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Hiring An IT Consulting Company In Columbus, GA

Every company today needs an IT team, and your Columbus, GA business may work best with outsourced IT. This is true of many companies who do not, themselves, specialize in IT. Even companies with small on-staff IT sometimes need IT consulting for large and one-time projects from local restaurants to industry suppliers. Your company may rely on occasionally hiring an IT consultant, or you may bring on an IT consulting team full-time to provide any support needed along the way. Some teams hire IT as expert reinforcements for their on-board staff. Some use a stack of IT services to keep the business model coasting nearly worry-free.

How do you know if you are hiring the right IT consulting company in Columbus, GA? Hiring the right IT consulting company for your Columbus, Georgia business is vital. It would help if you had a team that has the skills and expertise to provide IT consulting. Your team needs experience with your industry and with the software your business uses to function. Besides, they should know how to secure your digital assets and when to incorporate the Cloud into your IT structure.

Acom: Your IT Consulting Company in Columbus, GA

For your business based in Columbus, Georgia, it can be extremely beneficial to hire a local IT consulting firm that can be there both digitally and physically for your company. Finding the right IT team to outsource with is always the challenge. You want a team that meshes well with your current team knows what they are doing, and has a plan that will benefit your company.

What makes a great IT consulting company?

  • Certified and Proven IT Skills
  • Experience in Your Industry
  • Years in the Business
  • Previous Experience with a Team Like Yours
  • Rapport with the Staff
  • Listens to You
  • Assesses Your Current IT Before Beginning

When choosing an IT consultant, you need someone who suits your needs in a variety of ways. They need to know their stuff and understand the needs of your industry and business. They need to get along well with your current team and listen to you when the company’s goals are outlined. They need a professional demeanor and should perform an independent assessment before making technical recommendations.

To find the right, IT consulting company for your Columbus business means identifying, researching, and then interviewing several providers and finding the best fit at the right price.

The value of a local IT team

When it comes to IT support, there are two types of providers. One provides off-site only work, and one offers on-site technical support with hardware and networks in addition to digital projects and collaborations. Off-site IT can be done remotely, but on-site IT can only be done with a local consultant.

For local businesses, the best option always lies in a local IT team. While remote support is nice, what you need is someone who installs a router or helps you integrate a dozen new kiosks in addition to merely providing consultation and account management from afar.

Questions to Ask Your IT Consulting Company Before Hiring

The search for your IT consultant starts with research. Find several local IT providers in the area, investigate their websites and online reputations, and get in touch for a pre-quote interview. In this case, you will be interviewing your IT consulting options to determine which service provides the best fit for your business.

Ask the eight following questions and seek in-depth answers to identify your top candidates and best IT consultants for your needs.

1) Please Share a Few References from Clients?

The first thing you want to do is determine the veracity and capabilities of each consulting team you consider.  To do this, you’ll want to check out several references from each firm’s past and current clients. Ask your IT firm for a list of emails and phone numbers you can contact for a scope of their previous projects with past clients. They will likely provide you with a list of happy customers and possibly a few past or current business partners to talk to.

References tell you that this IT team delivers satisfactory results. It’s always a relief to see that the online testimonials weren’t just positively worded website filler – that each team truly has provided praise-worthy IT consulting services to other businesses and clients.

Second, references tell you that IT consulting companies are the real deal. Consulting is a common contract-free scam targeted at businesses, so some reference checking is always necessary. Third, checking a few provided references lets you explore the types of companies your IT candidates have worked with before. If the clients referenced are in your industry, then you know you’re in better hands.

Lastly, past clients can give you insights that a quote never will.  Business partner contacts can provide a more interesting perspective. They may tell you how the consultancy is stable or the type of deals offered because of the partnership.

2) What are All the Services You Offer? Can I Bundle?

Most IT teams offer more than one category of services. They might design websites and provide managed IT. They might both redesign and implement new tech stacks for businesses. They might provide mobile app development or specialize in digital transformation for offices. When you’re signing up with an IT team, it’s very worth your while to know everything they offer.

Ask your potential IT team about their full list of services, every single thing they can provide. Go deeper than what is listed on the website and ask how each item benefits clients.

The list allows you to wrap even more services into your partnership. An IT consultant with multiple talents or a team to call upon can provide your business with more tech opportunities than you initially suspected – and often at a bundle price.

Knowing the full list can also give you perspective on what your IT consultants can and cannot do. For example, a long list of possible services likely means you’re working with people who know how to implement each listed item. In comparison, a more limited list may indicate that your IT team focuses down on a few specific skills and specializations.

3) Have You Worked with My Industry Before? In What Context?

Experience in your industry matters. Ask your IT consultant if they have worked with other businesses that share your industry, niche, or business model. It would help if you had an IT team that understands your business’s purpose, the needs of the clients, and how your business model provides for that need. Of course, a team without experience in your field can still be a good match, but you may need to onboard them more thoroughly about the goals they are trying to reach on your company’s behalf.

4) Who Will I Be Working With?

Sometimes it is not clear who will be on the phone and attending meetings when you hire IT consulting from a larger firm. Even small firms may provide service from a pool or assign you a specific consultant or team rep. Always take the time to ask who you will be working with and what you can expect from that relationship when you form a team.

Expert Consultant

You may be working with your expert consultant – someone with the experience and skills to personally assess your IT needs and provide consultations or solutions to be put into action. If what you are seeking is mainly advice, an expert consultant is a more likely contact.

Pool of Experts

A pool of expert team members provides some IT services. This is often the case with managed IT that includes on-call technical support. You may find yourself talking to a different expert each time you call, even if you have an account manager.

Assigned Representative

Account managers, Key account managers, and assigned representatives are all the same thing. This means that one person is attending your case, though they may have an entire team of tech experts to call upon when you need implementation or support.

Partnered Team

In many IT consultancy arrangements, your team and an outsourced IT team will be working together as partners to improve the company IT structure. This is often the approach for large and high-importance technical projects that go beyond what your in-house team can tackle while also performing their usual duties.

5) What Does Your Workflow Look Like? What Can I Expect?

  • Onboarding Time and Process
  • Goals and Progress Reports
  • Timelines and Deadlines
  • Deliverables and Assessment

The workflow is what you can expect in terms of meetings, collaboration, deliverables, and progress reports. Every consultancy has its unique workflow as the result of policies and their IT team members’ styles. Be sure to ask what you can expect as a client when it comes time to start working together. Interviews with past clients can also give you a glimpse into what you can expect.

6) How Do You Handle Client Communications? How Often Will We Hear From You?

Communication is key to a sound IT consultant partnership, but every team is different. Some are incredibly chatty, available for video calls and casual chat at any time, while others can barely be induced to deliver a status report. Asking ahead of time gives you a look at how each team prefers to communicate with clients throughout shared projects and service periods. Asking also allows you to exert your preferences for communication channels and frequency.

7) How Do You Structure Pricing and Services?

Always ask about pricing. Each IT consulting firm approaches service pricing differently. Some offer a flat monthly fee for whatever support services you need, while others charge by the work hour or by the device supported. In some cases, you will find a plan that only charges when you require services. However, the higher-priced services are almost always more encompassing, and a better bundle of support and are more likely to charge a monthly rate. Don’t be surprised to find a combination, such as a monthly rate plus ala-carte support above and beyond standard services.

  • Flat Monthly Fee “All You Can Eat”
  • Per Device
  • Work Hours
  • Per Required Service

8) Will You Walk Me Through the Contract?

Finally, ask your IT consultancy to walk through the hiring contract and explain the purpose or benefit of each clause. Make sure you understand the full terms of the agreement and negotiate when appropriate. This also allows you to fine-tune the services to your company’s precise needs.

Find Your Columbus IT Consulting Company

If you are looking for IT consultant services in Columbus, Georgia, Acom Networks is proud to provide local IT expertise. You can rely on our consultants and support services to keep your Columbus business running smoothly along the cutting edge. Contact us today to find out more and discuss your company’s IT needs.