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IT consultants must have 'commercial awareness to be hirable'

Apr 24
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IT consultants must have 'commercial awareness to be...

Today, IT consultants need to demonstrate that they have commercial awareness in order to make themselves more hirable.

This is according to Adrian Spink, chief executive officer of Company85, who told that he believes this is the most important attribute to land a new job and for career progression.

He said: "Any IT consultancy is going to want highly-skilled and experienced people - but that's only going to get someone so far. The key to moving upwards (either within a company or when looking for a new role) is the ability to transcend the technical realm."

The chief executive believes that only consultants who are able to understand the commercial implications of their role for both the customer and the organisation they work for will succeed, as their bids for the job must include factors in financial risk and demonstrate that they want to create opportunities to further engage with the client.

Mr Spink, who has worked in the IT business for over 25 years, launched his consultancy after working for other firms. He said his vision was to create an IT consulting company that was professional without being too corporate, which he achieved by combining the rigour of a large enterprise with the agility of a start-up.

This approach has helped the business "punch above its weight class" in terms of the scale of projects it has been able to work on and the size of the firms it has been able to work with.


He explained to the website that when looking to hire new IT consultants, his firm follows a very simple model: ASK, which stands for attitude, skills and knowledge.

These must also be in that order, Mr Spink added, as the firm has a vast amount of experience, so imparting knowledge is very easy. However, he believes it is near impossible to change a person's values, which means cultural fit and attitudes are something that Company85 is always on the look out for.

Room for growth

When asked about what areas he feels IT professionals have the most room for growth, he said communication is often an area that needs significant growth, as it is very important that consultants can articulate a message in layman's terms.

"A beautifully-crafted email, proposal or report can be worth its weight in gold; and most of the time, things just get too wrapped up in jargon and acronyms," he explained.

Mr Spink believes that there is still a place for an old-fashioned wordsmith, even in the digital age we currently live in.

Resources for IT professionals

He believes that it is not always necessary for consultants to stay ahead of industry trends, as the chief executive feels that clients benefit from IT professionals with experience rather than someone who can spout the latest buzzwords.

However, consultants must stay current in terms of technology, while also having the ability to apply their knowledge and expertise to present challenges.

"And anything a consultant can deliver that is valuable to a client can only increase the value of a consultant," he remarked.

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