Does Your Business Need To Hire An IT Consultant?

Whatever type of business you own, you need to make sure that you are using the latest technologies and software to provide quality solutions to your clients. Not only does using only the latest technology help you achieve your goals faster, doing so also ensures that you’re ahead of the competition. However, with the fast paced change in technology, keeping up with technological advances can be an uphill battle. Most businesses are not knowledgeable regarding technology so most of them are stuck with whatever their system is, for better or for worse.

For newer businesses, adaptation of technological advances should be embedded into their business plan. Newer businesses should make use of technology unlike older businesses. Businesses nowadays should even have their own IT department to sort out systems for the entire business. Financially speaking, hiring an IT department makes sense, wise even. Working with an IT consulting services company will provide the following benefits.

Assistance to business

Hiring an IT consulting firm is like hiring hundreds of people to do a business analysis on your company. IT consultants have experience in implementing projects for numerous companies and they know the best ways to go about it. Having learned from all their previous dealings with other companies, IT companies are experts in this field.

Your company will surely benefit from the collective experiences of IT companies. Their collective effort, expertise, and experience will make management planning and business transition a lot smoother than normal.

Streamline the process of business

IT companies will streamline your process once they are able to evaluate your entire business process. They will identify the important resources for your company and improve them. They will use proven business templates to ensure that your company will remain successful for years to come.

After an overhaul and careful study of your business model, they will be able to shorten the process quite extensively. Knowing how valuable time is to a company, it will lead to increased profit and efficiency.

Independent point of view

An external consultant will bring an outsider’s perspective to a company. The result will be an objective outlook of a company without any bias. An external company overlooking the process of another company can identify processes that need improvement.

An external IT company will help sort out many problems that exist within a company. New technologies will be implemented making work that much easier.

Utilization of proper tools

IT consultants are familiar with different tools and methods for different kinds of businesses. Depending on their expertise, they may favor using one method over the other. IT professionals will use a tool depending on the need of a company. Their experience will make them capable of giving the best advice out there.

The best IT companies will often partner up with many technology industry leaders giving them access to the best tools available. While many companies are only concerned with short-term solutions, IT companies are more concerned over long-term solutions for your company. After all, your continued success is detrimental to their business so expect something more permanent when you hire an IT consulting firm.

Added savings

Let’s face it, with the way the technology is advancing, a lot of work will become automated within the next decade. We’re already automating some of the most menial jobs out there. This is true for any company, big or small. Hiring an IT consulting company, you are able to identify which processes you can do without. You can also choose to automate some jobs to free some work load of your employees. While it may seem that you will spend more by hiring an IT company, you will actually save more in the long run.

Choosing to hire an IT consulting firm will boost the overall efficiency of any business. Use it in conjunction with a more efficient business planning and you’ll save a lot on unnecessary expenses. Clearly, there are many advantages in working with an IT company, yet not many businesses are willing to hire one. How would you know if you need an IT consultancy service?

The answer is simple.

Every company needs one. Big or small, every business needs someone who is able to work using the latest technology. By enabling a business to utilize technology, it will open up new opportunities in terms of expansion. If a business is able to function without IT architecture, imagine the possibility once the IT processes are implemented. Truly, the advantages of using an IT Consultation Company make it truly worth it.

As a business person myself, I know how hard it is to innovate and improve a business. I can speak from my own experience and say that an IT consulting firm can help you get that boost you are looking for in your business.

Susie M Hill

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Agile Versus Traditional Project Management

Tipped to be the hottest trend in project management for 2014, Agile has seen its heyday come at last. Not a new concept, agile project management has been used to some degree in the software industry for several decades, but is only now coming to the fore as a workable project management method for other industries too.

Using agile project management techniques is not a million miles away from traditional methods. You still do the same work and arrive at the same end goal, but with the agile method work tends to be faster, more productive and risks tend to be diminished. Here’s why.

Traditional project management

This method, also known as the waterfall method, is the most widely used form of PM worldwide. It typically involves six key steps from start to finish:

1. Requirements

2. Design

3. Development

4. Integration

5. Testing

6. Deployment

Each one stage is completed before the whole team moves onto the next stage, making this sequential method seem like something of a waterfall cascade, hence the name. Not all projects include all stages, and some may include a few more, but in essence this is the formation of waterfall PM.

Traditional PM is widely accepted as being valuable for smaller, well designed projects, but can sometimes struggle when dealing with larger and less well defined situations. It is designed for use in construction and manufacturing industries, where later changes are impossible or not cost effective, meaning everything needs to be done in a certain order.

Agile PM

The agile method differs in that everything can take place in any order, and is not necessarily sequentially completed. The method relies on human interaction management, and works on the project as a set of small tasks which are defined and completed as the demand arises. Large projects can be simply broken down into smaller components, known as ‘sprints’, and tackled for a short space of time until complete.

In agile, the design, testing, integration and development are all undertaken during each sprint, which makes the likelihood of errors being built into the final project much less. This means there may be major changes made throughout the lifespan of the project, and the final product might not be exactly what was envisaged at the start. It will, if done right, be relevant, useful and flawless.

Which is best?

The most suitable method for managing your project is something you will need to decide for yourself. It will largely depend on the type of project you are delivering, as well as the scale. Projects involving creative industries or software development benefit much more naturally from agile than those involved in creating physical products, as they allow for changes to be made even at very late stages in the project delivery.

Consider how stable the requirements of the project are. Projects that are likely to undergo changes to the brief or the requirements will respond much better to an agile project management framework, whereas those with well-defined business requirements and where certain stages need to be completed before moving on are more suited to traditional PM.

By Michelle N Symonds



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Big Data Means 5 Big Problems For CIOs

If you pick up just about any IT magazine these days, you’ll see that everyone seems to have decided that we are now living in the age of “big data”. No data set is too large to be processed by your IT department. The rest of the company now understands the importance of information technology and they believe that all you have to do is drop the data in and magically actionable information should pop out that the entire company can start to use today.

Well, as with all things in life, it’s never quite that easy. Those of us who have the CIO job are starting to learn that along with big data comes some very large problems that they are going to have to find a way to solve. Let’s spend a moment and talk about 5 of these “big” problems…

5 Big Data Problems That CIOs Need To Solve

The one thing that no CIO want’s to have happen is for his or her IT department to get involved in a big data project that ends up delivering nothing. The reason that this can happen to a big data project is that a company makes a mistake and the end result is that the project gets scrapped. Here are 5 common big data project mistakes and how to avoid making them:

  • Garbage In… : Just having a lot of data is not enough to have a successful big data project. The company has to have a very clear idea of what questions they are trying to have answered before the big data project gets started. The mistake that too many companies make is that they believe that just by processing the data, answers will magically show up. It doesn’t work this way – you have to know what you are looking for before the project starts.
  • Not Enough Of The Right People: It turns out that performing complex analysis of big data sets is actually hard work. It takes a special kind of person with a unique set of skills. Right now there are not a lot of these people out there. If your IT department does not have the right people, then you’ll never be successful. Now is the time to identify the people who have the right skill sets. Have them get additional training and make sure that they are ready when your next big data project starts.
  • Organization Counts: Just exactly where is all of the data that you are going to want to process? All too often companies have things like customer data spread across multiple databases. This means that the big data project is going to have to spend time looking for different pieces of data in different locations even before the main analysis starts. Take the time to pull together all of the data that you are going to need into a single database so that you can focus your department’s time and energy on what really counts.
  • Fight!: Everyone in the company knows the importance of big data and everyone wants to be the first to get their hands on the results of the project. If as CIO you allow this to happen, internal departments are going to be spending their time fighting with each other. As the senior IT person, you need to set the tone from the top – the data belongs to the company and the results belong to the company, no department has preference over any other department.
  • Setting The Bar Too High: It can be too easy to create a big data project that has really big goals. When you do this, the possibility of the project failing or ending up under delivering is boosted. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, start out by setting a smaller objective and keep your goals narrow. What will happen is that this smaller project will be a success. You can then build on it and go on to create larger projects that will have a much better chance of being successful.

What All Of This Means For You

We have entered an age where all of a sudden CIOs are discovering that their IT departments are no long limited by the amount of computing power that their budget can purchase. With the arrival of cloud computing, an almost unlimited amount of processing power is now available to process the enormous amount of data that every company is collecting.

What this means is that in order to be able to deliver to the company what they are expecting to get out of their big data, if you are sitting in the CIO position then you are going to have to first solve some big data related problems. These include making sure that they have the right data to process, finding the right IT staff to do the work, organizing the data, resolving differences between data owners, and making sure that the IT department does not over promise.

Yes, great things can come from finally having the computing horsepower needed to process enormous amounts of data. However, before you can deliver to the company the useful results that they are looking for, you are first going to have to solve the big problems that come along with your big data.

Dr. Jim Anderson


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China’s Technology Innovation and Global Business Growth-2

                            By Austin Umezurike, Ph.D

Having made progress in technology innovation, china’s next frontier was to develop technology strategy to insure sustainability. As a result, China acquired some foreign investors through a central planning committee that changed their orientation to commerce and moved results of research and development from government to private enterprise through public private partnership (PPP).

Overall, China’s technology development is based on the medium to long term plan (MLP) developed in 2006. The plan encourages china to become a technology innovation society by 2020 and world leader in science and technology by 2050 and to leapfrog to being the world’s foremost technology leader by 2015 (Cao, 2006) China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown at an average rate of 9.5% over the last four years.

Chinese companies are setting up research and development subsidiaries in Germany where they hope to attract skilled Germans by locating their firms within clusters of Germany’s training facilities, research institutes and skilled manpower. China has increased her investment in Africa over the past ten years as part of focused strategy. China intends to take advantage of natural resources that are in abundance in Africa by acquiring new allies from the continent. It is no wonder that China funded and built the new OAU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As part of this strategy, the Chinese have started buying over some Nigeria’s oil pipeline leases (OPLs) from Shell petroleum Development Company which is divesting from the country due to kidnapping and terrorism. China’s strategy for technology innovation is through domination of the computer software industry and programming which has been proliferated in china. The software industry is being deliberately sustained in china as competitive edge and has been limited by piracy.

In general, China’s innovation strategy entailed attracting expertise from Germany, investing in Africa, reducing brain drain, developing own brand and dominating the software development industry. It also included partnering with government, private sector and academia to conduct innovative research studies that would be implemented by private business sector.

This is the last of the two publication series on China’s technology innovation


Cao, C., Simon, D. & Suttmeier, R. (2009). Commentary China’s Innovation                        challenge. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice. 11(2). 253-259

Meyer, A. (2008). Technology strategy and China’s technology capacity building.                  Journal of Technology  Management. 3(2). 137-153

Dr. Austin Umezurike is an Information Technology Director with Global High Technology Consulting


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China’s Technology Innovation and Global Business Growth – 1

by Austin Umezurike Ph.D.

China is rising as a destination for foreign business enterprise and technology innovation. The Chinese government has deliberately implemented some policies to make china attractive, improve quality of products and develop local brands instead of only being an outsourcing post for international organizations seeking cheap labor.

China’s medium to long term plan (MLP) designed by their government was one of the decisions that guaranteed china’s position as a leading technology nation. China is rapidly catching up with the developed countries as an emerging developed country and destination for foreign direct investment (Meyer, 2008). While technology products were previously manufactured in china for foreign investors and their brands, the local Chinese companies were unprepared to launch into the global market with their own label. In order to reverse this trend, the Chinese government launched a 15 year science and technology initiative for the development of the Chinese brand.

In 2006, the Chinese government decided to invest in research and development to shore up the image of their products because they were viewed as low quality, unsophisticated and lacking track record. Western countries and foreign investors were predominantly interested in china’s vast human resources, natural resources and growing market, hence the need for partnership and investment in China. The Chinese believe in building relationships and establishing trust as basis for healthy business. The Chinese government believed that by investing in technology innovations and participating in e-business, the economic gap between China, US and European Union would be closed.

Some of the drawbacks to China’s technology innovation and emergence include importation of manufacturing equipment from overseas countries which limited their absorption, assimilation and innovation capabilities. For china’s scientist to innovate and think out of the box, certain primordial beliefs and practices such as censorship would have to be discarded to allow free access to information. The Chinese government controls the media and exerts influence by restricting access to websites such as Twitter, facebook and Yahoo.

Brain drain and talent flight whereby Chinese graduates travel abroad for greener pastures impacted innovation. The Chinese government had attempted to solve this problem by encouraging graduates to stay in the country after graduation. They developed programs to attract Chinese abroad to help in improving technology at home through initiatives implemented in 2003 known as One hundred talent program and Cheung Kong scholar program (Cao, 2009)

Part 2 would be continued in the next publication.


Cao, C., Simon, D. & Suttmeier, R. (2009). Commentary China’s Innovation          challenge. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice. 11(2). 253-259

Meyer, A. (2008). Technology strategy and China’s technology capacity                   building. Journal of Technology Management. 3(2). 137-153

Dr. Austin Umezurike is an Information Technology Director with Global High Technology Consulting

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Global High Technology Consulting

Global High Technology Consulting

We have received several         e-mail messages regarding services offered by Global High Technology Consulting.

As an overview, we provide specialist IT staffing outsourcing to augment in-house personnel. We utilize our highly skilled IT staff to deliver superior IT services including software application development, project management, quality assurance, testing, risk management, analytics, business intelligence, tech support and IT security services.

Global High Technology Consulting offers project management and basic computer trainings.

Please click the hyperlink to review additional service offerings. Read More….


Golbal High Technology Consulting

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Managing Technology, Change and Crisis in Organizations

by Austin Umezurike Ph.D.

Organizations are in a constant state of flux due to advances in technology and the need to keep up with the changes to achieve business goals. Technology is often associated with change which leads to improved performance, growth and profitability. Technology enables managers to gather, analyze and synthesize data thus facilitating data driven decision making. Recent technology trends that pose challenges include mobile computing, big data management and cloud computing. Another technology issue that is gaining attention of decision makers is the ability to incorporate social media such as facebook, twitter, linkedIn and google plus into sustainable business process.

Technology makes it possible for organizations to analyze, communicate and process information faster. Improved technology change could be achieved with planned strategy, innovation and commitment leading to organizational growth and diversification.  Measuring technology performance and success of implementation take time and may be difficult due to some outcomes being tangible and others intangible. Evaluation can be done by monitoring revenue stream, customer satisfaction and system performance.

According to Scott and Andrew (2004), any technology change must be dynamic, productive, efficient and improve market competition. Organizations undergo changes due to internal and external factors. Internal changes may include upgrade of technology infrastructure, change in management, new business mission, stakeholders’ expectation, mergers and acquisition. External factors may include market competition, government regulation, general state of the economy and unplanned change. There should be procedures for proper disposal of outdated hardware and computers. Organizations should improve their processes by being environmentally friendly and going green.

Crisis management refers to the process through which an organizations deals with an event which will negatively impact the shareholders such as bankruptcy, layoffs, loss of opportunities, computer systems downtime and high personnel turnover. Crisis management requires implementation of effective technology that will facilitate communication and managing decision making during crisis. Effective crisis management approach enable problems to be solved within the shortest possible time and for market niche to be retained. Crisis should be handled at the initial stages of occurrence.

Policies and procedures should be put in place to handle crisis to prevent losses during crisis. Risk management entails identifying, assessing and responding to risks. Risk management processes should be put in place to provide remediation in case of crisis. Absence of planned change management process for technology implementation and updates may lead to avoidable crisis.


Scott, M., & Andrew, V. K. (2004). Handbook of Organizational Change                    and Innovation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Dr. Austin Umezurike is an information technology projects director with   Global High Technology Consulting.



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Why Do IT Projects Fail?

by Austin Umezurike, Ph.D

According to a study conducted by the Standish group in 2009, only 32 % of all Information Technology (IT) projects were successful. They were delivered on time, on budget and with required features and function. 44% were challenged with being late, over budget and with fewer features. 24% failed and were cancelled prior to completion or delivered without being used. This chaos report was considered intriguing given the available pool of project managers in the United States. So, why did most of the projects (68%) not meet their contractual obligation by being late, over budget or outright failure?

IT projects fail due to a catalog of reasons which include the following:

  • Improper requirements gathering: The project requirements should be appropriately documented through meetings, focus groups, reports and interviews.
  •  Scope Creep: More often than not, the project scope does not usually cover the entire spectrum of work to be implemented. This leads to progressive elaboration with associated adjustment of work scope and request for additional features not previously included.
  • Change Management Control Board: Absence of change control board makes it possible for unnecessary changes and additions to be accepted in an ongoing project without full assessment of potential impacts.
  •  Inadequate risk management plan: Absence of risk planning, qualitative and quantitative risk assessment processes make it difficult to be proactive about potential risks. Risk response plans should be put in place to mitigate risk impact.
  •  Lack of management support: If top management does not support a major project by providing required financial and human resources, the project is bound to fail.
  •  Triple Constraints: Inability to balance the triple constraints of cost, schedule and budget in order to insure project quality. If there is a change in one of the tripods of the triple constraints, the other two would be affected.
  •  Improper use of forecasting techniques such as EVM: Project managers should correctly utilize forecast techniques such as earned value management (EVM) to enable them determine whether project is behind or ahead of schedule and on budget.
  •  Communication: There should be effective communication between project teams and stakeholders. Communication channels, levels, frequency and methods should be determined during planning.
  •  Project Management methodology: Correct choice of project management methodology to fit project goals should be adopted. Examples include: Software development life cycle (SDLC), Waterfall, Scrum, Agile or Extreme Programming (XP) depending on client need.
  •  Project Management Skill: Projects should be led by trained project managers who understand project management techniques, strategy, knowledge areas and process groups in line with project management institute’s standards and requirement.

Considerations for the above measures during project planning and implementation would radically improve project outcome and success rate.


Standish Group, (2009). Chaos Report. Retrieved September 1, 2013 from                    

Dr. Austin Umezurike is an information technology projects director with Global High Technology Consulting.

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Outsourcing and Insourcing: When should an organization outsource?

by Austin Umezurike, Ph.D

Outsourcing is gaining prominence once again with the economy on the upward recovery trajectory. Personnel outsourcing is the supply of skilled staff from a source company to an organization that requires the service. According to Reid and Sanda (2012), outsourcing means that an organization pays a third party company to provide personnel services. Reid and Sanda noted that 86% of large companies reported outsourcing their personnel and that 35 % of these companies have recently increased their use of outsourced personnel or material. Insourcing refers to use of organization’s internal resources such as in-house personnel to perform work related tasks.

Organizations choose to use outsourcing strategy for personnel recruitment due to a variety of reasons. Some of them wish to observe the new staff recruit for a certain period before converting to full time staff. Outsourcing could be used to staff projects of short duration and to augment existing personnel. Outsourcing enables organizations to concentrate their capabilities on their core line of business and in areas where their comparative advantage is highest. With outsourcing, organizations could contract out the service aspects of their core business to trusted partners and contractors. This would enable them to free available resources for use and concentrate in their area of strength. Outsourcing makes it possible for an organization to team with other business entities that have competencies and specializations in other areas of endeavor that are supportive of the core product.

Transformational outsourcing allows an organization to shop for companies that have ready and new skills that meet recent technological challenges. In this regard the staff of the outsourcing organization would concentrate in developing competencies for the hiring organization’s core product. Benamati and Rajkumar (2002) observed that offshore outsourcing vendors are usually contracted due to lower labor costs in those destination countries outside United States of America. Offshore outsourcing is a process where available jobs are shipped overseas due to low remuneration for staff. Our government has provided incentives such as tax breaks and recognition for companies that reverse this trend and return jobs to the USA

Advantages of Outsourcing                                                                  

There are many reasons that companies outsource their IT services and infrastructure.  Below are the top ten reasons:

  • Information technology projects that are difficult to manage
  • Access to advanced technologies and processes
  • Improve company focus on core competence
  • Augment existing personnel
  • Free internal resources for other purposes
  • Gain access to world-class capabilities
  • Reduce operating costs and free up capital funds
  • Accelerate re-engineering  process
  • Utilize resources not available internally
  • Provide organization learning and interaction

Reid, R.D & Sanda N.R .(2012). Operations Management: An Integrated Approach,                 5th  Edition,  John Wiley & sons.

Benamati, J & Rajkumar, T .(2002). The Application of outsourcing  decision:                           An Application of  Technology Acceptance Model. Journal of Information                    Technology 35 – 43

Dr. Austin Umezurike is an information technology projects director with Global High Technology Consulting.


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