As technology has become a more significant part of our daily lives, so has the demand for technology professionals. This is true for both large and small businesses alike.
While there are many different types of IT professionals available to work with, the two most common types are IT consultants and IT managed services. Both provide different benefits to businesses; however, they each best serve different types of organizations.
It’s important to know which type of professional service your business needs to stay productive and competitive. Here’s some helpful information about the role of an IT consultant and how they differ from IT-managed services.
How Can IT Consultant Services Help Your Business?
The role of an IT consultant is to provide strategic and technical guidance to the business. Through a series of meetings and discussions, they will figure out your business needs, what is currently lacking, and how to strategically approach those gaps.
Through IT consultant service, an outsourced expert offers technical advice to a business about maintaining their IT infrastructure and making new improvements. It can be a single person or a team of professionals who work together to provide services for their clients.
A consultant is typically hired to provide an objective opinion or advice on an issue related to their area of expertise. They’ll be able to review your current business practices and identify areas of opportunity for improvement. The recommended changes may include upgrading your current technology, implementing new systems, or streamlining processes. A consultant will typically provide guidance, assist with a project or help train employees at your company.
How Can IT Managed Services Help?
In managed IT services, a group of IT professionals works together to provide support in response to your business needs. Whether that be network maintenance, system upgrades, or simply troubleshooting a problem for you, their role is essentially to fill in the gaps of your existing team.
They ensure that their equipment, software, and systems remain up-to-date and protected from outside attacks. They offer 24/7 monitoring and maintenance support to companies throughout the year while focusing on other business matters.
Once hired, these companies will become responsible for the smooth operation of all computer systems within their client’s business. They will handle all software updates and upgrades, hardware repairs, network security, and internet connection issues as they arise. This can save you time and money to focus solely on your business operations instead of fixing tech issues all the time.
Differences Between an IT Consultant and IT Managed Services
Involvement in the Everyday IT Operations
An IT consulting firm will work with a company’s staff to understand their needs and develop a solution that meets those needs. Consultants do not get involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. They are hired to assist with long-term planning and recommend process improvements. On the other hand, managed services assist with day-to-day tasks like system monitoring, updates & maintenance, issue resolution, etc.
The role of Managed Services Providers (MSPs) is very different. MSPs are responsible for managing almost all aspects of an organization’s network. From monitoring security on the network to managing email accounts and firewalls, MSPs take care of everything IT-related. In some cases, MSPs can even provide cloud services or help with website management.
Solution for a Specific Outcome
IT consultants are often hired for a specific project or outcome (ex: create a new internal system). Once that outcome is achieved, they are no longer needed. Managed IT services come in as an ongoing support solution to tackle any issues that may arise after the project is completed by an IT consultant, as well as anything else that comes up along the way.
Cost to the Company
One major difference between the two is cost. A company won’t need to hire an IT consultant company full-time; instead, they will only be brought in when required for specific projects. This makes it easier for companies to budget for their services, as they only pay for what they need when they need it.
When Do You Need IT Consultant Service vs. Managed IT Services?
When You Have New Technologies to Implement
A managed IT service provider helps you maintain your network and servers but would not implement software or hardware systems. This is where an IT consultant can be helpful as they have deep insights into a wide range of technologies and help choose the right ones for your business.
When You Have to Conduct Specific Tasks
An IT consultant will be able to execute specific projects that you may not be able to take up due to a lack of resources or expertise within your organization, like migrating from the on-premises to the cloud or setting up a new office network.
When You Need Guidance on Specific Tech Stack
IT consultants are hired to provide temporary assistance for a specific project or problem. They can propose a solution for any issues in your business’s IT infrastructure, as well as offer guidance and support to help you get the most out of your systems — which can then be implemented by our in-house IT team.
When You Need to Evaluate Technologies
Let’s say that you want to include new software in your workflow but aren’t sure about the best choice. An IT consultant service is the best option to figure such issues out.
When You Don’t Need a Full-Time Staff
Many businesses don’t need a full-time tech staff on hand. Their technology needs are small, and they only need occasional support to keep their computer up and running.
In this case, you can make use of the managed IT services to get the work done at just a fraction of hiring an entire IT team.
When You Need Long-Term IT Assistance
Managed IT services are the better option when you need long-term help but don’t want to hire full-time employees. Managed services companies offer remote monitoring, management, proactive maintenance, and support to keep everything running smoothly without onsite staff.
Are you looking for the right IT service for Your Business?
Reach out to our experts who offer managed IT services to businesses in Corpus Christi! We have the knowledge and expertise you need to keep your business running smoothly.