“Consultancy is more than just giving advice”

What is the role of an IT Consultant?

When you’re asking for a consultant, you need to ask for more than just an adviser!

A consultant must be able to solve a number of different purposes in order to help the process of improving one’s business. Once clarity about certain goals is established, a consultant influences changes in order to get a successful outcome. Here’s some of the things expected from an IT Consultant:

#1 – Problem Solving
Problems are often very closely linked with consultants. Whether it is a client’s wish to buy/sell in a new line of business, make changes to the IT Infrastructure or marketing strategy to be able to adapt to change, or adopting new technologies, it always starts with a problem that needs solving.
Seeking solutions to these problems is one of the main functions of a consultant. However, the consultant must also figure out whether or not a certain problem is repetitive, in order to solve it from its root. Quite often, clients need guidance and help in figuring out what the root of problems are.
For example, your internet connection might be slow, but what is actually causing this problem? Therefore, the role of a consultant is to accurately find out the roots of the client’s troubles so that it does not become repetitive issues.

#2 – Building Commitment
Identifying the nature of problems or opportunities is useful but not complete.
The consultant simply giving an advice means that the recommendations won’t necessarily be implement and valid actions may be withheld.
A consultant must be persuasive and must be able to design and conduct a process as such to explain exactly what steps are necessary and establish the momentum to see these steps through in order for the organisation to reach its goals.

#3 – Teaching the Client
A Consultant must leave behind something of lasting value! While it is important to solve immediate issue, it is important to help them by sharing knowledge and methods to cope with future challenges.
While some may thing, “if I teach them, they won’t need me anymore”, often satisfied clients will recommend a good consultant to others and will invite them back when there next is a need; building relations is essential!