IT is Information Technology, and IT consulting is an umbrella term for a variety of interrelated activities, including:
- Providing advice and expertise on the use of computers, telecommunications equipment, and distribution networks that store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data to effectively achieve business objectives, and assessing operational efficiency and capacity of your IT environment
- Planning, designing, testing, implementing, and managing IT technologies on behalf of a business
- Developing and supporting change management activities to transition users to new technologies and procedures
An IT consultant can be an individual (either a self-employed independent contractor or a professional employed through a staffing firm), a small, specialized firm, or a large national or multinational company. Generally, smaller companies offer specific competencies and/or serve smaller enterprises; they could also subcontract their unique skill sets to other IT consultancies that serve larger corporate clients.
Some common trends of late include:
Cloud Computing. The big attraction of cloud computing - where your software and data are housed off-premises and accessed via a Web portal - is that it's generally less expensive. Moreover, software updates are usually relatively painless, eliminating costly and time-consuming installations, reducing the need for IT consultants. But, as more companies move their data to the cloud, more IT consultants are needed to get them there. It's not just the need to migrate to new technology in the cloud, it's also the need to sure legacy systems work in the cloud.