Every single business relies on technology to varying degrees to function, communicate, carry out transactions, service customers, and more—its computer and information technology (IT) infrastructure. When any aspect of that infrastructure goes awry, it can directly affect the bottom line. That’s why IT management consultants are so important. They do more than just set up the workstations, network and IT infrastructure that make an organization run—they understand a business and its goals and work to create IT solutions that align with those goals.
Working with network administrators, network engineers, and security analysts, IT management consultants routinely assess an IT infrastructure to ensure it’s performing well, is secure, and that any hardware or software in need of upgrading is improved in a strategic, cost-effective way.
Whether you’re building a network from scratch or need a pro to help assess your IT demands, hiring a freelance IT management consultant is a cost-effective way to ensure your network, data, and equipment are sufficient, reliable, and up to date. Here’s a quick overview of what an IT management consultant does with some tips for writing a job description that helps you find the one with the experience and skills you need.
What does an IT manager do?
IT management consultants align an organization’s IT services with the needs of the business, often using ITSM (IT service management, formerly known as ITIL) best practices. They consult on, plan, and implement the processes and frameworks that tech-focused IT professionals like network engineers and database administrators adhere to.
An IT management consultant works with your company to keep the organization’s technology functioning, updated, and secure, managing all the hardware and software that makes a modern organization productive, connected, and protected from security breaches.
While an IT management consultant might leave more of the actual programming, installation, and design up to the personnel they manage, they can be hands on, as well. A few of their day-to-day responsibilities may include:
- Tracking IT budgets and informing senior management of required updates, projects, or changes to the IT infrastructure
- Planning new IT projects, assembling teams, and seeing projects through to completion based on timing and budget
- Assessing staff’s IT needs and proposing solutions for the organization
- Managing, delegating, and stepping in to help a team of IT professionals
- Deciding when to upgrade and replace existing hardware and software
- Securing and updating hardware and software, security protocols, and software licenses
- Keeping security measures up to date, and monitoring for and responding to security breaches
- Train staff on how to use technology, equipment, and security best practices to minimize human error-related breaches.
- Cross-training IT staff to be a more cohesive group with visibility into one another’s roles
Defining your IT management project
Looking to hire an IT management expert? The first thing you explain is what you need the IT management expert to do. Every business is different, so what you need is going to largely depend on your business, network size, or project. Do you need someone to negotiate new software systems, coordinate the update of company-wide computer systems, set up workstations for new employees, or familiarize employees with how to use software specific to their roles?
Do you have an existing network but are experiencing some performance issues? If so, you’ll want an IT management expert to provide a plan for updating your hardware and software systems in a way that fits your budget but also your business goals.
Or, do you need an expert who takes on more CTO-type work for your organization, advising on new technology solutions to keep your business cutting edge?
Writing an IT management project description
Now that you’ve clearly defined your project deliverables, it’s time to write your project description. The description will determine the type of IT management consultant you’ll attract, so be sure to include as much context and detail as possible.
Be clear and succinct in your title and include any relevant experience they should have setting up or managing systems similar to yours. Explain what areas of the system you need assistance with, how many system users you have, and your goals for the specific project.
Sample project overview
Below is a sample of how a project description may look. Keep in mind that many people use the term “job description,” but a full job description is only needed for employees. When engaging a freelancer as an independent contractor, you typically just need a statement of work, job post, or any other document that describes the work.
Title: IT Management Needed to Help Modernize IT Infrastructure for City Public Utilities Office + Website
The Office of Public Utilities of Anytown, Anystate is looking for an IT management expert to help us overhaul our existing IT infrastructure. We need an consultant who can help secure new workstations, phones, computers, and software for our staff; move a portion of our existing software to a new cloud server setup, and modernize the systems behind what will be our newly redesigned online customer payment portal and field agent meter reading database integration with the portal. We also need to put a security framework in place that adheres to the state regulations for secure government operations, then train our employees on how to use their new equipment and create secure passwords and logins.
Project Scope & Deliverables:
Our goal is to complete the overhaul and upgrade next quarter, then remain on in a consulting capacity and to maintain regular updates as required. In addition, we’ll need a full report of any updates created to submit to the City budget office.