December 29th, 2014 by

Why Using IT Consulting Services Is Better Than Employing Your Own IT Staff

In this day and age, it has become very important for one to use computer systems to run their businesses. Not only does it make the process more efficient, but it also reduces the number of staff you need to do a particular task. This in turn means that in the long run, the use of such systems is encouraged since it streamlines the operations of such a firm.

However, it also comes at a cost: you need to do as much as you can to ensure that the system is always running functionally. In order to maintain an IT system at a particular level of functionality, you will often need to spend money on the services that are required to do this, such as IT consulting services. Some of the specific ways an IT consulting service can help you ensure that your IT system will always be reliable include:

Helping you find the IT system that fits your business completely


When you are thinking of installing the IT system for the first time, you can’t afford to take any chances. Some of the questions you might need to ask yourself include why you are getting the system in the first place, and what characteristics it should have for it to turn out to be effective. For instance, if you are running an office with very few people who only need to send the occasional email, there would be no need to spend money on communication infrastructure that is very advanced. However, if you are going to use the system for IP telephony, video conferencing and other similar activities, you would definitely need a system that is capable of handling this without any hitches.

The role of a consulting firm is to assess all such needs, and then give you the technical details of the ideal system so that you can then install it. It will cost you a bit more to do this, but you will be assured that the system that will be in place afterwards will not only work, but also be future proof as well.

Proper configuration

For an IT system to work well, it needs to be properly configured. One system can be configured in different ways, and each of these will have their own pros and cons. However, the process of figuring out how to configure it can be very technical, and in some cases will have very low tolerances. To ensure that you get it right, you should make a point of getting a consultation from an IT firm, so that they can then help you figure out how to go about it. Doing this eliminates the need to use trial and error to get the same results, and will ensure that you end up with a high quality system in place. It might also serve to reduce the cost of the process as well, since you will only need to do it once.



As is the case with practically anything else that might be man-made, all IT systems are prone to some sort of error. This could be due to a poor configuration, regular wear and tear and numerous other causes. Some of the problems that arise are usually very technical, and require in depth knowledge of IT systems in order to correct them adequately. In such cases, even if you have some knowledge of IT systems, you may end up having a hard time figuring out how to identify and solve the problem. Working with an IT consultant is most ideal because it allows you to take advantage of many years’ experience. This in turn means that you will identify the problem as soon as it happens, and then fix it.

This is why it’s always a good idea to have the services of an IT consultant on tap. This way, as soon as any problem arises, you will only need to call them instead of having to go through the process of vetting them to find the best. This in turn means that you will be in a better position to have the system up and running again in no time.

Regular maintenance

Another aspect of using such systems is the fact that you might need to keep maintaining them on a regular basis for you to be sure that they will run correctly. Most parties advocate for monthly maintenance, where the contractor will check all the systems and optimize them even in the absence of any problem. One of the advantages of this is that it reduces the risk of any catastrophic failure, which in turn means that it will be smoother for you to run the system. In addition to that, this also gives you the ability to modify the system on the fly. For instance, if you notice that your IT system needs have changed, you can ask the contractor doing the monthly maintenance to make the necessary changes to the system so that it’s optimized to your needs. This way, it will always be ideal for your use at any one time.

Advisory services

There are many types of advice you might need with regards to an IT system. For instance, if you have a network in place, you might think about having some of the components upgraded. However, this should never be a decision made on a whim. Some of the things that should influence it include whether or not the upgrades will have an impact on the overall functioning of the system, and whether this impact is worth the money. You also need to consider the risk of having other new technologies being produced in the near future, such that the ones you have just upgraded to become nearly obsolete. An IT consultant who keeps an eye on the markets would be the best choice for you to use to determine this.

In summary, it is evident that using the services of a high quality consultant is actually very critical in ensuring that a business runs smoothly. It is usually much cheaper than employing your own dedicated IT staff, and is also much easier for you to tackle as well.

December 13th, 2014 by

5 Explanations On Why So Many IT Projects Fall Through

No business environment is without errors, irrespective of the company’s field or size. However, when the IT department implements a major project that fails to produce the expected results and bring the company the much touted benefits, executive and stakeholder patience is exhausted fairly quickly. A number of explanations for the lack of success of an IT project can be found, ranging from lack of preparation or planning as well as exceeding the resources (financial or otherwise) that the company can afford to allocate. Let’s examine five of the most frequently encountered grounds for failure.

1. Integrating technology that’s cool, but ultimately unnecessary

With the advent of numerous technologies that appear to simplify our lives and the business environment, it’s relatively easy to go overboard. In other words, you could be persuaded by the shiny new features and complex algorithms, and fail to see the fact that a certain project just doesn’t have a place within your company.

When you decide whether or not a certain technology should be implemented, don’t get sidetracked. Always ask yourself why it would be useful and how it could benefit your business, in a strictly objective manner.

2. Commencing the project before the planning phase is finalized

Your IT department may pressure you into accepting their project and starting the implementation ASAP, either because they fail to see the whole picture or because they’re ‘drunk’ on past successes. They tend to work under the assumption that virtually every issue that arises can be solved by throwing more technology at it. Unfortunately, this category of practices is not only ineffective financially, but stands to have potentially disastrous consequences for your operations.

When you don’t draw a strict set of rules and guidelines and plan for every foreseeable outcome, you’re bound to run into problems in the implementation phase. It’s like going fishing without knowing where the lake is.

3. Failing to establish limitations


Without a doubt, all IT projects are liable to a number of changes and additions that would improve its functionality to various extents. However, continuing to perform alterations and adding features without any restrictions, rather than focusing on the core concept inevitably leads to missed deadlines and growing expenditures. Furthermore, those features might not even be useful in the greater order of things.

4. Refusing to pull the plug on a doomed project

Similarly to a poker player who continues to increase his bids in an attempt to recuperate his losses, some managers continue to fund IT projects that are evidently doomed. In other words, because they have already invested significant company resources, pulling the plug seems like a mistake. However, it’s always better to monitor the project in various stages and evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility than to persist in error despite the evidently negative outcome. Set milestones and goals for each of them, and you’ll be able to achieve a clear picture of how well the project is doing.

5. Calculating the ROIs wrongly and overestimating the lifespan of the solution

All IT projects should be evaluated based on their ROI, and this is particularly true when the anticipated expenditure is limited whereas the benefits are presumed to be spectacular. What may initially appear as low cost or even free could come with unexpected piling costs later on that render the whole affair counterproductive.

Finally, don’t forget to plan the strategy for the final days of the IT solution you intend to implement. As the project progresses, you will be faced with numerous requests for additions, tweaking, updates and maintenance expenses. There is a threshold after which it would be better to implement a new solution rather than pour vast amounts of resources into up-keeping the current one. To avoid failure, it will also be best to go for IT consulting services so that you will not waste time and money on IT solutions that will not work for your business.