Your digital presence will define your business. This may not have been true some years ago, but it certainly is now. There is no denying that the world has moved on from the analog to embrace technology and interconnection to such an extent that, while a digital presence for your company was a mere business branch once upon a time, it should now be one of the most important development pillars of your business model.
As such – and in part due to the very demanding nature of all the services and skills necessary to carry out a successful digital business strategy – your company needs to find the right talent to make things work. While there are some benefits to capturing these resources in-house, the costs far outweigh them. Keeping entire teams to oversee your digital needs within the walls of your company will require constant hiring, a potentially constant rotation of employees, and a greater burden on the management team to oversee every detail of the operation.
This is the reason most companies opt for outsourcing, hiring digital consulting services from third-parties that specialize in handling the issues.
What is Digital Consulting?
Digital consulting is essentially taking your company to therapy for its web presence issues. And there are issues. Whether you like it or not, your website will face challenges. Addressing them promptly and efficiently will spell the difference that sets your business apart from the competition and gives you the edge you need to stay ahead.
While digital consulting agencies often cover main general areas such as web development, website design, and marketing, companies don’t necessarily need or choose to outsource the full range of services available, which is why providers often specialize in particular areas of work:
Perhaps your company is not looking to have an agency on retainer to handle their entire digital transformation, but rather ensure their in-house team is prepared to handle potential issues that may arise. Digital consulting services often include training teams of professionals to increase their skillset so they are better prepared for any and all eventualities.
Not as in-depth and extended as trainings, workshops allow companies to address very particular needs of their teams, which can be nurtured into full-fledged skills with workshops tailored for each instance.
Digital Project Rescue
Sometimes things come up. Sometimes things come up out of nowhere, fast and deadly, and affect your business. This is another important area where the right agency comes into play. Digital consulting agencies will step in to tackle any large issue – such as a bug in the code that is impacting website performance, a security hole in the system that is exposing your data, poor design that is significantly lowering your traffic, corrupted data that is damaging several areas of the website, among others – and focus on the project, helping you fix it or avoid having to scrap an entire framework just to solve what is essentially a very specific problem.
Even management can be outsourced, so digital consulting includes assuming the role of your company’s Chief Technical Officer and handling oversight, administration and execution of your overall digital business strategy. Everything from web development and design to deep, technical work at the back-end level. This service is particularly useful for companies that are not yet large enough to hire a full-time manager for their nascent efforts.
As mentioned, sometimes companies don’t have the time and resources to tackle large aspects of the operation, including marketing, which is why digital consultants are hired to oversee the overall digital marketing efforts – or even specific projects – in order to help the business grow by reaching their intended audience.
Issues can be evident, like a bug that is causing a submitted form to fail, or exist unnoticed, like a problem at the back-end level affecting speed performance across the website. Digital auditing focuses on going through the framework to find existing or potential issues that can precisely affect speed, security, or overall performance. Identifying these issues is vital to optimize the experience for users and visitors.
So your company has a huge project it needs to undertake and you feel you’re understaffed. Hiring part-time members to boost your efforts is one possible solution, but it requires a lot of paperwork, not to mention the obstacle of finding people to work for you knowing their time there is finite. Digital consulting agencies provide for this scenario by offering to augment your company staff. This can be as third-party providers or, in some cases, even by assigning professionals from among their ranks to exclusively work on your project. Regardless of what the setup looks like, the end result is having experts that supplement your own workforce at a fraction of the cost.
We live in the age of entrepreneurs. Innovative companies are cropping up all over the world, trying to address particular consumer needs or solve unexpected issues. Getting started can be difficult. These startups, as they first venture into the business world, have many challenges waiting for them. Digital consulting agencies often provide all the starting work necessary to get off the ground, at a reduced cost, with no need for these budding efforts to make full-time hiring commitments that can impact their bottom line in those early stages.
So, I Know What Digital Consulting Agencies Do, But Why Should I Bother?
It all boils down to costs. Assuming all the responsibilities inherent to your digital transformation in-house is an expensive endeavor. Aside from the obvious benefits of knowing your entire workforce is, in fact, yours, there is little reason not to outsource work.
Inexperienced companies feel hiring a digital consulting agency in some way compromises their security and confidentiality, or reduces the level and quality of attention their needs will receive, but that is far from true as long as you take the time to research the credibility and reliability of prospective providers.
Digital consulting provides the kind of expertise and professionalism that is harder to come by with full-time hires, especially in terms of more junior roles, and it means efforts can be streamlined at lower costs, making it not only a viable solution, but the most logical one. This is even more important for small to medium businesses that can hardly afford to increase their expenditures.
Also worth considering is the effect and costs of having overworked team members in your company. Burnout is a very real problem, with very real consequences, so outsourcing some labors can help ease overwhelmed employees and reduce the risk of staff turnover.
As long as your company exercises the right amount of prudence when choosing a digital consulting agency, the results will be significantly positive for the business.
How Do I Choose the Right Digital Consultants?
Knowing which digital consulting services you need to outsource may be the first step, but it all comes down to nothing if your company does not pick the right agency for the job. This means that some important elements must be taken into consideration when going through available options:
- Experience. What kind of work has the agency done in the past? How long have they been doing it and what kind of results are evident from that work?
- Team. How many members does the agency have? Is it enough to undertake your intended projects? What are their backgrounds and specialties? How diverse is the entire group in terms of background and skills? Do they match with both your business philosophies and the particulars of the tasks you’ll be asking from the agency?
- Industries. What industries do they specialize in? Digital consultants may work with clients in general, but they usually have a body of work that showcases certain industries, which means they have the background experience with some areas that may be equal or similar to your own company’s.
- Price. How much will it cost to hire them? Is it more cost-effective than keeping the work in-house? How does it compare to other agencies?
- Personal taste. At the end of the day, digital consulting addresses very specific needs for each company, which touches not only on technical aspects but aesthetics as well. While being reassured about all the technical prowess of an agency is extremely important, you may still find yourself with a notable list of choices available. This is where personal taste comes into play. Subjective, sure, but sometimes gut instincts are necessary to make final choices. How does it feel when you talk with that agency? Does their body of work appeal to what you want for your own company? Do they feel right? This may be the final factor, once you’ve narrowed things down with the more objective criteria.
Do not take this decision lightly. Digital consulting is an important service to help optimize and grow your company’s web presence. The right agency needs to be more than just a provider: they need to be trusted partners, allies that you can count on 24/7. Trust is the ultimate commodity in these complicated times, and the one currency that never loses its value.
Who We Are
We are O8.
We provide professional digital services.