What’s the Difference Between IT Services & Consultancy?

Posted By: Helen Wednesday 26th September 2018 Tags: , , , , ,

Today we will identify the key differences between IT services and consultancy and how each of these are beneficial within every functioning business.

Where do we begin?
Let’s go broad. A service means the provision of something whereas consultancy allows for the offering of a professional opinion. Think about your business. Where are you in your journey? Are you looking to grow steadily or scale quickly? Do you wish to be heavily involved in the IT side of your company or are you happy for it to be handled? Where is your time best spent? So many questions, and today we will help you to answer them.

Let’s break each one down and discuss;

IT Services are those carried out either by an individual or company working in the IT sector. Services include software development, PC builds, the management of data recovery, cloud services, backups, security systems and more. Each of these elements are actively managed by an individual that’s qualified to do so.

IT Consultancy job roles include anything from developer to architect, software engineer, product owner and more. The idea here is to provide a consultative experience to those companies with not enough knowledge to facilitate this themselves.

Ok, so those are the generic translations of both IT services and consultancy. Shall we dig a little deeper?

IT Services Uncovered!
IT services relate heavily to the management of infrastructure. This is a fundamental part of any functioning company, required to be in place for not only daily tasks but for business progression. IT service providers offer solutions that they use on a daily basis which come industry recommended. Often, services overlap with a consultative role and we will look at this in more detail now.

IT Consultancy Investigated!
It’s extremely important to carry out some research before embarking upon IT consultancy. The advice given should come from a knowledgeable, reputable and professional background. This person is going to be your ‘go to’ for advice, guidance and overall IT strategy. This has to fit inline with and be beneficial to the running of your business. A good consultant will be able to advise on what to house in data centres as opposed to in the cloud. They will have a well formed opinion on the kind of technology and functionality required within the company and how this will benefit them in terms of progression.

But there are some clear fundamentals;
As with any sector, there are certain factors that should be adhered to. IT consultancy is no different. Let’s take a look.

It’s all about the Relationship
Without a good working relationship, clients or potential customers are not likely to take any of the advice you give, on board. At LaneSystems we bear a huge emphasis on client relations. It is a very big deal to us and has allowed us to progress as a business. Building up trust allows IT consultants to be involved in the further growth of a client’s company.

LaneSystems Top Tip
‘Understand fully the needs of your client. Learn their company history, goals, targets and fears. Distinguish their human side from the professional. Your success in building a relationship heavily relies upon how you engage with the person as opposed to technical abilities’.

Be Clear about your Role
Where are your boundaries? It is obvious that you are aware of these but is your client? When entering into a consultative role you are making a commitment. It’s important that both parties know exactly what this entails. Get everything out in the open as opposed to merely ‘in your own head’.

LaneSystems Top Tip
‘To be successful you must manage expectations from the offset. Highlight exactly what you are responsible for and what is expected of your client’.

Visualise Success with your Client
Your role as IT consultant is central to the results in this area of a company. By creating a mental picture together, all expectations are taken into consideration, noted and understood. Successful visualisation helps with point number one, ‘building a relationship’.

LaneSystems Top Tip
‘Agree upon goals in this manner and you will successfully reach the end point of each task. Working this way helps to clarify efforts and clears away extraneous issues and barriers’.

Advising Versus Deciding
Remember, your job as an IT consultant is to advise on best practice. As a professional, the advice given should be in the best interests of the client. Keep in mind that any decisions made by your client means they then have to live alongside them and work with them moving forwards. You provide the guidance based on the scenario and your client has the final say based on ALL of the circumstances.

LaneSystems Top Tip
‘As difficult as it may be, aim to push emotional attachment to specific solutions or technology, away. Advice and guidance needs to be inline with the specific needs of your client. Keep in mind that your client knows their working environment inside out’.

Focus on Results
Remember the goals you set with your client? These need to be reached and it’s highly important to do so in order to maintain trust and further build that ever-important relationship. Yes, you’re employed in an advisory role but are likely to be relied upon for successful implementation.

LaneSystems Top Tip
‘Consider implementation issues when engaging. Look at your clients willingness to change. Investigate their corporate culture, communication and training channels. Prepare your client for ‘real world’ issues in terms of implementation and system operation’.

Do I need an IT Consultant or Managed IT Services?
A valid question to be asked by each and every business. What are the needs of your company? What are your goals? Are you looking at a large growth plan over the next 12, 24, 36 months? What exactly is your company trying to accomplish? Once you have answered these questions it needs to be determined whether or not you and your team have the SKILLS and TIME between you to gain the results you want, without outside help. You will notice the two words in bold in the previous sentence. This is because so many companies try to keep everything ‘in house’ in order to save on cost. What they often don’t realise is that by doing this, they aren’t saving on time. This eventually equates to a greater cost based on the fact that staff members are taken away from regular duties in order to look at IT related quandaries.

Looking to map out goals and strategies for your business? Start with an IT Consultant.

Require assistance on strategy implementation? Speak to an IT Managed Service specialist.

Need help with planning and implementation? Ask for recommendations to a company that will consult and supply, just like we do.

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