The role of an IT consultant is to be a technical specialist that focuses on integrating information technology into businesses and showing clients how to use IT more efficiently to help reach objectives and targets.
This can be done by introducing new technical solutions and software platforms to current IT infrastructures with the purpose to improve processes and profitability.
IT consultants typically work as the bridge between the technical team and staff members by getting a clear understanding of the client requirements of the business model and strategy.
There are different reasons a business may require the assistance of an IT consultant:
- To seek advice and recommendations about business and IT problems
- To diagnose and refine challenges & opportunities
- To make recommendations to improve team effectiveness
- Implement new systems to increase productivity and awareness
- To temporarily help during a project where the hiring of permanent employees is not necessary
- External specialist advice
Responsibilities of a IT Consultant
An IT consultant must be capable of reaching high standards and having strong analytical skills to understand potential issues and develop solutions. Time management and being able to multi-task is crucial as well as having strong communication skills to understand the needs and requirements of clients. Other duties may include:
- Recognising the requirements and scope of the business from the client
- Developing a plan of action including time scale and resources required
- Understanding the practices and nature of business
- Monitor the computer systems and networks in an organisation
- Liaising with software engineers and IT support members
- Analysing potential issues and presenting written or oral solutions
- Communicate in writing to understand the work that needs to be done
- Be willing to travel across the country or even overseas
Qualifications & Training
Although any IT degree can be acceptable, graduates with degrees in software engineering, computer science or mathematics are usually preferred though anyone with a strong knowledge of IT and computer programming can be considered.
A new IT consultant will undertake training to improve business and technical skills such as coding, enterprise languages like SAP and programming languages like C, C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic, .NET or Python.
Salary and benefits
Salaries range from £23,000 to £35,000 for trainees. The average salary is £46,500, which has risen 5.85% on the same period last year.
IT consultants working as a contractor can earn a daily rate of £400. It is not uncommon for IT consultants contracting in London to earn more.