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Finding the Right IT Consulting Company: A Step-by-Step Checklist

The past years have been challenging for companies. Whether to reduce costs or increase flexibility, lots of business owners and IT managers faced the need to establish relationships with IT consulting companies or to elevate existing ones, to a strategy that ensures business continuity. In fact, In Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey, respondents were asked about their perceptions of outsourcing benefits. Notably, 65% of them indicated that outsourcing allowed their organizations to concentrate on core activities, while 63% highlighted cost reduction as a significant advantage.

Thus, to help make this process as smooth and successful as possible, we created the ultimate step-by-step checklist to follow when looking for an IT consulting company.

Key Indicator for Seeking IT Consulting Company

Identifying the need for an IT consulting company is crucial for businesses as they address immediate challenges while also helping strategize for future growth.

When a company’s technology strategy is misaligned with its business goals or lacks a clear roadmap, external expertise can offer a fresh perspective, aligning technology with business objectives. For complex projects involving new technologies or major system changes, consultancies bring the project management expertise needed to ensure successful completion.

In rapidly evolving markets, staying competitive often requires the adoption of advanced technologies. IT consultancies assist businesses in identifying and implementing innovative solutions to gain a competitive edge. With increasing regulatory demands and cybersecurity threats, consultancies also provide the necessary expertise to ensure compliance and security.

Additionally, optimizing IT resources to reduce costs and improve efficiency is another area where consultancies excel. They can analyze current operations and recommend improvements. For significant digital or technological transformations, consultancies guide companies from planning through execution, ensuring a smooth transition to new digital landscapes.

Understanding Your Business Needs

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Before diving into the search, it’s essential to define your business goals and project requirements clearly. In a survey, 21% of companies say that poorly defined requirements are a leading cause of software development project failure. Thus, understanding your needs will help you find an IT consulting company that aligns with your objectives. Start by identifying the specific problems your business faces and how an IT partner can address these issues. Consider both your short-term and long-term goals and think about how the consulting services will help you achieve them. Additionally, establishing criteria for measuring success will provide a clear framework for evaluating potential partners and the outcomes of their work. This preparatory phase is essential, as it sets the foundation for your search and ensures that you approach potential IT vendors with a well-defined vision.

Pro Tip: Asking questions like, “What are the specific problems we need to solve?”, “What are our short-term and long-term goals?”, and “How will we measure success?” can help clarify your objectives.

Create a list of your business challenges, both immediate and anticipated. For example, if your current issue is improving cybersecurity, detail the specific threats and vulnerabilities you’ve faced. For long-term goals, such as expanding your e-commerce capabilities, outline your vision for scalability and customer engagement.


Step 2: Plan Your Budget

While budget considerations are important, focusing solely on hourly rates can be misleading. It’s crucial to choose a software development partner that delivers comprehensive value for your product. Management oversight, for example, ensures that project requirements are clear, the project is guided in the right direction, and milestones are met efficiently. Thus, to ensure a swift time-to-market while maintaining quality and cost-effectiveness Accedia offers clients a dedicated Engineering Manager.

Ultimately, strategic budgeting should encompass the full scope of the project. This includes accounting for potential risks and hidden costs to provide a more accurate picture of the necessary investments. By prioritizing delivered value over just hourly costs, you ensure a more successful and sustainable partnership.

Pro Tip: Allocate a contingency budget for unexpected expenses and be prepared to invest in quality management and oversight to ensure project success.

When planning your budget, include costs for initial consultations, project management, and post-implementation support. Also, factor in potential costs for software licenses, additional hardware, and any necessary training for your team.


Research and Shortlisting 

Step 3: Look for Industry Experience 

An IT consulting firm with experience in your industry will understand your specific challenges and needs and will significantly enhance the project’s success. Begin by researching firms that have a proven track record in your industry. Look for case studies and client testimonials that demonstrate their ability to handle similar projects successfully. Experienced firms are more likely to anticipate potential issues and provide solutions that are tailored to your industry’s unique requirements.

Additionally, consider the importance of knowledge transfer. It’s essential that the firm not only resolves your issues but also imparts critical knowledge to your team.

Pro Tip: Look for firms that offer comprehensive onboarding and training, ensuring that your staff is well-equipped to manage and maintain the implemented solutions independently in the future.


Step 4: Evaluate Technical Expertise

Ensuring the firm has up-to-date technical skills and relevant certifications is crucial for implementing effective solutions. Assess the firm’s technical skills by reviewing their portfolio of completed projects, focusing on their experience with specific technologies, tools, and software relevant to your needs. Conduct technical interviews or request practical demonstrations to gauge their expertise firsthand.

Innovative capabilities are another key aspect. Look for experience in cutting-edge technologies such as AI, ML, also cybersecurity, and IoT. Research companies’ internal programs and initiatives that encourage skill-sharing and talent development. A good example of such a program is Accedia Innovation Development Center (IDC) – an internal initiative that supports the realization of the team members’ innovative ideas into software solutions with the help of the company itself and mentors from different departments. IDC celebrates both individual talent and ideas along with teamwork and effort and is built on the idea of the common goal, the culture of learning from one another, and the path to finding new skills.

Pro Tip: Ask about the firm’s training programs and how they ensure their team stays updated with the latest technologies and industry standards.


Engaging with Potential Companies

IT consulting company

Step 5: Organize an Initial Consultation 

Preparing for the first meeting by gathering all necessary information about your project is crucial. This meeting is an opportunity to assess the firm’s understanding of your needs and their ability to deliver. During this initial consultation, present your project objectives clearly and ask detailed questions to understand how the firm plans to address your challenges. This is also the time to evaluate their communication style and responsiveness, which are critical factors for a successful partnership.

Pro Tip: Here are some questions to ask during the consultation: “Can you provide examples of similar projects you’ve completed?”, “What is your approach to project management and communication?”, and “How do you handle unexpected challenges?”

Bring a detailed project brief to the meeting, including your objectives, current IT infrastructure, and any previous attempts to solve the problem. This will provide the consultant with a comprehensive understanding of your needs.

Step 6: Request Proposals

Requesting detailed proposals from shortlisted firms is a key step in the selection process. Evaluate these proposals based on their understanding of your needs, proposed solutions, timelines, and costs. A well-crafted proposal should demonstrate the firm’s expertise and provide a clear plan for achieving your objectives. Compare proposals to ensure that you are getting the best value for your investment and that the proposed solutions align with your business goals.

Pro Tip: Look for proposals that include a risk management plan and detailed timelines to assess the firm’s preparedness for potential challenges.

Decision-Making Process

Step 7: Review Contracts and SLAs

Carefully reviewing the contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is crucial. Look for clear definitions of deliverables, timelines, and penalties for non-compliance, but also ensure that the contracts offer the necessary flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. Contractual terms should determine flexibility regarding scope, costs, and timelines, as well as the mechanisms for handling any changes, conflicts, and even terminations. For example, if evolving market demands require adjusting the project’s scope, the contract should allow for such flexibility without incurring additional costs or delays. Be mindful of clauses where ambiguity might lead to lost intellectual property rights and legal disputes.

Pro Tip: Consider seeking legal advice to ensure the contract covers all critical aspects and protects your business interests.

Additionally, pay special attention to clauses regarding intellectual property, confidentiality, and data security. Make sure the contract specifies who owns the code or solutions developed during the project. This will safeguard your business against potential risks and ensure a smoother collaboration with the IT consulting company.

Post-Selection Steps

Step 8: Define a Clear Onboarding Process

A well-defined onboarding process ensures a smooth start to the project. Set clear expectations and timelines from the outset. This step involves establishing a detailed plan for integrating the IT consulting company into your operations and providing them with the necessary resources and information. A structured onboarding process can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the project gets off to a strong start.

Pro Tip: Establish a communication plan and introduce key team members from both sides during the onboarding phase. This can help build a strong working relationship and ensure that everyone is aligned on project goals.

Step 9: Continuously Evaluate and Provide Feedback

Regularly evaluating the IT consulting company’s performance and providing feedback is essential for ensuring that the project stays on track and meets or even exceeds your expectations. Continuous evaluation allows you to address issues promptly and make necessary adjustments to the project plan. Providing constructive feedback can also help the consulting firm improve its performance and deliver better results.

Pro Tip: Schedule regular review meetings to discuss progress, address any concerns, and provide feedback to keep the project aligned with your goals.



Choosing the right IT consulting company is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business’s success. By following this step-by-step checklist, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed choice. Remember, thorough research and careful selection are key to finding a partner that aligns with your goals and delivers value.

About Accedia

Accedia is a leading European technology consulting and software development company. Established in 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria, the company has witnessed exponential growth, thanks to its dedicated team, commitment to excellence, and technology expertise.

With an ever-expanding global presence, the company serves clients across 5 continents and more than 20 countries, ranging from South Africa and Japan to the United States and the Nordics. Accedia’s reputation as a go-to software development partner spans various sectors, including Manufacturing, Finance and Banking, Technology, and Energy, and is evidenced by the steady high percentage of clients happily recommending their services to counterparts.


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