What is IT consulting?
Involving a wide range of skills and strategies, including programming, data analytics, cybersecurity, and networking, information technology is a wide-reaching discipline. In IT consulting, specialists in these skills help businesses to achieve their objectives and create customised strategies for their companies' digital transformation and future proofing. IT consultants may be able to provide advice on a host of issues, including (but not limited to) web development, system architecture, data analytics, automation, information security, cloud infrastructure, and emerging technologies like AR/VR, blockchain, and the IoT.
It is generally agreed today that the development of good IT strategies has become an indispensable step that companies must take on the path towards business growth. IT consultants are skilled at introducing companies to new digital technologies and at providing the resources necessary in order to integrate these innovative solutions into existing systems and business processes.
Often times, business leaders understand that they need to carry out technological integrations and updates, but do not know where to start. It is the role of the IT consultant to look at the client company's existing systems in order to identify areas that could use improvement and discover opportunities to use digital technology to create value.
Why businesses hire IT consulting firms
Companies hire IT consultants for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, doing so can significantly reduce costs and save precious time. If you don't have any tech specialists among your company's decision-makers, engaging with an IT consultant would likely cost less than hiring your own personnel. If you have your own internal IT department, bringing in a consulting team will save your team time and allow your employees to focus on their usual tasks. Ultimately, this is the best way to go in order to avoid interruptions to normal business processes as much as possible.
Furthermore, when you choose to hire an IT consultant, you are essentially paying to get access to the information that they possess. The individuals who work for IT consulting firms have more than likely worked with a broader range of companies than have your internal workers. They are able to bring ideas to the table that come from a completely different perspective than your own.
Strategising effective digital transformation
Quite likely, the reason you will be approaching an IT consultant is in order to develop and implement a digital transformation strategy. Digital transformation is the practice of companies using new, innovative, digital technologies to solve existing problems and anticipate potential ones. This process may include things like IT modernisation, digital optimisation, data analytics, automation, or any of a host of other strategies.
IT consulting firms have the skills and experience your company needs to make its digital transformation a success. Of course, digital transformation is not just about technical implementations: Any kind of fundamental change to a business is certain to involve lengthy project life cycles and require the cooperation and agreement of many employees and stakeholders. IT consultants have expertise in helping companies keep their digital transformation goals in sight and in helping communicate strategies throughout the entire team.
These days, digital transformation is usually carried out following an agile approach. Usually, IT consulting firms recommend an overarching three-phrase process that brings everything together:
First, the company undergoing digital transformation must make sure that everyone in their team understand the overall goals of the organisation and that senior management and other decision makers are committed to the success of this pursuit. Implemented must be budgeted for and decisions need to be made about how different changes should be managed. IT consulting firms can help with these things.
In the second phase, the company can begin making changes. At this point, it is important to ensure that management has created a strong digital culture within the organisation and that employees feel comfortable with changes. It is often recommended to start with simpler, easier to execute, digital transformation projects. This way, team members can see the positive effects of changes earlier on.
Lastly, towards the end of digital transformation projects, companies must remain open to new ways of executing change within the organisation. Likely, the success of the company's IT modernisation has made apparent new opportunities for digital change. During this phase, IT consulting firms serve as an impartial partner, ready to point out new opportunities for business improvement.
As you can see, these three steps are all about building effective strategy. The additional perspective that IT consulting firms provide is, for many companies, beyond essential.
Digital transformation for the oil and gas industry
When selecting an IT consulting firm to help your company along its path towards digital transformation, it is always important to make sure that they have a good understanding of the area of your business. This is even more true for companies operating in the oil and gas industry.
Petrochemical and similar industries deal with a highly complicated and global supply chain, safety concerns, and the need to meet regulatory requirements. Different segments of the industry, including the upstream, midstream, and downstream, present unique problems that companies face each and every day. Without prior exposure to these challenges, the IT consulting firm just cannot provide real value.
We at Buxill IT LTD have a wealth of experience powering innovation in the petrochemical industry through the development and administration of unique digital solutions. Not only have we helped strategise effective digital transformation for oil and gas companies the world over, but we have become uniquely skilled at seamlessly integrating emerging technologies, including big data analytics, robotic process automation (RPA), and blockchain into existing business processes. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your business' needs and ways that we can unlock value together. Contact us to learn more.