When your business or organization needs to acquire a new software application, get help with multiple IT development projects, or upgrade existing computer systems, you may find yourself having to conduct interviews. It can be difficult to know what to look for, and it’s easy to choose the wrong IT consulting firm for the project. If you are interviewing prospective firms locally, it is, of course, easier to talk to their current and previous clients. It is harder to gauge a firm’s qualifications related to your particular project or projects if that firm is located in another country, but this may be advantageous in terms of cost.
You should never just go with the lowest bidder or go on a recommendation from another person. IT firms may appear to be similar based on their websites and their portfolios of projects. When you talk with them, you may find out that their approaches to providing software development and other IT services are very different.Sit Down and Talk
Before you choose an IT consulting firm, schedule a time to sit down and talk with the project lead. Ask the lead person to explain the timeline for your project and how all of the costs contained in his proposal were calculated. For example, you might be quoted a cost for the whole project or an hourly rate that the firm will charge for every hour spent on the project. You may pay different rates based on who within the IT consulting firm is working on the project at any given time. These rates may change according to any changes that you and the project lead decide on during the development process. This is how IT projects begin to become more costly than they were originally planned and budgeted to be.Be Skeptical
If an IT firm has a strong reputation in the industry for delivering quality end products, you should be expecting fair pricing and reliable services. If you aren’t able to verify a company’s work, then you should be skeptical of why it is qualified to perform services for your organization. Some firms will ultimately augment the teams of IT experts that you meet in person with outside personnel. They will do this in order to complete all of their projects on schedule without adding more full-time employees. When you are negotiating your project terms, you can request that certain people stay on for the length of the project and that you approve any changes to your team of IT personnel. A consulting firm can take or leave your requests, but you will have a better idea of who you are working with. It’s up to you to hold a consulting firm up to your agreement.