Become an IS (Information System) consultant

Become an IS (Information System) consultant

The IS (Information System) consultant is an expert in computer science who intervenes within companies in order to improve the performance of their systems both in technical terms and in terms of design. Resulting from the development of consulting linked to the evolution of companies and their technical and organizational complexity, the IS consultant has a great responsibility in the efficient functioning of the company, he/she must draw both on his/her expertise and on his/her ability to understand the company from an internal and external point of view by paying attention to its specificities.

The IS consultant's job and its missions

The IS consultant is an external service provider attached to a digital services company, in French ESN for Entreprise de Services Numérique (formerly SSII or SS2I), expert in new technologies and digital. These companies most often offer consulting services (organization, business processes, change management) in addition to more technical services of integration and maintenance of systems and software. They have a deep experience of different companies and make the link between digital equipment and specific needs of the company, according to its structure, its staff and its activities.

The IS consultant has both technical skills and the managerial knowledge necessary for a good diagnosis. Depending on his/her profile, he/she will have a stronger specialization in the design and management of IS or will be more versed in the technical aspects that lead him/her to high-tech companies. His/her work can concern all aspects of the company, managed through digital solutions such as management software (customer relations, HR...), storage systems, databases, security devices, etc.

 As a consultant, he/she intervenes by following the classical and necessary steps to elaborate and choose the best information system for his/her client company: 

  • Audit and Test: he/she analyzes the existing IT system (databases, storage, security systems, management software...) and carries out numerous tests on the IT side as well as interviews with all levels of the company and particularly the management which allow him/her to know its culture and activities.
  • Diagnosis and estimation: he/she estimates the technical, organizational or human resources needs of the company. He/she takes into account the specific constraints of the company (users, technical and financial constraints).
  • Design and choice of solutions: he/she studies the different possible solutions and chooses the most suitable one
  • Implementation and follow-up: he/she is responsible for the installation and deployment of IT projects and ensures the implementation of the new structure by supervising the development teams and negotiating with suppliers.

Profile and skills of the information systems consultant

In addition to a high level of computer knowledge, and depending on his or her profile and specialties, the consultant has a great capacity to adapt and a quick understanding of the workings and challenges of companies. He or she is both a technical expert and an expert in the organization of the company, which enables him or her to implement the most appropriate solutions by taking into account every aspect.

Important professional qualities and skills include: 

  • The spirit of analysis and synthesis as well as the sense of listening (to determine, in connection with the management, the objectives)
  • Good negotiation skills and a sense of pedagogy (to negotiate the implementation of the proposed solutions with the actors involved)
  • Managerial skills (to supervise the teams and the technical progress of the solutions) and methodological skills,
  • Strategic planning and budgeting skills (to forecast hardware, software and technical resource requirements)
  • Technical knowledge in testing, acceptance, architecture according to the specialty: software testing (ISTQB foundation, TNR, Test Campaign) or supply chain (OMS / WMS / WCS / TMS)
  • Knowledge in management methods and organization.

Diplomas and training to become an IS consultant

The functions of IS consultant are accessible from the level bac+5 and/or with a significant professional experience. According to the more or less technical aspect of the mission, IS consultants come from : 

  • Masters degree in computer science
  • Diplomas from engineering schools
  • Business school degree

Salary and career prospects 

In France, the monthly salary of the IT consultant starts around 2500 to 3000 euros gross per month. After a few years of experience, it will be between 4,000 and 10,000 euros gross per month depending on the field of specialization, the ESN, the mission, the client, etc. (The average salary in USis $87 000, and in UK : £85,000 gross per year)

The junior consultant within an ESN starts by developing and integrating the solutions recommended by a senior consultant before becoming senior, manager or director. The consultant can also choose to join a large company internally, within its IS department.