For many organizations, choosing a suitable IT consulting firm can be a daunting prospect. Some of them believe that they must retain large/known firms that provide a multitude of IT services across many industries. They assume that such firms, by virtue of their size and broad-based industry experience, are inherently the “right” choice. This is a mistaken belief because the disadvantages of hiring a large firm often overshadow the benefits.
However, hiring a smaller, boutique consulting firm like WayPath that specializes in a few key areas and/or industries can yield many more benefits.
What are Boutique Consulting Firms?
A boutique firm is a smaller, more specialized IT consulting agency providing services catered to their clients’ specific needs. Boutique consulting firms have a high degree of expertise in specialized industries – some specialize in one industry while others are multi-faceted. They also have a strong understanding of compliance requirements and industry best practices.
When a client seeks the expertise of a boutique firm, they’re not only hiring the expertise of that firm but also access to a network of resources and thought leadership in their professional areas. This is what makes boutique consulting different from other types of IT consulting firms, and why clients seek out these services for their organizations.
What Do Boutique Consulting IT Firms Do?
The primary function of boutique consulting firms is to consult with clients on a range of issues related to technology.
Boutique consulting firms typically provide services in one or more of the following areas:
Implementation & Integration
Boutique consulting firms can help clients implement new systems or upgrade existing ones. This could include migrating information from old to new systems, setting up the system itself, and testing it to make sure that it works properly. The aim of system implementation and integration is to make it work as smoothly as possible for the end-user.
Software Design and Development
Boutique consulting firms typically provide custom software development. These consultants work with clients to create custom software programs using the newest, most up-to-date coding languages and frameworks.
Boutique consulting firms may provide preventative and corrective security services. This could include services in the areas of data security, website security, network security, and more.
Boutique consulting firms may assist clients with setting up and managing databases. This includes designing their databases, writing programming code, troubleshooting issues, as well as helping clients improve their database infrastructure.
Boutique consulting firms may also offer clients a range of expertise in hardware design, evaluation, selection and installation. This could include working with organizations to determine the best overall hardware solutions for their needs. Once a client has made a hardware selection, they may help with the installation and implementation of those products.
Boutique Consulting Firms vs. Big Companies
While both types of consulting firms aim to provide high-quality IT services to their clients, there are some notable differences between the two.
Boutique consulting firms can typically provide more personalized consulting services to their clients due to their customizable services. Their objective is to understand the client’s precise requirements and fulfill them successfully, working closely with them to achieve desired results. Boutique consulting firms take a long-term view of success, which means they take the time to learn about their clients’ businesses and achieve complex, high-value results for them.
Boutique consulting firms are also more committed to your success because they know it will provide them with great opportunities for referrals and repeat engagements in the future. Their target through their consulting services is to achieve long-term business relationships, not just a short-term win.
Boutique consulting firms often assign their clients a dedicated team member to oversee their services at all times. As a client, this means you’ll get personalized attention from experts who are committed to delivering complete satisfaction at all stages of the project life cycle – from discovery through delivery and deployment.
Bigger consulting firms and boutique consulting firms typically follow different service models. Bigger companies may give more attention to their number of client engagements while boutique consulting companies focus on the quality of client engagements.
Big consulting firms are often perceived as anonymous entities with little knowledge about their clients’ industries. By contrast, the personalized services of boutique consulting firms—combined with their high-level expertise in particular niches—help them provide strong value to customers.
How Boutique Consulting Firms Can Help
The best boutique consulting firms will take the time to learn about your business, products, and services. As they stay focused on only a few clients at a time, they’ll build an in-depth knowledge of your business’s needs and challenges. They’re also quick to respond to requests and provide the level of service you deserve.
Boutique consulting firms can also offer you targeted industry expertise. Since they focus on working in a few specific niches, you’ll receive specialized guidance in areas where larger or generalist consulting firms may not be able to advise effectively. Smaller firms also result in consultants working closely together to achieve greater productivity and greater results for your business.
Experienced boutique consulting firms can see your company from a wider perspective, rather than just focusing on solutions that address current problems. They’ll advise you on how to achieve your desired results now and as your business grows.
Five Key Advantages of Hiring a Boutique Consulting Firm
1. Get an Early Technical Perspective
In a large IT consulting firm, the Sales department will be entirely responsible for signing the deal with your company. At this early stage, all discussions will revolve around service level agreements (SLAs) and money – not the technical nitty-gritty.
You’re likely to find yourself in the position where you want to ask tough technical questions, but don’t have enough knowledge yet about what you need. This is where boutique IT consulting firms can help.
Boutique IT consultancies are great for getting an in-house technical perspective based on the experiences of the consultant. The consultant will have an in-depth understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and can provide a technical perspective on feasibility, costs, and other questions you might have.
When you can freely discuss the technical aspects of your project with the concerned person(s) before the deal is signed, you both get a good idea of what’s needed, what’s expected, and what’s possible. Discussing the relevant technical ideas, estimations and risks early clears many doubts and provides a good direction for execution. This will minimize rework once the project starts, and ultimately deliver far better results. All of this is only possible when you hire a boutique IT consulting company.
2. Create a Strong Rapport and Work With True “Experts”
With a boutique firm, you can start building rapport with the person you’ll be working with early on. You can also establish clear baselines that are acceptable to both parties. This will smooth out differences and prevent conflicts. You’re also more likely to get the right person whenever you need clarification or have a question about the project.
Another advantage is that the “on-boarding” time for a smaller firm is usually lower because they specialize in your industry or project area. Since they already have a good understanding of your project requirements, they can start (and finish) work faster.
3. Greater Flexibility and Agility for Easier Change Management
With boutique consulting firms, you can enjoy greater flexibility and agility. Since their teams are smaller, they tend to have a more flexible structure, so they can change direction and react quickly to meet the new requirements of your business. They can also make decisions quicker, too.
Working with a small consulting company also gives you plenty of leeway for rethinking challenges and execution strategies. So if something isn’t working as expected, you (and they) can easily re-order priorities, re-estimate any additional work, and re-execute the new plan. This additional flexibility can be a game-changer, especially for projects that aren’t very predictable.
4. Easier Communications & Increased Efficiency
With a smaller IT consulting firm, you can easily reach the right people quickly without jumping through numerous hoops. And if there’s a problem, you don’t have to wait for multiple people or departments to discuss it before they arrive at a consensus.
Fewer people also means more effective collaboration and smoother communications for increased efficiency and faster decision-making. Nothing gets “lost in translation”, no time (or money) is wasted, and there’s no unnecessary red tape.
Furthermore, since client satisfaction and positive recommendations are absolutely critical for the survival of a boutique IT consulting firm, they’ll really care about your (project’s) success. They’ll go above and beyond to ensure that you get the results you need and want.
5. The Big Kahuna: Lower Costs
Working with a smaller but experienced boutique consulting firm like WayPath can save your business a lot of money.
Boutique firms don’t shy away from using cheaper or free open source tools. They also have fewer employees, so their own costs are fairly low. They often pass on these advantages to their clients in the form of reasonable prices.
Ready to work with an experienced boutique IT consulting firm? WayPath delivers cutting-edge IT consulting services to four key industries: Financial Services, Government, Insurance, and Healthcare. Our work helps firms in these sectors fast-track innovation, enhance operational efficiencies, and resolve critical challenges. Our experts deliver customized, cost-effective and reliable solutions in the areas of Customer Communication Management (CCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Content Management Systems (CMS). To discuss your project, please get in touch with us at +1-877-334-4266.