Depending on who you ask you will get a mix of answers. But knowing the difference is a key consideration when you are choosing an IT partner. Understanding the difference allows you to judge their approach, philosophy, and ability to help your business get where it needs to go.
Services encompass a broad range of offerings. Services can be setting up software and cloud platforms, backup and recovery solutions, networking security, and more. Services can also provide expertise to help businesses gain efficiencies and save money. A primary element of services is maintenance, support, and the “ongoing-ness” of IT.
Consulting is a wrapper around services. IT Consulting concentrates on delivering strategic guidance on how to create, modify or improve solutions to reach desired goals. IT consulting considers best practices in information technology and approaches each unique challenge as a new problem to solve, and it’s done with a creative consideration for needs and goals. Consultants listen a lot before they start talking.
Consider your particular business need. Maybe you need to activate a remote workforce. The standard services solutions to this problem may include VPN setup, remote networking to cloud services, and file sharing. However, IT Consultants will listen and consider the need and then ask more questions before implementing solutions. You likely won’t have all of the answers but the questions will cause you to consider more details you may have not thought about, which will evolve the discussion. Even before undertaking a project, you feel empowered and have a more clear understanding of the expected outcome. And your confidence in your consultant has grown. They bring a lot of experience and know how to tailor it to your specific business needs.
I should restate that this is about the differences between IT Services and IT Consultants, not that one approach is right and the other is wrong. Your need or project may require a consultant and then the execution and ongoing sustainability of the solution may require IT services for continuation. Often, IT services follow the work of the consultant. Maintenance, system updates, ongoing support and enhancements, and business continuity are in the IT services space.
Your business or industry may vary. Your organization may be small or medium-sized. But the less day-to-day exertion you put into general information technology services and maintenance the better. IT Consulting and IT Services exist to extend your business and preserve your incalculable time. Utilizing an IT partner for consulting and overcoming challenges to management and proactive IT services, levels your competitive value in the market.
At the end of the day, customers are more concerned about the services you provide them. And when these services are unhindered by IT problems, you are able to earn their trust.