What Is The Difference Between IT Support And IT Consulting For Businesses?

What Is The Difference Between IT Support And IT Consulting For Businesses?

The effective leveraging of technology has evolved from a “nice to have” into an indispensable tool for business success.

However, managing complex infrastructure requires advanced expertise, which most corporate IT teams lack.

While smaller tech issues can be handled in-house, various IT services provide expanded assistance.

Two critical offerings are IT support and IT consulting – but what is the difference, and when might companies require one over the other?

If this question has left you scratching your head, don’t worry – we’ll explain everything in this guide.


Keep reading!

IT Support: First Line Technology Assistance

IT support refers to an external service provider managing the regular maintenance, troubleshooting, and assistance for a business’s technology infrastructure, incorporating onsite servers, computers, network equipment, cloud services, and more.

This encompasses setup, monitoring, rollouts, fixes and employee support covering all IT systems across the business.


Consider IT support teams an extension of internal IT departments. Their goal is to keep existing technologies smoothly operational via ongoing care and rapid response when needs emerge.

Typical support tasks include:


  • Installing new user devices, upgrading office servers and migrating company data onto enhanced systems
  • Managing onsite servers and network equipment plus cloud-based options like IaaS and SaaS
  • Monitoring performance health optimisation opportunities
  • Performing system updates, applying security patches, renewing antivirus software
  • Configuring employee devices with standard company builds tailored for the role
  • Fielding daily calls for technological issues from staff with remote and onsite fixes
  • Tracking infrastructure monitoring alarms to flag potential problems proactively
  • Overseeing daily/weekly/monthly backups and verifying disaster recovery systems


IT support acts as the constant helpdesk for regular technical needs so businesses can focus on core competencies.

Support keeps the technological lights on reliably behind the scenes.


Read more: A Guide To Understanding Business IT Support Service Level Agreements

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IT Consulting: Expert Advisory On Strategic Initiatives

If IT support handles ongoing upkeep and minor fixes, IT consulting offers deep insights into amplifying digital capabilities via major upgrades.

Consultants typically lead intricate initiatives involving solutions design, complex integrations, large-scale transformations, emerging technology adoption and more.


Some examples of advanced projects IT consultants guide clients through include:


  • Transitioning all systems and data storage into cloud-based infrastructure
  • Company-wide deployment of modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
  • Providing external analysis detailing cybersecurity gaps with actionable solutions
  • Designing and integrating bespoke customer-facing portals
  • Advising how groundbreaking technology like artificial intelligence (AI) can elevate operations
  • End-to-end program management facilitating ambitious digital transformation
  • Change management assistance ensuring workforce adoption

In contrast to evergreen support, consulting engagements have clearly scoped durations around tangible deliverables.

Upon project completion, the consultant exits until specialist skills are required to push additional initiatives forward.

A Summary Of The Key Differences

Below are the major aspects distinguishing embedded IT support from expert IT consulting services:

IT Support


  • Addresses daily IT incidents and routine maintenance
  • Provides instant assistance whenever minor issues emerge
  • Focuses on keeping existing infrastructure operational

IT Consulting


  • Brought in for complex initiatives with defined parameters
  • Provides strategic advice aligning technology with business goals
  • Focuses on amplifying capabilities and competitive edge

When Both Services Are Necessary

Most modern businesses require both IT support and consulting for the following reasons:


  • Reliable IT support ensures constant availability and smooth existing technology usage
  • Strategic IT consulting pushes transformative changes to amplify infrastructure and operations


Robust support teams create strong foundations for consultants to advise them on innovating further without risking existing structures.

By covering both, businesses fuse reliable maintenance of the present while progressing towards a more capable future.

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How To Choose IT Support And IT Consultancy Providers

Once you grasp the difference between IT support and IT consulting, how do you select suitable partners for each? Here are a few key points to keep in mind:


For solid IT support, make sure to check that:


  • The provider can competently handle the breadth of technical environments you currently use
  • Service response times for fixing issues are quick to prevent productivity losses
  • Security, data protection and compliance best practices are being followed
  • Online reviews from current clients vouch for their reliability.


As for capable IT consultants, confirm that:


  • The firm has experience spearheading ambitious technology initiatives analogous to yours
  • Consultants can provide actionable, strategic recommendations by applying their in-depth expertise
  • The provider specialises in your industry to best understand your technology needs
  • Consultants have change management skills to smooth major transitions
  • Global service capabilities align with your operating regions

Our Final Word

Most modern businesses need ongoing IT support in addition to bringing in IT consultants periodically for major upgrade programmes.

The IT support providers supply reliable day-to-day maintenance that keeps your technology smoothly up and running throughout normal operations.

Meanwhile, expert IT consultants offer guidance to transform your systems and infrastructure in alignment with the company’s growing vision over time.

Together, having both ensures your organisation has the constant availability and incremental improvements needed to leverage technology for supporting current priorities and future goals.

We recommend viewing IT support and IT consulting services as complementary partners, where support handles today’s needs and consultants map out tomorrow’s innovations.

By understanding their respective strengths, businesses can create a comprehensive IT strategy.


If you’re looking for the best IT support and consultancy for your business, get in touch for a chat.


And don’t forget, we have offices in the following locations, with talented teams ready to help you:


Get in touch

We love to chat, call us or why not try our Live Chat?

AThe Maltings
East Tyndall Street
CF23 5EA

T02921 50 8000


A2 New Mill Court
Enterprise Park
Llansamlet  Swansea

T01792 345537


AUnit N12b, Phase 1
1 Davy Road
Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth

T02921 508000


AWarrington Business Park
Long Lane

T02921 508000


A4th Floor
Chantry House
SP10 1RL

T02921 508000


Malcolm Holland, the Managing Director of Flotek Group

Hi I’m Malcolm

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