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Updated by Charles Bystock on 02/13/2014

it sourcing consultant (2)There’s nothing that says you have to hire an IT sourcing consultant. If you’ve decided transformation is in order, you can follow through on your own – figuring out what solution you want, finding the resources, contracting for those services.

But, realistically, it will be time-consuming and confusing, no matter how much in-house expertise you have available. It will pull valuable IT and other key staff away from important daily work. It probably won’t be an experience you want to repeat.

Worst of all, your chances of getting the results you want after all that effort are slim. The truth is, you don’t have the time or expertise to do this. And delay costs money.

Bringing in the right IT sourcing consultant is the highest form of delegation.

They can save you time and money by handling the hands-on work, while you still have control over decisions that are made. Best of all, you’ll have the right information – all of it  -- to make much better-informed decisions. You’re not really delegating so much as adding cutting-edge knowledge and insight to your team.

You and your IT sourcing consultant can determine together exactly what they will do for you. But here are just some of the specific ways they can save you time and money:

  • Having a long-term vision is good, but even better is knowing where you stand right now, so you can draw the straightest possible path between the two. Assessing your current situation isn’t as obvious as you may think, especially determining your true total cost of ownership. Without that, you can’t evaluate other options. Your IT sourcing consultant can quickly but accurately conduct a comprehensive resource analysis.  

  • Identifying the right solution, which could end up being a hybrid configuration uniquely tailored for your enterprise, ensures you can reap expected ongoing savings in terms of operations and capital expenses. Even if your net savings aren’t particularly large, your IT operation will be more productive and effective, making the most of every dollar spent.

  • Your consultant can help draft the an RFP that assures you get the best possible provider. Or providers. That requires knowing precisely what you need, but also who’s available. It’s that second aspect that makes an IT sourcing consultant invaluable, because they know the marketplace.

  • Contract negotiation, including SLA language and pricing, can get tricky. How you word things -- clearly delineated expectations, performance-based incentives or penalties and so on -- can affect your financials as well as your functionality. It’s all too easy to omit details or miss hidden costs lurking in the fine print.

  • Approaching your project strategically includes planning for a smooth transition. There may be no bigger cost than upset, frustrated or recalcitrant employees, because they can sabotage your entire transformation effort. The one worst case scenario would be upset or frustrated customers, because they’ll leave you for a competitor if they think you aren’t living up to their expectations. Your consultant can help you ensure change is welcomed throughout your enterprise.

  • Faster time-to-implementation gets you closer to new IT environment, sooner. Maybe that means you can get new product development underway sooner, or introduce your company to new markets sooner, or acquire that competitor you’ve had your eye on. At the very least you can stop treading water “deciding,” and move on

“Right fit” should be your mantra throughout your transformation planning and execution journey.

That starts with choosing your IT sourcing consultant. While consulting firms may seem similar, you’ll find they can differ significantly in the breadth and depth of their expertise and in their approach to helping you. Pick someone you like and trust, not just an impressive résumé or proposal. The right IT sourcing consultant will be upfront about whether they are, in fact, your best choice to save time and money on your new IT future.