IT consulting is a field in which goals, processes, and outcomes are highly individualized by both business enterprise and situation. This is because consulting itself is a diverse field that can encompass many different kinds of assistance offered by IT companies to a wide array of businesses. Despite the inherent diversity of the field, however, there are a few basic principles that govern successful collaborations between enterprises and IT solutions experts.
IT consultants should maintain a focus on their relationship with the client. This includes getting to know the expectations of the client as well as that of all stakeholders in the project. This in turn allows the consultancy firm to define and implement clearly defined roles and responsibilities for its own employees as well as for those of the business enterprise. Having the scope of responsibility clearly defined in advance helps to avert conflicts over the course of the business relationship.
One of the most important principles of IT consultancy is the division between advice and decision-making. While IT consultants should certainly offer their very best advice and back up their recommendations with specific and compelling rationales, the ultimate responsibility for decision-making rests with enterprise management. IT consultants must be able to have their recommendations refused without it causing a disruption in the professional consultancy-enterprise relationship.
A final essential principle to effective IT consulting is for consultants to remain oriented toward results. This is in keeping with basic business principles. Enterprise employees are generally evaluated based on verifiable outcomes, not on how hard they tried to produce them. IT consultants should regard their work in the same way.