6 Tools Every IT Consultant Needs
Being an IT consultant is not an easy job, and if you’re an IT consultant looking to make your working life that little bit easier, there are a number of tools both basic and more advanced that can really help. As a consultant you’ll know that there’s a lot of time spent either on the road or in an office in contact with clients, and that you’ll frequently need to adjust in order to meet the expectations of clients. Working late into the night is something that most IT consultants are familiar with, and there’s a number of tools available that you’ll be able to rely on in order to get you through the busiest of days. From the most basic to more advanced tools, we’ve put together a list of essentials that you’ll need as an IT consultant.
A Smartphone with Tethering Capabilities
As an IT consultant you’ll never know where you’ll be working, therefore you can’t always be sure that you will always have reliable internet access. Arriving at a client’s site and realizing that there is limited network access, or being on the go at an airport with an unreliable or paid Wi-Fi hotspot is just one of the inconveniences of the job. Having a smartphone with tethering capabilities means that wherever you are, you won’t be stranded without internet. Although adding tethering capabilities to your plan can result in an additional charge on your monthly bill, it is well worth the investment.
Reporting and Document Generating Software
Working as an IT consultant requires the use of business reports and documents, and those who work as an IT consultant will agree that the time spent doing this is often tedious and could be used for much more productive means. The use of a document and reporting software tool such as WindWard is a godsend for many IT consultants, and will save valuable time by allowing you to generate document and report templates that you can re-use. Although the software is not free to use, it is a worthwhile investment that could result in you having extra time to earn more money in the future.
Delayed E-mail Outbox
If, like most IT consultants there comes a time when you’re feeling a little sleep deprived and tired, you’ll know all too well just how easy it is to make mistakes. How many times have you hit send on an email, only to realize afterward that you’ve actually forgotten to attach a vital document, copy every recipient who was supposed to be included, or proof read for mistakes? We’ve all done it at least once, and if this sounds like you, you’ll be glad to know that most email providers, including Microsoft Outlook, have a setting that allows you to delay or undo the sending of an email.
Many clients ask their IT consultant to work out exactly how much time it will take for their online backups and other data transfers to be completed. Although this is pretty difficult to work out on your own, as an IT consultant you can save time by using a free bandwidth calculator that enables plugging in data sizes and transfer speeds in order to make it easy to determine the actual time required to upload and download files.
With clients having a range of different equipment, as an IT consultant there’s no way of knowing which passwords and pairings you’re going to need next. Any experienced IT consultant will tell you that it is vital that you keep a handy list which documents various router, modem and firewall default usernames and passwords in order to save time and avoid Googling. Sites such as Phenoelit-us.org are excellent for discovering default login details for even the most obscure of devices.
The free bandwidth test from Ookla is a proven efficient tool for checking clients’ network throughput, and it provides a solution to check both upstream and downstream transfer speeds with a simple click. Even better, speedtest.net is different from many speed tests in that it also measures latency, lists the active ISP and provides information regarding users’ satisfaction ratings for the specific ISP in question.
Are you an IT consultant, or have you worked as an IT consultant in the past? What are/were your go-to tools for work? Did you discover any tools that you simply couldn’t do your job as well without? If you’d like to recommend any tools to other IT consultants or have any advice, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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