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  • Melina Hong

Technology Consulting 101

What exactly is technology consulting? In our very first introductory article on consulting, we spoke about two kinds of consulting at the surface level; management and technology consulting. In this article, we will be taking a deeper dive into what technology consulting is about.

Technology Consulting, or Tech Consulting, is the advisory or implementation of technology to solve business problems. Tech Consultants transform the way businesses leverage technology and gear towards improving business processes, reducing costs, and maximizing the use of technology. The tech industry offers various options from Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) to programming languages, methodologies and tools, which might not be easy to navigate through them all and for organizations to figure out what exactly suits their requirements the best. Hence, this is where Tech Consultants come in and provide their expertise and knowledge on the tech industry and develop plans to suit their client’s needs.

Statista Market Research projected that Tech Consulting would reach US$57,521.3 million in revenue in 2021 and is expected to show annual growth of 6.34% by 2026. With such a huge potential in market growth due to technology’s ever-changing nature and development opportunities, it is safe to say that Tech Consulting would be a career that you would not want to miss.

Technology Consultants essentially work with clients to help them transform and leverage the way they use technology. In the past, digital transformations were often applied towards improving business processes, reduction of cost and maximizing the use of technology. Today, digital transformation includes digital strategy, technology change and other projects that ensure organizations are always ready as technology rapidly evolves.

There are five critical areas of Tech Consulting.

1. Custom Software Development

Custom Software Development is the process of designing, creating, deploying and maintaining software for a specific set of users, functions or organizations. Compared to commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), custom software development aims at a narrowly defined set of requirements. Tech Consultants are there to provide expertise and guidance on how organizations can build their software for their specific requirements.

2. IT Infrastructure Planning

IT Infrastructure refers to the combined components required for the operation and management of IT services and environments. A Tech Consultant’s role here is to assess the organization’s requirements and plan an IT Infrastructure around it. The consultant would evaluate the various types of infrastructure and the multitude of components to select the best ones most suited for the client and their business needs and therefore come up with an optimal IT Infrastructure plan together.

3. Risk Assessment Analysis

With business and technology converging rapidly and the reliance on technology across all companies, understanding the risk of IT is crucial in bridging the knowledge gap between business and technology. Tech Consultants can provide a detailed analysis of the current risks an organization is facing and predict risks that could potentially occur through risk assessment analysis and reports. Most of the time, these risk assessments are under compliance rules stated by government bodies. Consultants would then provide advice from a third party’s perspective on mitigation steps for such risks.

4. Security Consulting

Cyber-attacks cause huge losses of time and money year after year, affecting government bodies and financial institutions, multi-national corporations, and even small to medium enterprises. An IT Security Consultant’s role is mainly to protect an organization and their assets, as well as prevent security threats. An IT Security Consultant assesses software, computer systems and networks for vulnerabilities. Once the assessment is complete, the consultant would plan out a solution to cater to the organization’s needs and ensure the eradication of vulnerabilities.

5. Disaster Recovery Planning

IT Disaster Recovery Planning is a highly crucial part of an organization’s IT infrastructure to ensure Business Continuity in the event of technology failure, security threats and even data loss. Hence, a Tech Consultant’s role here is mainly to ensure that there is a Disaster Recovery Plan. This plan needs to be solid to meet the optimal RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) to ensure business continuity is not affected. There needs to be as little downtime as possible in such situations, and the time it takes to recover should be the fastest. Hence, consultants would design these plans to meet the needs of the organization and assess current plans to ensure they are ready at all times for such disasters to arise.

Busting a myth here, you do not need to be technical or graduate from a technical background to do technology consulting or even be in a technology-driven or focused firm! Generally speaking, consulting skills sets involve process re-invention. Each process would then be unique to a particular industry and might need more in-depth knowledge over time. As you start your career in consulting, building skills such as attention to detail, analytical skills, problem-solving skills are what would help with being able to identify what an organization requires and what it can do better through the use of technology.

Hence, if you are passionate about technology (given all industries will have to incorporate technology as part of their key corporate strategy instead of viewing it as a cost centre, eventually) and love ever-changing and challenging environments, tech consulting is just right for you! We hope that this post inspires you to start your journey in the tech consulting field and stay tuned for TheTechNative’s upcoming course, which will be released in Jan 2022 titled ‘Kickstart your career'. It will contain all the critical information that you require to have a successful start in your consulting career.

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