One way to explain what we do and how we do it is to answer some of the questions you’re likely to ask, so here’s our list of frequently asked questions. When I say ‘we’ I mean Cleartext the company, the suppliers and business partners.
What do you do?
I’m an independent consultant that helps you create and deploy an information and communications technology plan that is specific to and supports your business strategy. This could be IT systems or software products and services.
Why would we outsource this?
Because IT isn’t your core expertise. Technology is and has changed significantly with the computer network boundary becoming fuzzy due to technologies like wireless connectivity, mobile devices, social networking and the cloud. In tough economic times it makes sense to spend hard earned cash on business systems and IT services that improve your bottom line rather than increase head count.
How do you do it?
We work with you to understand your business processes then look at what IT systems you already have in place supporting these. In parallel we’ll have discussions with key stakeholders to identify areas for improvement. This will lead to recommendations for changes and a plan with timeline and budget to align IT with your business strategy.
Do you look after our computer systems?
No. We’re not an IT Services company but we will help you select and manage an IT Services provider so you don’t have to. You’ll understand the value of an IT expert selecting your IT services company if you’re continually being disappointed by IT service providers.
Can you manage our vendor relationships?
Yes. We’re happy to manage your vendor relationships so you can focus on your business not the information technology supporting it.
Do you supply vendor solutions?
We track technologies, selecting best of breed solutions that will fit your business and delivering them via the vendor, your IT Services company or your own IT staff. We have delivered and managed vendor solutions at great price points to hundreds of clients.
Do you write computer software?
Yes. If it’s a cost effective solution. For example we use a business platform designed and built using open source technology which replaced several off the shelf systems. This saved us significant licensing costs.
I thought my IT Services company did all this!
Do they really understand your business strategy? They may do but they can’t really offer independent advice if they are doing the day to day IT work and supplying you with IT products and services from their preferred vendors.
What locations do you cover?
When consulting a radius of 20/30 miles from High Wycombe and into the City of London. We prefer the London M4/M40 corridor but will travel further (e.g Sydney, Australia!) for interesting projects. We supply online services to a global market with customers on three continents.
What are your consulting rates?
It depends what sort of engagement you require. For a short consultation of 1-3 days for example we would charge typical IT Consulting fees, a short project of a couple of months would be negotiated at lower daily rates. Long term retainer fees are in the order of 7-15% of a full time Head of IT/ICT salary package giving you the benefit of an experienced business and technology person without the associated high costs.