Why Does Your Business Need IT Consulting Services?
IT departments or on-site IT professionals have become increasingly significant for many types of organizations- small and large, today. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, giving rise to alternative workplace strategies, businesses are forced to rethink IT technology and strategy to keep up with the ‘new normal’. Companies, therefore, expect their IT budgets to grow.
So what’s IT consulting in simple terms?
Gartner defines IT consulting as “advisory services that help clients assess different technology strategies and in doing so, align their technology strategies with their business or process strategies.”
IT consultants are needed for software implementations, training, and maintenance. Some companies try to do these activities on their own. Many have succeeded in getting their software up and running to what they think is “Best Practices” for their company. However, with a technology consulting company like Fingent, you’ll rest assured that you’re dealing with someone who knows the product end-to-end. You’ll get to collaborate with an expert who knows how to look for alternatives or add-on solutions for that product. Thus, you end up streamlining the entire process of conversion, training, and implementation with an IT consultant.
Read more: Software Development Outsourcing – Why software development outsourcing is a smart move now?
Why should you hire IT consultants?
1. Flexible staff: Most IT consultants offer their services on a contract basis. Organizations may need to supplement their team for a holiday season; they may be rolling out new software or merging companies. There are a lot of situations where a company needs a lot more people for a small amount of time. They don’t have to hire full-time salaried people and then lay them off. Consultants can come in for a short time and do the job for them.
2. Proven expertise: Your organization may be the best in your LOB. But you may not have the required know-how in house, to implement the best IT solution for your business. Well-experienced IT consultants can advise the best modus operandi to ensure that your new IT project runs smoothly. A reputable IT consultancy would also bring in the shared knowledge of its many business partners. So, you’ll be at the receiving end of the latest trends and updates of the IT industry.
3. Outsider perspective: You are a part of your company. So, you may not spot the blunders that an outsider can quickly point out. Since IT consultants have already worked on similar projects before, they can quickly identify what would work and what would not. They can also bring in different schemes that can help improve ROI that may not have been visible to you.
4. Train employees: Employees are an asset to your company. So you have to provide them with the necessary training facilities to develop their skills and keep them engaged. IT consultants are always at the top of their game, making them good trainers. Suppose you have implemented a new ERP system. After understanding the needs of your company, IT consultants can provide customized training programs to your staff and equip them towards a smooth transition.
Read more: Digital Transformation Consulting Services – How digital transformation solutions redefine businesses with effective digital experiences
Business benefits of hiring IT consultants
1. Reduced Costs: Hiring in-house staff solely for your IT technical needs or training your existing employees are other options that you can consider instead of hiring IT consultants. While hiring new employees, you’ll have to include the added costs along with their salaries, including taxes, benefits, and overhead expenses. On the other hand, for training existing employees, you’ll have to shell out on a trainer and the skill acquired may not even be used in the future. Hiring IT consultants will help reduce downtime. Often, you bring in consultants to address a specific issue for a short period. Therefore, they prove to be more budget-friendly.
2. Better Security: Cyberattacks continue to derail large and small businesses alike. Consultants who specialize in IT security can help tackle and prevent these risks. After analyzing the risk points in your system, IT security consultants can advise on the best security practices that would suit your company. IT consultants can help prevent possible risks by implementing regular updates on your software, training employees to identify malware, developing appropriate disaster recovery solutions, and so on.
3. Focus on core business: SMEs generally fall into the trap of trying to save money by doing everything themselves. The companies whose core competencies lie in non-IT related industries have observed that finding solutions for IT problems zaps them of their time and energy. Not to mention the rise in frustration levels of your workforce as they spend hours doing what they’re not good at in the first place. Once you outsource your IT needs to a specialist, you’ll see speedy execution with higher efficiency in completing the project. Thus, investing in an IT consultancy will lead to better ROI.
4. Increased productivity and efficiency: IT consulting experts can help businesses optimize their systems. They can help homogenize your IT infrastructure according to the industry best practices. The resultant consistency can help streamline processes, create resilience, and reduce costs related to IT support. Next, as mentioned earlier, IT consultants help manage tasks like software updates, data, and network security that would otherwise be monotonous for your employees, enabling them to focus on increasing profits. Many enterprises are moving to the cloud to reduce their infrastructure costs associated with outdated physical servers. An IT consulting partner can help you realize the full benefits of the cloud by integrating all existing systems, making a smooth transition securely, and avoiding common mistakes.
Read more: Digital Innovation – 10 Services Offered by Fingent to Prepare Your Business for the Future of Digital Innovation
As technology grows by leaps and bounds, organizations have to find ways to grow along with the growth in business. The right IT consulting firm can help you use technology as a tool to increase productivity and reduce unwanted expenses. Need help to manage your IT needs? Fingent’s round-the-clock and customer-centric IT consulting services are bound to give you a competitive edge. We’re just a phone call away! Contact us now!
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IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) is now a key driver of digital transformation in enterprises. ITaaS treats information technology as a commodity and provides the enterprise with scalable and flexible hardware, software, and support. Enterprises may subscribe to the quantum of resources they require, with easy scalability up and down to suit the changing business requirements.
Such a model offers tremendous benefits for the enterprise.
Scalability and Flexibility to Suit Today’s Business needs
The subscription-based model offered by ITaaS, with a monthly fee paid by the business depending on the number of users and systems in-use of the business, perfectly syncs with today’s business requirements.
For businesses in the growth pace, and for startups, the ready scalability on offer ensures steady growth of IT capabilities to match business growth, without sapping the enterprise energy and resources on provisioning for the same.
Even entrenched enterprises with a dedicated IT department, complete with on-premises servers find the scalability offered by ITaaS handy to augment resources when needed. The ITaaS provider, could, for instance, service end-users and application faults, leaving the in-house IT team to support the core infrastructure components.
The unbridled scalability also comes with flexibility. ITaaS is platform agnostic and offers a flexible delivery model. At the same time, it retains an element of standardization and predictability. The net result is enterprise consumers getting the best of both worlds, resilient to operate in any condition, and the highest levels of service.
ITaaS is delivered from the existing on-premise server rooms, through colocation from a hosted data center environment, or through a cloud-based model. It is possible to mix and match these delivery modes as well.
Implementing ITaaS, however, requires an overhaul of the existing IT ecosystem. While this comes with the usual pangs of change, it also presents an opportunity to overhaul the setup and make it more efficient. Several wasteful practices, and ad-hoc processes, accumulated over the years, may easily be done away with, in favor of the highly efficient ITaaS. Enterprises nevertheless do face some challenges in integrating cloud solutions with legacy systems., and making sure the applications are ‘cloud-friendly’ in terms of latency, and file structure.
As high as 91% of CIOs welcome the flexibility offered by ITaaS, confirming the fact the benefits of ITaaS are for real.
Expert Support Just a Call Away
The unprecedented scalability on offer is also backed up by 24×7 support, and access to expert technical resources. IN today’s age of talent crunch, such resources may not be easy to come by in-house, and even I available, may not make financial sense.
Most ITaaS operators also provide self-service support portals, allowing users to open support tickets, check the FAQs, follow guides and read knowledge base articles, all without involving the IT department. This greatly enhances functional efficiency and accelerates troubleshooting times. This perfectly syncs with the emerging and hugely popular work from home concepts.
Minimal Upfront IT Investment
In today’s age of heightened competition, many CFO’s prefer to keep purse-strings close to their chest, and are reluctant to invest in anything more than what is absolutely necessary. They usually strike down IT investments which do not generate direct returns on investments, regardless of the scope of indirect benefits. IT as a Service, by allowing the enterprise to invest only for the exact amount of resources required, is music to the ears of such CFOs.
With ITaaS, the enterprise is spared from investing in unneeded infrastructure for future contingencies or be straddled with excess resources no longer required in the foreseeable future. Enterprises are also spared from the costly capital expenditure. With ITaaS, excess capacity, often considered part of the cost of doing business, is totally being eliminated. ITaaS expenditure is transparent, and easily attributable to the operational domain for which it is used. The costs for each transaction can be clearly attributed, and assigned to the end users. Shifting the costs from capital expenditure to operational expenditure also brings significant tax advantages to the table.
ITaaS also contributes to financial stability for the enterprise. With ItaaS, IT expenditure becomes a regular and predictable exercise, rather than one-off capital shocks.
Easy Availability of New Technology
The world of technology is in a state of flux, with new technologies emerging by the day. ITaaS offers enterprise the opportunity to experiment with the latest technology and implement what works for them. Enterprises are spared from spending a fortune up front on an uncertain technology.
More importantly, ITaaS guarantees up to date hardware, and also regular software patches and upgrades. Enterprises are free from the hassles of having to upgrade their IT infrastructure and can focus their attention on their core business process, or serve their customers.
Maintaining up to date systems is important both from a reliability and functional standpoint.
IT-as-a-Service improves network security in a big way.
Enterprises ignore network security at their own peril. The latest Verizon data breach report reveals 70% of all cyber attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities, and some vulnerabilities date back to 1999! ITaaS delivers a coordinated patch regime, ensuring systems are less vulnerable to attacks. ITaaS providers deploy service agents on the IT infrastructure estate of the company, to highlight known vulnerabilities and out-of-date software. The ecosystem also gets the benefits of regular system backups, pre-deployment testing, and patch updates.
ITaaS also enables continuous monitoring of service, Unified monitoring solutions track utilization, key metrics related to network health, and undertake trend analysis. These solutions cross-correlate code-level and transaction-level performance with the health of the supporting infrastructures, to flag issues as soon as it emerges. Such proactive monitoring identifies the symptoms and indications of a fault before it escalates into a major issue.
The 2017 Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions Report by Deloitte estimates global spending on IT-as-a-Service to touch $550 billion by the end of 2018. Enterprises currently spent about 25% of their IT budgets on pay-per-use services, on average. Deloitte Global expects the figure to jump to about 35% this year, and to 50% by 2022.
ITaaS is clearly the future, with enterprises no longer having to overpay for things they don’t need. However, the extent to which it serves enterprise needs depends on the extent to which CIOs can align ITaaS with business needs.
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A business can significantly benefit from top-of-the-line IT infrastructure that helps reduce costs and thereby increase revenue. Organizations today find it necessary to have an entire space dedicated to top data centers as opposed to few years before, when, having a few servers on premises was the norm. Enterprises demand a robust IT infrastructure model that delivers operational efficiency, high performance, minimum downtimes and maximum cost reduction.
Advocating for improved DevOps is not easy for growing organization, especially when infrastructure is not a core competency. Let’s consider the case of our client, a manufacturing giant, whose growth is constrained by a weak IT Infrastructure. Here, what should the world’s largest cooler manufacturing company, headquartered in Texas, the United States with over 1200 employees and over 500 different products do, – focus on their business or spend their time and resources on infrastructure and facility management?
Our client is world’s #1 cooler, drink containers and supporting accessories design and manufacturing company, shipping products to more than 250 retailers worldwide. They wanted to do away with the hassles of managing their IT infrastructure management and needed a right partner to independently manage their systems, data centers, facilities and infrastructure support.
IT Challenges Faced by the Client
In an effort to optimize ownership costs and system performance, the client transformed their IT systems from IBM mainframes to Sun SPARC servers and Oracle software. The client faced several issues after the implementation of Oracle’s Enterprise Business Suite, for which they sought Fingent’s Help.
Their core applications ran on Solaris OS upon Sparc hardware, Oracle Linux on Intel and Microsoft Windows server on Intel. To better support the applications, better synergy was needed between the OS Systems Administration and the Oracle DBAs. The client also had to relocate their data center twice, relocate several terabytes of data, and immediately implement a Disaster Recovery site at their co-location facilities.
How Fingent Helped Igloo Manage Their IT Infrastructure
The client asked Fingent to replace their previous OS Admin team to enhance their IT operations, infrastructure, upgrade technology and systems and minimize outages to have a stable and high-performance environment. We installed the latest Solaris, including Operations Center, allowing Igloo to move away from Zone virtualization to a multi-node database and application servers. With Ops Center, they are now able to move their core EBS application from one Sparc machine to another in real time – without any downtime hindering their business processes. Also, the maintenance patches are applied without any outage.
Fingent offered the following services to the client:
- Desktop Management
- Server Management
- Network Management
- Vendor Coordination and Management
- Data Center Virtualization & Relocation
- 24*7*365 Days Support for Production Environment
Solution & Technology Highlights
- Full-Scale IT planning, installation, & project management
- X86 & Sparc Server Virtualization and management using Oracle VM manager & Oracle Enterprise Manager OpsCenter with Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance resulting improved application and DB performances and increased revenue for the customer.
- Disaster Recovery Datacenter build to a new location
- Introduced Cloud Environment
- 24/7 monitoring, maintenance and supporting of entire Customer Infrastructure.
- Automation of OS deployment for Solaris, Linux and Windows Servers.
- Enabled monitoring of all hardware using Nagios for proactive support.
Business Benefits for the Client- A ROI of approximately 165% over 2 years
We ensured that the client’s IT environment ran efficiently and optimally throughout a year to ensure maximum uptime and minimal costs. Our team constantly worked to solve every challenge that the client faced in a very short span of time, and supported their future expandability and redundancy, within their budgeted cost factors. And as a result, the following benefits and results were incurred:
- 24*7*365 availability of IT infrastructure management
- Consistent increase in productivity and turnaround time
- A return on investment of approximately 165% over 2 years
- World-class infrastructure maintenance, Stable productive environment & guaranteed uptime
- Better control over existing infrastructure
Fingent’s Team was able to build trust and confidence in the client’s infrastructure, by building better speed, efficiency, and manufacturing readiness.
“ Indeed, the ultimate goals was to ensure that we guarantee a degree of quality and service to ensure that the client has no roadblocks in its growth path” says Vincy, Manager, Development and Operation- Infrastructure.
Fingent was an ideal choice for the client as their facilities management partner because of our expertise in providing top-notch IT services across various industries and landscapes. We ensured that the complete responsibility of IT infrastructure management was taken over from the client’s shoulders.
Want to get better ROI from your IT Infrastructure investments? Take a tour here or talk to us today.
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According to data collected from almost 788 small firms by Fasthosts Internet, it is found that there is a huge difference in terms of adopting new technology in the workplace and finding success through using it.
One out of three firms said that they have failed in improving efficiencies, even after adopting business technologies like smartphones, tablets, and other computer software. The paradox here is that almost half of the small firms in the UK have admitted that they regularly purchase new technologies, even if it is without being certain that they need them.
In order to improve efficiency, it is not enough to merely jump on the bandwagon and adopt technology. You need to know the exact kind of technology your company needs and make sure that it is aligned with your business processes. You definitely need to get yourself acquainted with a lot of information related to technology and understand its relevance in your business, for which you will need the help and advice of IT experts.
The numbers that literally indicate the need for an IT professional
Further into the research conducted by Fasthosts Internet, there are several factors which point to the fact that business enterprises need to seek advice from IT professionals for their technological aspects. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Up to 35% of firms felt that their new technology purchases led them to work longer hours or failed to improve efficiencies in some way. Around 48% found their new technology to have increased efficiency and lead to “smarter working”.
- About 74% of small companies, that is to say, a vast majority of them, felt that implementing technology did not free up their employees’ work time, which they had hoped to use for raising the organization’s innovation and scope.
- Only 41% of them found their employees to be enjoying using new technology, while about one in five firms said that they employ staff who are frightened of using new technology.
- A large margin of firms, that is about 85% of them, admitted that they are almost never aware of how to use the new technology in the best way, as and when they are introduced.
- Only 1 in 10 firms has sought help from their IT advisor or their technology provider, in the event of being disappointed with a particular part or aspect of their adopted technology.
Off the list of figures, it is also generally found that many firms struggle with the way they buy as well as use technologies in their workspace. Although almost all of them are well aware of the importance and relevance of using technology, a lot of them find that success on using technology is a hit-or-miss situation. For some, it clicks, while for others it doesn’t.
Why does this happen
According to Stephen Holford, Marketing Director of Fasthosts Internet, “Busy business owners can find the time and advice needed to ensure all technology investments are well placed. An inadequate approach to buying and reviewing solutions can lead firms to miss out on the maximum value of technology.”
The major reason for such failures is basically the way technology is researched on by the companies. On the need for technology, companies resort to random research about the kind of technology they need to adopt, often leading them to irrelevant or even misleading information. It is on the basis of this haphazard information that they buy their technology. This results in a large number of firms wasting their money on solutions that they probably don’t even need or simply do not perform well.
What’s worse is that not all of these thoughtless investments are even brought to notice. Only 11% of small firms in the UK, review whether the new technology that they have adopted is working well, each time a new piece or part is introduced. And as mentioned before, not all firms go back to their provider or IT expert on finding that their technology doesn’t work satisfactorily.
What ideally should be one of the first things to do before adopting new technology, that is, seeking the advice of an IT professional, is done by only one in four firms. In effect, only 25% or about a quarter of firms, are doing the right thing.
In order to avoid such failures, business enterprises need to plan technology investments properly and consult IT professionals who know best about the right kind of technology for their business. They need to work closely with suppliers, throughout the purchase.
Once the technology is deployed, businesses need to keep track of its success rate and take necessary steps to overcome shortfalls or errors as and when they occur. They also need to constantly upgrade their knowledge, through advices, case studies, guidelines, and the like.
Have you consulted an IT professional for your business yet? If not, talk to us.