Business 3 Considerations for IT Analysts and Consultants

3 Considerations for IT Analysts and Consultants

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Vicki Tambellini is the CEO and founder of Tambellini Groupan independent research and consultancy firm for higher education.

There is an unavoidable truth that applies to any major technology investment decision a company makes: It will be a complex, expensive undertaking. With a wide range of cloud-based platforms and software available to help streamline operations, executive leaders are under tremendous pressure to ensure the tools they choose deliver tangible return on investment and align with their organization’s strategic priorities. But finding the most appropriate technology can be a challenge in a market full of competitive vendors who regularly make bold claims about the strength of their solutions.

Companies often lack the in-house resources and time to conduct a detailed assessment and properly research their viable options, so they may choose to rely on information technology analysts and consultancies. Each partner can help them separate the hype from the real value and maximize every dollar spent.

3 key points to consider when working with IT analysts or consultants

Corporate spending on both analyst and advisory services has accelerated in recent years and has reached new heights despite a volatile economy. IBISWorld estimates the market size of IT consulting at $623 billion by 2022. Organizations of all sizes see value in analyst and advisory services, driving strong growth forecasts for both markets in the coming years.

Before a company enters into a partnership, however, executives can benefit significantly from taking the time to understand what analysts and advisory services offer. Here are some key differences to keep in mind and rules of thumb that apply in any industry.

1. Start with the services of an analyst.

The resources that analysts and consultancies provide can complement each other depending on when and how you use their services. I therefore recommend starting with an analyst firm before signing a contract with an IT consultancy.

By design, research analyst firms provide the broadest, unbiased insight into the market. They work independently, regularly attending briefings from supplier product teams and interviewing their customers to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their solutions. Analyst firms then conduct market-wide trends research and in-depth assessments of how different vendors are doing, including detailed analyzes of their product features. Because they are vendor agnostic, analyst firms are excellent resources for vetting the IT consultancies you hire.

2. Consider the size and compensation structures of the company.

Depending on the objectives of your organization, consider whether it makes sense to work with a large or small company. Large companies are best suited to serve a diverse range of issues from very large technology teams, while niche companies provide large-scale research in context for decision-making in a specific industry.

When it comes to pricing, major analyst firms’ annual fees are based on membership type, number of seats, and access to services. Niche company rates tend to be more affordable, but their membership packages vary widely. Be sure to look for services that offer quality services.

Here are two questions to ask when evaluating your options:

• Do they have a proactive customer service model? The best analyst firms take the time to understand your goals and provide personalized research recommendations and strategic guidance. Having access to thousands of reports isn’t very helpful unless you can easily find the most relevant ones and talk to experts who can advise you on how the findings apply to your company’s goals.

• Do their fees include access to research analysts and expert advisors? A one-on-one meeting with an industry analyst can provide valuable insights. But first inquire about availability: how far in advance are appointments made? How many people can attend the meetings? Which services entail additional costs? Does the membership offer flexibility?

3. Take advantage of the relationships with consultancies.

Consulting firms typically have partnership agreements with a limited group of technology vendors, which can be of great benefit to your business. Working with the same vendors on multiple client assignments, IT consultants have specialized expertise in their solutions. Their experience supporting other organizations that have made similar investments can benefit your company in deploying new technology to ensure the process is implemented efficiently and strategically.

As with the IT analyst market, there are large marquee companies and smaller specialized ones. Here are two questions to ask potential consulting partners:

• Does your assigned consulting team include specialists in your industry? While consulting firms have groups focused on a wide variety of industries, don’t assume that means your implementation support team will also include those focused on your company’s industry. Make sure this provision is in your contract.

• Does your designated support team include experts from your chosen vendor? The same caveat applies here. Just because the IT consulting firm has expertise in the vendor solution you have chosen does not mean that your assigned consultants will include those vendor experts. Be clear about how your team is structured to make the most of your engagement.

With all businesses needing to modernize their operations, the need to collaborate with IT analysts and consultancies is likely to increase in the coming years. Choosing the right one can boost your organization’s success and ROI. When leaders deliberately and thoroughly weigh their options for the right knowledge, experience and skills to meet their needs, they are one step closer to improving their operational systems.


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Shreya Christinahttps://ukbusinessupdates.com
Shreya has been with ukbusinessupdates.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider ukbusinessupdates.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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