Over the past 20 years, IT consulting has become one of the
largest industries in the world. Everything is now connected to the Internet,
and nearly all businesses require substantial information technology networks
in order to conduct their operations. For competent IT professionals, there are
a number of profitable opportunities that exist as it relates to starting and
expanding a business. In this article, we are going take a look at the top 10
business opportunities that exist in the IT consulting and general IT services
General IT Consulting
One of the best things about owning and operating a general IT consulting firm is that these businesses generate highly recurring streams of revenue. Most businesses usually contract with an IT consulting firm to develop their networks, maintain database systems, upgrade software, and ensure the security of these networks. These businesses are able to remain profitable and cash flow positive at all times given that they generally bill their clients directly via credit or debit card. Even in more rural or suburban markets, IT consulting firms are able to operate with a large number of small business to medium-size business clients.
Cloud Application Development
As more and more people use a number of devices to conduct their business operations, the cloud has become the most cost-effective way for an individual or business organization to manage their information. One of the nice aspects of developing a firm that focuses on cloud applications is that these businesses, much like general IT consulting, are able to produce recurring streams of revenue from these operations.
These businesses are able to develop substantial revenues
from the initial development of the application while enjoying recurring
revenues from the ongoing maintenance and upgrading of this technology. Once a
client is secured for this aspect of operations, they will typically stay with
the firm given that they have a substantial understanding of their developed
IT Training Services
As many large organizations use both in-house employees as well as third-party contractors for these services, many IT consulting firms have taken on the role of tutoring and providing education as a relates to people that will be directly managing installed systems on a day-to-day basis. In fact, IT training is one of the fastest-growing segments of the overall information technology market. As such, a strong ancillary revenue stream for an IT consulting firm is to provide these services to clients that use the company’s services on an ongoing basis. These revenue streams can be substantial, and some firms charge much $1,500 per employee for properly training them on how to use and manage installed network systems.
Remote Assistance Services
Given the ubiquitous nature of information technology, many IT firms will often act as a outsourced service desk for employees that have specific issues with their work computers. One of the best aspects of this, but like every other aspect of IT consulting, is that monthly fees can be charged to small, medium, and large scale businesses that have an IT consulting firm operate on a remote basis in order to manage support tickets. Due to the the constantly changing nature of technology, many firms feel that it is economically advantageous to use a remote help service desk in order to fulfill employee support tickets.
IT Security Consulting
There is hardly a week goes by where it is it announced that a major corporation has suffered a data breach. While many hackers typically target larger corporations and financial companies – any business that has their networks connected to the Internet is a potential risk for having their systems intruded.
As such, one of the most profitable aspects IT consulting is
by rendering security services that include penetration testing, WiFi security,
database security, and other protocols that ensure that a system can remain
nearly safe at all times. IT security consulting businesses typically generate
very high per hour fees for providing the services to their clients.
Although it is usually uncommon for an IT consulting firm to maintain a web development arm, this aspect of operations can be just as profitable as any other aspect of information technology management. Nearly all businesses maintain some form of web presence, and as such, the demand for comprehensive web development is substantial.
In many cases, IT consulting firms will often act as a
general contractor and outsource the actual development work to a qualified
third-party. One of the important aspects of these operations is that companies
that will frequently use a business for the web development needs will also use
them for their IT management needs as well. Many smaller and medium-size
businesses always want to work with one company as it relates to these types of
IT Product Sales
Although most of the revenues generated from information technology consulting and management are from services, almost all businesses need to acquires computers, servers, monitors, and related peripherals for their installed networks. Often, given the myriad of products that are available, many small to medium-size business owners will often pick products that do not exactly suit their needs. As such, IT consulting really businesses can generate substantial secondary revenues by selling the specific products are needed to develop a full-scale network. Generally, the markup over the direct cost of inventory ranges anywhere from 30% to 50%. This can be a substantial additional revenue center for these types of businesses.
Network Architecture Development
For many large-scale businesses, it is very difficult to have internal staff maintain a multi-site network. By providing comprehensive planning specific for network architecture, medium to larger scale enterprises are able to operate their diseases much more effectively.
It should be noted that network architecture services are
typically something that is only done by a highly qualified and certified
professional. As such, integrating network architecture design and development
services into an existing IT consulting firm can be a lucrative secondary or
tertiary stream revenue. These fees are typically billed on a per project
Onsite Assistance Services
Over the past 10 years, many people have turned to on-site assistance as relates to managing their IT needs. During outages, system failures, and other issues that may arise from operating a IT infrastructure, many business feel that it is imperative to have an individual or business that is contracted that will come to the location to remedy any issues at any time. Typically these fees are charged in a per hour basis, and monthly retainer may be required in order to maintain a service agreement contract. Generally speaking, only large-scale businesses typically require this type of attention given that they store substantial amounts of sensitive data.
Internet-of-Things Product Development
More and more companies are seeking to develop proprietary products that can be seamlessly connected to the Internet. One of the challenges that these businesses often face is the connectivity issue as there are a number of protocols that must be addressed in order to have any specific device be able to communicate with other devices via the Internet. Product development can be a very profitable sideline for an IT consulting firm that has a substantial understanding of the Internet of things (“IoT”) and how devices communicate with each other. Product development is also one of the types of revenues is typically done on a per project in per hour basis.