Difference between IT services and IT consulting

IT services and IT consulting are terms in the tech world that most people often use interchangeably. Although the core value of their services remains the same, i.e., to help clients with their technological skills, the nature of their job is a world apart.

What are IT Services?

IT Services can be considered as a branch of IT consulting services. It involves the application of the business and technical expertise of a team to create, manage, and optimize access to information and business process. IT service, in general, is a combination of information technology, people, and operation.

IT services revolve in the same department of IT consultants, but they offer less control over processing or fixing issues. To simplify, if a client opts for an IT Services, they cannot make significant changes the way they want. 

For instance, a business faces issues while running the new Microsoft office on their system. Microsoft will send its own technicians to fix the problems. In this event, the client company raising the issues has less control over how the MS technicians perform the diagnostics and repairs. The client usually has no say in how things are handled.

What is IT Consulting?

IT consulting is a form of tech advisory service IT consultants offer to businesses and corporations looking to incorporate a new tech in their business strategy. The consulting firm’s work is to provide their expertise and valuable insight into the market, helping businesses make the right decisions. IT consultants help companies devise technological strategies and plans, showing them the right path to achieve their business objectives.

For example, a business may hire an IT consultant when facing major tech concerns. The consultant listens to the client’s concerns and puts together a strategy and plan of action to address the issue.  

IT consultants have more control over the method of offering services. Their input can impact the IT strategies of a business.

Difference between IT Services and IT consulting

Factors IT ServicesIT Consulting
Types of ServicesIt involves offering technological assistant related to infrastructure, application and business process.It involves setting up and managing cloud services, help desk support, network security, backup and disaster recovery, etc.It involves providing expert advice to other professionals typically in financial, business and IT. IT consultants provide expert advice to businesses to meet their goals utilizing information technology.
Control of ClientThe client has less or no control over the decision making process. If the IT Service want to conduct a process in a certain way, the client has to agree with it.The client can have a saying in this process. IT consultants often draft their IT strategies considering the ideas and goals of their clients.
Nature of workIt is purely a need based services that has to been in a certain way. For example, a client need to upgrade their company’s systems to run MS Office. It is a strategy-based service. Clients hire IT consultants when they want to upgrade their company’s tech strategy.
Term of AssociationIt is mainly long-term association. For instance, if a company install cybersecurity system, then they have to deal with them as long as they continue using their technology.It is a short-term deal as clients often hire consultants for devising a plan. The client has the freedom to approach new consultancy if needed.
Relationship BuildingIt services does not require a strong relationship building with the client as compared to consultancy.A good working relation between the client and the consultant is the essence of this service. 
CostThe cost of IT services is managed by an outside provider depending on several factors. Managed IT Services ranges from basic to comprehensive pricing that varies from services to services.A consultant can be a freelancer or independent contractor offering several payment options including payment by hour or by project or on retainer.

Conclusion

IT services revolve around providing day-to-day tech services such as managing or installing cloud computing, backup recovery, network security, printer repairs, etc. IT consulting is all about planning and devising strategies for improving specific areas of a company’s tech. A firm can rely on its tech consultants to address a concern or guide them to formulate a successful tech strategy.

References:

  1. https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/it-services
  2. https://www.techtarget.com/searchitchannel/definition/consultant
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_technology_consulting
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