It’s always good to have external expertise to help bolster your teams when you need it. But are contractors the right choice? We’ve listed a few points to help.
To attract the best contractor resource, organisations often need to commit to minimum contracts of at least 3 - 6 months. But what happens if you can’t or don’t want to commit for that long? Will the contractors you need commit to shorter or open ended contacts, or simply go elsewhere if they find a better deal?
Contractors are generally paid a day rate, not on what they deliver. If there’s a gap between tasks, you need to continue paying the contractor, even if they’re still contributing to other tasks, is this good value for money?
Finding a contractor with the right skills and experience can take some time. The rarer the skills or the more in demand, the longer it takes.
There’s always the risk that you’ll need to make too much of a compromise to get ‘a’ resource not ‘the’ resource. This in turn can lead to all too common complains about task ‘drift’ things taking much longer than originally estimated or not meeting expectations.
If one of more of the above leads you to question whether a contractor is right for your resource requirement, why not give DevOps as a Service a try?
Consultancies can provide a great option for helping organisations with medium or large pieces or work. However they often struggle with finding experienced resource for short term tasks. Is engaging with a consultancy the right choice? We’ve listed a few points to help.
In most cases yes. Many consultancies have resource issues too and rely on the contract market to fill the gaps. This approach can be expensive as they often layer their margin on top of the contractor cost. However, many consultancies do give you recourse if the consultant is not delivering what you need.
As with contractors, for consultancies to commit their more experienced / valuable resources it has to be worth their while. One or two resources for a short period is not attractive to them, so organisations need to pay particular attention to ensure any resources offered have the right skills and experience.
Experienced resources are rare in large consultancies as well as smaller ones. Unfortunately the reality is that unless your requirement is substantial, you’ll unlikely to get more than a few days from the experienced consultants before being handed over to the juniors. Invariably great promises are made on ‘oversight’, but they’re rarely delivered.
More organisations have a good view of what they need done, certainly enough to write a set of requirements. Consultancies by their nature provide and advisory service, as do we. Consultancies are often reluctant to contract for deliverables, usually because they make more money from day rates for resource. But if you are already clear on what you need then would it not be more cost effective to contract for exactly that?