Hiring CIO Consulting Services: What to Look For
Just because an individual has the word IT (Information Technology) consultant printed on their business cards does not mean that they can solve every technology challenge or will work well with the company’s Information Technology or management team.
The big question is, how do organizations find the right consultant, someone who knows and understands their business and can address their specific Information Technology needs? That is why before companies even think about providing third-party consultants access to their sensitive or critical information software or systems, check out what other top Information Technology consultants say.
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Expert professionals highlight these tips for hiring IT consultants, as well as questions people need to ask when hiring third-party Information Technology consultants. Let us take a closer look at some tips when hiring IT consultants.
Ensure that they have the right experience in your type and size of business
Professionals who usually work with Fortune 500 firms will have difficulties serving the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. Professionals who have been working in the finance industry for their entire lives may not have enough experience needed for manufacturing shops and vice versa. That is why when hiring a consultant, make sure that they have the right experience, and success working with organizations in your industry, as well as the same size as your company.
Find out what the professional’s relationship to various vendors is
Some companies run into situations where customers received advice from professionals but did not realize that they had interests (usually monetary ones) in the outcome. These interests may be referral fees, commissions, or the ability to hire more employees from the consultant’s firm at the client.
In short, they may not have their client’s best interest at heart. That is why experts recommend that people ask these professionals what their relationship is to vendors before they sign the contract. Do they resell the vendor’s product but want to provide various services? Do they receive a small commission or referral fees when certain vendors are selected? Is the professional genuinely unbiased?
Ask for their portfolio or previous work samples
Before hiring a professional, ask for their online portfolio and check them out on websites like CloudSpokes, Coderbits, or GitHub. It is good to see their actual work instead of just taking the recommendation without knowing their capabilities.
While references are very important, it is great to see what tasks or projects these professionals have completed in their previous position or on the side to get a closer look at the quality of their work. Previous tasks or works like product applications they have worked on or built are an excellent indicator of what they can expect to get from these consultants. Examining their previous work will also show organizations the professional’s weaknesses and strengths.
Check affiliations and credentials
Experience is an excellent start, but do these individuals have the right industry accreditations and certifications? For instance, are they recognized consulting partners or solutions? Not only that, but experts suggest not be afraid to ask if their accreditations or certifications are up to date.
To find out more about IT certifications, visit https://www.webopedia.com/reference/computer-certifications for more info.
A lot of software vendors require people to pass ongoing examinations on the latest versions to remain certified. If the professional has not pursued these types of recognition, how deep can their knowledge and expertise really be? Also, check their membership in various related organizations. These memberships indicate a commitment to the industry and their ongoing professional development.
Call the provided references
Even if the professional was referred by a friend, family member, or a colleague, always ask for references and call them. When hiring consultants, always ask for references and check them by calling them one by one. Traditionally, the best professionals have been referred to clients through word of mouth.
But even if organizations plan on hiring someone who has been referred by people they know, it does not hurt to get more references. Organizations do not want to hire people that are not willing to share their references or client list. Not only that, when speaking with these references, ask about the last time they had an emergency or downtime and how the CIO consulting firm handled the situation.
Besides asking people in their inner circle, another excellent place to look for or check references is LinkedIn. IT consultants need to have a social media presence. A quality following on Facebook or Twitter, a high-engaging blog, or a lot of LinkedIn connections all indicates a credible expert.