In the wake of the global pandemic, tech consulting is fast becoming the differentiating factor between success and failure in many industries

To a layman in Information Technologies, Tech Consulting may often sound much like some bells and whistles you can basically dispense with. This isn’t something you want to think of while purchasing an IT solution to beef up your IT infrastructure. This isn’t something you want to think of while drafting a budget to custom-develop one to automate your business needs.

In contrast, both the worth of the Tech Consulting market (according to Consutancy.org, it is currently estimated at some $ 48bilion) and the whopping part of tech consulting in the worth of the global consulting market (roughly, 1/5) speak to the contrary. In many instances, Tech consulting is as essential as the code, GUI, and hardware that automate your business processes.

Furthermore, of late, the role Tech Consulting plays has come all the more to the fore: the need to automate the numerous Covid pandemic-caused business processes that are now here to stay for good has given the Tech Consulting industry a huge boost. In unison, the advent of innovations like AI, ML, blockchain, and Big Data, the extremely wide selection of the available technologies, and the complexity of many companies’ business processes make Tech Consulting something of a trump card that often draws the line between success and failure.

In this article, we’ll explain what Tech Consulting is. We’ll also see what exactly it is composed of as a technical field, and identify the areas in which Tech Consulting can be instrumental in making your digitalization project a success. We’ll also tell you how, in our opinion, one should choose a provider that can competently offer you both tech consulting and custom software development services.

What is Tech Consulting and what are the goals it allows you to achieve?

Tech Consulting is simultaneously an area of technical knowledge, a service, and a kind of business specialized consultancies and IT companies engage in to help determine, choose, and harness more optimally the technology that suits your business best. In other words, tech consultants help you determine the more optimal technical means to:

  • Automate manual business processes, eliminate excessive paperwork, and otherwise streamline your operations.
  • Reduce production and other costs.
  • Create new revenue streams.
  • Mitigate risks in various areas.
  • Improve your interactions with our customers and your customer service.

It is important to understand that by skillfully juggling a diverse host of factors, tech consulting firms and other tech consultants not only fulfill your business automation and other needs, but also frequently create technology solutions that become an edge over the competition.

While being in significant demand in virtually all verticals, the services of tech consultants are most frequently employed by business organizations in the Finance industry, various Professional Services firms, and Telco market players.

What are the areas Tech Consulting can improve and how precisely does this happen?

To achieve the goals that you set for them, tech consultants work in a roster of areas within your organization depending on your actual needs. For you to understand when, how, and to what extent you can benefit from Tech Consulting, it is important to know these areas and the contributions you can expect from tech consultants in each of them.

IT infrastructure: implementation and optimization

Present-day business IT infrastructures are typically composed of a variegated range of systems and networks that interact with one another in an intricate manner. To make these interactions effective, one needs to bring these systems together optimally enough. Add to this the new innovative technologies like Big Data, iOT, or AI, and you wind up with an odd mix of apps and technologies that is tricky enough to throw any in-house IT team: they frequently lack hands, knowledge of some of the tech stack, or the expertise to stitch some of the “patches” together.

Regardless of whether you need to make a go of your current IT assets to just keep things running, or looking to shift to a new and more effective IT infrastructure, teaming up with a competent tech consulting company can often solve all your IT infrastructure-related problems holistically. More specifically, tech consultants can:

  • Come up with a well-thought-out concept of how all our hardware, software, and business applications should best be integrated.
  • Help adopt new technologies like Data Science, iOT, AI/ML, Blockchain, while identifying the areas within your organization that can benefit from them.
  • Mitigate the existing IT infrastructure-related risks.
  • Leverage Cloud-enabled capabilities to boost effectiveness.
  • Make your legacy applications interact with your Cloud-based applications more seamlessly.

In the event that you are trying to modernize your IT infrastructure, the assistance of qualified tech consultants can be all the more necessary. Under this scenario, you will be faced with the need to replace some of your applications in whole or in part. Here several sub-scenarios are possible. Choosing the most suitable one can mean not only an opportunity of hefty savings, but also a seamless operation of your business for years to come. A tech consulting company can help knowledgeably choose of the following options for a more optimal result:

  • Migrate part of one or more of your applications to new applications.
  • Modernize one or more of your applications by expanding them.
  • Integrate one or more of your legacy applications with the new applications you need to develop with the help of APIs.
  • Dispose of a legacy application at once without any attempts to modernize it and any related costs.

Importantly, the involvement of sufficiently qualified tech consultants can also make the process of your IT infrastructure’s modernization a lot more secure.

Quite often, tech consultants can help choose a readily available software system that best-suits your company’s needs. Some of them prefer to stay vendor-independent, while others team up with software vendors, or even develop niche IT products of their own that they recommend to their clients.

Implementing a cybersecurity policy

Cyber threats are pandemic, global losses from cyberattacks being counted in billions of dollars. As these threats grow in sophistication and number, putting the right kind of defenses in place becomes more difficult all the time. It takes in-depth cybersecurity expertise and the ability to leverage this expertise in a specific business situation – something a tech consulting company is a lot more likely to be able to provide with sufficient quality. For example, you can engage such a company to:

  • Create security policies that will cover strong password creation, two-factor and multi-factor authentication, secure Internet access, privileged access to, and enhanced protection of your more sensitive digital assets, and more.
  • Secure your networks by installing firewalls and securing your wireless access points.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-malware software.
  • Password-protect your employees’ mobile devices.
  • Secure your data to prevent data leakages and ensure compliance with the legal regulations in place in your geography (for example, with the GDPR).
  • Implement a system of data backups both locally and in the Cloud.

Please note, that for addressing your cybersecurity needs it is better to approach a tech consulting company that has cybersecurity as their principal activity.

Disaster Recovery Planning

It is of great importance that your business stay protected and capable of expeditiously resuming its operations at all times – even as some disruptive events, such as, for example, calamities, power outages, cyber crises, or other accidents occur. To ensure this, you need a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) that describes how your business data must be backed-up and can then be restored if the need for that arises. Usually, this kind of a plan spells out the following processes, measures, and actions:

  • Prevention measures that include the creation of data backups and installation of spare generators and surge protectors.
  • Detection measures to detect and suppress any possible cyberthreats early enough.
  • Updating of the existing security measures and policies for them to always be effective against any newly emerged kinds of threats.

As it is best to develop a DRP in conjunction with a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), it makes sense to look for a tech consulting firm that is well-experienced in the provision of these two services.

Custom Software Development

If the growth of your business is hampered by legacy software, and you need to streamline one or more of your software applications or develop them anew, you most probably need tech consulting services too. Why?

First off, you will need to determine the technology stack that fits your business needs best.

Software development tech consulting companies and custom software providers with a well-developed tech consulting practice are always up-to-date on the most recent technology advances you can benefit from. With a well-established tech consulting partner, you receive an independent and broad enough expert opinion that is not influenced by one’s personal preferences or technical background, as may be the case when the selection of your tech stack is entrusted to one of your employees. Besides, you will know the areas where your solution-to-be can be enhanced with newer technologies like Data Science, AI, ML, as well as how precisely this should optimally be done.

Many custom software development companies act simultaneously as tech consultants, which is often a major convenience and advantage: you don’t have to manage multiple partner relationships or deal with any related attrition or any possible blame-shifting. However, in this case, you need to be able to choose a bona fide custom software provider that is truly competent to provide both the tech consulting services and custom software development you need. How to tell such a provider, and what should you expect from them?

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How to choose a tech consulting company that can simultaneously be your custom software provider

As we generally favor long-term projects, in which our involvement in the transformation of the client’s business goes further than the mere provision of the required development force, we have done tech consulting more than one time. Putting ourselves in a client’s shoes, we would look for the following in our search for a tech consulting and software development company:

  1. A full-cycle software development provider that is provenly capable of building a complex software solution from scratch. You can tell such a provider by the number of strategic long-term client relationships they have, a strong Business Analysis team, and the fact that the company employs seasoned software architects.
  2. Product development experience. For example, you can check whether your provider candidate has previously developed a startup IT product from the ground up.
  3. A broad tech stack and equal proficiency in all the technologies this tech stack comprises. There shouldn’t be any major bias in favor of one single technology.
  4. Experience in delivering software solutions to your industry or business niche.
  5. Expertise in AI, ML, and Data Science.

Your provider-to-be must first be able to analyze your business needs and determine the tech stack that will support them best.

If your vision of the product to be developed is still vague or incomplete, they must be able to help you define the product in its own right (and that’s where experience in developing similar products comes in handy). They must also be able to determine the scale of this product, so that it will neither exceed nor fall short of your business needs and goals. Please note that if you have a highly qualified Business Analysis unit of your own, having strong BA expertise is not a strict requirement for your provider candidate.

As the scale and functionality of your product become known, the software architects of your tech consulting and software development company must come up with a technology solution for the product. During this phase, they must be able to give you:

  1. The minimum composition of the team, required to implement the project.
  2. The optimal composition of the team required to implement the project.
  3. An approximate project budget estimate.
  4. An approximate project timeframe.
Key Takeaways of the Tech Consulting Process
Optimal Tech Stack
Complete Product Vision
Well-Defined Product Scale
Technical Solution
Required Development Team Composition
Budget Estimate
Time Frame Estimate

Regardless of your business needs, competent tech consulting is a must for many and a great boon for nearly all complex IT projects. Probably because of this, the names of the best tech consulting companies are as well known to many of us, as the names of everyday household brands.

Due to the nature of our business, we don’t help choose off-the-shelf software, and deal with cybersecurity matters only within the framework of the software development projects we implement. However, as an R&D team that is engaged in implementing complex projects, we do soft tech consulting during their early stages and know full well just how crucial some of the choices made at the start of a complex software development project are to its outcomes.

So, if you feel that your project is complex enough to be risky to implement without a solid foundation laid by technology consulting, we’d be glad to discuss with you how the synergy of tech consulting and software development we offer could benefit it. Just drop us an email at info@spd.group.

This provider must support the full cycle of custom software development and have a proven ability to deliver complex solutions from scratch. They must also have a strong Business Analysis team and employ software architects.

They must be able to determine the optimal tech stack for your project, help define your IT product, determine the scale of your IT product to meet your business needs and goals, come up with the technology solution, and provide time and budget estimates.

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