New technologies are emerging all the time, and existing technologies are constantly evolving. As technology becomes more relevant — or imperative — for the future of your business, you’ll need more relevant guidance to find your way amid the myriad solutions and products in the market. Another challenge altogether lies in restructuring your workflow to incorporate new tools and training your people to work in a new way.
Just because a technology has become trendy doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. Often as not, trendiness results from a lack of understanding about the product. Think of “digital transformation,” which can mean everything and nothing all at once.
Of course, when choosing an IT consultant, you want them to have the technical capability to give you what you need. But the most important traits go much deeper.
Across the corporate world, C-level executives are awakening to the potential of technology to catapult their business ahead of the competition or save it from irrelevance or insolvency.
This requires a corresponding mindset adjustment from IT vendors and consultants. Traditionally, IT consultants fix things that are broken, whether it’s the office printer, a mismanaged ERP system, or a compliance issue in a highly regulated industry.
Companies still need the infrastructure to run smoothly, but they’re looking for something more. They want to use technology to help achieve strategic business objectives.
IT consultants aren’t usually accustomed to thinking about the business strategy that the IT strategy is supposed to serve.
Make sure your IT consultant understands your business model, your industry, and your workflow. An IT consultant who doesn’t try to get to know your business, or tries to shoehorn your business into a pre-built solution, won’t be able to give you what you really need.
Of course, plenty of businesses don’t have a clear overall strategy. As much as technology can be used to change a business, it can also be purposed toward understanding the business in its current state. If your business lacks a coherent, well-defined strategy, your IT consultant should be able to help you define one.
At Vudu, we’re business people first. Our years of experience and business acumen allow us to fill a crucial void at the leadership table. Over time, your technological capability may grow to the point that it influences business strategy, rather than merely supporting it.
That takes time, but our favorite clients are in it for the long haul, and Vudu has the capability to keep serving them indefinitely.
At Vudu, we believe that data is the lifeblood of any business.
Therefore, your IT consultant should recognize data as a business asset. Every member of your team, from the C-suite to the bottom-rung worker should have access to actionable, high-quality data.
According to Gallup, only about half of employees know what’s expected of them at work. In a poll by Comparably, a whopping 42% of respondents said unclear goals were their biggest work stressor—a greater percentage than the next most common stressors combined (commutes and bad managers).
Unclear goals lead to a gap in ownership around some responsibilities, as well as redundancy in others. A lack of clarity kills productivity.
That’s what data really is: clarity. Clarity around progress, performance, and success.
But with all the data company is gather these days, it’s hard to know which data points really matter. An IT consultant can help prioritize the most important data and align that data with top-level strategic objectives all the way down to daily performance KPIs.
At Vudu, standardizing data across all departments and flowing that data into one holistic data set is our first priority. For us, data is the paint on our brush we’ll use to paint a bigger picture for your business.
No matter how powerful technology gets, man’s reach will always exceed our grasp.
Dreaming up a digitally transformed vision of your business is one thing. Bringing it into reality is another. In a study of 1,471 IT projects, the Harvard Business Review found that on average, an IT project ends up costing twice as much as originally estimated, and it takes 70% longer to complete.
Almost every company that takes on a digital transformation project underestimates the change management it will take to acclimate their staff to a new way of working and a new way of thinking about work.
Just because everyone at your company agrees that change is necessary doesn’t make them adaptable to that change. If employees don't understand the new system, or buy into it, they’ll revert to the old way of doing things at the first opportunity.
IT consultants tend to be very technical and tactical. They don’t often have the human capital management experience and other soft skills that align strategy and encourage buy-in from the top down. Make sure yours does.
At Vudu, we bring the project management framework of the Big 4 to small- and medium-sized businesses. When outlining your strategy, we take your company’s capacity for change into account. We take the long view, encouraging a culture shift that is more open to change—we daresay excited by it.
The pace and abundance of IT possibilities can be dizzying. Your business probably relies on IT consultants and vendors to tell you what you don’t know. After all, you’re already an expert at what you do. You probably don’t have time to become an IT strategist on top of it all.
You shouldn’t have to. You should be able to trust the recommendations and suggestions of your IT consultant.
Trust is such a binary thing. You either trust someone with the future of your business, or you don’t. That trust is earned in a few ways.
So many businesses lose confidence in their IT partner simply because of that partner’s lack of organization and professionalism. From the very outset of your relationship, your IT consultant should clearly have themselves together. They should be responsive, communicative, proactive, and approachable.
If an IT consultant shows they want to understand the ins and outs of your business, that’s a great sign. But you have to be ready to show them your dirty laundry. It’s ok—you wouldn’t be talking to them if you didn’t have a problem. We all know that executives hate hearing things they don’t want to hear, but a true IT partner shouldn’t be afraid to voice hard truths and give their honest opinion. Even if that causes some friction at the leadership table, it’s worth it.
Ultimately, your IT consultant must do what they say they’re going to do. It doesn’t matter how small the task or project is, if it comes in over budget, under scope, or past the deadline, it will undermine the trust that serves as the bedrock for your relationship.
There are multitudes of IT vendors, strategists, and consultants out there who want to deliver what Vudu offers — but they simply can’t. They may know the technology, but they can’t think strategically, see projects all the way through, or grasp the greater organizational strategy.
At Vudu, we are technology wizards who want to bring IT magic to your business and achieve supernatural results. Are you looking for a strategic IT consultant you can trust? Tell us more about your goals.