You confronted your fears, took a risk, and implemented your business idea. Your startup seems to be doing well with the client database growing by day or week. Why should you consider the services of IT consultants in Kenya? Is it better to hire a permanent IT professional and hand over all IT-related tasks?
Founders struggle with the decision of hiring consultants for various reasons. Accessing funds to start and grow a new business is perhaps the greatest challenge for business owners. Hence, founders do not prioritize consultancy services for start-ups. Some assume that such services are reserved for large companies.
Another misconception that hinders many entrepreneurs from hiring consultants is the notion that the services are expensive. As we will discover later in this article, hiring a consultant sometimes saves costs. Some founders are just unaware of the potential benefits of engaging consultants at the early stages of their business
If you are still unsure about this decision, let us look at the pro and cons of hiring consultants.
Pros of Hiring ICT Consultants in Kenya
Expertise and Experience
The top reason for hiring consultants is to get expert advice or services. Consultants have years of experience a field that you and/or your IT staff members have limited experience. You benefit from this experience and make the right decisions at the formative stages of your business. Many small businesses start without an IT department. Engaging a consultant gives you access to the same technical expertise that large companies enjoy.
Objective and neutral advice
Sometimes IT consultants come in to solve issues in your business such as a security breach. You may also hire consultants to audit your internal system including its performance and efficiency. The IT staff may have the expertise for such an audit but give feedback that protects their jobs. Consultants give authentic and objective feedback on ICT issues and recommend practical solutions. Consultants enable business owners to face inefficiencies in their business that they would prefer to ignore.
Fixed upfront costs
Hiring a staff member is different from hiring a consultant. You may incur a high initial cost with a consultant for the expertise and experience. However, consultants give you the full cost of their services upfront. Once you meet the cost, you will enjoy agile technical solutions in your business without recurring costs. Compare the upfront cost with the cost of hiring such an expert with a monthly salary, benefits, and paid annual leave.
Are you worried about data security? Every business, whether small or large, has to plan for cyber security issues. The crimes have become sophisticated over time. Customers lose their confidence easily in a service provider after a security breach. Even with a well-equipped IT department, hiring external experts in data security is advisable. IT consultants in Kenya do not only follow secure procedures but also recommend the best security systems.
Increased productivity in IT staff
One reason why you may be experiencing slow growth could be that your IT team is underperforming. Choosing the right performance metrics for such a team is difficult if you have limited knowledge and experience in IT. Most entrepreneurs fall into this category. IT consultants will easily determine if you have redundant human resources and recommend changes.
Imagine a working environment with the latest digital technologies and fast systems. How much time will employees save when working in such an environment? The working environment is directly correlated with the satisfaction of employees. Analyse the technical issues that your staff members complain about regularly. If your IT professional or department has not solved them yet, it is time to call a consultant.
Cons of Hiring IT Consultants in Kenya
We told you that IT consultants give objective or neutral advice and Muva is not different. Hiring a consultant has a downside too.
The availability of IT consultants depends on the company or individuals that your firm hires. Some are available for 24/7 but most work within normal working hours. Hence, should your systems need quick attention during off-working hours, you will have a challenge accessing quick help. In addition, consultants allocate specific hours to each client and will not be in your premises all day for consultations. Be careful with the choice of an IT consultant to get reliable services.
Lack of continuity
Once a project or contract ends, the engagement of the consultants ends as well. Some consultants offer help after a contract such as maintenance services but the period is limited. While you may want continuous expert services for your business but such an engagement with consultants is costly. The best approach is to hire consultants for a specific project and ensure that your team can run the systems after the consultants leave.
The moment a consultant packs and leaves your premises, knowledge leaves as well. You may not realise the loss until you encounter a challenge with the new technology. Internal IT experts do not have the same level of expertise. Otherwise, you would not have hired the consultants in the first place. Encourage your employees to learn as much as possible during their interactions with consultants. The right consultants are always willing to transfer knowledge to other IT professionals.
The cost of hiring an IT consultant is low in the long term. However, the services of ICT consultants in Kenya may be beyond your company’s budget. Cost constraints limit many small businesses from upgrading to the latest technologies. Compromising the quality of IT services is not the solution. Identify the best consultants and then negotiate for a flexible payment plan.
Saving the best for last does not work in business. Invest as much as you can when building the foundation of your startup. The approach will you save high costs that other entrepreneurs incur when trying to deal with a crisis. Hiring IT consultants in Kenya is one way of ensuring that you get the technical bit right. Consider hiring other types of consultants as well if necessary. Success is inevitable with expert advice on the major aspects of your business.