Digitally ambitious companies often seek help on their digitization journeys. A wise-chosen technology consulting company bridges the knowledge gap and skills for digital business optimization efforts and provides added support for the extra project work.
Now the challenge we’ve heard from clients, more so in the last year, is how difficult it is to find the right technology consulting company (or partner) for their business. The landscape of IT consultants and technology consultants is vast with a dizzying number of specialties, services, and expertise areas. Choosing wisely with external support is crucial because the digital investment you establish today is going to be your advantage (or disadvantage) tomorrow.
To help with this challenge of sorting through all the consulting options, we thought it helpful to offer some ideas and questions to ask during your review and selection process.
Where To Start When Seeking A Technology Consulting Partner?
Ideally, referrals from your network is the right place to start – a consultancy with a known track record should be talked to. If a referral isn’t available and you take to the web, we recommend being clear on the type of help you need to help narrow your search. For example, a search for a “Microsoft Consulting Partner” provides more targeted results compared to a search term like “IT Consultant” or “Technology Company.”
Areas To Discuss With A Potential Technology Consulting Partner…
Do they propose new or old tech?
This is one of the biggest sniff tests that we recommend to future-proof your business. Its been surprising for us to learn how many consultants and service providers are still recommending old tech ideas. For example:
- If a company is only proposing on-premise servers as an IT architecture solution versus cloud (or hybrid cloud) solutions – that is a red flag. Cloud services are essential to drive digital business optimization solutions including multiple layers of security.
- Ask for real-life examples of new technology integrations for business optimization. See if they’re experienced in areas such as, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, or Internet of Things (IoT). If their responses are weak, you need to clarify further to understand if this provider is keeping pace with technology.
- A follow up question around how they stay on top of new technology is often telling too. Technology consulting is a fast moving world, and in our opinion new learning and professional development efforts should be structured and promoted as a benefit. Underwhelming responses in this area are another red flag.
Are they interested in you?
A keyword in this article is “partner”. You’re seeking a technology consulting partner to support your team and help solve complex business problems. Like a bad date, if the company you’re meeting with isn’t taking the time to get to know you and only wants to talk about themselves – that’s a warning sign. What’s most important when building a partnership relationship is understanding your business and what your challenges are. After all, that’s what inspired the discussion in the first place.
Are they only after a large transformation project?
In the world of IT consulting its big business to secure projects that are massive digital transformation efforts. While it is important to understand your digital vision when getting started, a clear warning sign can be if a potential partner is only after the whole kit and caboodle. A good practice here is initiating a consulting relationship with a smaller project to see how the consultancy works with you and delivers. Remember, you’re seeking a partner. If the consultant you are speaking with is resistant to starting with a small engagement… you should probably keep talking to other consulting companies.
These are just a handful of ideas to help you move in the right direction with your technology partner search. In Part Two of this series we will dive further into specialty consulting areas (e.g. Microsoft), certifications, and ways you can verify credibility.
Convverge | A Microsoft Technology Consulting Partner
When you tell us where it hurts in your business, our team uses their Microsoft expertise to advise on how to match your problem with the right mix of Microsoft tools. Our goal is to equip your people with the Microsoft solutions that maximize your potential and optimize your business. Our approach is straightforward and practical and stays focussed on the outcomes. Our technology consultants advise on digital strategy as well as configuring and applying technology for business process automations, business analytics, and data modernization, as well as cloud infrastructure to ensure you’re setup with modern workplace solutions. If any of our Microsoft technology consulting services is of help to you, please reach out.