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Datalyst has been serving the Massachusetts area since 2010, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Difference Between a Good IT Consultant and a Great IT Consultant

The Difference Between a Good IT Consultant and a Great IT Consultant

When it comes to IT consulting, not all service providers are created equal. While some may provide basic support and maintenance, others go above and beyond to provide personalized support, cost savings, and keep your sights locked on the future so technology can help your business thrive. So, what sets a great IT consultant apart from a good one? In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between a good IT consultant and a great IT consultant, and why it matters for your business.

Personalized IT Support

A good IT consultant will provide basic support and maintenance for your business’ technology needs. They may offer remote support or on-site visits to troubleshoot issues, but their services may not be tailored to your specific business needs. Much of the time, they have one or two pricing packages and just stick you in one and hope it works out. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. 

On the other hand, a great IT consultant will take the time to understand your business and its unique technology requirements. They will work with you to develop a personalized support plan that aligns with your business goals and objectives. This may include implementing new technology solutions, providing training for your employees, and offering ongoing support and maintenance.

By providing personalized support, a great IT consultant can help your business operate more efficiently and effectively, leading to increased productivity and growth.

This dynamic is even more clear when you call in for support—if the IT company isn't thoroughly documenting your network and making sure that documentation is followed by support technicians, user support is going to be a lot less graceful. While you can't always expect the tech who happens to pick up the phone to know everything about your organization at the start of the conversation, they should be able to quickly pull up notes and configurations while working with you so you don't need to retrain them on the things their company already set up for you.

One of the biggest complaints we hear when onboarding new clients is that their last IT providers treated them that way, and it's frustrating. You aren't calling a massive global hardware PC manufacturer like Dell or Lenovo, where it's more expected to be treated like just one of a million other customers—you deserve more personalized care from your IT provider.

Managed IT Services

A good IT consultant may offer basic support and maintenance, but a great IT consultant will go a step further by providing managed IT services. This means that they will proactively monitor and manage your business’ technology systems to prevent issues before they occur.

Managed IT services can include tasks such as software updates, security patches, and data backups. By regularly maintaining your systems, a great IT consultant can help prevent costly downtime and ensure that your business is always running smoothly.

Here's the thing; anyone can say they offer managed IT services. They can say they actively perform maintenance and monitoring and have remote tools to keep your computers up to date. The key differentiator is if they are just checking off boxes or if they are actually preventing problems and keeping you in the loop when it comes to upgrades, end-of-life software, and potential compliance issues.

Cost Savings

One of the key differences between a good IT consultant and a great IT consultant is their ability to help your business save money. A good IT consultant may provide basic support and maintenance, but a great IT consultant will work with you to identify areas where you can cut costs and improve efficiency.

For example, a great IT consultant may recommend implementing cloud-based solutions to reduce hardware and maintenance costs. They may also suggest consolidating software licenses to save money on subscriptions. By working closely with your business, a great IT consultant can help you save money and improve your bottom line.

When it comes to business technology, there are always going to be costs and expenses, but there should be value on top of that. No reputable IT provider is going to want you using 10-year-old hardware on a mission-critical server, running long-unsupported legacy software if there is an upgrade path, but IT isn't just about throwing money at problems, either. 

Quarterly Business Reviews

A great IT consultant will not only provide ongoing support and maintenance, but they will also regularly review your business’ technology systems to ensure they are meeting your needs. This is where quarterly business reviews come in.

Quarterly business reviews are an opportunity for your IT consultant to sit down with you and discuss your business’ technology goals and objectives. They will review your current systems and make recommendations for improvements or changes that can help your business grow.

By conducting quarterly business reviews, a great IT consultant can ensure that your technology systems are always aligned with your business’ needs and goals.

If you aren't regularly hearing from your IT provider, especially with the modern cybersecurity landscape that all businesses have to deal with today, you are potentially missing some very important conversations.

Compliance Services

Speaking of cybersecurity, in today’s digital landscape, compliance and security should be a top concern for businesses of all sizes. A good IT consultant may provide basic security measures, but a great IT consultant will go above and beyond to ensure your business is compliant with industry regulations.

A great IT consultant will have a deep understanding of compliance requirements and will work with your business to implement the necessary security measures to protect your data and systems. This may include implementing multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and regular security audits.

By providing compliance services, a great IT consultant can give your business peace of mind and protect it from potential data breaches or cyberattacks.

The problem here is that most business owners and decision-makers just don't know where to start or how to gauge how secure their business is. You might think you are paying for some expensive antivirus and monitoring, so you should be all set, but most modern cybersecurity isn't about throwing money or software at the problem; it's about policy and training.

It's always good to get a second opinion when it comes to cybersecurity, even if you have an IT provider you trust.

Cybersecurity Should Be Baked Into Everything

Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses of all sizes, and a great IT consultant will have a deep understanding of the latest security threats and how to protect your business from them.

Again, a decent IT consultant may provide basic security measures, but a great IT consultant will go above and beyond to ensure that your business is protected from potential cyberattacks. This may include implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems, staff training, educational emails and blogs, and regular security audits.

By prioritizing cybersecurity, a great IT consultant can give your business peace of mind and protect it from potential data breaches or cyberattacks.

Attention to Detail

Another key difference between a good IT consultant and a great IT consultant is their attention to detail. At this point, we might not even say that the IT provider is worth their salt if they aren't putting in a lot of attention, but a great IT consultant will have a keen eye for detail and will go above and beyond to ensure that your systems are running at their best.

This attention to detail can make all the difference when it comes to preventing issues and ensuring that your business is operating efficiently. A great IT consultant will not only address any immediate concerns but will also proactively identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems.

Boston IT Consulting Companies Near Me

When searching for an IT consultant in the Boston area, it’s important to find a reputable and experienced company. Look for a company that has a proven track record of providing personalized support, managed IT services, and cost savings for their clients.

It’s a good idea to focus on local IT providers that specifically serve your area, as opposed to nationwide providers that are spread across multiple states or the entire country. This is especially important for businesses in the New England area, as having a local IT consultant can provide a number of benefits.

First, a local IT consultant will have a better understanding of the unique technology needs and challenges faced by businesses in the New England region. They will also be able to provide more personalized support and on-site visits when needed.

Additionally, a local IT consultant will be more familiar with compliance regulations and requirements specific to the New England area, ensuring that your business is always in compliance. Massachusetts in general has unique cybersecurity and data privacy laws that organizations need to follow that a larger nationwide IT company might not be intimate with.

Additionally, consider the company’s experience with compliance and cybersecurity. A great IT consultant will have a deep understanding of these areas and will be able to provide the necessary support and services to keep your business protected.

Your Business Deserves Greatness

When it comes to IT consulting, the difference between a good IT consultant and a great IT consultant can have a significant impact on your business. By providing personalized support, managed IT services, cost savings, and compliance services, a great IT consultant can help your business operate more efficiently and effectively. Want to see what it's like working with a great IT provider who treats your business the way it deserves? Give Datalyst a call at (774) 213-9701 to get a free consultation.

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