In the past, it was common for companies to hire a general "IT guy" who would be responsible for fixing anything computer related. However, those days have long gone. We live in a digital world and a highly competitive one at that. Today it's all about solving problems and reaching new heights through digital transformation. The businesses of 2020 want highly polished and responsive websites, and sophisticated web and mobile apps. This level of software development is best done by a team of consultants who are experts in their field. Here we're going to look at the benefits of hiring a software consultancy firm over a contractor or permanent employee. Let's get started.
Five Benefits of Hiring a Software Consultancy Firm
1. Get the Innovative Edge
Developers in software consultancy firms are constantly keeping up to date with the latest tools, techniques, and methodologies. They are experienced at working on complex projects and are constantly refining their craft. Constantly innovating is no easy task. What is groundbreaking today can be commonplace tomorrow. This is why it's a good idea to work closely with people who have a lot of exposure to the cutting edge of software development.
Software consultancy firms are also much more likely to use effective methodologies like Agile. Agile has become extremely popular in recent years, and this is no accident. Delving into the statistics, Agile projects are 28% more successful than their traditional counterparts. Many companies want to switch to an Agile approach, but don't have the foundational knowledge or infrastructure in place to do so. According to one research study, participants listed the following factors as challenges to successfully adopting Agile methods: team members on multiple projects, unclear project scope, project interruptions, and lack of clear company vision. Making the change overnight can be difficult if not impossible. This is where a software consultancy company can be a huge asset. They're already skilled in Agile and ready to get started.
2. It Gives You More Time to Focus on Your Core Business
When you don't have to focus on the nitty-gritty of your development projects, you're freed up to spend more time and energy on the core business. Additionally, there is more to implementing new software than just the code. With a new website or app, marketing is usually a significant part of success. You want to make your customers and clients aware of your new software. There's more time to do this when you're not also juggling a development project.
3. Access to Expert Developers
This is where software development firms have a significant advantage over contractors or permanent employees. While an internal employee may be very experienced at working on projects within your company, they will likely lack the collective knowledge and experience that comes with a consultancy firm. Consultants have typically worked on projects very similar to yours and know exactly how to execute them successfully. Due to the nature of the job, the developers have most likely worked on a broad range of projects for other companies and know exactly how to overcome unique challenges. There’s a peace of mind that comes with knowing your development project is in good hands.
There are several ways you can tailor your contract with the software development team to ensure that you have control over the costs. Hiring a permanent employee for the job means you have decidedly less control. You're required to keep paying a salary even if your development goals and objects change or if they are no longer needed after the project. The project can also be held up if the employee needs to take sick days. Contractors can also be very expensive, especially when projects overrun.
5. Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Software consultancy firms are well versed in development best practices and are experienced in successfully executing projects. These factors dramatically reduce the risk of projects overrunning, hitting a roadblock, or going over budget.
The Drawbacks of Hiring Contractors or Permanent Employees
So, we've looked at what you stand to gain from hiring a software consultancy firm, but what do you stand to lose by hiring a contractor or permanent employee? In the interest of fairness, it's important to note that there are benefits to hiring contractors or employees. For example, internal staff become experts in your company. They are also on-site at all times so it's easy to get an immediate answer to any queries you have. However, the cons often outweigh the pros.
When it comes to hiring employees, there are a bunch of laws, regulations, and commitments you have to adhere to. Of course, these requirements exist for a reason, but hiring an employee might not be the most appropriate solution to your problem. You're not just hiring someone to complete the work, you're adding someone to your work family. You have to commit to providing a salary, holiday pay, sick pay, and other employee benefits. This can be a huge risk when you don't have a clear plan for your software development needs beyond the next project.
Contractors are more expensive than employees because they don't get access to all of the employee benefits. While this can free you up in terms of your long term obligations to the developer, contractors come with their own set of risks. They are often much less invested in your company because they know they'll be moving on at some point.
The geographical location of your company can limit the talent you have access to. The contractors and potential employees coming to your interviews are likely to be local. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does limit your options. There are only so many highly skilled developers in one area and you might not be the only company they are interviewing at. You have to convince them to work for you just as much as they convince you to hire them.