Tuesday, June 22, 2010

IT considerations of a small professional services firm

Here are some off the cuff things that any new or small "professional services firm" (aka consulting firm) will need to consider: 

  • Things common to small businesses -
    • How big is the company
    • What can you afford
    • What are the needs
    • Are the needs generic like msft office or specific like detailed timekeeping or graphics

  • How will you communicate with clients -
    • Email obviously, but will you ever need to do blog posts for them?
    • How about microcommunication services like Yammer?

  • What security level do you need
    • Federal, state, and local government all have their own specific security requirements as customers
    • Are you under HIPAA requirements? In many respects this is less stringent than having a Federal government client, but has its own peculiarities and challenges
    • Do your IT needs create any special office space / facility needs? Federal government and HIPAA certainly will

    • Billing needs
      • Will your clients require you to submit billing invoices to them in any specific way? 
      • Do you need to track billing on a per minute basis? Per hour?
      • Do you need to track specific billable actions like writing a memo or email, making a phone call?
      • Who will you be billing, and are there any industry-mandated

    • Location of staff
      • Colocated?
      • Across the world?
      • A mix of the above where some are together, some are in another country, and you have part-time people elsewhere?
      • How about special subcontractors?

    • Do you need IT to be controlled on your servers

    • How will you want to collaborate internally
      • See above on "Location of staff", but even if you are all within earshot you may prefer to have collaboration supercharged via 
      Pictures:- by ob1left
      -  From lucky_dog
      -  by Philo Nordlund


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