The evolution of cloud, social, mobile and analytic technology has heralded a major change in how IT functions today. Gone are the days of fixed, premise-based CapEx investments. Instead, IT organizations must focus on digital transformation and providing tech-savvy users a state-of-art, seamless experience.
According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, for CIOs to succeed in this new paradigm, they first need to define a strategy centered around the business requirements driving application adoption. They then must determine the best way to put those ideas into practice, taking into account security protocols, industry regulations and budgets.
“We often encounter CIOs struggling to make their organizations more digitally enabled who have jumped straight into the tactics they think will deliver the results they want, completely bypassing the strategy needed to create a performance-oriented digital experience,” says Ed Konopasek, vice president, Managed Solutions, Logicalis US. “In this new digitally focused paradigm, it’s no longer about building out systems from scratch and supporting everything on-prem with an in-house team; there are many new ways to operationalize the consumption of digital services today that might provide better options. This is where a professional consultant can help.”
Choosing the right consultant can make all the difference to whether a project succeeds or fails spectacularly. It is, therefore, essential that organizations take a close look at potential partners. In this slideshow, Logicalis US has identified five criteria CIOs should look for in professional IT consultants.
Choosing the Right Consultant
Click through for five criteria organizations should look for when choosing an IT consultant, as identified by Logicalis US.
Have a Point of View
Having a point of view is very different from having technological expertise. It’s about applying that expertise to develop an opinion about the best way to implement a particular technology or solution – and it’s about being so confident in that opinion that they’re willing to share their point of view with you. It does not, however, mean rigidly adhering to a single point of view when another option may work better. The key is to find a partner that has the expertise to advise you about what has worked well for other clients in similar scenarios, yet one who is open to what will work best in yours.
Eat Their Own Cheerios
As clients move into the third platform (cloud, social, mobile, analytics) and need help extending their capabilities, there are many consultants that can talk with them from a position of strength and experience. But, if you want to limit the number of partners you have, look for solution providers that are deploying their own strategies and leveraging their own services where possible. If they aren’t eating their own Cheerios, metaphorically speaking, then you shouldn’t either.
Promote Choice and Flexibility
If the partner you select offers its own cloud services, for example, that can be a plus. But when your business needs dictate using another solution, the right professional consultant will lead the charge. It’s critical, therefore, that the partner you select be objective enough to be truly vendor neutral, promoting choice and flexibility even when that means helping you select a solution or service that competes with its own. Many partners are now adopting strategies to manage solutions beyond their own portfolio, promoting a framework offering flexibility and choice all delivered with a high-quality, consistent end-user experience. In the end, partnering with organizations like these will allow you to leverage volume and scale and achieve the best commercial economics while spending less time managing partner relationships.
Have a Wide Array of Experiences
A partner that has served clients across a number of industries will often have a wide array of experiences and best practices that can lead to creative solutions that a more linearly focused partner might not have in its toolbox.
Be Able to Solve Business Problems Outside of IT
If one of the CIO’s top priorities is to be seen as a more strategic partner to the business, it’s important to have a consultant behind you that can think outside the box – and sometimes that means outside of IT. Savvy consultants can often leverage common IT processes and service management protocols and apply them to business problems beyond the traditional realm of IT. Can well-oiled ITIL-oriented processes around incident, problem and change leveraged through an ITSM platform, for example, be applied to a manufacturer’s warranty returns process? IT consultants that get to know your business can offer creative ideas that will help you solve vexing business problems in new and creative ways leading to innovation and strategic value.