Without a CTO in house, it can be a challenge. I suggest contracting with an IT Consultant (not that will provide you to the solution) but who will oversee and project manage the process. The biggest issue is language barriers... YES, IT professionals have their own language, and unless you 'speak geek', it can be hard to understand what their value proposition is, what the actually issue is, if they even have the skills needed, etc. You don't know, what you don't know. So, hire FIRST someone who know the questions to ask, and can 'speak geek'; only then with their help, select the right solutions provider.
I'm going to agree with Doug's comment and ask to qualify the reason for a consultant to be involved with technical issues in the computer environment?
Consultants are by definition a person who has unique skills not a set of skills you have assigned to your current employees.
If we adjust the question to include an internal consultant or great insider as we refer to people who are in roles which may not get the right exposure or maximize the person's skills to benefit the goals of the company. Let's answer your question in the capacity of helping IT qualify a problem.
a) Understand the incidents and evidence of a problem by the number of issues which may be reported as different types of incidents. Basically I perform the synthesis on what others have analyzed.
b) Based on synthesis of the whole business process, people and technology with incidents reported by any organization evaluating the threat and risk according to external brand or competitive risk, financial risk, regulatory risk or reputation risk assign and communicate based on severity.
c) My approach takes the situation from cradle to grave. Socializing the problem and solutions or options and severity with 30/60/90 actionable plan.
I'd love to hear others opinions on the approach from an internal consultants view.
I actually work with a Company called Maura, LLC. They're a start up based in Idaho that's whole model revolves around being the IT department of your company (remotely). They will design software, websites, and apps for you company, host everything for you, and charge you a set rate that is far below your monthly cost to maintain your own onsite IT department.
They're very selective with the project and clients they take on, but you're welcome to give them a call: 281-8MAURA1
I'm not sure if that's what you were looking for, as that's more "outsourcing" your IT department, but ever since I switched to Maura I have never looked back!
Hope this helps!
Hi Joe -- I thought I'd just make the point that technical issues are rarely simply technical. Addressing technical issues almost always impacts the business in some way. With that in mind I helped develop the skillset of business architect while I worked for IBM. This role exists to carefully bridge any gaps between clear understanding of the business, and clear understanding of technology interventions. I now coach both sides of this gap in ways to bridge across.
We have consulted with many. For example I know a very well renowned person and loved the way the person could book an appointment through an email response. I called the IT person complimented them on how "seamless" their process was. I than asked if they would let me know what systems they used to create their Seamless approach.The tech director sent me a list of the kin of tools I wanted to know about.
Hello Joe , As I know worked in different companies having its own IT department headed with IT engineer doing all the network & maintenance services , but when ever the company needs to go for further or sudden ,We use to bring the IT Consultant which is called on sight training for the employees to solve or implement or maintain what ever the department needs ,
Not sure if you were looking at larger issues (as for example Emanuel's answer) or for ongoing advice (as per Stephen's comment). Would you like to clarify? I think those are 2 separate questions each deserving of discussion.
Yes.. we do this.. actually our business model itself is build project teams partnering with external IT consultants and dismantle once project gets completed.. and again create new team for next project.. this I see as a win win for both my org and IT consultants.. they get paid percentage and we pay only during projects..
Worked at many companies and have partnered with many IT Consultants over the years. Good question but the answer is not simple as it depends on the needs. You usually do not bring in an IT partner just to solve technical issues. You would bring them in for a program//project or outsource your support/maintenance, infrastructure or Architecture.
Hope this helps.
My company has a separate IT department , They are working for us to solve the issues !!
Yes, many times. Even though we had a CIO and a team of over 50 IT professionals we found it necessary and beneficial to bring in outside consultants for special projects or to help resolve specific issues. A couple of things to consider. 1) Make sure you have a very detailed understanding of the project scope. Unfortunately, in the IT world "project creep" is very common. 2) Get good references! Make sure your consultant has good references, specific to the project/issue your are engaging them to work on. You don't want to pay for someone to "learn" on your dime. 3) Make sure you know who will be working on your project and that they aren't overcommitted on other projects. Another issue we found is that one individual was originally going to be our point person, only to find out later that do to scheduling conflicts, another person got assigned to our project. Hope this is helpful.
My startup, TruNorthGlobal.com, is relatively new. Since we serve major corporations, we work with our partners -- SAP, NEC, and others -- to solve the IT problems of our customers, giving us access to thousands of top-rate IT developers and consultants around the world.
I have more of the experience from the other side but that can still explain how such partnership should work. Firstly we need to understand the needs and wants of the business that drives the need for IT consultancy. At the highest level is business need. Any investment and expenditues should be viewed against the underlying business outcomes that we hope to achieve. Sometimes they may be strategic in nature, for example when you spend money on compliance related need, the returns are often not so apparent, but viewed against cost of non-compliance will show a business case. Then second need is the type of solution that we need to address a requirenment. Third any initiative that becomes a requirement, must be bsed on an appropriate technology. We have to ensure longivity of techonology lifecycle. This is to protect our invetment against untimely obsolesence. Based on the solution needs we need to identify the attributes of the ideal partner.