A software consultant is a professional who assesses a business or organization’s processes and provides software solutions and other recommendations based on that assessment. This professional may perform this function either as a self-employed individual, or as part of a software consulting firm. He or she may integrate customized software into a business or organization’s processes in order to increase efficiency and minimize manpower or costs.
For example, a gym or fitness center could benefit from the integration of proprietary software that tracks the progress of the gym’s members, in the form of measurements and other personalized data. A consultant, either individually or as part of a firm, might specialize in the creation of such a software for fitness centers, and pitch the software to various business and organizations within the fitness industry.
As software can perform a wide variety of functions, a software consultant might deliver software solutions to a wide variety of industries. Businesses and organizations will often hire one or a firm on a contract basis, if such expertise is not already be available in-house. For example, a real estate company that already employs a computer programmer, webmaster, or other information technology (IT) professionals might also hire a consultant who can create a database of properties customized to suit the company’s information management needs.
Software consulting firms that are contracted by businesses or organizations are often hired on a project basis. This means the consulting firm must integrate new software into the business or organization within a certain time frame agreed-upon by both parties. The project team, which is typically made up of personnel from both the hirer’s organization and the software consulting firm, work together to come up with software solutions that suits the needs of the business or organization. Personnel who will work closely with the software often receive special training during the project and are heavily-involved in its integration to help familiarize them with its various functions.
As businesses and organizations have become increasingly reliant on technology, the development of new and improved software systems delivered by a software consultant can sometimes render certain positions or expenses obsolete. For example, software can be programmed to analyze patterns in various data, retrieve specific information within a variety of parameters, and eliminate the need for hard copy storage, such as filing rooms and various filing systems. In such a case, the business or organization may no longer require a filing clerk or filing supplies and storage.