What is an IT Consultant, and why do you need one?

What is an IT Consultant, and why do you need one?

During COVID-19 lockdown periods, every business is affected. Instead of being baffled, there are two ways any business can look at a situation – they see it as a problem or an opportunity to rise and shine.

However, most SME companies and businesses in Malaysia have been having difficulties in taking advantage of the opportunities presented, therefore they have resorted to hiring professionals to guide them in such situations. Most of them that took the opportunities have soared higher than before COVID-19 and now have gained a big competitive edge post-pandemic.

An Information Technology Consultant (IT Consultant) is often the person or team companies turn to when looking to overcome a challenge, scale, or maintain their status.

But who are these people, and what do they do? How can they help? Also, how would you know if your company needs an IT consultant?

The article will discuss everything you need to know before hiring one for your company.

 

What is an IT Consultant?

They are experienced professionals who can help companies and businesses seize most of the opportunities available and tackle any upcoming IT challenges.

Various SME companies hire them as employees or on a contractual basis to ensure that they meet their respective business goals through digitalisation.

What does an IT Consultant do?

An IT consultant can help companies and businesses achieve objectives or benefits as below: –

  • Operate effectively and efficiently

  • Gain competitive edge

  • Lower the expenses

  • Increasing profitability

  • Utilizing suitable & scalable technology

  • Finding better vendors

They are usually familiar with a wide range of IT solutions and have good technical and communications skills.

Summing up, they will be actively engaged in the process of planning, implementation, and business development. They directly collaborate with the top management and owners to form IT strategies that will help the company reach their digital transformation goal.

Businesses that need an IT consultant?

Do your business need an IT consultant or is fine without one?

It’s not just about guessing or being unsure, because it involves a lot more consideration and commitment regardless of whether your business needs one or not.

An IT consultant has the expertise and knowledge necessary to help your business overcome any digitalization hurdles it may face. They can also grow your company and help you remain competitive in the market.

Here are some of the businesses that may need an IT consultant:

  • Businesses looking to start their digital transformation journey.

  • Businesses looking to grow significantly through information technology.

  • Businesses looking to operate effectively and efficiently through automation.

  • Businesses looking to expand their market share through digital marketing.

  • Businesses that are not able to catch up with the digital era.

 

Type of Information Technology Consulting Services

Regardless of your company type, business size or desired IT solutions or IT services, you can find the right IT consultant that can help you get what you need.

Most of the time the IT consulting services provider will discuss and gather your requirements beforehand. It is also to make sure that they can deliver the solutions or services accordingly.

Digital Transformation Consulting

Digital transformation consulting is a relatively new field that has the potential to change the way companies do business. The IT consultant will improve your business efficiency by planning, prioritizing and guiding your digital transformation initiatives.

They usually have extensive experience in one or more areas of business, such as marketing, finance, and operations.

Common digital transformation areas:

  • Digital customer experience: eCommerce, omnichannel sales, remote servicing, Point of Sale (POS) system.
  • Digital Marketing: Web development, social media marketing, online advertising, Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Digital Finance: ERP, accounting system, e-procurement, multi-channel order management, logistic integrations.
  • Digital Work Environment: Remote working, daily workflow automation, team collaboration and e-learning.

IT Project Management

IT project management is the process of managing and overseeing IT projects so that they are completed on time and within budget.

The general process includes planning, executing, controlling, and closing a project. The IT consultant will be responsible for coordinating activities within one or multiple IT projects to achieve faster workflow and quality results.

Common scope of IT project management service:

  • Supporting you even before IT project development, offering technical expertise, requirements gathering, and vendor vetting.
  • Planning the project life cycle with a clear definition of the project scope, goals, stakeholders, timeline and budget.
  • Communicate with stakeholders on what is expected to deliver, and why it matters.
  • Monitoring and enhancing project performance with regular follow-up and updates.
  • Closing of IT projects with third-party testing, implementation support and knowledge transfers to your organisation.

IT Assessment & Operations Consulting

The IT Assessment & Operations Consulting services can help you identify areas of improvement in your IT infrastructure. The IT consultant will look at the analytics of the current situation and suggest ways to improve it, be it by reducing costs, increasing efficiency or improving security.

This is an important part of any organization’s management strategy and can discover opportunities to improve your IT infrastructure’s efficiency, security, and compliance.

Common scope of IT assessment & operations consulting service:

  • Diagnosing and troubleshooting IT operational inefficiencies in terms of supply chain management, procurement, manufacturing, service operations, ITSM, etc.
  • Analyzing your current hardware, software and third-party service providers, providing comparison analysis with alternatives.
  • Planning ways to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of your IT operations by automating processes, utilizing cloud computing solutions, artificial intelligence-assisted applications, etc.
  • Building IT change management best practices, issue tracking and team collaboration tools, and more.

IT Infrastructure Consulting

IT infrastructure consulting is a service to ensure the stability and flexibility of your IT infrastructure with business continuation & disaster recovery capabilities.

This type of work can be done by your in-house IT department employees or outsourced to IT consultants who specialize in this type of work. Having an external IT consultant with different experiences is valuable in bringing in more preventive measures.

Prevention is better than cure!

Common scope of IT infrastructure consulting service:

  • Monitoring your servers, network, data centre, cloud computing services like AWS, and applications.
  • Incident troubleshooting, root cause analysis and incident prevention.
  • Enhancing the cybersecurity of your IT infrastructure and patching detected vulnerabilities.

IT Software Implementation

A well-planned IT software implementation can be a crucial success factor for the company. The process of implementing IT software is often described as a “journey” that includes five stages: assessment, planning, deployment, operation and optimization.

IT consultants will provide you with support and expertise in going through all five stages. To adopt suitable software for your business objective, strategize ahead, and be able to scale later when your business grows.

Common scope of IT software implementation service:

  • Analyzing your business needs and scoping software functionality.
  • Deciding the solution and vendor (taking into account the budget, number of users, the existing software ecosystem, and more factors).
  • Training for end users to ensure software adoption with software support and maintenance.
  • If your business requires a custom software solution, the consultant will work with the software developer to make sure the software functionality is suitable for your business processes.

 

Advantages of hiring an IT Consultant

All companies, irrespective of their size and industry can benefit significantly by hiring an IT consultant.

Here are the advantages of hiring an IT Consultant to take note of:

  • They offer an outsider’s perspective of the situation, something which is often missing and can help better tackle the problem at hand.
  • They have vast experience across industries, enabling you to get invaluable insights.
  • They are instrumental in helping design new IT infrastructures or improve the existing ones.
  • They can help optimize costs by pinpointing pain points and the scope of improvement.
  • These experts bring a robust network created via years of experience.

 

How to choose a reliable IT Consultancy services provider in Malaysia?

An IT consulting services provider plays a crucial role in streamlining processes, finding and implementing cost-saving measures, and other key areas where companies require expert advice.

But how do you know if your chosen one is the right fit for your company?

Here are some factors to consider while choosing a reliable IT consulting services in Malaysia –

1. Determine if your business requires a consultant

Before you start looking for the perfect consultant, it’s important to consider whether your company needs one.

For this, answering the following questions will give you a precise way forward –

  • Do you need expertise from an IT consultant rather than from a software provider or a computer shop?
  • Do you need a solution that tackles the root cause of a problem rather than just a temporary quick fix?
  • Would you be willing to execute long-term plans to gain a compounding competitive advantage over time?
  • Would you be willing to involve an IT consultant as one of the decision-makers in the company’s operations?

2. Ask for references

Now that you know that you need an IT consultant, the next step is to utilize your existing network to find out potential IT consultants who can be of help.

Most of them will have a strong online presence, such as a website or social media. These are good places to start understanding the services they offer and what they specialize in. Normally there will be some case studies from their previous projects and third-party reviews from their clients.

While third-party reviews are helpful, having a recommendation from someone you know, such as a partner, a business owner, or a colleague, can often prove more reliable.

3. Vet the potential consultant

Once you have a list of potential candidates ready, you need to go through the websites of those companies to understand their services and what approach they take for a project.

You can also arrange for a meeting with them and get to know them better. Ask questions related to your expectations and get to know about their hands-on experience to ensure that the knowledge they have will be helpful for your business.

Most importantly, are they willing to listen to you to understand more about your business and challenges? It is very critical that an IT consultant puts himself in your shoes to understand your business needs before proposing a solution.

4. Settle reasonable timeline and delivery expectations

Once you have found the right IT consultant, the next step is to discuss the deliverables of the engagement.

Because information technology consultancy is mostly about solving a problem or a handful of them, it is vital to have reasonable knowledge of deliverables and timelines. It will help you both to be in sync and create an environment where the project can be executed effectively and efficiently.

 

Partner with Kiizen IT Consulting Sdn Bhd to gain a competitive advantage and solve issues

An IT consultant is a job that requires in-depth expertise with a problem-solving attitude.

If done incorrectly, it can be detrimental to your company.

Alternatively, finding a suitable IT consultancy service will help you leverage their expertise to solve unwanted bottlenecks and gain a competitive advantage.

At Kiizen IT Consulting Sdn Bhd, we specialize in a variety of information technology consulting services dedicated to solving different problems that threaten to derail your business. We believe in giving you the best and work towards ensuring it with suitable and scalable solutions and services.

Explore the services we offered

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Ryan Chuah
Ryan Chuah

Ryan Chuah is an experienced IT consultant specializing in SME digitalization. Drawing from his background in software development, internet industries, and professional firms, Ryan identified the gap between IT and business.

As the founder of Kiizen IT Consulting Sdn Bhd, he's committed to offering tailored, scalable, strategic, and supportive IT solutions for SMEs. With a deep understanding of both IT and business requirements, Ryan consistently delivers practical and innovative solutions in our ever-evolving technological landscape.

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