Doctors take an oath to do no greater harm to their patients than when they first arrived. I wish consultants had a similar oath.
Too often consultants implement projects poorly, leaving their customers to endure service outages in their wake. Knowing that the only thing that changed in your environment was what the consultant just installed is of no consequence. That just moves the consultant to openly wonder whether something unrelated is causing the outage on the very system they messed with.
Insist on a contract that makes your consultant accountable for unexpected service outages due to no fault of your own.
Dirty IT security consultant trick No. 14: Consultants who make big changes before leaving
Lastly, my favorite consultant trick is the one where they make a major change just before they get on a plane home for the weekend or take an extended vacation. Sure, the resulting outage isn't always their fault, but if you're going to make big changes to an IT network, do it a few days before you skip town. Nothing is worse than having to leave multiple, unanswered emails and phone calls to a consultant while your user base is experiencing downtime.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.