As a business that is reliant on technology, particularly if your primary offering is a tech product itself, or your service is underpinned by a technology system, you likely already have a significant level of relevant expertise accessible in-house.

Those people and the teams with that expertise have a clear understanding of your business’s mission, the processes in place, and the software that you offer, or that is used to deliver your service. They live and breathe it each day.

So in that situation, with in-house expertise readily available, what value does working with a technology consultant bring?

Objective insight and questioning

A key benefit of any outside consultancy is objectivity. A technology consultant’s primary focus is on ensuring that your business’s product and processes are as efficient and scalable as possible and that your people have the tooling, products, and opportunities to build and grow your product and themselves. Their sole focus is ensuring your business has the technical capabilities to meet its goals.

During any form of auditing, discovery, or scoping, dependent on your reason for engaging a consultant, their process aims to bring an implementable strategy that does not carry any bias towards what already exists, be it existing technology, team structures, or processes.

Support for leadership and staff

Even for businesses that have already appointed senior technology expertise, such as CTOs, directors and department heads, a consultant brings significant value. In larger structures, consultants work alongside leadership to advise on direction, challenge decisions and create meaningful strategies. However, an outside consultant is also a valuable figure for your team members, serving as an outside source of knowledge for training and mentoring as well as giving those in your team the opportunity to voice their ideas or considerations that might otherwise have been left unsaid.

Whilst a healthy team structure allows for idea sharing and open communication, this isn’t always the case, be it consciously or subconsciously. Engaging with a consultant can be the catalyst for gathering opinions and ideas as well as carrying out further research that can then presented to your leadership.

Multi-sector experience

A technology consultant offers years of experience, likely accrued across various roles in multiple sectors. During this time, they may have worked through situations or implemented solutions in a similar context to that of your own business. Beyond that, their experience means that they may be able to identify additional opportunities and areas that require further attention that have not yet been considered, such as integrations and data security procedures.

Your existing teams are more likely to to develop tunnel vision, having worked in your business exclusively for a period of time, where an outside consultant approaches every situation based on their experience outside of your business.

Uninterrupted focus

When it comes to working with any technology consultant, you may or may not already have a focus point in mind. For some businesses, that’s reviewing an existing system and planning for growth with support on feature scoping, whereas for others this is a general audit of the business and its dependency on technology.

Regardless of which of the above applies, or anything in between, the consultant’s sole focus is the reason for which you have engaged with them. Whilst existing team members bring the experience and prior knowledge of any current technology and structure in your business (and thus are less likely to be objective), they also have other responsibilities concurrently as part of their role, with any additional responsibility dividing their focus further.

Scaling capacity with your needs

A consultant offers flexibility to suit your business. The demands of building technology and maintaining systems can quickly change, meaning that your in-house team’s availability to lead on auditing, strategy, and experimentation for the future is superseded by the need to keep the business operational in the here and now.

Consultancy projects bring in outside expertise for anything from a few hours (one-off consultancy) to months and beyond (retained consultancy).

Ultimately, working with a technology consultant, even for businesses with experience in-house, offers objectivity, experience, and focus that is available on the terms that you require, allowing your team to focus on the ongoing development and usage of technology in your business.