Business workflow problems often hinder operational success. These grating issues create silos in organizations that slow down progress, can contribute to tension, and even cost businesses in mistakes and money. From choosing the wrong software and devaluing employee knowledge to not training staff and underestimating the importance of investing in implementation, these are the issues affecting business workflows all over the world.
IT consultation services measurably make an impact on the businesses that book them to identify and resolve issues. Getting technology and methodology right is crucial to smooth operations, planning, and executing strategic operations. As a feature of healthy, thriving businesses, functional and productive workflows can be designed with the assistance of an IT consultancy team. Bringing in a structure that helps people do their best work, use technical tools effectively and efficiently, and achieves long-term process workflows is rare — a fact that’s for the worst. The problem lies in the definition of a workflow from IBM, “They are the mechanism by which people and enterprises accomplish their work, whether manufacturing a product, providing a service, processing information or any other value-generating activity.” If businesses don’t invest in their workflow, then they’re not investing in their own revenue and growth.
In this blog article, we’ll unpack how IT consultation services help identify key business workflow issues and then make a difference for the better. Read on to learn why high-level IT consultation expertise is important to resolve these problems and have a business stand out in 2023.
How IT consultations services work for businesses
Let’s start with the specifics of how IT consultations services work for businesses. These services have a critical role in how businesses can achieve major digital transformation and market revenue in the U.S. for IT consulting reached over $560 billion USD in 2022 according to Statista. This is through the process of working with management and personnel to gain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of exactly how things are running in the business.
There are different kinds of IT consultation — there can be standalone, project-oriented consultation or there can be a ‘top to bottom’ consultation that covers an entire business — however the general objectives remain the same in every single case:
- Improving existing technology infrastructure
- Enhancing team output and productivity
- Analyzing efficacy of some or all technology systems
- Target strategic plan goals
- Optimize IT operations to streamline spending
Focused services have a laser-type quality that may or may not incorporate all or some of the following areas:
- IT purchasing or software and hardware changes
- IT literacy in teams
- Integration and onboarding
- Testing and review
- Maintenance and updates
- Ongoing auditing and strategic performance metrics
- Data management and analysis
- Best practice for systems and the industry
There is a place for IT consultants regardless of how well a business is performing or how satisfied a team is. Allie Decker writes for Hubspot that, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking at the number of websites online, connected device growth, or big data — tech is growing exponentially.” Decker then hits upon the external, nous-fuelled skill and knowledge strengths of IT consultants, “These technology specialists offer a unique, objective, and specialized approach to technology.” This is why it’s got immense potential for return-on-investment for businesses even for just low-level or seemingly negligible operational aspects like introducing project management software to an organization where people believe USBs will do.
Understanding business workflows with the services of IT consulting experts
Workflows have been linked to how adaptive a business is and are key to success and resiliency, says Deloitte and ServiceNow. Their elaboration that not only is this essential in this current market, but that it is also part of building recession-proof operations is compelling. Smarter workflows, they emphasize, “can help businesses not only survive — but thrive in a changing world” and this is linked to adopting strategies that are about agility and building a foundation for business performance.
Keeping businesses ahead of the curve lies in how people work and making all parts holistically viable. Innovating workflows is the fulcrum of this as it enables all team members, including management, to use their tools and augment their skills with enhanced vision, purpose, sustainability, and logic. This means properly synthesizing the capabilities of employees, the operational planning, the software and hardware being utilized, and the processes and policies in place all of which results in the revolutionization of workflow.
Why? Well, workflows in every industry affect the following:
- Worker satisfaction
- Return on investment
- Value of businesses
- Staff Retention
- Customer Retention
- Brand integrity
- Physical Security & Cybersecurity
IT consulting offers business (B2B) services that can manage to resolve both direct and indirect issues that undermine how a company is going. Instead of floundering in the face of the day-to-day struggle with software that doesn’t quite perform the way it needs to or with a failed onboarding strategy, businesses can flourish. Enterprise-grade IT consultants should have the experience to review an organization then design and guide the implementation of a custom strategy that gets workflows on-track and speeding ahead.
Nine ways business workflow is improved using IT consultation services
In this final section we’re going to explicate just how IT consultation services can help a business with their workflows. IT consultants can bring in both focused or more generalist knowledge and, especially where needed, a team of consultants can cover a range of needs to resolve issues and future-proof a business.
In many cases, the first step is a 360-degree audit that would incorporate the consultants’ expertise in software development, coding, data management, web design, cybersecurity, and corporate strategies. This knowledge explores and analyzes the state of a business so no stone is left unturned. As all of these areas can affect a business workflow, it’s worthwhile to undertake a forensic analysis that can resolve known and unknown issues. From health professionals being in a position to serve patients with less stress through to improvements in education with teacher-oriented software, workflows are extraordinarily nuanced and IT consultancy has unexpected results across industries.
Now we’ll review the nine ways business workflow is improved using IT consultation services for the following:
- Identify the right software and hardware
- Planning for investing in and using new systems
- Design software, hardware, and system training
- Devising an implementation strategy
- Make implementation collaborative across a team
- Encourage individual accountability and renewed leadership
- Approach ongoing cybersecurity weaknesses
- Personalized solutions to include all team members
- Review parameters with new strategic planning
1. Identify the right software and hardware
How IT consultation services help: Auditing all areas of a business identifies what digital products aren’t working, what gaps there are, and what can be introduced as a replacement.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Software and hardware are the machinery of all modern businesses — even those that aren’t undertaking their work online. When this machinery isn’t working, it’s not right, or better options are available, and it’s resolved, this can immediately lift the standard of the tasks completed and the operational output.
The literal benefit of workflow with the right machinery lies in how efficiently, effectively, confidently, reliably, and adeptly team members can fulfil their working responsibilities. While this machinery isn’t the fuel per se, if it’s hindering the quality of the work then it doesn’t matter how good the team is or how committed they are. We’ve already touched on how precarious and high-pressure work conditions have been in recent years; investing in machinery is an investment in a team and it shows that the business is serious about creating an environment that’s ergonomic.
With the right synthesis of quality software and powerful hardware, employees can rely on their machinery to hold them aloft as they apply their skills and motivation. A common complaint is that digital equipment is not up to the standard of the job that needs to be done. If this is improved upon, then it facilitates a setting for consistent, quality work.
2. Planning for investing in and using new systems
How IT consultation services help: The need for better software and hardware is identified, now the next step is purchasing and deployment. Failure to plan is planning to fail and getting the tools of digital transformation in place requires systematic infrastructure; IT consultation services understand the tools and how to move them into place for real-world use without a hitch.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: The expectation that machinery will just work because it’s expensive and new is a fallacy — novelty isn’t going to enrapture or inspire team members, in fact it’s probably going to result in negativity and disengagement. These killers to workflow can carry on long after people forget the old, disliked software and hardware.
Ensuring that employees know the change is coming and they have advance warning is where this starts. On a granular level, investing in these new systems applies to the spend on the tools and the team costs. Any disruption to employees costs and this is most pronounced with workflow. A plan for investment and use should look at existing tasks and projects, preparing everyone for what expectations are, and how usage will work in real, contextual terms.
Discourse around employees being resistant to change is a reality all over the world. People, and the business at large, need to be ready to adapt and there is teething for a plethora of reasons. A plan that considers this as part of the investment will bring in the expertise of IT consultants who can apply their experience of introductions, common hiccups with onboarding, and navigating barriers to entry well before training begins.
3. Design software, hardware, and system training
How IT consultation services help: Knowledge of training systems, how users typically respond to software and hardware, and similarities with enterprise products enable them to steer the ship towards a new operational port.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Training is a massive part of failure in workplaces — for qualitative and quantitative reasons. This isn’t about pessimism, it’s about preparing people to succeed. The toll on a workplace when people aren’t trained properly is measurable. When people aren’t trained to use digital tools that become part of their core competencies and performing their role it’s disastrous.
Writing for Forbes, Salvador Ordorica outlines the need for centering workplace culture around learning and development, referencing that, “In an oft-cited IBM report, 84 percent of employees in the best-performing companies received regular training while only 16 percent of the employees in the worst-performing companies were properly and regularly trained.” Zooming in on how this applies to new software, hardware, and system training, just as preparing for implementation is imperative, so is equipping employees to navigate new tools.
Engaging IT consultants in the process of employee training also frees management to see how their team responds to the changing environment. Consultants can offer informed insights on how people are going and puts managers back in the driver’s seat of demonstrating their faith in their team. External experts know common stumbling blocks and how to embed resolutions in training all of which will fortify employees’ ability to use these tools once the implementation phase is over.
4. Devising an implementation strategy
How IT consultation services help: Based on experience, they can guide managers to strategize realistically and provide enterprise-level support throughout the chosen digital transformation.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Implementation includes training, the onboarding schedule, and the transition from old tools to new tools. This project management forms the core phase of the digital transformation as it is part of the practical decision making and the early strategic period of transitioning to new software, hardware, and systems. A tight yet flexible rubric for execution sets expectations and gives everyone a sense of stability in a changing environment.
Devising implementation around workflow is another speciality of IT consultants who can refer to their experience with products and the practical undertaking of businesses dealing with low-level and high-level technological change. An implementation rubric that observes core operations, team members who need early competency with tools for baseline operational activities, cybersecurity risks, and large-scale worst case scenarios is all part of preserving workflow. Moreover, the implementation strategy can be designed for handling being offline, any other technical hitches, and back-up systems where necessary. This takes pressure off management so they can lead their team and maintain all operational standards that will protect stakeholders.
5. Make implementation collaborative across a team
How IT consultation services help: Guiding management to launch implementation for all levels of employees brings people together and coordinates a sense of cooperative action that keeps everyone on track with digital transformation.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Everyone has a role to play and IT consultants have the experience and circumspection to sustain a forthright sense of this for all team members. Essentially IT consultants are representing management during implementation however their position frees managers to work alongside their teams, side-by-side, in healthy collaboration. This equitable tactic nurtures buy-in and everyone feels accountable for success driven by contribution and optimism.
Collaboration during implementation looks like a mix of upholding best practice principles for organizational gains with customized application. This corresponds to the tools chosen for implementation, the nature of the business and the industry, and the individual characteristics of the team. Everyone has varying, complementary, and ebbing and flowing strengths and weaknesses they bring to the business table. Factor in a changing situation and a practically designed, wilfully embraced implementation process shared amongst a team is truly transformative. The outcome of smoother workflows — both during the change and into the future — is inherent to this entire collaborative mindset strategically guided by IT consultants.
6. Encourage individual accountability and renewed leadership
How IT consultation services help: Calling people in to the process of digital transformation is a function of the strategic planning at play; all team members are encouraged to bring their A-game and managers step into the full scope of their leadership skills.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: This, ideally, is part of how everyone operates in every business, every single day. Working professionally is a defining characteristic of accountability. Even so, if things aren’t working — for the broad and narrow reasons already outlined — people are disengaged and dissatisfied. With analysis of the business prior to the active implementation stage of bringing in software, hardware, or systems, IT consultants help management gain clarity on where operational failures are affecting their teams. After this step, managers can work on how they lead and they can also work on providing a setting where every team member is autonomously, proactively accountable.
IT consultants play an important role in how this happens because they specialize in process and strategy. For the leadership side of how this then improves workflows, they help design a new way to operate that extends beyond digital transformation and into the entire business. This connects in with the research around what businesses need to do to outperform and outlast their competitors in the current struggles of the year just past and the years ahead. Erica Volini, ServiceNow senior vice president for alliances and channel ecosystem asserts that, “Effective leaders are absorbing change by rearchitecting the world of work to create impactful outcomes.” This applies to the area of business workflows and permeates all operational areas — including how team members respond to how their managers and colleagues need them for the entire organization to grow and excel.
7. Approach ongoing cybersecurity weaknesses
How IT consultation services help: Tackles this challenge head-on to consolidate practical tool-based strategies with risk management for every single team member.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Every business is vulnerable to cyberattacks in 2023, in the same way every individual is vulnerable. IT consultants see the bigger picture of where there are systemic weaknesses, where there are infrastructure and personnel weaknesses, and where there is a way forward that transforms both how things are done and how data is protected.
Cybersecurity is every person’s responsibility and transforming workflows through better tools is a priceless chance to kill two birds with one stone. The expertise of IT consultants means they can make digital hygiene and cybersecurity protocols inextricable with how new software, hardware, and systems are used. Designing the workflow aspects with this makes it easy for every team member to uphold and puts everyone on the same page of collective understanding.
Common target points like weak passwords and poor data management can be resolved during the digital transformation by requiring all new tools to have cybersecurity features. This might manifest as complex password requirements, multi-factor user authentication, and encrypted access to organizational data. This is an update to workflow that shifts the way people access their accounts with a more conscious approach to protecting themselves and the business. When the tools are designed for this — as with the guidance of IT consultants — things are more logical hence people are being led towards better choices while being positively motivated to learn and apply cybersecurity frameworks.
8. Personalized solutions to include all team members
How IT consultation services help: Proprietary tools and implementation consider every person and the entire culture of the business; analysis and best practice knowledge is behind the tactics for matching individual aptitudes with strengthening the collective.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: Personalization is a winning approach in nearly every situation— not just when it comes to digital transformation for businesses. Holding space and designing implementation frameworks for every employee enables people to onboard in line with their experience, their preferences, their learning styles, and their role. There is profound potential from there for workflow to improve across the board and for each team member to have a productivity boost.
Personalization allows for individual needs for both strengths and weaknesses; there is no one-size-fits-all for any person in any context and IT consultants are there to help design solutions for operations that align with making a business better for all stakeholders. We’ve already mentioned that planning training and planning implementation needs to bring team members in — the same applies with personalization options. The value of thorough analysis incorporating best practice and the business context helps find the middle ground that plays to strengths while allowing for weakness and improvements.
Recognizing how people can get left behind if they’re not tech-savvy or find their role difficult to do with so much change is central to this. IT consultants are well-placed to reinforce that any team members who are struggling aren’t luddites and may just need a higher level of targeted or individualized support; their role might also require them to use systems in a different way or they have alternative access credentials specific to their responsibilities. Harvard Business Review studied this whole spectrum of bringing people in for fruitful professional outcomes. Their summary found that personalization is part of this as, “In today’s economic climate, business leaders want to help their employees feel motivated and essential to the company’s overarching goals — while also maximizing their existing tech investments.” In this way, IT consultants can work to make digital transformation beneficial to everyone which reinvests in the overall tools being introduced and this wields technology even more strategically.
9. Review parameters with new strategic planning
How IT consultation services help: Reviews and improvements are part of how processes and services are brought to an exceptional standard; the post-implementation analysis is a crucial step in long-term transformation.
Why it’s invaluable for business workflow: IT consultants can continue to work with businesses after implementation in order for workflows to continually scale up in efficacy and to keep evolving. This is more than a health check and more like a comprehensive, analytical strategy review designed around the preparedness to audit, test, and change. The outlook is for a strategy that perpetuates positive expansion and sustains alignment between employees, tools, and the business vision.
This also helps with identifying stagnation issues that might disrupt or derail workflows. With clear parameters and a collective process-based agreement on how tools are being used, data can be collected and analyzed regularly with more detailed audits at set times. Workflow monitoring can be a litmus test for how things are going in general, meanwhile deliberate reviews catch issues with processes, training needs, or unexpected shifts in the actual workplace implementation of tools. IT consultants can work with managers to ask for input and then objectively evaluate these responses against the system objectives along with their own expertise. From here, the takeaways from review parameters can be exported to review the current success of tools. If this is line with strategic planning and workflow objectives, things can proceed on track; if there is an alternate outlook from the data, changes can be explored and possibly implemented to realign and rework for improved outcomes.
Looking ahead for businesses wanting to engage an IT consultancy service
In closing, any business that works with an IT consultancy service is working towards its own strategic growth and success. Investing in an outside perspective to help with identifying and resolving complex issues, software and hardware purchases, and plan for the future is a logical step; it’s also consistent with how business is done in the 21st century. Digital transformation is not a done deal and there is no set and forget in this space.
In the same way businesses review their teams’ collective and individual performance while auditing their company, the full umbrella of IT operations applies to these reviews, too. Businesses should aspire to keep evolving how they do things irrespective of if they work with an IT consultancy team on a monthly, quarterly, annual or biennial basis. For businesses to really soar in their industry — and even make an impact in the wider local and global market — their needs to be a meaningful commitment to revolutionizing their own digital frameworks, training, and infrastructure. This all kicks off with the services of IT consultants who can help to tune up and make resiliency, agility, and innovation part of how the business functions beginning now — and for the foreseeable long-term of the business.
An IT company delivering the best in a constantly changing world. Our passion is to create feature-rich, engaging projects designed to your specifications in collaboration with our team of expert professionals who make the journey of developing your projects exciting and fulfilling. Get a 30 Min free consultation to convert your dream project into reality.