With numerous I.T. Firms to choose from, how do you know which one is the best fit for your business? What will it take to bring them up to speed? How well do they know your business model and how your network is configured? How much experience do they have in helping businesses like yours? Can they think outside the box if necessary? Will they invest in your project like they are part of the team? What about price, staff or vendor affiliations?
How much does experience matter?
I can’t stress enough the value of experience when it comes to choosing an I.T. Consultant. A strong, relevant background can make all the difference in your businesses well being. It can transform a basic project into a successful and sustainable organizational change that positively impacts your employees, processes and technology, and results in improved cost efficiency, enhanced customer service and a cohesive working environment.
Experience shapes project success by managing risk, instilling confidence in project stakeholders and leveraging in-depth working knowledge of I.T. environments.
Implementing a new I.T. infrastructure naturally involves risk, and the first step toward managing that risk is learning the industry and the client. An experienced consultant has a leg up on a newer consultant, who will require valuable project hours to become acquainted with you and your specific needs. The consultant also must be adept at implementing hardware and software solutions that will enable you to manage your business and improve productivity. Strong, time-tested relationships with vendors enable experienced consultants to provide uninterrupted service throughout the duration of the project and beyond.
There is a time for everything, including taking a chance on a new or inexperienced consultant, but the implementation of a new, high-value network infrastructure is NOT one of those times. The implementation process can be complex and daunting, and you need a consultant in whom you can be totally confident. Experience begets confidence – and eliminates many of the uncertainties inherent to projects of this nature. The longer and more varied the consultant’s resume, the more secure you, your employees and your constituents will feel about the project.
While an experienced consultant can hit the ground running with a well-versed understanding of your specific business processes, integrations and work flows, a novice may not possess that same high level of understanding. That missing background can cause a cascading series of missteps – from scope creep and schedule delays to budget overruns and even employee mutiny. An experienced consultant can help you visualize your project from start to finish.
Sure, any decent consultant can learn the industry; they can even learn their clients. But that education takes time – time that often isn’t available and can potentially create costly mistakes that you don’t want paid for on your dime. It leaves you wondering exactly what else they don’t know. Would you rather put your business in the hands of someone with 20+ years experience or 20+ months experience?
In the complex world of asset management program implementation, what consultants know and how they’ve handled similar situations can make the difference between success and failure. Experience counts.
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