IT Services vs IT Consulting: What are the Differences?

By  //  January 14, 2022

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When it comes to keeping on top of their IT resources, businesses have a number of different choices available to them. Before you can choose the right strategies and solutions, you need to know what defines the various options out there.

The dichotomy between IT services and IT consulting is the most important concept to get your head around in this context, so here’s a look at the distinctions you need to know about.

The tangible impact of IT services

When it comes to understanding IT services, the clue is in the name. The term can describe a whole host of services which are actively applied to your organization. This can be everything from database management and web hosting to support and disaster recovery.

Location is also important in this context. You can handle IT services in-house or outsource them to a third party vendor. If you do rely on another firm to offer services relating to mission-critical systems, it can be better if they are geographically nearby, particularly where on-premises hardware is involved.

For example, finding the best IT support San Diego has to offer on this page will make more sense if you are based in the city, rather than selecting a provider that is located in a different region or state.

When things go awry, you want your IT services provider to jump in and restore normality, avoiding costly downtime in the process.

The stewardship of IT consulting

Hiring an IT consultant is a step businesses take when they want to strategize and overcome challenges without necessarily having the budget to hire a full time team member to do this for them.

Consultants in this field can do everything from advising on cloud adoption to suggesting suitable software to embrace.

Their assessments will be based on both the needs of your organization as it exists today, and the potential changes that it will undergo if it follows its expected trajectory going forward.

From small-scale changes to your information system resources to full-blown digital transformation projects, IT consultants can tackle minor and major initiatives alike.

The similarities

When talking about outsourced IT services and consulting, it is apparent that both of these are about plugging an internal skills gap that exists in your organization in a cost-effective way.

Of course you might choose to keep an IT services provider on retainer indefinitely, while only working with an external consultant sporadically. Even so, the core motivation for looking at them will be roughly the same, and is surprisingly well suited to smaller businesses as well as to major corporations.

The considerations before you commit

Whether you need an IT services provider to help update, monitor and manage your infrastructure, or you are looking for the strategic input that a consultant can offer, it is essential not to rush into choosing a brand or individual to work with.

Checking up on the reputation, track record, achievements and existing client list of IT service vendors and consultants will help you find the best possible practitioners.

And of course the suitability of either will depend on the industry you occupy and the kinds of IT resources you have at your disposal, or need to procure.

Final thoughts

Finding the right IT services and IT consultants will not only aid your business today, but could be the start of a beneficial relationship that is of value long into the future.

Also, knowing that you don’t have to do everything in-house and can get expertise on tap at a cost you can afford will empower you to follow your ambitions rather than feeling stifled.