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Updated by Charles Bystock on 07/09/2013

IT infrastructure planning passWhen we say “passing off” IT infrastructure planning to consultants, we aren’t recommending you totally abdicate responsibility. Nobody in their right mind would do that, especially if they’re running a large global company. But obtaining high-level technical expertise to produce your plan can be smart business. It’s just a form of outsourcing.

Consultants work for you, but they’re not of you. However you choose to use them, the result is not their plan. It’s yours. You have to implement it and live with the consequences. And naturally you’d like those outcomes to be greater productivity and profitability.

IT infrastructure planning consultants can help you make that happen. Here are some key benefits to augmenting your planning team:

Unbiased perspective.

Consultants are an independent resource. They see things from a different angle, based on their own considerable business management experience, field-tested IT skills and in-depth knowledge of the current IT environment. You can take advantage of all that expertise to strengthen your IT infrastructure planning process.

Save time and money.

Planning is crucial, but it’s also time-consuming. Allowing consultants to lead and manage that process lets your people continue to concentrate on the work at hand. They’re still involved, of course, but you’re able to prevent both productivity dips and planning delays.

Consultants are able to efficiently zero in on key issues surrounding IT infrastructure planning, understanding the important triggers for your company and assuring you consider all the little details that add up to a strategically-structured plan. They’ll ensure you also generate that essential companion piece -- actionable implementation tactics with a sensible timeframe. And they’ll help you establish well-targeted benchmarks to measure and evaluate progress.

For them, planning is a core competency.

Your organization engages in planning all the time. But IT infrastructure planning requires very specialized expertise to avoid making costly mistakes. Consultants know what’s out there – the details and direction IT is heading. You can’t possibly stay abreast of all the emerging technical advances and procedural best practices, let alone maintain an up-to-date dossier on potential service providers and outsourcing partners.

But your consultants do. That’s why you can feel confident passing along IT infrastructure planning to them.

And yet planning is entirely about you, because your enterprise is unique. Your consultants will bring to bear what they’ve learned from their own pertinent business experience and also what they’ve learned from the experiences of their other clients.

Sidestep potentially crippling political issues.

Internal politics and personalities can get in the way of developing a smart plan. People worried about their employment future cannot be objective. IT staff or other departmental executives with their own personal agendas can send you sideways. And while skewed data or ardent opinions can be dangerous, they’re not always easy to detect.

Passing the baton of IT infrastructure planning off to consultants gives you an unbiased third party – someone who can be both a catalyst and a protector of the process. You won’t have to wonder if something was overstated or omitted.

Planning is just the first step.

Consultants can guide you smoothly into the execution phase. If your plan calls for outsourcing – or at least further investigation of your options in that area – they can be extremely valuable in helping you work through that selection process. They’ll use the detailed data gathered to support your initial IT infrastructure planning to work up a credible business case. They can help create a uniquely-tailored outsourcing scenario and identify the best-suited provider for you.

Since they’re already intimately familiar with your plan, objectives, priorities and the company players, there’s no learning curve. You can move quickly to determine what you want to do and get it underway.

By hiring consultants to take on your IT infrastructure planning, you get results you can be sure are thorough, future-oriented and exactly aligned with your organization’s goals and interests. 

Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via Flickr