The Advantages of a Second Opinion from an IT Consultant

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Trae Cobern
by Trae Cobern
2/18/20 12:49 PM

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The situation you are in is challenging, you are wearing multiple hats, and you have to justify spending money that comes right off the bottom line of your companies profits so that you can get some help.  You know that you can do a lot of things that IT can do, and you know how to work vendors to make sure you are getting the best deal. The question is, are you doing what you should be doing, are you using industry best practices that meet industry compliance.  How do you know you are getting the best deal from the right vendor?  You don’t know what you don’t know.  In life, whenever there is a big decision, either personal, medical, or even as simple as deciding where to go for happy hour.  We ask for a second opinion.  Why are you putting the weight of the companies technology decisions solely on your shoulders?  We all have a CPA, Attorney, and HR to help us make decisions. Why are we not using an IT professional?

They can save you money 

When you bring in an IT professional to provide technology consulting, there should be one that happens within the first 30 days, “Savings.” They are going to look at all of your invoices from all your vendors. Internet, voice, printing, software, backups, and security are a few examples.  Imagine working with someone that comes in and instantly saves you money that can then offset the cost of their time.  How many partnerships do you have that immediately come in and save you money?  When you can report to your boss or board that you now have a trusted partner that can help you secure your technology and be available at a moment's notice to help with any disaster and it did not cost them additional money, you are a hero.  The average salary of an IT professional in Texas is 90k a year in Texas if you hire someone internally.  An outside company and do it for much less and still give you all the information you need.   . 

Work Smarter not harder

Wearing multiple hats is a way of life for most people in small businesses.  So the one thing we must do is be the most diligent and effective with your time.  We all have the same amount of time; it is the people that make the most of their time are the most successful ones.  Imagine the situation instead of you researching, deciding, and implementing new technology, you only have to determine what works for you and someone else takes care of the rest.  Research shows when you are switching between multiple tasks, your IQ can drop as must as 15 points and can do damage to your brain if you are multitasking too much.  You know your business better than anyone else does.  So having a second opinion that turns several days of work into a one-hour meeting.  That kind of workflow makes the best use of your time so you can focus on your primary objectives every day and be more available to lead your team and give them the support they need to do their jobs better. 

 Need someone to back you up

Even when I wrote this blog, I knew the message that I wanted to get across, and I need some references to back me up.  When you have a second opinion or something to reference, it allows for credibility to what you are presenting.  We have all walked into our boss's office or meeting and had an idea shot down.  It was not because our boss does not like us; it was because we did not have enough information in front of them to justify the time or money to make it happen.  When you can walk into a room and present a solution with credible sources and a business process plan on how to execute and how it will benefit the company.  You have a much higher chance of getting the management information that they need to move forward with your idea.

Staying ahead of the trends

 A true IT professional has the time to research.  A lot of times with overworked in-house IT or outsourced IT that overextended themselves, all they do is put out fires or are afraid to make changes for the fear something is going to break.  They do not have the time to research trends and stay on top of the market.  With cyber security continually changing, if you are still doing the same things you were doing three years ago, you are putting yourself at risk.  You do not have the time to properly research and deploy the latest cyber security measures because you have multiple hats already.  When someone is staying ahead of the trends, it means they are actually proactive for you.  As we have seen at the end of the day, we want someone we can trust and is being proactive for us. 

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