In this age of start-ups the role of Information Technology consultants does not play a supporting role but rather one of the main roles. Without IT consultant the start up well have to maintain a larger IT cell consisting of IT personnel from various fields. This is needed because the IT needs of a start-up Congress from various fields as shown below. It would be a fallacy to assume that the IT personnel looking after the servers can also rectify security problems. Both are separate field, each different and itself huge. Here comes in the role of IT consultants who not only designs the system based on needs of the business but also provides a ready pool of IT experts of different segments, ready to be deployed when the need arises. Start-Ups this do not need a permanent manning of a whole lot of IT expert in their pay roll.
Need of IT consultant from the very start.
• After the start-up founders have finalised their strategy of starting their business, the need for IT support comes first. Without IT the start up would simply not start.
• Any business , especially the start-ups of today cannot function without a proper website. The website has to be responsive , run in computers as well as mobiles, and allow different type of user data input, data validation and proper output. The data can be of customers who need to sign in or query about the services provided. Else, it can be of internal users who have to input their report. Without a proper website the presence of your website is non existent in today’s digital world. This website has to be planned and created, as per vision of founders, by the IT consultants . Ready made website makers are available in plenty but for personalized website , website designer is needed.
• A start up today needs from a few to 10s of computers. The hardware needed, number of servers needed, type of internet connection (ADSL or Optic fibre / Static IP /Dynamic IP etc.) , type of network sharing between the computers (LAN), the devices needed for sharing resources between the networked computers, power back-up, data redundancy all come into the preview of IT consultants.
• Today the workload is evenly distributed between local computers and the work being sent and done in the cloud. Every type of conceivable need for any size of start-ups can now be fulfilled by the services offered by big IT companies at affordable prices which can be accessed from all geographical locations . Example are Amazon Web Services , Microsoft Azure and others who provide every type of conceivable IT service at affordable costs for the start-ups from cloud. Cloud service is provided by the big IT service companies by their network of servers located in different geographical locations. However the entire process of choosing the cloud service provider itself, the type of service and the protocol needed, has to be studied and decided by the Information Technology consultants.
• Data has to be continuously uploaded to the hosted servers. Upload of data needs knowledge of ftp. This type of knowledge will be provided by the IT consultants.
• The software for the servers , whether that be the Windows Server or Microsoft SQL or Linux and the part of workload that has to be contracted to the cloud server, has to be assessed, decided and executed by the chosen IT consultants.
• The physical server itself needed in the start-up campus has to be decided by the consultant depending on the IT infrastructure capital and the job load. Either it be NAS (for lower costs) or Windows home server machine or of Seagate etc. Bigger start ups can try servers from Dell,HP,IBM,Lenevo . However the expertise needed for choosing the server has to be obviously and exclusively provided by the IT consultant.
• Any sort of error in data input or output, corruption of data or data loss can cause irrevocable damage to the reputation of the company. Imagine a trading start-up dealing in stock market, whose customers find on a volatile morning that they cannot buy or sell their stocks in that trading portal owing to data corruption in their system. Imagine them simmering in anger while the stock market moves violently and they are deprived of their chance to earn profit or save their capital in that volatile market. If that is not resolved quickly or happens a second time the company will be doomed. IT consultants with the required amount of expertise to rapidly solve these type of problems is irreplaceable .
• Many type of start-ups need data inputs by agents from off-site or remote locations. To enable this remote connection and to maintain it IT expertise is required.
• Using Machine Learning, Predictive Analysis of Historical data, Sequencing the data so that it can be properly used by the start-up can only be done by good IT consultants.
• Large amount of historical data can be provided by the consultant IT for the start-up.
• Protecting data from phishing attacks , malware ,ransomware, zero day attack is primarily done by anti virus. But selecting the level of security needed and the security software needed, falls in the domain of IT consultants. Also when the server goes down because of the cyber attacks in spite of the anti virus , the security experts provided by the IT consultant has to quickly get down to the job. Site being down due to cyber attack for a long time will cause perspective clients to move elsewhere and existing customers being irritated.
All the above jobs (company social media profile and needs not discuss) are provided by IT consultant under a single roof who provides service As Where As Basis . The IT consultant not only has the know how to keep the IT infra running but it also has the required contacts and resources to sub contract the IT job that it does not have the capacity to do by itself. For today’s start-ups IT is the backbone and IT consultants are doctors who maintain it. Both are irreplaceable.