An IT consultant works in partnership with clients, advising them how to use information technology in order to meet their business objectives or overcome problems. Consultants work to improve the structure and efficiency of an organisation's IT systems.
Hiring in consultants to perform specific functions over an agreed period of time is often referred to as ‘outsourcing’.
IT consultants may be used to provide strategic guidance to organisations with regard to technology, IT infrastructures and the enablement of major business processes through enhancements to IT. They can also be used to provide guidance during selection and procurement as well as providing highly expert technical assistance, and may be responsible for user training and feedback.
IT consultants may be involved in sales and business development, as well as technical duties.
Typical work activities
Tasks typically involve:
meeting with clients to determine requirements;
working with clients to define the scope of a project;
planning timescales and the resources needed;
clarifying a client's system specifications, understanding their work practices and the nature of their business;
travelling to customer sites;
liaising with staff at all levels of a client organisation;
defining software, hardware and network requirements;
analysing IT requirements within companies and giving independent and objective advice on the use of IT;
developing agreed solutions and implementing new systems;
presenting solutions in written or oral reports;
helping clients with change-management activities;
purchasing systems where appropriate;
designing, testing, installing and monitoring new systems;
preparing documentation and presenting progress reports to customers;
organising training for users and other consultants;
being involved in sales and support, and where appropriate, maintaining contact with client organisations;
identifying potential clients and building and maintaining contacts.
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