Unless you are solely responsible for staying on top of technology, it is almost impossible to keep up with all the trends. This is why IT advisory is in such high demand. Companies of all sizes often need professional second-options, based on global IT insights and subject-matter expertise. In this post, we’ll do our best to help you understand what IT advisory is, what its benefits are, and how to understand if this service model is right for you.
- IT Advisory Definition
- How Can Your Business Benefit from IT Advisory
- Who Should Use IT Advisory Services and When
- What You Need to Get Started with IT Advisory
IT Advisory Definition
Let’s start with the definition.
At the tactical level, IT advisory services support complex IT transformations within an organization, improve infrastructure performance, and optimize costs.
At a strategic level, Gartner notes that IT advisory and consulting engagements can include the following components:
- Strategic advisory – high-level IT consulting services, aimed at analyzing the current IT landscape, identifying your as-is and to-be states, and developing a plan for implementing desired outcomes.
- Architecture planning – a process of defining the logical structure of the whole company’s IT infrastructure along with the roadmap of how it can be used across departments.
- Operational assessment/benchmarking – a type of advisory service for defining the current state, maturity, and weak points of your IT operations and outlining a plan for their optimization.
- Implementation planning– a process for completing and implementing new IT projects successfully.
IT advisory is equally beneficial for mature scale-ups and enterprise-sized companies. The scope of IT advisory services will differ based on the company’s size, niche, and strategic goals. There’s also a risk that the roadmap provided by the advisory team will require more resources for execution than you can allocate. In such cases, it makes sense to seek out IT consultants, who can also provide proactive support with implementation like Edvantis does.
Edvantis’ Positioning of IT Consulting Services
At Edvantis, we narrow down our service model of IT Advisory to operational benchmarking. Our goal is to help organizations achieve outsourcing readiness. Namely, we assist our customers with:
- Preliminary assessments of their operational practices for onboarding external partners
- Vendor onboarding process map creation
- Definition of potential outsourcing risks and selecting relevant strategies for risk management
- Planning ahead for scaling the outsourcing partnership
Our IT advisory consultants will assess the client’s IT processes, advise on an optimal service model, outline the vendor collaboration strategy, and create a communication plan.
The result: a roadmap for establishing an efficient outsourcing partnership that will generate long-term results and scale as your business grows.
How Can Your Business Benefit from IT Advisory
Ultimately, a trustworthy and experienced vendor that offers IT advisory services can help you:
Shape Your Company’s IT Strategy
The road to digital transformation starts with the IT strategy. You may already have a basic plan, which is excellent. But IT advisors will help you shape it into a full-fledged strategy. More than that, they will address a broader scope of changes, covering operations, business models, change management, and in-house governance. In the end, you get a roadmap showing you how to achieve the set results on both technical and operational levels.
Empower Your Company to Solve Problems on Its Own
The goal of IT advisors is to understand the current situation and come up with the ultimate strategy to achieve the results you need. For instance, if your company’s goal is to migrate the ERP system to the cloud in 6 months to gain an X% increase in productivity, the advisory team will provide a tactical blueprint for achieving that goal.
But the most important thing is that by following the blueprint, your company learns to solve problems without external help, maturing in the process.
Get a Clear-Cut Roadmap
After carefully examining your needs and thinking through the pros and cons of different solutions, the consulting team will provide you with a clear roadmap for reaching the desired to-be state. Additionally, their experience can help determine what technology strategies work best for businesses like yours, based on their tested best practices expertise and years of experience. So that you don’t need to start from a blank canvas and second-guess the risks.
Predict Future Risks and Minimize Them
IT advisory helps you become more familiar with your company’s pain points. Once the advisory team reports on your company’s weaker areas, your management will be able to foresee the upcoming IT risks and address those in advance. At the same time, the IT advisory team will ensure the fundamental changes are incorporated and help your company scale further, faster, with minimal risks. By assessing the impact and likelihood of various risks, team can also recommend strategies and controls to mitigate those risks and improve overall tech resilience.
Gain Long-Term Results
Offering a strategy means devising a long-term plan with stable and lasting results. That is why, with the IT advisory service model, you receive ongoing support rather than a one-time solution. Edvantis clients, for instance, can use the framework on their own and overcome the challenges they face even after their initial project is complete.
Who Should Use IT Advisory Services and When
Based on our experience, information technology strategy consulting works best for companies that seek structural transformations above everything else. This includes both enterprises, mid-sized companies, and mature startups.
Here’s what you’ll get from IT advisory services if you’re:
A Big Company Seeking Efficiency and Modernization
C-level executives understand the struggle of IT optimization in a large company. Rigid legacy processes and systems often can’t support newer transformative technologies. In fact, McKinsey states that 70% of digital transformations fail. Besides, only 16% of respondents say their company’s performance improved thanks to digital transformation.
Why does this happen? Harvard Business Review suggests that most digital transformations flop for either of the two reasons:
- Lack of agreement on a top management level
- Strategic mistakes in failing to predict the number of resources needed to support the chosen new strategy
The Institute of Business Administration, on the other hand, attempted to analyze what could lead to successful digitization. Their findings suggest that to minimize the chances of failure, you need to base your strategy around the following elements.
Key Elements of Successful Digitization
- Digital strategy. If you have a basic plan and a goal in mind, the advisory team, backed up by their technical and operational expertise, will provide you with a detailed roadmap that will help you achieve your goal.
- Digital awareness. A big chunk of digitalization success depends on the alignment of your company’s digital capabilities. You need resources to support the pilot as well as scale it further. Thus, predicting the upcoming needs in technology resources and expertise is critical.
- Mindset. The success of a digital strategy execution highly depends on the readiness and commitment to change, from C-level management and down. A company can achieve a productive mindset by defining and articulating the problems the new strategy can solve. Business processes should then be built around the desired solution.
- Security. The company needs a backup plan in case of any unexpected obstacles. Also, the digital strategy should correspond with business capabilities.
Fortunately, you don’t need to figure out every one of these aspects on your own. You can engage with a team of consultants instead.
A Mature Startup Looking for Optimization
IT advisory might seem like a fancy service better suited to financially secure large companies. It’s not. If you are a dynamic startup that has been experiencing rapid growth, you should take a close look at IT advisory services too.
While larger companies can easily overcome financial losses resulting from weak strategies simply due to risk management and hefty budgets, startups don’t have the capacity to handle mistakes. You hold responsibility for the investor’s hopes, and the startup industry makes you go all in.
How can advisory services help? By providing you with the timely performance metrics you need for informed decision making and a proper growth roadmap that can help you strategize your moves better.
For this reason, mature and dynamic startups benefit most from an external analysis of their goals. They are often torn between investors, being on top of market events, and keeping their staff satisfied. So, it makes perfect sense to seek advisory outside, as it’s a combination of operational and technological optimization.
What You Need to Get Started with IT Advisory
You know you’re ready for IT advisory when your company:
- Has strong support on the top management level
- Has sufficient resources to implement the strategy
- Is ready to conduct under-structural changes first since those are crucial for future success
- Is willing to follow instruction and only proceed to the next stage after the critical suggestions are adopted throughout the company
- Has all stakeholders on the same page
- Can make sure changes to management processes are established
If that’s your case, get in touch with Edvantis, and our consulting team will be delighted to hold a preliminary discovery session with you at a suitable time.