Should You Hire an IT Consultant?

As your business grows, you will update your technology and computer systems to accommodate the rising demands of clients. You may hire more people to take on the extra workload, and look into methods of faster communication. You may wonder if bringing in an IT person to work in-house is a good investment, especially if you rely on the Internet and VoIP to get the job done. That is one option, but you can also consider keeping an outsourced IT consultant on retainer to call in when you have serious connectivity issues.

Why would you hire a consultant rather than add a full-time employee to your staff to handle IT? Here are a few things to take into consideration:

1) Activity. Think about the scope of your business and the usage of technology. Do you often give presentations and hold video conferences? Do you rely upon connections 24/7 to keep clients satisfied? Do you have branch offices in other locations or employees who work remotely? The size of your company may determine whether or not you need a full-time IT tech to keep everything operating smoothly. A smaller company may figure the expense of an added employee is too much compared to outsourcing.

2) Money. Of course, you must ask if you can budget a full-time salary and benefits to an IT person. When you outsource, you don’t concern yourself with insurance and retirement and paid vacation. You simply call when you need the help. An IT person on staff may not be a drain on your company, but seriously think about the investment and if a full-time person in the office is needed.

3) Expertise. When you interview potential IT consultants for an outsourced position, you may first check with local firms that specialize in VoIP and business Internet connectivity. Depending on the companies you contact, many may have years of hands-on experience installing telephones and conferencing equipment, whereas with interviewing candidates for an in-house position you must rely on resumes and references. If you want high expertise in IT (and who doesn’t), you must decide how you are going to find the right person for the job.

When the economy is strong and allows your business to thrive, you’ll want to take advantage of upgrades in telecommunications so you can foster that growth. Whether it requires bringing somebody into the office or hiring a consultant for periodic visits is something you need to discern and decide for the health of your company.