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Whatever your business – hardware, clothing, marketing, services or even internet related – a large part of the efficient operation of your business depends on well run IT systems. Although it is good to have these systems in place and have them maintained by in-house “IT guys,” continuous technological advancements and subsequent changing customer expectations means that these systems need to be updated, replaced, or enhanced with other systems.
This is where many businesses assume that they can ask their in-house IT employees, who generally troubleshoot system and user errors, to manage these new IT projects instead of outsourcing the projects to management consultants.
Why this is not a good idea
Although the full-time IT technicians may well be qualified to take care of large IT projects, they may not have the required experience and managerial personality traits to manage IT projects on such a scale.
projects can go on for anything from a week to a few months – the latter being the more common, as there is usually a fair amount of red tape and approval processes involved. This means that the in-house IT technician(s) will be fully occupied for this period, leaving the everyday troubleshooting such as login difficulty, creating new user profiles, etc. unattended to.
Some-one appointed as a general IT technician draws a monthly salary and has set a certain standard of work – good or bad. When however required to do something out of his / her everyday scope, such as this, results may not be satisfactory. In such a case an employee cannot be let go due to the unsatisfactory standard of work delivered on something which is not entirely part of the job. In addition, he or she may become demoralised and resign, seeing the loss of a perfectly good IT technician and an increase in staff turnover.
Reasons to outsource IT projects to project management consultants
A professional IT project management consultant will be both trained in and have much practice in managing IT projects of various sizes. They will be aware of all the considerations, as well as the best names in the industry which can be used to supply hardware, software and services.
With an outsourced service comes a certain guarantee or expectation of time and quality. If the consultants therefore do not meet these expectations, nothing stops the business from getting a new consultancy to finish the project. This can be done without loss of valuable staff and excessive red tape.
Although there is an initial expense to outsourcing to a project management consultant, the project is sure to be completed in a much shorter time and with a lot less challenges before and after completion, than it would have, had the job been done in-house. In addition, consultants are usually able to obtain hardware and software at a discounted rate through partnerships with suppliers.
Sporadic projects are inevitable in most businesses. Tiresome and costly projects however can and should be prevented. A consultant that specialises in IT project management has to perform well to earn a consistent living and earn business. This means that they are much better equipped to make a success of a project than a manufacturing or financial services company for example, as it is their field of expertise.