IT consulting is a catchall phrase for partnering with tech experts to solve an IT-related business challenge. Let’s take a look at the pivotal role technology consulting can play for a small business.
People often think of IT services as a way to help mitigate cybercrime and ensure their business technology runs smoothly. That is true, but small business owners should also consider the role IT can play in facilitating growth and helping them to achieve their business goals.
If you have an IT-related problem you don’t know how to solve, technology consulting may be the answer. An IT consulting firm can help you tackle such challenges as:
- Designing your IT systems so they can easily scale as you grow
- Assessing how vulnerable your business is to cybersecurity threats
- Moving, expanding, or setting up a new office
- Managing system and network administration
- Choosing the right software with the help of a software consultant
- Determining if and how you should move to the cloud
- Determining what type of equipment to buy and where to purchase it at the most reasonable price
- Conducting a general or industry-specific compliance audit
This frees up your time so you can focus on business operations and what is most important to you.
If you needed legal or accounting help, you would turn to a lawyer or an accountant. The same holds true for IT! Technology consulting is a professional service that small business owners can use to protect, grow, and improve their businesses.
IT Consulting and Compliance Audits
Your IT partner should be able to offer an infrastructure assessment where they investigate your existing equipment, processes, software, backup approach, remote access connectivity, and more to evaluate performance, highlight risks, and suggest a plan for improvement. This helps to prioritize your IT spending and address potential problems before they turn into costly IT headaches.
Part of this process may include working with a software consultant who will examine what programs you are using to assess their effectiveness and safety. He or she may potentially recommend more cost-effective or better-performing alternatives, or even assist in migrating to cloud-based solutions.
A cybersecurity audit is a process in which an IT consulting firm assesses your network security and data security, uncovers vulnerabilities, and suggests clear actions for addressing them. The audit should include a review of your firewall, network servers, workstations, software applications, user accounts, Wi-Fi, and even your approach to password security. This will help your business protect itself against all kinds of cybercrime, including malware, viruses, and ransomware, which is on the rise in St. Louis and around the world.
A compliance audit is a review of an organization’s adherence to industry guidelines. These can be conducted by government agencies, third parties, or even in-house. For example, if your company accepts credit card payments, it needs to be in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a set of security standards designed to make sure companies protect customer data. Healthcare companies must adhere to HIPAA regulations, and financial institutions typically have an entire compliance department dedicated to making sure they are “playing by the rules.”
IT security is an important part of all these compliance processes. Your IT partner should be able to run its own compliance audit to assess your performance, and it should be able to assist you if and when you are dealing with audits and certification processes run by third parties, including government agencies.
Technology consulting is a fast-growing specialty, in part because of the crucial role technology and data play in a business’s success. The right IT consulting firm will help you make the best decisions when facing IT challenges or opportunities, whether you are devising a plan for growth, buying new equipment, filing for IT-related certifications, or preparing for, or running your own, compliance audits.
Anderson Technologies is a St. Louis IT consulting firm that loves working with clients to help them reach—or, better yet, exceed—their business goals. Reach out today by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 314.394.3001.