End Of Support For IBM InfoSphere 9.1.0

IBM Information Server (IIS)

IBM Information Server (IIS)

End of Support for IBM InfoSphere Information Server 9.1.0

IBM InfoSphere Information Server 9.1.0 will reach End of Support on 2018-09-30.  If you are still on the InfoSphere Information Server (IIS) 9.1.0, I hope you have a plan to migrate to an 11-series version soon.  InfoSphere Information Server (IIS) 11.7 would be worth considering if you don’t already own an 11-series license. InfoSphere Information Server (IIS) 11.7 will allow you to take advantage of the evolving thin client tools and other capabilities in the 2018 release pipeline without needing to perform another upgrade.

Related References

IBM Support, End of support notification: InfoSphere Information Server 9.1.0

IBM Support, Software lifecycle, InfoSphere Information Server 9.1.0

IBM Knowledge Center, Home, InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0, IBM InfoSphere Information Server Version 11.7.0 documentation

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning

Machine Learning

Machine learning is Artificial Intelligence (AI) which enables a system to learn from data rather than through explicit programming.  Machine learning uses algorithms that iteratively learn from data to improve, describe data, and predict outcomes.  As the algorithms ingest training data to produce a more precise machine learning model. Once trained, the machine learning model, when provided data will generate predictions based on the data that taught the model.  Machine learning is a crucial ingredient for creating modern analytics models.

Netezza / PureData – How to Substring on a Character

PureData Powered by Netezza

PureData Powered by Netezza


I had a reason this week to perform a substring on a character in Netezza this week, something I have not had a need to do before.  The process was not as straightforward as I would have thought, since the command is explained as a static position command, and the IBM documentation, honestly, wasn’t much help.  Knowing full well, that text strings are variable having to provide a static position is not terribly useful in and of itself.  So, we need to use an expression to make the substring command flexible and dynamic.

I did get it work the way I needed, but it took two commands to make it happen:

  • The First was the ’instr’ command to identify the field and character I wanted to substring on: instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) as This provides the position number of the tilde (~).
  • The second was the ‘substr’ command in which I embedded the ‘instr’ command: substr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,0,instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) )

This worked nicely for what I needed, which was to pick out a file name from the beginning of a string, which was delimited with a tilde (~)

Substring on a Character Command Format

  • This format example starts with position zero (0) as position 1 of substring command and goes to the first tilde (~) as position 2 of the substring command.
Select  <<FIELD_NAME>>

, instr(<>,’~’) as pos2

, substr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,0,instr(<<FIELD_NAME>>,’~’) ) as Results

From <<Table_Name>>

where  <<Where_Clause>>;



Related references

IBM Knowledge Center, Home, PureData System for Analytics 7.2.1, IBM Netezza database user documentation, Netezza SQL basics, Netezza SQL extensions, Character string functions

IBM Knowledge Center, Home PureData System for Analytics 7.0.3, IBM Netezza Database User’s Guide, Netezza SQL basics, Netezza SQL extensions, Character functions

Infosphere Information Server (IIS) – Where you can view DataStage and QualityStage Logs?

During the course of the week, the discussion happened regarding the different places where a person might read the DataStage and QualityStage logs in InfoSphere. I hadn’t really thought about it, but here are a few places that come to mind:

  • IBM InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage Operations Console
  • IBM InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage Director client
  • IBM InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage Designer client by pressing Ctrl+L

Printable PDF Version of this Article

Related Reference

IBM Knowledge Center> InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0 > InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage > Monitoring jobs

IBM Knowledge Center > InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0 > Installing > Troubleshooting software installation > Log files

Essbase Connector Error – Client Commands are Currently Not Being Accepted

DataStage Essbase Connector, Essbase Connector Error, Client Commands are Currently Not Being Accepted

DataStage Essbase Connector

While investigating a recent Infosphere Information Server (IIS), Datastage, Essbase Connect error I found the explanations of the probable causes of the error not to be terribly meaningful.  So, now that I have run our error to ground, I thought it might be nice to jot down a quick note of the potential cause of the ‘Client Commands are Currently Not Being Accepted’ error, which I gleaned from the process.

Error Message Id


Error Message

An error occurred while processing the request on the server. The error information is 1051544 (message on contacting or from application:[<<DateTimeStamp>>]Local////3544/Error(1013204) Client Commands are Currently Not Being Accepted.

Possible Causes of The Error

This Error is a problem with access to the Essbase object or accessing the security within the Essbase Object.  This can be a result of multiple issues, such as:

  • Object doesn’t exist – The Essbase object didn’t exist in the location specified,
  • Communications – the location is unavailable or cannot be reached,
  • Path Security – Security gets in the way to access the Essbase object location
  • Essbase Security – Security within the Essbase object does not support the user or filter being submitted. Also, the Essbase object security may be corrupted or incomplete.
  • Essbase Object Structure –  the Essbase object was not properly structured to support the filter or the Essbase filter is malformed for the current structure.

Related References

IBM Knowledge Center, InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0, Connecting to data sources, Enterprise applications, IBM InfoSphere Information Server Pack for Hyperion Essbase

Printable PDF Version of This Article


Professional Emails include a signature Block

eMail, Professional Emails include a signature Block


I encountered, what I will admit is a pet peeve today, which is why I’m writing this article.  I needed contact someone whom I correspond with regularly, but I have no reason to call or be called by them.  So, after checking my phone, went to their email thinking this would be a fast and easy way to gather the contact information.  Well, not true.  I did eventually gather the information and contact the person, but what a waste of time, which is time they are being billed for one way or another.

Example Signature Block

Ewing A. BusinessProfessional

Senior, Technical Generalist

Favinger Enterprises, Inc.

100 Spacious Sky, Ice Flats, AZ 85001

Phone: (800) 900-1000 | http://www.favingerentprises.com


Which email should have a signature block?

  • The signature block should be on every email (both initiated by you and replied to by you), this was true even before the days of remote work, but for remote workers, contingent works, and works who travel frequently it can be a productive enhancer.
  • Plus, it is simply the professional thing to do and saves everyone time and frustration. Not to mention it makes you look unprofessional not having one. do you really want to do that to your personal brand?
  • As if that were not enough, including your signature block is free advertising for you and the company you represent.
  • Additionally, most email accounts let you build one or more signature block, which can be embedded in your email.

Where to place your Signature Block?

  • The signature block should go at the bottom of your email. I still use the five lines below the last line of the body of the email to provide white space before the closing, as I learned when writing business letters decades ago.

What should be in a signature Block?

  • The signature block should be compact and informative and at a minimum should include:

The Closing

  • The closing is simply a polite way of saying I’m ending my message now. I usually go with the tried and true ‘Sincerely’, but others go with ‘Thank you’, ‘Best Regards’, or ‘Best Wishes,’. The main points, it should be short, polite, and professional.
  • This section should be followed by two lines

Your Name

  • This line is your professional name (First Name, Middle Initial, and Last name) and designations (Ph.D.…etc.)
  • This is your chance to say who you are and brand yourself to the reader, in a way which your email address cannot. Especially, when you consider that many of us don’t control what work email address is assigned to us.

Your Business Title

  • Including your business title provides some insight into your role and professional expertise.

Your Company Name

  • Much like your title, providing the Company Name and Address lets the reader know who you represent and, perhaps, more importantly, it is free advertising for the company.

Your Phone Numbers

  • Including your phone numbers, both office and cell (if different) enable people to quickly reach out to you if they need or want to. Not everybody keeps all their infrequent business contacts in the phone directory.
  • Putting your phone numbers on your signature block, also, enable the potential caller to verify that the numbers which they may have are still correct.

There are other items are sometimes included, such as:

  • A company logo to enhance the appearance and quality of a signature block
  • The Company’s website to help customer find out more about the company and to direct business to the company
  • The senders email to reinforce the email address in the header of the email.

However, the guidance provided above will make you look a lot more professional in a hurry if you have not been including a signature block in your emails.

Printable PDF Version of This Article

WordPress – How To Get A Long URL to Wrap



I’ve been having a challenge with a couple of my blog sites where long URLs have not been wrapping and running off the side of the page to the right out of the visual range, which has been pointed out by my site readers.   This fix was much easier than the long URL in a table problem, but Well,  I thought I would share, as well.  Hopefully, others will find it useful.

Code Update Steps

The fix requires a change to the CSS code of your site.  To make the change :

  • Navigate to Appearance > Customize > CSS and add input code
  • Add the CSS URL Wrap Code
  • Publish CSS Change

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu


Empty CSS Code Screenshot before Changes

Please note that the table long URL code was added in a previous post.  So, we will be adding the new code just below the existing CSS code modifications.

Customized CSS With URL Wrap

Customized CSS With URL Wrap

CSS change code wrap a long URL on the table

a {
word-wrap: break-word;

Customized CSS With Long URL Wrap Code Added

Wrap code for Long URL's

Wrap code for Long URL’s

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Related References

My Most Used Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcut Keystrokes

Shortcut Keystrokes

While there are a great number of useful windows 10 shortcuts, I have the list below the combination, which I use daily.  Many of the shortcuts can be used across multiple applications (e.g. Notepad++, MS Word, SQL Server, Aginity, etc.) and save a considerable amount of mouse work.  Overall, these shortcut keys are more efficient and faster than using the mouse to perform the same task on a repetitive basis.

You may want to investigate the numerous other Windows 10 shortcuts keys, which best apply to your daily activities, but these are the ones, which I have found most useful and which I have committed to memory.

Table of My Most Used Windows Shortcuts



+ Tab

between open apps

+ A

all items in a document or window

+ Alt + Tab

the arrow keys to switch between all open apps

+ C

the selected item

+ D

the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin

+ F

the search box

+ V

the selected item

+ X

the selected item


or leave the current task


the active window



Related References

 Microsoft > Windows Support > Keyboard shortcuts in Windows







WordPress – How To Get A Long URL To Wrap in a Table



I’ve been having a challenge with a couple of my blog sites where long URLs have not been wrapping when enclosed in the table.  Therefore,  the URL’s run off the side of the page to the right out of the visual range.  I even have gotten a few comments from my site visitors saying that I ought to try to fix the Long URLs leaving the page.   Well, after some investigation and some trial and error, I have managed to fix the problem. So, I thought I would share the solution in case anybody else would like to save themselves a little time correcting the long URL problem in the future.

The fix requires a change to the CSS code of your site.  To make the change :

  • Navigate to Appearance > Customize > CSS and add input code
  • Add the CSS URL Wrap Code
  • Publish CSS Change

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu


Empty CSS Code Screenshot before Changes

Customizing CSS Before Changes

Customizing CSS Before Changes


CSS change code wrap a long URL on the table

table a {

overflow-wrap: break-word;

word-wrap: break-word;

-ms-word-break: break-all;

word-break: break-all;

word-break: break-word;

-ms-hyphens: auto;

-moz-hyphens: auto;

-webkit-hyphens: auto;

hyphens: auto;


Customized CSS With URL Wrap Table Code Added

Customized CSS With URL Wrap Table Code

Customized CSS With URL Wrap Table Code

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Related References

Oracle TO_CHAR to SQL Server CONVERT Equivalents to change Date to String

Transact SQL (T-SQL)

Transact SQL (T-SQL)

When it comes to SQL I tend to lean on the SQL I have used the most over the years, which is Oracle.  Today was no exception, I found myself trying to use the TO_CHAR command in SQL Server to format a date, which of course does not work. So, after a little thought, here are some examples of how you can the SQL Server Convert Command the achieve the equivalent result.

Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL

Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL

Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL Code

This SQL of examples runs, as is, no from table required.












,RIGHT(‘0’+CAST(MONTH(GETDATE()) AS VARCHAR(2)),2) as Two_Digit_Month

,SUBSTRING(ltrim(CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), GETDATE(), 12)),3,2) as Two_Digit_Month_2




Map TO_CHAR formats to SQL Server

You can map an Oracle TO_CHAR formats to SQL Server alternative commands as follows:



Server Convert Style



21, 120, 121, 126 and 127



21, 120 and 121





















108, 14 and 114



108, 14 and 114

Translating the formats commands

Here are some example of translating the formats commands.




GETDATE(), 20)


GETDATE(), 20)


GETDATE(), 112)


GETDATE(), 112)


GETDATE(), 12)


GETDATE(), 112)








GETDATE(), 12)),3,2)


GETDATE(), 111)





Related Reference

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, GETDATE (Transact-SQL)

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, Date and Time Data Types and Functions (Transact-SQL)

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, DATEPART (Transact-SQL)



What Are The DataStage / QualityStage Join Stages?

Three Stages Which Join Records

Three Stages Which Join Records

While chasing an error to which only applied to join type stages, I thought it might be nice to identify what the InfoSphere Information Server DataStage / QualityStage are.  There are three of them, as you can see from the picture above, which are the:

  • Join Stage,
  • Lookup Stage,
  • And, Merge Stage.

All three stages that join data based on the values of identified key columns.

Related References

IBM Knowledge Center, InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0, InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage, Developing parallel jobs, Processing Data, Lookup Stage

IBM Knowledge Center, InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0, InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage, Developing parallel jobs, Processing Data, Join Stage

IBM Knowledge Center, InfoSphere Information Server 11.7.0, InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage, Developing parallel jobs, Processing Data, Merge Stage


Parallel jobs on Windows fail with APT_IOPort::readBlkVirt;error

APT_IOPort::readBlkVirt Error Screenshot

APT_IOPort::readBlkVirt Error Screenshot

This a known error for windows systems and applies to DataStage and DataQuality jobs using the any or all the three join type stages (Join, Merge, and Lookup).

Error Message

  • <<Link name>>,0: APT_IOPort::readBlkVirt: read for block header, partition 0, [fd 4], returned -1 with errno 10,054 (Unknown error)

Message ID

  • IIS-DSEE-TFIO-00223

Applies To

  • Windows systems only
  • Parallel Engine Jobs the three join type stages (Join, Merge, and Lookup). It does not apply to Server Engine jobs.
  • Infosphere Information Server (IIS), Datastage and DataQuality 9.1 and higher

The Fix

  • Add the APT_NO_IOCOMM_OPTIMIZATION in project administrator and set to blank or 0. I left it blank so it would not impact other jobs
  • Add the environment variable to the job producing the error and set to 1


  • Sets the use of shared memory as the transport type, rather than using the default sockets transport type.
  • Note that in most cases sockets transport type is faster, so, you likely will not to set this across the project as the default for all job. It is best to apply it as necessary for problematic jobs.

Related References

InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage, Version 9.1 Job Compatibility


IBM Support, Information Server DataStage job fails with unknown error 10,054.


SQL server table Describe (DESC) equivalent


Transact SQL (T-SQL)

Transact SQL (T-SQL)

Microsoft SQL Server doesn’t seem have a describe command and usually, folks seem to want to build a stored procedure to get the describe behaviors.  However, this is not always practical based on your permissions. So, the simple SQL below will provide describe like information in a pinch.  You may want to dress it up a bit; but I usually just use it raw, as shown below by adding the table name.

Describe T-SQL Equivalent

Select *



Related References

Microsoft SQL Server – Useful links

Microsoft SQL Server 2017

Microsoft SQL Server 2017

Here are a few references for the Microsoft SQL Server 2017 database, which may be helpful.

Table Of Useful Microsoft SQL Server Database References

Reference Type


SQL Server 2017 Download Page


SQL SERVER version, edition, and update level


SQL Server 2017 Release Notes


SQL Server Transact SQL Commands


Related References

Common Keyboard shortcuts for Internet browsers

Internet Browser

Internet Browser

Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts, which can increase your speed and reduce the use of the mouse when working one of the common Windows Internet browsers.

Keystrokes Function
CTRL N New window
CTRL Shift T Reopen last closed tab
CTRL W   Close current tab
CTRL F Find on page
CTRL T New tab
CTRL Shift W Close browser and all open tabs
CTRL Plus Zoom in
CTRL Minus:   Zoom out
CTRL 0: Resets zoom to default


What is Source Control?

Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, And Definitions

Acronyms, Abbreviations, Terms, And Definitions

Source Control is an Information technology environment management system for storing, tracking and managing changes to software. This is commonly done through a process of creating branches (copies for safely creating new features) off of the stable master version of the software, then merging stable feature branches back into the master version. This is also known as version control or revision control.

DataStage – How to Pass the Invocation ID from one Sequence to another

DataStage Invocation ID Passing Pattern Overview

DataStage Invocation ID Passing Pattern Overview

When you are controlling a chain of sequences in the job stream and taking advantage of reusable (multiple instances) jobs it is useful to be able to pass the Invocation ID from the master controlling sequence and have it passed down and assigned to the job run.  This can easily be done with needing to manual enter the values in each of the sequences, by leveraging the DSJobInvocationId variable.  For this to work:

  • The job must have ‘Allow Multiple Instance’ enabled
  • The Invocation Id must be provided in the Parent sequence must have the Invocation Name entered
  • The receiving child sequence will have the invocation variable entered
  • At runtime, a DataStage invocation id instance of the multi-instance job will generate with its own logs.

Variable Name

  • DSJobInvocationId


This approach allows for the reuse of job and the assignment of meaningful instance extension names, which are managed for a single point of entry in the object tree.

Related References: 

IBM Knowledge Center > InfoSphere Information Server 11.5.0

InfoSphere DataStage and QualityStage > Designing DataStage and QualityStage jobs > Building sequence jobs > Sequence job activities > Job Activity properties

Why Consilience Is Important?

Tree of knowledge

Tree of knowledge

What is Consilience?

Consilience is the confluence of concepts and/or principles from different disciplines, especially, when forming a comprehensive unifying theory.

Independent Confirmation

Why are some inventions discovered at the same time in different parts of the world? Does this have something to do with the scientific process of “sharing important discoveries?” Generally, scientists believe that they are part of a community of knowledge. Their discoveries do not occur in a vacuum. They must give credit to those who went before and created the foundation for their work. Therefore, when they discover something new, they are required to share it with the entire world. This sharing is part of knowledge evolution. Interestingly enough, it is also key to the World Wide Web. Collaboration is one of the key strengths of the Internet. It is a way to increase overall knowledge of Planet Earth. Science can also increase the strength of their theories through independent confirmation.

Result Conciliation

There are oftentimes prescriptions for the types and numbers of witnesses to accomplish certain legal requirements. Anyone who has completed an experiment understands the importance of result conciliation. A hypothesis is not proven to be true unless it can be repeated by independent sources. This shows that the reality is objective. The word, Consilience was formed by two Latin words – “com” meaning “together” and the suffix “-silence” meaning “jumping.” Therefore, Consilience means “jumping together” or a “convergence of proof from independent sources.” Scientists should use different methods to reach the same conclusion. Business and economics have a similar concept. Just think of the concept of a Recession or Depression. These are officially declared when a variety of indicators are in agreement – stock market, employment, inflation, money supply and so forth.

Knowledge Evolution

Consulting can use the concept of Consilience to teach firms how to follow objective norms. Technology consulting can compare a subjective company’s practices to objective industry norms. The best career development is successful based on objective, independent analysis. The concordance of evidence can help a business create a successful strategy. Consilience is the convergence of evidence from independent sources to prove the validity of a conclusion. Objective corporate success can be achieved by satisfying objective needs of your customers. Business intelligence requires an objective standard, such as Consilience to be useful.


Consilience is important to you because the answer to any given problem may not necessarily come from within your field of expertise and experience. rather, to be truly competitive in an ever in an ever increasing world of knowledge, we need to adopt a broad-scoped renaissance approach to learning and thinking, which folds in other sets of concepts and principles to create the durable solutions for today and tomorrow.


Management principles – You can’t Manage what you don’t Measure

Business Intelligence and Analytics

Business Intelligence and Analytics


Management and Measurement

You can’t manage what you don’t measure is an old management adage that has been used for many years and while most attribute it to Peter Drucker, some claim that the quote was first used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, although it is a bone of contention whether or not the quote is used in the correct context.

Irrespective of who said it first, I have always agreed with the principle. Coming from a corporate background where this is one of the management principles often used, I was surprised to learn that there are those that strongly disagree with the statement. This group argues that there are many things being managed at work that aren’t measurable, from the confidence we instill in a new, young manager, to the quality of new hires.

The argument is made that quantity is easy to measure, i.e., how much salespeople sell, how many leads marketing creates, or how many phone calls telemarketing makes, but that quality can’t be measured, i.e., excellent customer service, good technical support, or what differentiates a good consultant from a great one.

What to measure

Many organizations use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at multiple levels to measure their success at reaching targets, and will then manage the factors influencing the KPI to get it to where they want it to be. A KPI is a value that is measured and shows how effective a company is in reaching key business goals.

Setting a KPI and measuring a specific value is however not always as straightforward as it might seem. To set a KPI, the underlying business objective needs to be properly understood. In one example, a department manager’s KPI included the volume of sales, measured in dollars. In an effort to improve sales, the manager decided to change the remuneration of her sales reps from a fixed salary to a small, basic salary plus commission on sales made. The idea behind this was to incentivize the work, which would lead to increased sales. In the early months after implementing the change, the sales made by account reps did indeed increase dramatically. The CFO then however discovered that the profit margin on those increased sales was substantially lower than the minimum the company expected. The sales reps were discounting the product to increase sales, resulting in a high commission, but the net effect was that the company made less profit.

It is critical that the company’s objectives are clearly understood by all parties and that a suitable metric is measured to check if the objective is being met.

Can quality be measured?

Those arguing that quality, such as excellent customer service, or good technical support can’t be measured, often express the view that the only way that a company can determine how good their service or support is, is by asking the customer. I agree with that statement, but when you do that, aren’t you measuring these aspects? If 50% of your customers feel that your service and support is good, that is a measure against which you can manage and improve those objectives.

The same can be done for any qualitative metric. It merely becomes a question of what is appropriate to measure, and how to obtain those metrics. Qualitative measures often have to be done indirectly, i.e., you need to measure indirect results rather than direct ones.

 The role of Business Intelligence

With the sheer volume of data available across the business, and with much of it residing in different systems, it becomes very difficult to extract the relevant metrics to measure and improve. This is where Business intelligence or BI comes in.

BI utilizes computer-based techniques to spot, extract, and analyze business data, including things like sales, marketing, and production in order to make substantial improvements. Business Intelligence uses data already collected in the business. It is able to utilize data from such diverse sources as website analytics, accounting systems, customer relationship management (CRM) and email management systems.

A Business Intelligence system can automatically use and analyze all the information from these applications in real-time. This enables companies to quickly see, manage and improve their performance. BI goes further than simply measuring performance so that it can be improved, but also helps identify weaknesses in the company.

When an organization grows to the point where huge volumes of data are involved, analytics are used to examine large and varied data sets to uncover correlations, hidden patterns, customer preferences and market trends; so, organizations can make more-informed business decisions.

Both BI and big data analytics can hugely benefit Organization & Planning within any business. If you have all this information, irrespective of how exactly it was obtained or measured, managing the direction you want to go becomes an informed decision that can be planned for, rather than a guessing game based on ‘gut feel.’

A crucial element that is required in today’s fast-moving world is an organization’s ability to respond rapidly to changes in both the external and internal environment. This is known as Business agility, and it is not possible to do if the business does not measure what is going on inside and around it, and then manages accordingly.

Related References


What does the Information technology consultant do?



What’s the information technology consultant job?

The growth of e-services and the rise of social computing has created an increase in the demand for information technology consultant jobs.

The combination of technology and business knowledge is what information technology consultancy is all about. It focuses on advising their clients on how to perfectly use information technology to achieve their business objectives and overcome they IT problems they may face, improving the IT systems’ structure and efficiency in such organizations.

Moreover, information technology consultants provide these organizations with strategic guidance, in the form of estimating, managing, implementing, deploying and administering their IT systems, helping major business processes through the enhancement of IT systems.

Providing expert technical assistance and guidance during selection and procurement are also parts of what the information technology consultant do. IT consultants can also be involved in business development, technical duties, and even sales, having the responsibility for user training and feedback as well.

Why are IT consultants called in?


  • Specialized expertise
  • Their recommendations and external, objective advice
  • Temporary help during a one-time project, when hiring permanent employees is not necessary
  • Outsourcing IT services from a specific company

IT consultants’ duties

Their duties will depend on the nature of each project.

However, a typical project may involve:

  • The consultation of staff from different parts of a client’s organization
  • The analysis of the organization’s data
  • The determination of the information system requirements
  • Defining the objectives of the project
  • Making recommendations, as IT consultants may suggest appropriate hardware, software, and systems
  • Designing, installing and trialing software and, fixing any problems that may arise
  • Collecting and presenting information
  • Writing reports and documentation
  • Resolving computer problems and removing viruses
  • Training users
  • Responding to customer inquiries.

Therefore, the IT consultants’ day duties may include:

  • Meeting with clients to determine their requirements
  • Working with them to define the scope of the project
  • Planning timescales and the resources needed for the project
  • Clarifying the clients’ system specifications, understanding the nature of their business and their work practices
  • Travelling to the client sites.
  • The cooperation with the staff members at all levels in the organization
  • Determining the software, hardware and network’s requirements
  • Analyzing the IT requirements, giving their independent and objective advice on the use of these IT systems
  • Suggesting new solutions and new systems implementation
  • Presenting such solutions in oral or written reports
  • Assisting clients with change-management activities
  • Purchasing systems where appropriate
  • Designing, testing, installing and monitoring new systems
  • Preparing documentation and presenting progress reports to clients
  • The organization of users’ training and also for other consultants
  • Being involved in sales
  • Supporting and maintaining contact with clients’ organizations
  • Identifying potential clients and building and maintaining contacts.


Having any degree, you can enter the information technology consultancy field, even if you are a school leaver, but you have to show interest in and knowledge of such field. And of course, previous work experience and deep interest in IT consultancy are beneficial. A master’s degree is not required to get an IT consultant job. However, it increases the chances of securing such jobs, especially if your degree is not in a related subject to information technology.

Here are some of the subjects that are useful for IT consultant jobs.

  • Software engineering
  • Information systems
  • Electronic/electrical engineering
  • Business studies
  • Mathematics
  • Computer science
  • Other science/engineering disciplines

However, there are some postgraduate courses for graduates of unrelated subjects to provide students with the valuable skills needed for the business industry as well as, skills required for information technology consultant jobs.

What are the most important skills required?

You need to possess these skills to compete in the information technology consultancy field:

  • Teamwork skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Advisory language skills
  • Business and management language skills
  • Technical language skills
  • The ability to introduce technical information to non-IT clients and also, colleagues
  • Business skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Technical and analytical skills
  • Good organizational skills to prioritize heavy workloads
  • Time management skills to meet deadlines
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Multitasking ability
  • Presentation skills
  • Attention to details
  • Confidence
  • Decision making
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • The ability to learn quickly
  • Adaptability and flexibility

What to expect?

  • It’s an office-based job, working in a project team in clients’ premises. So, IT consultant should expect to travel to clients’ premises.
  • Traveling within the working day to clients’ sites is often needed. Overseas travel may occasionally be necessary, which depends on the consultant’s employer.
  • Also, overnight absence from home is frequently required.
  • As regards the working hours, its officially 8 hours. However, sometimes extra hours are required to meet the clients’ deadlines as well as taking a lot of time traveling to clients’ premises.
  • It’s a stressful job, with strict project based deadlines.
  • A part-time job is unlikely, but IT consultant jobs are project-based so, breaks are possible.
  • Self-employment is also possible, managing your working hours.
  • In the IT consultancy field, men’s percentage exceeds the women’s. However, there are various groups supporting women in IT and technology, to encourage them to work in this industry.
  • Formal dress code, for meetings and visiting clients, but otherwise, it’s relaxed.
  • As regards the salary, the IT consultation fees are measured on a per day or per consultant basis. However, fixed fee IT consultation applied to contracted IT consultants or well-defined projects that have a specific amount of work and a defined timeframe.
  • The salary depends on the type, location and size of the employers and it is also usually performance-related.

Experience required for work

  • Some employers can recruit junior information technology consultants in their business and technology sectors.
  • First and second-year undergraduates can apply for internships in the IT consultancy field, gaining work experience in a commercial environment to acquire management skills and the ability to understand the business benefits of information technology.
  • Competition is fierce so, start applying for IT consultant jobs for large firms in the autumn term of your final year as places will fill fast and the competition is getting stronger as time passes.

Related References