What a Technical Consultant Does for the Small Business Owner

The technical consultant can help the small business owner in many ways. The first thing he or she will do is help you identify your goals, assuming you are the owner.

Your goal might be to expand your current computer database by integrating new management, marketing or sales applications. Your current database might be non-existent or outdated.

Your goal could be to become more competitive by investing in the latest technology. You might need to reduce your costs or have other problem areas that are preventing you from growing your small business into something larger. You might need help with loss prevention or supply chain management.

By talking with you about how things are currently handled at your company, consultants identify areas for improvement. In that way, they help you identify your goals. When you have a specific goal in mind, it is much easier to make it a reality.

A non-specific goal is to increase sales or grow the business. Owners often come to consultants with a broad non-specific goal like that. The questions are "how" you can make increased sales a reality or "where" to find additional funding.

In the US, the federal government is a big spender. Landing a federal contract could guarantee your company's success.

A technical consultant could help you find the appropriate subcontractors or determine if they would be needed. They can help you find the contacts and the technical knowledge necessary to successfully bid on government contracts. By winning the contract, you achieve your goal of increased sales and profits for your small business.

The federal government is also a source for funding in the form of grants. The Small Business Administration's Office of Technology awards a number of grants every year for research and development through programs like the SBIR (small business innovation research) and STTR (small business technology transfer).

The grants are designed to help smaller, primarily high-tech companies come up with new innovations. A technical consultant could help you determine if your company has the necessary technology to qualify for the grants.

If your company currently lacks the necessary computer technology, he or she could help you improve in that area. Everything starts with having a conversation. That's what consulting is really all about. You have a certain amount of expertise, but you cannot possibly do everything on your own.

IT Consulting Jobs: A Brief Description

IT consultants are able to work with almost all different types of businesses. Nevertheless, you may see numerous IT consulting jobs with software and system houses, firms of management consultants, several large manufacturers of software and computing devices, and so forth. Primarily, the businesses opt to hire heavily experienced experts. All the same, some businesses recruit junior consultants and later they're providing training with particular business and technical skills.

Being an IT consultant, it is possible to work with a range of sectors, such as monetary services, manufacturing, health, public sector, transport, and so on. The major customers include utility companies, global expenditure banks, automotive companies, and so on. IT consulting jobs have risen due to the expansion of e-services in public field. Many IT businesses focus on some individual area, like web solutions, web development, manufacture of software, etc. If you're hired by these companies for executing their IT consulting jobs, you'll need deep knowledge and experience within that particular area.

IBM is amongst the giants in IT business so they employ a great deal of IT consultants every year. You can also find many other big employers who require consultants to handle their IT consulting jobs. Some of them are Accenture, Detica, Gartner, EDS, Deloitte, Hitachi Consulting, SAS Consulting, LogicaCMG, etc. All of these organizations are managing their own schemes. CLARIFY programmer, CRM manager, Data Modeler, Business process engineer, Business objects developer, Actuate report writer, Data warehouse supervisor, Data warehouse developer, Database architect, COGNOS ETL designer, DB2/Teradata specialist, etc are a couple of openings arriving under IT consulting jobs category.

The IT consulting businesses work with a variety of operating systems and programs, including Microsoft, Mac, Sun Solaris, Linux, Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) plus they make use of a range of advancement methods along with technologies.

IT Consulting Jobs

As an IT consultant, you have to operate in collaboration with the clientele for delivering assistance for them for utilizing information technology to overcome their problems and to achieve their business goals. It's also wise to be efficient to improve the effectiveness and framework of IT systems of the company. IT consulting jobs qualification also include things like sales and company development, offering ideal direction to businesses regarding IT technology, and so on.

As a part of work, you'll want to talk with clientele for determining requirements and work with them for determining the scope of the job. Making your way to the sites of clients, defining hardware, software and network demands, examining IT prerequisites within companies, creating agreed solutions, presenting solutions within verbal or written reports, applying new programs, developing, installing, monitoring and testing latest programs, preparing documentation, organizing instruction, identifying potential customers, creating and maintaining associates with clients, and many others are the alternative demands regarding an IT consultant.


Generally, IT consultants require degree in electronic engineering, computer science, chemistry, physics, mathematics or other related subjects. A beginner IT consultant may earn around $32,000 depending on the location, education, exercising and expertise. If you're searching for for senior level IT consultant, you can make around $80 thousand. IT consulting jobs will be mostly office centered. On the other hand, you may also function as part-time or perhaps project centered.

Freelancing and Globalization are classified as the significant developments in IT industry in recent years. Nevertheless, the growth of social processing is creating new opportunities in IT business.

How To Start A Computer Consulting Business

To start a computer consulting business, first you should have the preliminary knowledge of computer systems. Other important requirements to start a computer consulting business are powerful problem solving skills and of course an inner feeling of helping the people in difficulty. Here are some useful tips to start computer-consulting business.

Make Survey Regarding the Distance and Size of Prospective Clients:
Make a survey that how far are the potential clients living from your office. You should be able to reach them with in an hour or so. This is very important factor particularly from the point of networking services. Also, gather information regarding the size of the prospective customers. Ideally, you should start with the clients those having between 10 and 50 computers. If we talk in terms of the annual turn over, the client should have annual sales between $1 million and $10 million.

Client should be Serious about IT Requirements:
Before you start computer consulting for clients make sure how serious they are about the information technology. A prospective customer, who does not have his own dedicated server and accessing the Internet using dial up lines, is not suitable for consultation. However, those who are interested in focusing more on their IT requirements are definitely ideal clients.

Far Better Than Traditional IT Jobs:
Being a computer consultant is definitely more rewarding than joining a traditional job in any IT company. Because in traditional IT jobs, there are several hurdles in the progress those are not under your control. For example, you may not grow as fast as you deserve because of incompetent colleagues, dull management and a system where seniors get the priority whether they are competent or not. On the contrary, when you start computer consulting business these things comes under your control. For example, if your colleague is not able to keep pace with you then you are always free to part with him and invite some better people to join hands. So, if you have the talent and ambition, no one can stop your income from skyrocketing.

Increasing Scope:
The scope for the computer consulting business is increasing with the growth of information technology. It is very difficult to run any business today without using computers. Almost any business organization is looking for some kind of help regarding computers. You also have the option whether you want to become an outsource consultant or internal employee. Either way you are choosing a winning career with bright chances of success and profitability. Furthermore, the computer technology is changing at very fast rate. This fast change is also creating new and new opportunities for the computer consulting business.

Three Ways That IT Consulting Services Can Improve Your Business

There are two instances where businesses contact IT consulting services: when their IT arrangement causes problems, or when they recognize that problems will happen if the arrangement is left unaddressed. Because of the damaging ripple effect that can happen when sensitive data is lost or stolen, it's pays to be proactive about correcting a less than optimal IT arrangement. Whether your business is new or hasn't had its IT arrangement evaluated for security in a while, now is the time to contact an information technology consultant to find out if your data and the connections used to access it are danger proof.

Three IT Services that Every Business Needs

In the computer age, companies that keep up with their competitors harness the power of information technology, its solutions for preserving data and facilitating its retrieval. Below, we look at four information technology services that serve these needs.

Firewall Management

Your firewall serves two purposes: protecting your networks from outside attacks and protecting from ones inside. If you have an onsite firewall in place, it's better than nothing. But what would happen if it malfunctioned or were penetrated? Unfortunately, many companies find out the hard way, losing critical business data and other information that was meant for its eyes alone. To prevent these things from happening to your business, it's best to have your networks protected by an offsite firewall, a service routinely offered by information technology consultants.

Spam Filtering

Spam filtering never seems like a critical service until you experience what it's designed to protect against: a massive flood of spam mailings that make it impossible to access legitimate emails among the myriad of spam mailings that keep pouring in. As with firewall management, backing up an onsite spam filter with an offsite one could be to conducting business as usual in the event of unexpected challenges; and to a successful, attention drawing business, spam can definitely be a challenge.

Emergency Data Backup

If your company depends on computerized data to support its daily business, then information back up should be one of its primary concerns. As with other computer services, there are two basic arrangements for information backup: onsite backup and offsite backup, with the latter available through IT companies that offer remote information back up. Keeping your information backed up only onsite is dangerous for an obvious reason: it could be wiped out in the event of fire, flooding, natural disasters, or physical theft of hardware. But backing it up in encrypted form at a remote location allows you navigate such situations knowing that you information is safe and sound.

5 Things to Look for in an Information Security Consultant

As a management consultant, I am constantly faced with clients who pose the question, "How do we know a really great candidate, when we meet them?".

Although the criterion of what makes a great employee can change with both industry and profession, perhaps one of the most difficult hires a company will ever make is that of the information security manager or consultant.

An information security consultant must engage with both business and technology stakeholders throughout your enterprise, and at levels ranging from the c-suite, through to the employees working on the factory floor or in front of the customers. They must understand the varying needs of every level of every function, and be able to articulate the value proposition of change to stakeholders from a diverse background and career level.

Security also requires that a consultant be able to sell a concept that has almost no perceived value. Although information security may act as insurance within the enterprise, and reduce the likelihood of a security incident, or the impact of such an incident when it occurs; security does not directly add revenue, or reduce costs associated to a particular business process. In point of fact, security actually increases costs associated to many processes, and can also increase both complexity and organizational ambivalence if implemented poorly.

If implemented correctly however, with both skill and diplomatic tact, security can often reduce unnecessary expenditure and improve resilience of business processes at a relatively nominal cost to a business unit.

For these reasons, when selecting your next security resource, try to keep in mind these five key points:

1. Professional accreditation

A security consultant should be professionally accredited with a broad range of recognized vendor-neutral certifications, such as CISSP, CISM, CISA, CEH or CHFI, depending on their specific role. Never hire a resource that only has vendor specific security skills, because information security spans across application, infrastructure, platform and process stacks; including a diverse range of technologies and products.

2. Business and technology skills

Great security consultants have both business and technology skills, giving them the understanding they need to engage with stakeholders from any part of your enterprise, and to fully appreciate the risks associated to functional processes outside the ICT department. Consider hiring only security consultants who have an undergraduate degree in business or management as a minimum, and give preference to professional candidates with post-graduate degrees in security, business administration, commerce, finance or management.

3. Strong exposure to your industry

Because your business needs are unique to your particular industry, seek out professionals who have a strong background in your specific domain, such as aviation, energy, government, finance, or technology services. Strong industry experience enables a consultant to anticipate risk and future security requirements.

4. Understanding of local and international law

Perhaps the greatest failure of most security resources is a lack of legal awareness. Understanding domestic legislation, and international legal obligations is critical to the formation of an accurate risk profile and security control matrix. Issues related to the United States Patriot Act, United Nation's Covenants and Declarations, local privacy laws, industry compliance requirements, and legal enforceability will form the basis of a security solution prior to organizational demands. Without an understanding of your legal environment, a security consultant is providing professional advice without appropriate knowledge, and this may leave your organization open to future legal challenge related to failures in "duty of care" and negligence.

5. Outstanding soft skills

Security consultants are often seen as insurance providers, not adding real value to a business's operations or process outcomes. It is also a fact that the majority of companies only see the value in security after a major incident, which for many organizations can be too late, especially in the modern world where the expectations and opinions of your customers are altered in minutes by social media. To ensure engagement through the business, the security consultant must be a master of communication soft skills, and be able to act in the role of persuader, diplomat, negotiator, and even dictator, depending on the circumstance.

By remembering these five key attributes; your next security hire will be more engaging, and better armed with both knowledge and professional expertise to deliver results and tangible value to your organization.

An Information Technology Service Can Reduce Costs While Providing Reliable Business Technology

Managing all aspects of information technology in-house can prove to be quite troublesome. Businesses often spend a large amount of their budget on maintaining their internal systems through their own personal information technology team and end up disappointed. While this may seem like an odd statement, it is very true. There are a variety of people boasting IT skills and seeking employment every day. Interviewing and being able to determine their specific skills takes time and money. Time is very important to a business and nothing is worse than spending weeks interviewing and training an IT employee only to find out that they are not qualified to do the job. An unqualified technology staff leads to large amounts of down time, data inconsistency, security issues, and many other issues. These problems can cost the company money and clients. Many businesses prevent these occurrences by using an information technology service. An information technology service can decrease costs and provide the most knowledgeable IT people in the business.

Main Benefits of IT Consulting Companies

IT consulting companies eliminate the need to hire and train employees, pay multiple salaries, pay benefits, and budget money for tools needed to do the job. Companies find that it financially better to pay one fee to a consulting firm. An IT consulting company starts out by reviewing the current information technology situation. This involves evaluating the current hardware, applications, and setups being utilized by the network and individual employees. They also learn what the company would like to achieve and all budget restrictions. Once everything has been reviewed, the service provider creates a plan and presents it to your business. An experienced company will offer a plan that not only results in great running technology but also at the lowest cost. IT consulting companies implement every portion of the plan and offer to support it. An internal employee can go through the process and support the technology after it is in place.

How Can IT Consultants Help?

IT consultants will help your business choose hardware that increases performance and is upgradeable, within the budget, and dependable. They do the same for software with the result of very efficient technology. There are an abundance of hardware and software choices available. Of course sometimes the latest and greatest is not always the best choice. Trends fade fast and dependability is much more important than having the coolest gadgets. IT consultants know how to pick information technology components that will truly help your business and achieve company goals. Items such as peripherals, laptops, desktops, and printers should be chosen based on the tasks they need to perform. These items are necessary for your business to run and need to be reliable. Failed hardware and undependable employee workstations are only some of the things that consultants circumvent. Network security is vital for data integrity and the safety of the system. Consultants are familiar with all settings and security applications.They create a sound network that is protected from down time, viruses, and external attacks. Their monitoring capabilities and other services make ultimate stability and performance achievable for any business.