What is the difference between a functional consultant and a technical consultant?

illustration3Today, most companies are hiring consultants with technological qualifications, especially when it comes to IT and ERP projects and consulting. If your aim is to make and/or keep your company top in its field, then it is advised to employ both a functional consultant and a technical consultant in your business because both play their own role in enhancing business efficiency and profitability. The main function of a consultant is to manage the day-to-day functioning of a program or system. However, clarifying the difference(s) between technical and functional can be difficult.

Functional consultants are on board to configure the system according to your business’s needs. This type of consultant prepares documents of needs and solutions. In other words, they are responsible for gathering requirements from the client, translating the requests into specifications, and then dealing with the communication between consultants and clients. These consultants understand the business process of the software and client, so it is always a good idea to hire a consultant with the industry experience so they better understand your pain areas.

The main role of a technical consultant is to provide support for analysis, implementation, and after sales. Technical consultants understand and use the technical part of the software because they are responsible for translating the functional specifications into technical specifications. These employees are typically either programmers or systems administrators, where as the functional consultant is the one who interacts with the client and understands the client/company’s requirements.

At the end of the day, the functional consultants are the middleman between the client and the technical consultants. Functional consultants still need to understand the technical terms and techy side, however it is the job of technical consultants to actually do the coding. Similarly, technical consultants must be well versed and should still be able to interact with clients even though communication is the main job of functional consultant.


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About the Author

avatar About Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson is currently a full time MBA student at the University of Denver, Daniels School of Business, studying marketing and sustainability. A Colorado native, in Ashley graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine in 2010 with a double BA degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She returned to Colorado and worked for the Colorado Governor's Energy Office. Vail Resorts lured her away to work in their corporate Environmental Public Affairs department at their Broomfield, Colorado headquarters. This position is where Ashley found her true passion working in the marketing and public affairs side of sustainability and business in general. Ashley is extremely experienced with technology and a vast array of social media platforms and has brought these proficiencies and passions to Prescott Solutions. A former NCAA college athlete, Ashley applies the same characteristics to her professional career that made her a two-time NCAA National Champion (2007 & 2008 Field Hockey): energy, focus, enthusiasm, drive, and team oriented. Ashley's passions extend outside the business world where you can find her cooking, scuba diving, outdoors on a bike, coaching lacrosse or traveling.

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