How to Know the Differences? Vetting the Firm for Your Next Project?
Choosing the right business consulting firm is no easy task. If you’re the lucky person in the company chosen to find the perfect consulting firm for your next project — your new assignment can be slightly overwhelming to downright daunting. How do your really know your making the right choice when everyone is bidding for the project.
You need to genuinely like the people you hire to do the job, since you will be embarking on a long road trip together. They need to have proven approaches; yet be able to have out-of-box thinking. Great consulting firms should have a long list of happy customers with testimonials, videos so they can support their claims. What is the firm’s successful projects, partners and programs? Do they have a great reputation in the industry? Are they thriving and growing?
All consulting firms seem great on paper — but will they align with your vision and collaborate well with your team?
- Will they be there when all hell breaks loose?
- Do they have a wide range of services with a wide range of product offerings?
- Do they have a flexible approach to consulting with combined on-site and remote services?
- Do they have training on-site and will they support huge amounts of data changes?
- Are they organized, efficient, offer the right communication and provide the services that fits your business plans?
- How about enhanced security, cloud and data implementations, testing, reporting and finding the solution quickly?
- Will they stay abreast with technology changes and developments and deliver continuity, competence and know-how with any new potential threats to the business?
- Are they in line and on point with your expectations, strategy, mission and organizational structure?
Finding a firm with an easy, streamlined, accommodating approach — that offer a wide range of services, tools, databases and systems can be overwhelming with more than 200 IT consulting firms in the Chicago area.
The products and services these firms offer should include computer systems development, custom services, technical support, IT infrastructure, technical consulting, cloud-based services and more.
Companies are looking to
- Lower their maintenance and systems costs with cloud ready technology.
- Replace outdated infrastructures and decade-old servers.
- Increase their processing performance, integrate a faster, better and cost-effective deliver of services with cloud-based technology.
- Reduce security vulnerabilities with built-in, multi-layer security protection throughout their company.
- Keep up to date with big data, virtualization, and changes in cloud services
- Adapt to new computer security methods with established rules and measures to protect against attacks.
The IT Consulting industry in the US
- Has grown 2.7% over the past five years.
- The number of IT tech businesses has grown 1.6%.
- The number of tech consultants has grown by 3.2%.
Chicago’s technical consulting IT services firms have been around for more than 20 years. It’s a booming industry with an estimated $250 billion and growing in management and technical consulting — this technology sector is BIG business.
- The numbers show that the top 50 of the largest consulting firms have jointly more than 200,000 consultants on staff.
- Some global consulting firms are seeing an 8% revenue growth in some areas of the country, with new firms increasingly popping up every day.
- In 2012 the IT consulting was at $122 billion and in 2018 increased to $250 billion.
- The top 10 consulting leaders account for a majority of 56% of the market. Consultancy has landed a lucrative role in the business management and services support industry.
The IT consultant advocates are in high demand due to multifaceted systems, complicated networks and complex programs. However, many companies struggle to find the right firm that fits their needs and don’t understand how to leverage the best enterprise technology and databases services firm for their project? Do you hire the big-name firm or go with a flexible, specialized firm with innovative methodologies, tools and strategic thinking?
When it comes to analytics, big data, cloud computing and migration, business intelligence, data science operations, architecture design and development more and more organizations are just looking for peace of mind. Both have solid expertise, but which one is for you?
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Keep Moving Forward with Aptude
Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.
Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.
- Local IT – “always available experts” that facilitate a worry-free environment
- Full-service, flexible firm with an array of services targeted to their needs
- Customized approach and experts that can prevent costly downtime
- Cost-effective 24/7 support and simplified upgrades and streamlined maintenance
Many need a simple ad-hoc on-site service support team that can do hands-on technical troubleshooting when implementing complex architectures, business strategies and enterprise applications. Choosing the right firm can help reduce IT and maintenance costs in addition to supporting business growth while helping companies with their changing network needs.
Some firms specialize in certain industries such as international financial, healthcare or sports analytics others target the educational market, telecommunications, digital, insurance and the cyber security sector.
Scrutinizing the Consulting Firm — Fundamental Differences between Big vs. Small
- Higher price tag but have brand recognition and strong industry reputation. However, you’re dealing with a large organization which means lots of red tape. They are custom outsourcing the work if needed.
- Can handle major systems implementation projects — have a reputation of delivering well-managed large-scale networks due to their sheer size with access to sophisticated management tools.
- Wider global reach with diverse services and recruit from top schools.
- Proven reputation, international footprint with big overhead costs. Move at their pace, not yours and can’t handle project changes quickly. Your less likely to get a personalized experience. Like they say, big firms have big salaries, and big costs to run the business.
- Access to hundreds of talented professionals, consultants and can support numerous systems with expertise on various platforms, services and databases.
Small Boutique Firms
- Are niche-driven and can move quickly on your project, can customize and change their approach easily to fit your project, budget, and have lower operating costs.
- Can find solutions in the shortest timeframe and are flexible and your most likely talking directly to senior executives, which gives you a sense of relief.
- Offer highly specialized services, customized solutions and focus on very specific industries that big firms are unable to compete with. They will service your business and project locally and won’t always outsource the work.
- Have on-premise deployment options, can modernize your infrastructure easily and in a shorter amount of time. Less red tape to deal with and fast solutions are implemented. They will give you a more personalized approach resulting in a personalized relationship between both teams (your team/their team).
- Employ talented consultants with a unique skill set of expertise, tools and approaches.
- Offer individualized custom-made services and approaches. They adapt well to changes to the roadmap and can execute quickly.
The Takeaway — Here are some tips when choosing the right IT consulting firm for your business needs.
- Define your goals, mission and timeline. Share your project plan with several consulting firms and ask them to explain their vision.
- Request that the firm executes coaching, training and frequent status updates to increase project effectiveness. If they are unable to deliver any of your requests — than you need to find another firm.
- Ask for references and read the fine print and question everything that comes your way. You need to ensure there will no surprises moving forward with your project.
- Ask for a flexible consultant advocate that will be readily available during off hours and respond quickly to changes in the project plan?
- Look for the sharpest minds in the business by asking about their experience on similar projects they have worked on and what their approach was in solving their problem.
- Clearly understand the consulting firm’s way of doing business, what their approach is, how fast can they implement the project, how quickly can they make changes.
- Does the firm have an open and positive rapport with their subgroups and teams? Can they explain their course of action in a simple, easy to understand way?
- Will they check in with your team frequently so that you can build a strong relationship and to ensure everyone is on course.
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