Differences Between IT Services & IT Consulting
You’re ready to take on new IT solutions for your business but not quite sure where to start. As you look for a provider, you may encounter new terminology that makes it difficult for you to decide who, exactly, is capable of providing the assistance you need.
At first glance, the terms “IT services” and “IT consulting” appear to reference similar concepts. In reality, however, these names point to decidedly different functions.
It’s important to understand both the basic definitions of IT services and IT consulting, as well as the specific ways in which they differ. Otherwise, you risk wasting resources on IT provisions that are not properly tailored to your current needs. To that end, we’ve highlighted the key differences between IT services and IT consulting below”
What Is IT Consulting?
Many businesses struggle to define their IT objectives or determine how specific tools and technologies can help them meet broad goals. The IT consultant can help enterprises get a handle on where general IT strategies can be implemented and how they might make a difference.
A skilled IT consultant will take the time to understand the long-term vision and objectives of the business in question. From there, this professional can provide a broad overview of how certain types of IT initiatives might help.
While IT consulting can be helpful for pinpointing top concerns and developing a basic strategy for addressing them, it is not always an ideal solution for getting into specifics. With detail-oriented procedures, IT services may prove more helpful.
What Are IT Services?
If IT consultants answer the question of what needs to be done in order for the businesses they serve to meet their goals, IT service providers get into the nitty-gritty of how previously developed objectives can be accomplished. IT services tend to take on a more technical approach, calling on specific tools and methodologies in the interest of helping clients make progress towards stated IT objectives.
For example, while an IT consultant can provide broad advice for improving general cybersecurity practices at the corporate level, IT services may be called upon to handle specific security matters or to assist with data backup.
When IT Consultants and IT Services Work Together
While IT services and IT consulting hold clear differences, one does not need to be pursued in lieu of the other. These can often be complementary initiatives.
The distinctions between IT consulting and IT services tend to blur when clients desire both assistance with developing a plan and executing it. The IT consultant side of operations may be called upon for identifying the top pain points and sketching out a plan for a solution, but it may be best implemented under the detailed guidance of IT services.
What About Software Consulting?
Another common term among business leaders seeking IT assistance: software consulting, which refers to the selection and configuration of applications such as Oracle or SAP. The role of the software consultant tends to echo that of an IT consultant, but with a specific focus on the application layer. While software consultants hold a great deal of technical knowledge, they’re primarily on hand to assist with the long-term goals and concerns of software workflows and how they might influence the companies that rely on them.
To achieve peak productivity, agility, and security, most midsize or large corporations will need IT consulting, IT services, or software consulting at some point. The right provider can help you determine which of these essentials should come into play for your specific situation, and how, if necessary, this preferred approach may influence other IT considerations.