IT consulting has become one of the most sought after professions among college students today. It is well paying, lets you meet a lot of people, work with the latest technology and the best people in the business(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery). As the year comes to a close, I would like to share my experiences as an IT consultant and the things I have learned over the past one year as an IT consultant. To start with there is more to IT consulting than just technical advise and playing with technology. A lot goes on to make a successful IT consultant(Sony VGP-BPS8 battery). Clients today not only want a IT consultant who is technically sound but one who can understand their issues and provide meaningful solutions to their technology problems. I have jotted down my personal learnings as pointers in the next few paragraphs. These according to me can make the difference between a mediocre consultant and a star consultant(Sony VGP-BPL9 battery).

1. People Skills - The one most important thing that I have learned is IT consulting has more to do with people skills rather than technical knowledge. You may be knowing a technology in and out(Sony VGP-BPL11 battery), but if you don't have the neccesary people skills, you just can't succeed. Clients today look for more than technician in a IT consultant. Maintaining a good client relationship is number one on my list of things an IT consultant should know(Sony VGP-BPL15 battery).

2. Understand the Client - Understanding the client is the next thing I learned. You cannot give good tech advise to a client unless you understand his business. One of the best questions you can ask yourself is "Who is my client?" (Sony VGN-FZ460E battery). Before going into the technicalities, such as what is the technology infrastructure, what applications are used, what process is used, it is important to understand the client business. Understand the client business model(SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery). One great place to start is the organizational chart. This can be supplemented with business process diagrams. Remember, having a business perspective is very important(Sony VGP-BPS10 battery).

3. Deliver Value - IT consulting is a costly affair. It's not cheap to just hire a top notch consulting firm. IT advise does not come cheap. One thing which IT consultants need to make thier clients realize is the value they are delivering(Sony VGP-BPS13 battery). It is important to keep the client focused on the value being delivered rather than the cost. Client get bogged down by the costs once the project starts. This can ruin an entire project. Sit with the client and clearly define what you would be delivering and the proce involved is just a fraction of the benefits to accrue(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M battery ).

4. Clearly define your role - Clearly define what you will do and what you will not do for the client. I have seen clients who expect everything under the sun from an IT consultant. You have to be clear from the start itself as to what you do and will do for the client(Sony VGN-FZ150E battery). Deliver what you have promised and nothing more or less than that. The client should never determine what the consultant should do. Also define what the client will be expected to do within the boundaries of relationships.This can go a long way in saving yourself of unneccesary client expectations(Sony VGN-FZ15 battery).

5. Management Skills - No IT consultant can be successful unless he has the neccesary management skills. Any IT project inolves time management, project management and human interaction. Getting the project is onle thing and completing it on time is another(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ18M battery). I have seen the best IT consultants with the best technical knowledge but with very little knowledge of how to handle a project and the timelines. Consulting is more than advising, it is about assisting the client to reach a goal. Almost all IT consulting work is taken up as projects(Sony VGN-FZ480E battery). Project management, time management and people management knowledge can go a long way in keeping the client happy.

6. Be Updated - Technology sills becomes obsolete at a blinding pace. I have seen consultants losing their jobs because they could not keep themselves updated about the latest happenings in their area of work(Sony VGN-FZ61B battery). I would advise, subscribe to tech journals, surf the net, attend seminars, enroll yourself for training sessions. These are some of the things that you can do to keep yourself updated in your field of work. This also goes for other current happenings in the industry, technology which can have a significant impact on your career(Sony VGN-FZ31E battery).

7. Client is King - My final learning is that the client is king. As an IT consultant, our job is to advise the client on technology, but it is the clients job to decide on the basis of our advise. In short "You advise, they decide"(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ38M battery). Don't fall in love with a technology, say Linux, SAP, Oracle, Java etc. Let the client decide on the basis of your advise, since he is in a better position to see the practicality of the solution and whether a solution will work for him or not(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery).

To sum up everything that I have learnt over the last one year, I would put it in these few words. "IT consulting is all about client relationships"(Sony VGN-FZ15G battery).

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