Detroit IT Consulting: How to Choose an IT Consultant
Information technology (IT) plays a significant role in running a successful small business. The right technology systems and processes can help companies keep up with their competitors, maximize productivity, and create lasting customers.
However, it can be overwhelming for small business owners to maintain and keep up with their technology all on their own. They don’t always have the right experience, and they often need guidance when it comes to setting up and fine-tuning their systems.
IT consulting services can help.
Outsourced IT consulting through a managed services provider gives businesses access to experts that help find/implement the best IT solutions. A trained IT consulting team advises companies on the best defenses against security threats, provides access to new technologies, helps with data storage setups, and more.
There are plenty of small businesses in Detroit that could benefit from partnering with IT consulting services. As IT experts ourselves, we consistently meet teams that need some hand-holding as they work toward a better technology infrastructure.
In years past, Detroit has been voted as one of the best places to start a small business or startup in the U.S. You can bet that many of these new companies are just unearthing their technology wants and needs – and they’re struggling to pick the right setups and software.
Professional IT consulting can help small businesses find their footing and stay competitive in their fields.
Do you need some advice when it comes to setting up and maintaining technology for your Detroit business? Here’s everything you need to know about IT consulting.
What is IT Consulting?
Before diving into how IT consulting can benefit your business and tips for finding a great consulting team, let’s discuss what IT consulting is and why it matters.
Outsourced IT consulting is a service provided through many MSPs. This service connects your business with fully dedicated technology experts (consultants) who will help improve your technology inefficacies and offer IT business advice.
IT consultants are trained to spot weaknesses in your IT infrastructure and recommend better solutions for the future. They are more than just advisors – they also provide IT training, automate tedious tasks, and help minimize cyber threats.
The purpose of IT consulting is to improve your business in ways that boost internal workflows, support long-term success, and foster growth from a technology standpoint. Everyone needs a little help every now and then, and partnering with an IT consulting team ensures you always have support when you need it.
What You Want from a Great IT Consultant
Answers Right When You Need Them
Anyone in your company should be able to reach out to expert IT technicians with questions or concerns as they arise – even on weekends and holidays. Your IT consultants will be able to answer IT-related queries from anywhere at any time, which keeps your business productive.
The availability of your consulting team is especially crucial when your business suffers a system failure or cyberattack. It doesn’t matter when the problem occurs – you need expert guidance immediately to avoid prolonged operational downtime and an expensive recovery process.
Effective and Safe Data Solutions
As you probably already know, it’s incredibly important to keep your business data and private consumer information secure. What many people don’t realize is that one storage location isn’t enough. What happens if that server is damaged?
Worthwhile IT consulting services will focus heavily on improving your business’s data backup and storage solutions. Their goal is to prepare you for the worst-case scenario, and they’ll do that by managing things now so you don’t need to later.
More often than not, your IT consultant will talk in-depth with you about secure cloud-based storage options. They’ll educate you on the migration process, what kinds of cloud servers to use, and other important information.
Data compliance can be a confusing task – and one that continuously changes. Industries like healthcare, legal, finance, etc. all have strict regulations they must abide by when it comes to storing and managing client data. Failure to meet these requirements will almost always result in hefty fines – which is marginal in comparison to a tarnished reputation.
An IT consulting firm should be completely up to date on all the latest industry regulations. They will tell you exactly what you need to do, which laws apply to your organization, and ensure you never get fined.
Improved IT Security
Another benefit you’ll receive when working with IT consultants? Better protection.
Adequate IT security can be challenging for small business owners to master. Roughly 47 percent of small businesses don’t know where to begin to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. That’s where an experienced team of consultants can help.
IT consulting can minimize the risk of data breaches, viruses, and other costly outside threats. Trained consultants will recommend and implement advanced multi-level network security solutions that make it difficult for cybercriminals to breakthrough.
Unfortunately, businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to cyberattacks, so don’t assume your small startup won’t be targeted as it’s developing. Just one cyberattack can cost a small business in the United States an average of $200,000, and you probably don’t have that kind of cash laying around right now.
A tip for local businesses: consider hiring local Detroit IT consulting services if you want top-notch advice. IT consultants working in your area will know more about threats common to the region, and they’ll likely provide faster services when they’re in the same time zone.
Effective IT Training for Employees
An IT consultant will also train your employees to use all aspects of your business technology, and more importantly, teach them how to stay safe online. Proper employee IT training helps minimize confusion and supports a productive workflow.
Employee cybersecurity training is essential to business safety, especially when you consider that 88 percent of all cyber breaches are a direct result of human error. IT consulting teams can teach your employees about the true dangers of online threats and how they can avoid them.
Without IT security training, your employees might not know how to protect themselves online and could mistakenly put your whole business at risk. One untrained employee might click on a sketchy link that opens the door to viruses. Another might store data in an unsafe location where cybercriminals can easily access it, putting the entire company in danger.
Access to New and Better Technology
Yet another benefit – working with an IT consulting team ensures you’re always using the latest technology. An IT consultant will offer your business cost-effective tools and software that improve your workplace inefficiencies.
A trustworthy IT consultant won’t recommend unnecessary tools to your business. Instead, they will take the time to fully understand your IT weaknesses and business goals before offering relevant IT solutions. That’s their job.
Increased Business Focus and Productivity
This is the last benefit we want to touch on. IT consulting removes the stress of IT worries from your internal day-to-day responsibilities. When you have experienced professionals looking out for your technology, you can focus on your primary responsibilities of growing your business.
Forget spending hours waffling between one project management platform and another. Stop wasting time Googling answers to cybersecurity questions. An IT consultant takes care of all that and more.
Features to Look for in Detroit IT Consultants
The right IT consultant can offer plenty of benefits to your business, but not every IT consulting service provider is created equally. So, how do you find the best one for your business?
Here are a few attributes to look for in a great Detroit IT consulting firm.
Every credible IT consultant has some form of technical expertise, but we want you to go even deeper in your evaluation. Do they have specific knowledge within your industry? Do they have lots of experience working with your kinds of software and infrastructure?
Technology systems differ from industry to industry. You should look for IT consulting services that understand all aspects of your IT infrastructure and knows your industry well. Otherwise, you might not get the level of advice and expertise you deserve.
Certifications and Qualifications
You must ensure that an IT consulting service is qualified to take on all of your business IT needs.
Look over their certifications, which should be available upon request or openly displayed on their IT consulting page. A qualified managed services provider will be certified in IT security, data management, and other essential areas.
Excellent Communication and Advisory Skills
Finally, a Detroit IT consulting service will need to help your business make practical and effective IT decisions that improve your operations. That’s why excellent communication skills are essential. You want to have an open line of dialogue so that you’re continuously working toward the right objectives and solutions.
Have IT consultants prove that they clearly understand your business needs. Ask them to communicate how their IT solutions will help fulfil your objectives. Get a feel for how they work, and if they seem to have trouble explaining themselves or keeping up with a conversation, move on to a different candidate for IT consulting.
To Wrap It All Up
Hopefully, this post gave you a better understanding of what outsourced IT consulting is, how it can benefit your Detroit business, and how to find the right one.
We cannot express how important it is for local startups (and businesses of all sizes) to have professional guidance when it comes to their technology. Unless you’ve got several tech gurus on your team, you will need assistance when it comes to streamlining performance, protecting your data, and setting yourself up for ongoing success.
Want to learn how working with an IT consultant in Detroit can specifically benefit your business? Let’s find out together.
I’m Dave Goodenough. I started InsideOut Networking in 2004 with the idea that if we could cut through all the jargon and tech speak and just have real conversations about computers and technology, we could help a lot of people out and develop long-term relationships with our clients.
Today, we have over 2,500 clients who trust us to make sure their computers are always up to date and protected from security threats, allowing them to do exactly what they need. If you’d like to find out if we can help your business, please contact us today.