and insider tips on everything from building a custom website and managing social media to strategy and project management.