Technology can easily make or break your business. Use the right technology in all the right places, and your business can go further than you ever imagined.
However, get caught using the wrong technology, and things won’t go nearly as well for you. In fact, your business could very well cease to be a business at all.
This is largely due to the fact that technology plays a role in almost every facet of your day-to-day operations. From customer service and employee morale to cash flow and product delivery, technology affects it all.
To keep your technology working and working well, it’s important to partner with industry experts. More specifically, through IT consulting.
But why do you need to partner with an IT Consultant, and what benefits will one bring to your business?
We’re glad you asked.
1. The problems
Some people throw out the phrase IT Consulting like it’s the end-all-be-all of operating solutions. And while it can’t exactly solve every problem your business encounters, it can solve quite a few of them.
With the right guidance and some in-depth planning, IT Consulting can help your business leverage technology in a better, more efficient manner. And as a result, your team can improve productivity, reduce downtime, and limit everyday obstacles.
Here are a few of the biggest problems IT Consulting can solve for your business.
Spin the bottleneck.
When you run a business, there are a lot of moving pieces. From customers and employees to software and hardware, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong or to perform differently than intended.
For most companies, they experience this in the form of bottlenecks or simple inefficiencies. At first, these bottlenecks and inefficiencies can appear seemingly insignificant. And the downtime and stress that stem from them might be barely noticeable in the grand scheme of things.
For example, is it really all that bad if 20 employees share one printer that happens to be located in the back of the building? Or is it really all that terrible if your store has one phone and sometimes it continues to ring when an employee picks it up?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Over time, however, problems like these can escalate into something more. They can start to affect other pieces of your infrastructure or break down connected processes and procedures. On top of this, the downtime can continue to build up and eventually cost your business more time and money than it can afford to spend.
Another one bites the dust.
Internal issues can sometimes go above and beyond one or two bottlenecks. In fact, quite often it can be a direct result of the software you use and the hardware you rely on.
In other words, even if you install a second phone and get someone to fix that incessant ringing, you still might have some major operating kinks to work out.
As an example, maybe the phone itself is out-of-date and lacking features. Or perhaps the type of communication platform you’re working on simply isn’t flexible enough, and you need something that’s easier to scale and much more mobile.
In a situation like this, you need to update and modernize the technology itself (and not just the way it’s laid out). If you don’t, then you can realistically suffer from inefficiencies that can ultimately cost your business more than a little bit of money and time. These are the types of issues that can have a negative impact on your professional reputation, customer service, and product delivery.
But what if you’re talking expansion? What if you’re looking to transition to a new location or if you’re thinking about adding a second location? At this point, technology can play a major role in how successful this endeavor is.
For example, if you’re adding a second location, then you need to set up your infrastructure in a way that encourages seamless communication between the two offices. But of course, that’s only the beginning of things.
You also need your second location to be built from top to bottom in a way that resonates well with your first location. You can’t exactly set up a second shop for the same “brand” that is different than the first shop — that will only confuse employees and customers alike. Imagine going to a Chipotle that uses different technology and processes to serve you than the Chipotle you went to last week.
Growth isn’t an easy process for any company. But with the wrong technology in place, this growth can certainly be much harder than it has to be. However, with the right help, tools, and planning, growth can become a more natural process for all involved.
2. The IT Consulting problem-solving process
So you know problems exist, and an IT Consultant’s job is to help you eliminate (or reduce) the occurrence of said problems … but how exactly does this work?
What does the problem-solving process look like and what steps should an IT Consultant take to help out your business?
Well, typically, it goes a little something like this:
Step 1: A deep dive
A good IT Consultant can’t do very much good unless they take a deep dive into your current infrastructure. In other words, they need to know what goes where, who does what, and why things are the way they are.
Step 2: An open discussion
After an IT Consultant understands the lay of the land, it’s time to figure out what your company wants. Where do you want your business to go and how do want it to get there? An IT Consultant should never jump straight from the deep dive into the implementation phase. If that’s the case, then cracks will form and the important details will be missed.
Step 3: An honest assessment
Once the consultant understands how your company operates and what it is you envision for the future, then it’s time to build a plan. An experienced IT Consultant should have the ability to build a custom solution that aligns short-term needs with long-term goals — whether this involves something as simple as an everyday bottleneck or something as involved as a second office location.
Step 4: An epic proposal
Once the IT Consultant builds your plan of attack, they should take the time to sit down with your team and explain how everything will play out. It’s important that both companies — not just the IT Consultant — understand the implementation of a new technology from top to bottom. This will ensure greater efficiency and a better chance of success.
Step 5: A fully managed build
After the plan is approved and all the kinks are worked out, the IT Consultant should fully manage the implementation from beginning to end. They should keep the ball rolling at all times and help your team avoid downtime and operating issues in the process.
Step 6: A reliable outlet
A quality IT Consultant understands that their job isn’t immediately done after a solution is implemented. Instead, they will provide your team with a reliable support outlet to ensure the new solution works as intended.
3. The benefits
At this point, you should have the consulting process down. The consultant closely works with you and your team, develops a comprehensive solution to solve a problem, and your company becomes more efficient as a result.
Sounds simple enough, right?
But aside from efficiency, what are the other benefits of partnering with an IT Consultant?
Let’s get on another level.
Technology is one of the easiest ways to improve productivity. It’s also one of the easiest ways to decrease it. However, with an IT Consultant at your side, you can make sure that your technology helps your productivity more than hurts it.
An IT Consultant can improve your day-to-day productivity in a variety of ways. But for starters, a consultant can help you find technology that simply works better for your team — technology that makes more sense and aligns better with your product offering and individual workflows.
Secondly, they can find innovative ways to streamline (and even automate) certain processes. This means your team can reduce the overall time and effort spent on individual tasks and projects.
And lastly, think about how difficult it can be to remain productive when you’re left to work with outdated and poorly maintained hardware. It’s pretty tough. An IT Consultant can provide you with the means to better maintain the technology you currently have, or they can help you replace your outdated equipment with more modern solutions.
There’s no “off” switch here.
At the end of the day, bad technology leads to downtime. Whether this technology is bad because it’s outdated or bad because it just doesn’t work, both situations involve a hefty degree of downtime that could have been avoided.
Not only can an IT Consultant show you how to eliminate recurring downtime, but they can make sure downtime is avoided when new solutions are implemented. And ultimately, this will save your company money, reduce on-the-job stress, and keep your professional reputation intact.
We don’t believe in lonely wallets.
A large majority of companies struggle with the ongoing costs associated with technology. From repairs and maintenance to updates and upgrades, technology can cost a company a lot more than it can afford to spend.
An IT Consultant is an expert at hunting down the pathways that can help your company reduce some of these ongoing costs. This new path can incorporate something as involved as virtualization and cloud computing or something as simple as a new desktop or software solution.
But again, whether this process is involved or not, an IT Consultant will stick with your company from beginning to end to make sure everything runs smoothly and works well.
Hey there, good lookin’.
Let’s face it. The better your technology is, the better your employees can work. With reliable technology, your team will have what it needs to get things done and to get them done quickly.
An IT Consultant can easily make this a reality for your company. However, better-performing employees aren’t the only benefit of better technology. Your company also stands to benefit from better employees altogether.
If your staff has what it needs to effectively handle day-to-day tasks, then this means that your company sets people up for success. And when this happens, your company will suddenly start to keep and attract more talented individuals.
Build up your competitive edge.
With all these benefits combined — a larger talent pool, greater productivity, increased cost-efficiency — your competitive edge will naturally increase.
You will have more time to experiment with different products and services. You will have more money to invest in better processes and tools. You will have more experienced employees to build a more intelligent business. And you will have the reliable technology you need to remain productive and efficient at all hours of the day.
Ultimately, this all combines to give your business the push it needs to successfully compete with other businesses.
4. What does this look like?
Wondering how IT Consulting would play out in real life? Here’s a simple example.
It went a little somethin’ like this …
What is it about your technology that’s pushing your buttons, putting your team down, and causing things to slip and slide all over your business?
Big Bob’s Barbecue Joint is a local favorite. He serves great food at his shop and caters large events for local companies.
However … he has a few problems.
For starters, his phone system is always causing problems. No one can ever get through; he has no auto-attendant feature, and when he’s out of the office, he’s forced to give out his cell phone number to clients.
On top of that, he struggles with his complimentary Wi-Fi connection, and the equipment he’s using to process and store customer data isn’t exactly the most up-to-date or secure.
Break it down.
- Unreliable phone system
- Spotty Wifi connection
- Outdated hardware
- Unsecured customer data
Hypothetically speaking, what would be your ideal IT situation? In other words, what do you wish technology could do for your business?
And so the story continues …
Big Bob knows he has some problems. This much is obvious.
But what exactly would Big Bob say he needs to create a simpler, more efficient business?
First and foremost, Big Bob needs to get his phone system sorted out. He would like to be able to answer calls outside the restaurant … without using his personal line to do so. On top of that, he’d also like better-performing phones that do more than just make and receive calls (or in his case, that do more than just ring).
Secondly, he needs to work on supplying a better connection for his customers. It’s important that his customers have easy and secure access to the internet when they’re at his restaurant. How else are they going to snap, share, and post about his barbecue greatness?
And last but not least, his back-office equipment and data practices are not ideal. He’s working with outdated software, poorly maintained hardware, and a system that’s anything but secure. It slows things down and causes more headaches than he can handle.
Share the recipe.
- Better communication
- Solid connections
- Secure customer data
- Modern equipment
If you don’t have to go it alone, then don’t. An IT Consultant can help you achieve your ideal infrastructure, intelligently.
The end is merely another beginning …
Every day Big Bob is affected by messy technology. It hurts his productivity, damages his competitive edge, and taints his company’s reputation.
If he wants to put an end to all of this — and for good — he’ll need the help of a professional.
With professional help, Big Bob can find, implement, and maintain the right solutions for his business. He can improve communication, strengthen his internet connection, layer on the protection, and modernize his working environment. And he can do all of this for the lowest cost, in the quickest way, and for the littlest hassle.
But how is all of this possible?
It’s simple, really. Well … for Bob, at least.
An IT Consultant can complete a thorough analysis of Big Bob’s current infrastructure and help him determine which technologies are right for his business. Then, with a technology roadmap, the consultant can create Big Bob’s ideal path towards better technology. And with dedicated project management, the consultant can lead Big Bob’s Barbecue Joint down its custom-built path.
Plan the fixings.
- Technology roadmap
- Project Management
- Internal audits
- Detailed reporting
With the right tweaks in the right places, your business can do much more and go much further than you ever expected.
The beginning of something magical …
Big Bob’s Barbecue Joint fully embraced the power of the IT Consultant, technology roadmap and all.
As a result, Big Bob was able to transform his restaurant into a well-oiled machine. But how exactly did this happen?
For starters, Big Bob transitioned over to VoIP. He can now transfer office calls to any mobile device (which means he can stop giving out his personal number), and he can benefit from all the modern calling features VoIP has to offer — like voicemail-to-email and auto-attendant.
He also transitioned to a cloud-based platform. He’s now using modern software to handle his day-to-day operations (software he can access from anywhere, with any device), and he’s benefiting from built-in data protection.
Along with new routers, Big Bob’s cabling infrastructure was also reworked to allow for more bandwidth and an upgraded circuit speed. As a result, his complimentary Wi-Fi connection is much stronger and much more reliable. (His customers are now snapping up a storm.)
Since Big Bob’s Barbecue Joint received a much-needed technology makeover, Big Bob can finally focus on innovating with new recipes and reaching out to the community.
Experience the outcome.
- Transition to VoIP
- Implement multi-layer protection
- Migrate to the cloud
- Rework the cabling infrastructure
Here at DNG, we have decades of combined experience delivering IT Consulting services to Colorado businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Whether you’re in the middle of an office renovation, adding a second location, or improving processes, we can help. Our team of network engineers can help your company leverage technology in a way that best fits your short-term needs and long-term goals.
If you’d like to learn more about our IT Consulting services, then give us a call or shoot us a message. We’d love to chat.