What does an IT Consultant do?

IT specialists are generally filling up their days providing services, deploying equipment, fixing hardware and software kinks, and of course coding. However, just because one is a “Specialist” does not make them a “Consultant”. While a specialist might be able to work at length on one project or assignment until feeling sufficiently complete, a consultant has to be more agile in juggling clients and challenges. Below are 5 services and characteristics that are specific to an IT Consultant.

Multitaskers:

-As mentioned above, just because one is an IT expert does not necessarily mean they are an IT consultant. Consultants are constantly multitasking – whether they like it or not. They have the ability to manage, and balance, multiple accounts all at one time, with different business models and various demands. They deal with more variables, and therefore require a more adaptable disposition than an IT pro. Consultants are flexible with both scheduling and curve balls.

Versatility:

-IT Consultants are extremely versatile with hardware and software technologies, never just wanting to pigeonhole themselves into one specialty. They also have an extensive coding language arsenal, to be able to provide expertise for any customer that comes along. Why? Because specialization is for the birds.

Salesman/ Businessman

-Customers and potential customers generally are in the dark in regards to what it means to “leverage their technology” or how that could benefit their business in the long run. They don’t usually care to dish out very much extra money on more advanced network technologies, hardware or software if their understanding of such tech is minimal. Therefore, it is an IT consultant’s responsibility to use their expertise, knowledge and wit to help novices understand how such services could payoff for them in the long-run. Providing a timeline of a payment plan while paralleling that with the services that will be offered concurrently, can be extremely helpful for an IT consultants’ showmanship.

Resiliency

-The ability to be resilient in key. Many deal with very demanding client expectations. The expectations generally don’t come from a place of “knowing” but rather a lack of knowledge with tech. In fact, many clients are demanding out of frustration because they actually are unsure of what they are even asking from the consultant. Therefore, consultants must practice resiliency as they get plenty of flack from customers who are making irrational requests for immediacy. Due to the convenience culture technology has helped perpetuate, IT consultants generally have to endure many demands on a tight schedule, all with a smile.

IT Handyman/ Technology Therapist

-Advising clients of more efficient ways to use information technology is preliminary for this type of work. However, most IT consultants know that their job title includes/ demands much more than just this alone. Their tasks involve a wide range of things – they not only need to know tech, but they also need to have a clear understanding of how the tech is being used in the company for which it is needed. Having an extensive understanding of workflows and coding language is invaluable and, at the heart of it, mandatory. IT consultants have to study the existing IT infrastructure of a company the same way an architect would study a building. Similarly, they also need to be well informed of the company culture, something akin to that of an anthropologist. Consultants are multifaceted problem-solvers, offering advice and consoling, never giving generic solutions. This is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of job.