Hiring a technology consulting partner – best practices

If you’re considering partnering with an information technology company like us here at the RAD Group, you might wonder where to start, what to expect, and how best to manage the process.

This guide to hiring the right technology consultants will ensure you can manage the process effectively and get the best possible results for your business. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why hire a technology partner?
  • Define your needs
  • Set goals
  • Finding the right fit
  • Communication and evaluation
  • Agreement and contract
  • Engagement
  • Project management and tracking progress
  • Providing feedback
  • Measuring success
  • Getting value for money
  • Conclusion

Why hire a technology partner?

So why is it important to hire the right technology partner, or any technology partner at all? The UK business landscape is increasingly driven by technology. So, by choosing the right technology partner, you’re investing in the future of your business. 

Here’s why technology is a key driver for success in today’s competitive landscape.

  • Customer demands: Consumers expect a seamless online experience, from product research to purchase. Technology like e-commerce platforms and social media marketing are essential for reaching customers.
  • Competition: Businesses need to be digitally savvy to compete effectively. Technology helps automate tasks, improve efficiency, and offer innovative products and services.
  • Economic growth: Studies show UK businesses that embrace technology see significant productivity gains. Technology fosters innovation and drives economic growth.
  • Pandemic impact: The pandemic highlighted the importance of digital tools for remote work, online sales, and maintaining customer connections. Even in 2024, the impact of the pandemic is still felt and as relevant as in 2020.

Define your needs

Before seeking a technology partner, it’s essential to clarify your business goals and any specific technology needs you already know.

We recommend creating a detailed project scope outlining challenges, desired outcomes, and budget. This should align with the strategic planning for your business.

At this point, we recommend gathering the data and information that potential suppliers need to create a proposal with accurate responses to your questions, deliverables matching your precise needs, and realistic costs.


Set goals

As well as knowing what you need from a technology partner, it’s also vital to set out some goals to measure their work against. 

These goals might include:

  • Analysing system performance
  • Increasing productivity
  • Reducing costs
  • Implementing new technology
  • Integrating a new system
  • Migrating to a cloud service
  • Creating a new, more efficient IT infrastructure
  • Consolidating existing services to improve ROI
  • Finding a local, trusted partner to act as an outsourced IT service

Depending on your business’s size, IT maturity, and needs, you may have some specific goals not covered here, of course.


Finding the right fit

Explore various research methods to identify potential partners, including online directories, industry associations, and recommendations from trusted sources. 

What to look for

  • Industry expertise: Do they have experience in your specific sector?
  • Service offerings: Do they provide the specific services you require?
  • Team qualifications: Ensure they have the necessary skills and certifications
  • Client testimonials: Check their reputation and past client experiences

Evaluating potential partners


Ask detailed questions during initial consultations with shortlisted suppliers, and be sure to ask each supplier the same questions so you can efficiently and fairly judge and compare them.


You can evaluate potential suppliers across many different areas based on your requirements, including:

  • Cost and value: Compare proposals based on not just cost but also the value proposition and potential Return On Investment (ROI)
  • Deliverables: Evaluate their understanding of your needs and proposed solutions
  • References and case studies: Request references from the suppliers’ past clients and review the firm’s case studies in detail to understand their approach and outcomes
  • Credentials and certifications: Verify the qualifications of their team, as well as certifications and relevant accreditations
  • Security and data privacy: Ensure each potential supplier would adhere to UK data protection regulations and has robust security measures in place
  • Culture: Carefully consider each potential supplier’s cultural fit with your organisation


Advocate for clear and consistent communication throughout the selection process.


Agreement and contract

We would emphasise the importance of a clearly defined contract that outlines the following:

Scope of work

A detailed and agreed-upon scope of work document outlining project goals, deliverables, and timelines. What services are covered, and which are outside the contract scope and extra charges?

Deliverables and timelines

By defining what will be delivered and when, both parties know what to expect. It’s crucial that deliverables and timelines are realistic so the supplier can deliver solutions with the standards and quality you require.

Cost structure and payment terms

Negotiate and agree upon a fair and transparent pricing model that is structured to suit both parties. Also clarify if they charge after-hours rates to respond to weekend emergencies.

Service level guarantees

It’s crucial that your IT consulting firm can keep your business up and running 24/7. How do they plan to maintain your network? How often do they perform update services or information backups? What are their uptime guarantees for online services? These are all critical aspects to document in your agreement.

Security standards

Do they have a plan to keep your network and business information safe from hacking or viruses? Define their approach and your expectations for security compliance.

Communication protocols

Define the communication channels that will be used throughout the relationship, with designated points of contact on both sides. 

Define the process for urgent and emergency comms. As important as the day-to-day operation of IT service is, how will they respond to emergencies? An unexpected outage of your systems can cost your business time, money, and potentially customers.

Change control

Define the processes for managing modifications to your systems, infrastructure, or software to ensure changes are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner, minimising disruption and potential negative consequences.

Termination clauses

Termination clauses are crucial elements in IT consultancy contracts, outlining the circumstances under which either party can terminate the agreement without it being considered a breach of contract. They provide clarity and predictability regarding the termination process, mitigating potential disputes.


Preparation and engagement

Legal review

Consult with legal counsel to ensure the contract protects your interests and adheres to UK regulations and you’re ready to move forward.

Provide resources

Grant the consulting partner the necessary access to information, resources, and key personnel to facilitate their understanding of your business needs.


Schedule the initial kick-off meeting and regular meetings that will help maintain open communication with the consulting team.


Project management and tracking progress

Only through collaborative project management between your team and the consulting firm will you make consistent progress against your original goals.

Set realistic expectations and agree on key milestones with the consulting firm for effective project management going forward.

Establish clear communication channels and regular progress updates. Of course, the emphasis is on your new partner to make this happen.


Providing feedback

You can help to ensure the project stays on track and meets your needs by providing clear, detailed, and constructive feedback at the right time without delaying the supplier. 

For example, if a solution based on AI technology isn’t delivering the expected results, let the supplier know as soon as you notice the issue so they can quickly fine-tune their solution.

You and your supplier may need to make timely corrective action decisions as the project and relationship progresses.


Measuring success

Without measuring success against defined goals and KPIs, you won’t have a clear enough picture of how well the technology consultancy is performing and delivering what you expect as a return from your investment.

Regularly review the partnership and its impact on your business to ensure it continues to deliver what you need.


Getting value for money

In addition to getting what you need for your business in terms of solutions to your technology challenges, you should also ensure there is knowledge transfer from the supplier to your team during the project. 

Your supplier should educate and train your team. For example, up-skilling them so they can maintain a technology solution that has been implemented. This ensures your team can maintain the implemented solution after the project concludes or when you feel you are ready to manage some of the solutions put in place in-house.



Following these best practices for finding, selecting, and working with an information technology consultant like us here at RAD will increase your chances of finding the right partner to help you achieve your strategic goals.

Contact one of our technology consultants to learn more about our RAD One service, which delivers ongoing consultation with IT experts to optimise your IT to improve productivity and efficiency while reducing costs.