What Can a Computer System Consultant Do For You?

If you're having a hard time making decisions about the computing systems at your organization, it might be time to talk with a consultant. You'd be right to wonder, though, what a computer system consultant can do for you. Take a look at three issues that fall under the umbrella of computer system consulting.

1. Help Select Hardware

Using less hardware than the work you're doing requires can lead to a bad time. For example, a company that sends techs out into the field with laptops and phones that don't support the latest generation of connectivity with cell towers is going to leave folks regularly searching for ways to hook up to the internet.

Admittedly, these decisions often come with a good deal of cost-benefit analysis. A business with an online store might want the best set of servers around, but they may have to budget for something that doesn't break the bank. It's important not to just select the best hardware around, but to make purchases that get the most bang for your buck. A computer system consultant can assemble a list of options and help you assess which machines meet your criteria.

2. Standardize Operating Systems

Much of the software ecosystem at a business is dictated by the operating systems in use. A graphics shop hooked up with Mac OS systems, for example, rarely has many Windows machines running. Similarly, a data analytics firm probably has several machines running Python on Linux.

In addition to matching software to needs, it's a good idea to talk with a computer system consultant about standardizing all your machines. You don't want to have, for example, unpatched Windows XP and 7 systems on your network. The least-upgradeable machines will have to be sold or destroyed, and you'll need to add replacements. Everything else will have to be upgraded.

3. Back-Up Your Data

Configuring a backup system is one of the most important computing tasks for most modern businesses. The range of backup options, though, can be confounding. Do you want to do it off-site with a cloud-based solution, or is an on-site system required? If you're going to have an on-site backup, can it reside on a standard system, or will you need a networked-attached storage unit?

Beyond simple ease-of-use questions, you'll also have to look at the security of your data backup system. Similarly, long-term scalability is a big issue because businesses tend to see their storage requirements grow every year.