What Do IT Consultants Do? Responsibilities and Hiring Process Explained

16 FEB 2021
137 VIEWS
10 MIN

Share

Having a startup company or medium business, you may feel a lack of tech expertise at some point. IT consultants can help you find the best tech solutions to improve your workflow or automate your business processes.

But first, you need to understand what IT consultants do and how they can be useful for your company.

You can find the explanation of IT consultant responsibilities in this post. I’ve also covered how to hire IT consultants and what are the ways to cooperate with them.

Table of contents

What Do IT Consultants Do?

The right IT consultant can save you thousands of dollars. But it can be a struggle to find a qualified specialist with the required expertise. Moreover, you should trust the IT consultant you work with as you share access to your servers and internal business process.

To understand how important the choice of the right consultant is, you have to be aware of the IT consultant’s responsibilities and when you need to hire one.

IT Consultant Responsibilities

Gather requirements and business data

IT consultants collect and analyze every piece of information about your business: industry, company’s workflow, work scope, and so on.

Suggest improvements

Based on the collected information, IT consultants offer solutions to improve your business processes. They tend to pick the solutions according to the company’s resources and deadlines.

Manage the development team

In case you need to build software from scratch, the IT consultant cooperates with the development team. They manage the development processes and offer tech improvements. IT consultants also transfer all the technical and non-technical requirements to the developers.

Check the software

IT consultants have to make sure that the freshly built software meets all the requirements and works as intended. Together with Quality Assurance engineers, they test the final product to deliver a bug-free solution.

What do IT  consultants do?

What do IT consultants do?

Of course, IT consultants have more responsibilities. I’ve covered only the most wide-spread ones. Among other responsibilities are:

  • Hiring IT professionals
  • Choosing tech stack
  • Improving the architecture

Discover what software consulting is and when you need to hire a software development consultant.

Where to Find IT Consultants?

You understand that you have a lack of tech expertise and want to cooperate with an IT consultant. Where to find IT consultants?

There are several options:

  • Look around. You can cooperate with software development companies that you’ve already dealt with.
  • Ask for recommendation. If you already work with software service providers, you can ask them for references of a consulting firm they know.
  • Check Clutch or GoodFirms, if you’re looking for software development companies that offer IT consultants. Using these platforms, you can study the companies’ reviews and other customers’ feedback.
  • Consider a freelancer. There are a lot of platforms like Upwork where you can hire a freelance IT consultant. There you’ll find reviews from previous clients and skills of a specialist.

Need an IT consultant?

Contact us to get your free initial tech consultation.

What to Choose: Freelancer or Software Development Company?

The most popular options of hiring IT consultants remain software development companies and freelancers. Especially if you want to save some money and have an option for offshore outsourcing.

Freelance IT consultants

Freelance is becoming more popular these days. However, it’s not the best option for an IT consultant. The IT consulting position requires long-term cooperation, while freelancers often quit the project without finishing it.

Besides, it can be quite complicated to check the quality of work unless you're a tech guru.

If you decide to use this model, then make sure that the freelancer is reliable. You can look through feedback on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

Where to look for:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Freelancer

Software development company

Apart from software development services, IT firms often provide IT consulting. Cooperating with a software company, you can reduce the time required for interviewing candidates and end up paying less.

Where to look for:

  • Clutch
  • GoodFirms
  • IT Firms
Where to find IT consultants

Where to hire IT consultants

Why Pick a Software Development Company

Access to broad knowledge and expertise

You can interview several candidates from a software development company. In outsourcing IT companies, there are more candidates with the necessary experience, so you can hire an IT consultant faster.

Ability to focus on primary tasks

You as a business owner have many things to focus on. An urgent tech update can take a lot of time, so it’s better to have a reliable specialist to conquer these tasks.

Reduced expenses

You can reduce costs on IT consultants since they provide you with a plan that fits your budget. Working with a freelancer, you don’t usually know the final cost. IT consultants from software development companies provides you with a plan that you should approve. This plan consists of all the required steps to integrate improvements.

Boost productivity and performance

There’s no need to deny — technology increases productivity. They make communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing faster. As a result, your employees show better results.

Modern technologies

Technologies change fast, so IT consultants follow trends and offer modern solutions. Software development consultants assist businesses in technology selection and implementation to help them save money in the long-term.

Why Your Business Needs an IT Consultant

There can be a lot of reasons to hire an IT consultant.

  • In-house specialists don’t have the required skills and knowledge.
  • You don’t need a full-time, permanent employee. You’re looking for a specialist that can fulfill the necessary scope of work.
  • You want in-depth third-party research for your company’s processes.

However, the most wide-spread reasons to cooperate with an IT consultant are:

Tech plan

IT consultants analyze all your requirements and business goals. Based on this data, they create a tech plan and describe the strategy to implement improvements. An IT consultant prioritizes tasks not to interrupt the business operations but to integrate new solutions as fast as possible.

Up-to-date technologies

Technologies change fast. Developers introduce new frameworks and libraries every day. IT consultants monitor these changes and decide what technologies can be beneficial for your business.

Trends to follow

To speed up the company’s growth, an IT consultant has to keep an eye on the modern trends and decide whether to follow them or not. On top of that, they monitor the competitors’ solutions to be aware of the latest changes.

Steps to Hire an IT Consultant in 2021

It can be a struggle to hire a qualified and experienced IT consultant, especially if you don’t have tech expertise.

There are several primary steps for you to follow while hiring an IT consultant.

Steps to hire IT consultant

Process of hiring IT consultant

Step #1. Define Your Requirements

You need to clearly understand why you need an IT consultant. Otherwise, you’ll just waste time and money.It’s better to have a list of your expectations from a specialist and tasks for an IT consultant to do.

Based on these requirements, you can consult with a software development company. They’ll offer you a specialist that meets your requirements.

Step #2. Select Several Vendors

I’ve already mentioned platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms where you can find the clients’ reviews. You can contact several vendors and pick the right partner.Ratings and review platforms tend to verify customers’ feedback, so you can be sure that all the comments are valid.

Every reliable vendor has a portfolio with previous works. You can look through the released tech products on the company’s website. For example, here’s Cleveroad’s portfolio.

Studying the company’s portfolio, you can find if it worked on similar projects before. It approves the vendors’ expertise in the required field.

Need an IT consultant?

We have been consulting clients for 6+ years. Book a consultation now, it’s free.

Step #3. Protect Your Data

Don’t forget to protect your data.

You need to choose a partner who guarantees the safety of your data and is ready to sign the appropriate documents.

It’s better to sign an NDA agreement before discussing the project.

NDA agreement covers such aspects as the procedure of data collection, transfer, access, and more.

Also, software development companies should follow the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Step #4. First Interview

You need to prepare for the IT consultant interview. It’s better to consider the communication channel beforehand (if you have different time zones). It’s common to have the first contact with the company’s representative via phone call.

Phone call

The first meeting lets you share expectations, business goals, and requirements. You can also check the IT consultant’s CVs, skill set, and more.

It's better to arrange the video interview during the phone call to test the candidates' hard and soft skills. It’s required to have a tech specialist from your side or independent expert unless you’re a tech guru. The first phone call takes 20-30 minutes. This time is enough to draw up the first impression of the candidate.

Video interview

During this interview, you need to check if the IT consultant has the required expertise and experience to improve your business processes. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to test the developers’ hard skills without a technical background. You should interview candidats with your in-house developer (if you have one). Otherwise, you can cooperate with a tech consultant like a CTO specialist.

IT consultants should also have soft skills to manage the team effectively. There’s a PDF file with interview questions to ask an IT consultant during the interview.

You need to check the following soft skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Conflict management
  • Work in a team
  • Adaptability
  • Dedication

Step #5. Sign a Contract

Unlike other hiring opritions (like a freelancer), you can draw up a contract with the company and be protected in accordance with the law.

A valid contract should contain the following data: full name of the services, price, payment, and delivery procedure. You also need to sign an NDA agreement (if you haven’t yet) to protect your project idea.

Common IT Life Cycle

The IT life cycle can differ depending on your project requirements and business goals. If you need to develop a project from scratch, it’s better to follow the software development process.

I’ve already talked about all phases of the software development life cycle. You can find the stages and tasks of each phase.

IT life cycle to follow

IT life cycle

In most cases, companies stick to the following workflow:

1. Collecting requirements

During this stage, you need to discuss the project requirements with a chosen IT consultant. You define the required features and technologies to implement them.

2. Analysis

An IT consultant defines all the requirements and creates a tech plan. Also, during this stage, you get the estimate and learn timeframes a vendor needs to fulfill the required scope of work.

3. Design

The development starts with the design phase. UI/UX specialists create all the necessary screens and their conditions.

4. Development

It tends to be the longest stage of the software development life cycle. During this stage, the development team implements the required features.

5. Testing

An IT consultant and QA engineers test a product to ensure that everything works as expected.

6. Deployment

The development team works on the project release. They deliver the software to the end-users.

7. Maintenance

To offer a great user experience, you need to support and improve the app constantly. So, it’s better to continue cooperation with the development team.

Software development life cycle

PhaseTasks

Collecting requirements

  • define project requirements
  • clear up the scope of work
  • get a rough estimate done

Analysis

  • analyze project requirements to figure out the risks
  • minimize risks
  • create wireframes and specification
  • figure out the development time and cost
  • set deadlines
  • get the detailed estimate

Design

  • create and pick the visual concept
  • create the design app screen

Development

  • develop an app architecture
  • build the software that meets the requirements

Testing

  • make sure that software meets requirements
  • find and fix bugs

Deployment

  • publish the app
  • deliver software to users

Maintenance

  • support the product
  • improve the app or website

Summing Up

As you can see, IT consultants can bring many benefits to your business. To reach better results and reduce expenses, you can cooperate with a software development company.

Cleveroad is a software development company offering IT consulting services and located in Ukraine, Eastern Europe. We’ve 6+ years of experience working with software of all complexity levels: from modernizing CRM and ERP systems to creating iOS and Android apps from scratch.

We’ve developed solutions from scratch for startups and mid-sized businesses. We have expertise in eight industries including healthcare, education, and logistics.

Software outsourcing – why to Ukraine? We’re outlining seven reasons why Ukraine is an outsourcing destination worth mentioning.

Take a look at the projects we’ve helped to deliver in our portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a startup company or medium business, you may feel a lack of tech expertise at some point. IT consultants can help you find the best tech solutions to improve your workflow or automate your business processes.

  • Gather requirements and business data. IT consultants collect and analyze every piece of information about your business: industry, company’s workflow, work scope, and so on.
  • Suggest improvements. IT consultants offer solutions to improve your business processes.
  • Manage the development team. In case you need to build software from scratch, the IT consultant cooperates with the development team.
  • Check the software. IT consultants have to make sure that the freshly built software meets all the requirements and works as intended.
  • In-house specialists don’t have the required skills and knowledge.
  • You don’t need a full-time, permanent employee. You’re looking for a specialist that can fulfill the necessary scope of work.
  • You want in-depth third-party research for your company’s processes.
  • Look around. You can cooperate with software development companies that you’ve already dealt with.
  • Ask for recommendation. If you already work with software service providers, you can ask them for references of a consulting firm they know.
  • Check Clutch or Goodfirms, if you’re looking for software development companies that offer IT consultants. Using these platforms, you can study the companies’ reviews and other customers’ feedback.
  • Consider a freelancer. There are a lot of platforms like Upwork where you can hire a freelance IT consultant. There you’ll find reviews from previous clients and skills of a specialist.
  • Step #1. Define your requirements
  • Step #2. Select several vendors
  • Step #3. Protect your data
  • Step #4. Interview candidates
  • Step #5. Sign a contract
Rate this article!
21 ratings, average: 4.87 out of 5

Comments

Leave a comment

Latest articles
Start growing your business with us
By sending this form I confirm that I have read and accept the Privacy Policy