What does it really mean to be a software consultant?

What does it really mean to be a software consultant?

The word “consultant” has become a very broad term with a lot of confusion surrounding it. It seems as if the only people who really understand what consultants do, are other consultants!  This leads to even further confusion when describing “software” consultants.  Let’s take the time to explain more about this job.

Let’s start off by getting a better understanding of consulting in general. Articles online will tell you that consultants provide analysis, insights, and recommendations for clients using their own expertise in relevant fields. But wait, what does this actually mean? Isn’t this what advisors do? Let’s debunk this idea.

Although often confused as the same, advisors and consultants play two different roles and benefit companies in different ways. Advisors assume leadership roles and have long-term relationships with their clients as they typically concentrate on helping a company achieve their overarching purpose and general goals. Consultants tend to have short-term relationships with companies where they focus on developing specific solutions to distinct problems. They are trouble-shooters who are looking to work on clearly defined challenges. People approach consultants and say, “tell me what to do and how to do it”, not “this is what you’re going to do and here’s how”. The longer consultants work with specific clients, the differentiation between advisors and consultants becomes harder to define. At a certain point, the roles seem to merge, and expert consultants are often considered trusted advisors. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to discuss software consulting, a specific field of consulting seen at Munvo.

Being a software consultant means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some people think that it references a software developer that writes code for a company other than their own. Some think it means you walk in, handwave, say a bunch of technical words, and then leave without having really done much. Others feel it just takes some in-depth interpersonal skills and that the rest doesn’t matters. Being a software consultant is none of these things. Instead, it simply means that you provide expert advice and services. More specifically, you provide business-related knowledge and the ability to combine business goals with technological decisions.

Why do companies hire external consultants rather than having their own experts?

Often, hiring a consultant offers a certain level of objectivity and provides companies with a much needed outside eye. Additionally, when you hire a consultant, you only pay for the services you need, when you need them, which can minimize costs as well as labor. Another important thing to note is that there are multiple kinds of consultants who specialize in different fields and hiring the precise one you need for the task at hand is far simpler and quicker than finding and employing your own experts in each respective field.

Moving along, now that we have a better understanding of what both general consulting and software consulting is, we will focus specifically on consulting here at Munvo. The field we specialize in is marketing technology consulting, in which we provide companies with professional services to help implement marketing solutions. These solutions include working with our technology partners such as Salesforce, ActionIQ, Adobe, SAS, Unica, and PEGA. The goal is to improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction as well as enabling companies to realize the full value of their marketing technology.

The role of software consultants at Munvo include contributing to the projects’ entire lifecycles. This consists of planning, requirement specifications, use case definition, data modeling, technical design, solution development, and implementation methodologies. This also includes collaborating with various stakeholders to capture their needs and translate them into concrete technical objectives.  Without dwelling on definitions, software consultants at Munvo are simply resources who provide highly specialized skills to fulfill temporary needs within a company.

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