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Hiring a new consultant can be a stressful situation because there is so much riding on your decision. You need to know that any potential consultants will take the time to understand your business needs and be able to quickly get up to speed and delivering value. Starting a new relationship with your technology partner starts with having a shared understanding of your technology needs and business goals, so you are both laser-focused on success metrics throughout the engagement. Here are some tips that will help you hire the best IT consultant in Washington DC.
There are many capable technology professionals in the Washington DC area, but you need a partner who can translate their technical knowledge into business impact. Today’s solutions are often a solid mix of business and marketing along with hardcore tech, and your technology professional needs to understand how the various parts of your business intersect and work together. Of course, your consultant will need to have a firm grasp of infrastructure and networking, but their knowledge of cybersecurity is every bit as important in today’s climate.
Norton estimates that cybercriminals will be stealing up to 33 billion records a year by 2023 — a date that sounds further away than it actually is. Cybercriminals continue to invest time and attention in tactics such as adversarial machine learning. Your IT consultant in Washington DC will need to continue their education and vendor certifications in order to keep up with evolving threats and adequately protect your business.
Before you start your search for the ideal IT consultant in Washington DC, you should create a list of questions that can be sent to each potential partner. Comparing these responses can help you recall specifics about a particular partner long after the conversation. Here are a few questions to get you started:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions — this is an interview process, and you need to know that you’re selecting the right technical partner for your unique business needs.
From the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that should be a part of every vendor conversation to a detailed listing of the services that will be provided and the costs, you should get every single detail of the IT consultant’s offering in writing. This protects both parties and makes it that much easier to ensure that you are embarking on a long-term commitment to each other. Miscommunication is one of the biggest challenges in any partnership, and a simple slip in understanding can be especially difficult when you are discussing the infrastructure of your business. Service level agreements are typically leveraged as a way to provide both parties with a written guarantee and a shared understanding of response times based on the type of incident that is occurring. These agreements are not the same for every vertical or even for every business. Some organizations require near-instant, redundant offsite backups while others find that backing up their data every 15 minutes is perfectly acceptable.
Working with a technology professional is a big step for your business, but it is one that can pay significant returns if you take the time for due diligence upfront. It is crucial to your success and the success of your partnership that you transparently state the needs of your organization, as trying to make your situation sound better will often backfire in the future. When in doubt, it’s good to share challenges in people, processes and budgeting upfront so your solutions consultant can make recommendations based on their best understanding of your current and future needs. Finding the ideal IT consultant in Washington DC starts with finding organizations that share your passion for both business and technology — and the professionals at NTConnections are constantly learning and evolving to provide the best possible service for your business. Request a free action plan today by filling out our quick request form, or contact us today at 703-288-9767.