How to Find an IT Consulting Company

Whether you need a major Web site overhaul, customized software or networking solutions, finding the right IT consulting company to handle your needs is key to producing the desired results and ultimately positively impacting your bottom line.

Finding a professional that delivers what they promise can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. If you are considering hiring an IT consulting company, conducting some background research can save you time and money in the long run.

First, it is a good idea to ask the consultant for multiple references and then be sure to call the references and follow up on them. Ask the references about the results they experienced and if the consultant was easy to work with. Also find out if they experienced any problems in dealing with the individual. If they have, ask for specific examples.

In many circumstances, it’s typically safer to work with someone that you sought out as opposed to someone that cold called you. While there are reputable consultants that engage in marketing and cold calling, most good consultants are typically too busy with referral business to cold call for new business.

Take the time to learn exactly what services the IT consultant is offering to you prior to seriously considering hiring them. Review proposals and contracts or agreements carefully, and be sure they spell out what services are included.

Any reputable IT consulting company will either have a consulting services agreement on hand or should not object to signing the contract you produce, once it is reviewed and agreed upon. IT consulting contracts are essential prior to entering into any type of business relationship with the company. This agreement will define the terms of the relationship between you and the consultant.

What it protects

IT consulting contracts and other consulting agreement contracts or statements of work, specifically define the terms of the working agreement and specify the work the contractor is to perform for your company. The contractor’s responsibilities to you are clearly outlined and payment terms are determined. Below are common provisions that are essential components of the contract as well as a general outline for what a statement of work should look like.

Agreement provisions:

* Scope of Services
* Price and Payment Terms
* Term and Termination
* Ownership of Intellectual Property
* Confidential Information
* Warranty and Disclaimer
* Limitation of Remedies
* Limitation of Liability
* Relation of Parties
* Employee Solicitation/Hiring
* Miscellaneous Provisions

General outline for statements of work:

* Preamble
* Project Background
* Scope
* Key Tasks and Milestones
* Project Deliverables
* Time and Cost Estimates
* Price and Payment
a. Invoices
b. Payment
* Project Organization and Personnel Requirements
* Supporting Documentation
* Expenses

Before hiring an IT consultant to provide services to one of the vital components of your business – your computer or your network – be sure to verify their credibility and have a solid contract in place. E-mails, oral agreements and other informal agreements will not provide you protection should the service not be delivered as promised.