The 5 Basic Principles of IT Explained

Information technology experts at Innovative Architects provide a concise explanation of the core principles of IT

Contrary to popular opinion, information technology (IT) consulting doesn't mean the provider is only knowledgeable about computing. Technical expertise is in reality only one piece of the puzzle…

The entire experience involves a variety of skill sets that go well beyond computers – these can include soft skills like the ability to listen to suggestions and concerns, the ability to understand the needs of the clients and the ability to guide projects without overwhelming stakeholders.

Successful IT consulting focuses on five basic principles – these principles, if followed, allow an IT professional to deliver the best possible results in the most effective manner. Continue reading to learn more about these 5 principles and how they help your firm achieve its business goals.

5 Basic Principles of IT

•  Focus on Relationships

The relationship between the client and the provider is extremely critical in fostering the cooperation needed to create a product that satisfies the customer's needs. A considerable part of a project's planning phase should be reserved to understanding the client's activities, the environment they work in, their IT capabilities and just plain getting to know them.

Clear discussion of client and stakeholder expectations are also a critical part of building a good relationship as it helps the end user understand the final outcome and the changes it will bring to their activities.

•  Definition of Roles

Clearly defining the role for the consultant, client and stakeholders is the second core principle of IT. The “definition of clear roles” is extremely important so that responsibilities are clearly defined and the process can run much smoother.

IT consulting needs to make sure clients are aware of their active role in the project and that everyone is clear on who is responsible for decisions in each phase. The consultant also needs to clearly state the boundaries of his or her role, as well as those of the consulting team.

•  Success Visualization

This step is also part of the planning phase and entails helping clients visualize how the final product will look. This is where results and final configurations are introduced – potential benefits will be clearly defined, as well as how new processes will work and how any new equipment will be installed.

This step is important as it will allow the client to keep in mind the final outcome as the project moves forward. It also allows the IT consultant to better manage their expectations. Having a clear end in mind will help both client and consulting teams move through the hardest phases of the project with minimal delay.

•  “You advise, they decide”

The fourth principle is clearly tied to the definition of roles. The IT professional must always keep in mind that the client knows best when it comes to certain decisions. The client will eventually have to work with the new IT system and therefore he or she ultimately knows best.

The IT consultant might believe that the solution proposed is the best one – but in reality, the client is the most qualified person to understand the needs of his or her company and will be the one to live with the final outcome of the project.

The role of the consulting team is to advise, propose and give technical guidance. But in the end, the team must also be able to step aside and provide clients with what they ask. This is the essence of "You Advise, They Decide,” and is the fundamental approach we take at our IT consulting firm.

•  Orientation toward results

The fifth principle is “orientation toward results,” which essentially means all actions must contribute to the realization of the final goal.

The role of the IT consulting team will be to assist the client in any possible way, which can include training, implementation of the system or suggestions on what to implement. The consult will need to be ready to tailor suggestions to the expected results and take into consideration everything (training, communication, change…) that will be required to get those results.

Following these five principles will definitely provide the best framework in which a team of IT consultants can move. The five principles provide the guidance necessary to always remember what the scope of the IT project is and what the desired results are.

These principles are what make an information technology consulting team successful. If you're looking for IT solutions for your firm, keep these principles in mind when discussing your needs with a consulting firm. Ask if they follow these basic principles.

Innovative Architects is an information technology consulting firm providing decades of experiences helping businesses of all sizes and specialties address their toughest technical challenges.

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