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.
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.
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
When Both Services Are Necessary
How To Choose IT Support And IT Consultancy Providers
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: