With revenue in the IT consulting and implementation segment projected to top $65 billion by the end of this year, it has become an increasingly important component of the technology environment. Organisations are looking to unlock the value of their digital investments with consultants providing an important enabling mechanism in this regard.
Locally, consultants must turn the focus on how they can provide value to their companies. Being a better consultant can result in increased business opportunities and job satisfaction. Here are several tips to how to become a better consultant in the South African market.
Knowledge is power
It all begins by building a strong network. Having good relationships with clients, industry leaders, and other consultants form one of the building blocks to becoming a good consultant. This can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments and give you a wider pool of resources and contacts to tap into when needed.
Because of how rapidly technology is evolving, it is essential to stay informed about the latest trends. Attending conferences, reading trade publications, and participating in online forums and discussions are all important in this regard.
One of the mistakes many consultants make is to just focus on the advice part. Instead, they should also propose solutions that solve problems and bring new perspectives to the table. It comes down to providing a strategy to enhancing business operations.
Soft skills vital
Of course, communication is critical for any consultant. Consultants often work with clients from diverse backgrounds and industries. Make sure you are clear, concise, and listen to your clients’ needs and concerns.
Building trust is part of this. You must be able to demonstrate your expertise, be transparent and honest, and follow through on commitments. This will help you build a strong reputation and establish long-lasting relationships with your clients.
Higher education work
For university students aspiring to become consultants, they should carefully consider the degree they are going to study. Pursuing something in computer science, IT, or a related field will help greatly. This will provide them with the basic technical knowledge and skills required to understand the introductory aspects of the ICT sector.
In addition to their academic studies, they need to take advantage of opportunities to gain hands-on experience with different technologies and software. This can be done through internships, volunteering, or participation in hackathons and coding competitions.
Just as established consultants do, students can also benefit from networking and building relationships with industry leaders, mentors, and potential clients early on. This will help establish a strong network that you can rely on throughout your career.
Becoming a good ICT consultant in South Africa is not a straight line. Each person will approach it differently and have unique skills to offer. These are basic tips and tricks to help navigate some of the complexities of the environment.