Touchstone is a UK based independent freelancing and consultancy company specialising in data migration, data warehousing, reporting, application development and health systems

Why Hire a Contractor or Consultant?

10 Good Reasons to Choose a Consultant

  1. When there is an impact to the bottom line
  2. When difficult decisions require additional experience
  3. When a new plan must be formulated
  4. When needed expertise is not available in-house
  5. When charting a new course
  6. When a second opinion would make sense
  7. When operational problems exist
  8. When departments are not meeting their objectives
  9. When filling vacancies on a temporary basis
  10. When you needed it done yesterday

Hiring a Consultant F.A.Q.

Q: Why hire a consultant?
A: With many clients under their belts, consultants can provide you with advice based on their experiences with others who've implemented the services in which you are interested. All the manuals and reference materials in the world won't truly give you an understanding of how a system will work for your firm. Long-term, firsthand knowledge is best.

Q: Why is there such a wide range of costs for computer consultants?
A: Many factors influence computer consultant rates. These include:

  • Experience
  • Skill level
  • Education
  • Consultant's organization and associated overhead
  • Areas of expertise
  • Self-perception of the consultant
  • Business sense of the consultant
  • Market factors

Q: Most of the consultants I talk with "sound" like they know what they are doing. How do I select which consultant or firm to use?
A: Computer jargon can make many non-experts and pseudo-experts sound knowledgeable. However, to provide efficient and effective assistance to businesses, computer consultants MUST also be able to communicate well with clients of all backgrounds. Many projects fail due to poor communications, so look for consultants that you can understand and that understands you.

Q: Why should I even consider a computer consultant instead of just hiring a computer expert?
Consultants can often make the best choice when:

  • Very specialized skills are needed and are difficult to find in affordable employees
  • The expense of hiring a new employee can be up to an additional 40% of the employee's annual salary
  • The consultant has resources that employees typically do not have available
  • Employees are often pulled from projects to help in other areas, making it difficult to complete projects efficiently
  • The project has a known life-span and layoffs are undesirable

In addition, the cost of training, supporting, paying taxes and benefits for a new employee can be up to an additional 60% of the employees annual salary. When these often hidden costs are considered, consultants are often cost-effective too.

Q: Once I choose a computer consultant for my project, can I just turn the project over to the consultant and forget it until it is finished?
A: While you can do this, it is not suggested. Computer projects typically involve automating a business task or developing a product for your business. Your expertise (or your employees) in your particular business can speed many development issues and provide quick resolution to any problems that may occur.

Q: Would in-house technical staff resist help from knowledgeable computer consultants?
A: It's possible and there are almost infinite reasons - some of which are important and others which are counter-productive. Several of the most common reasons are:

  • Concern that the use of out-of-house experts would make it appear that the in-house staff is not capable or is inefficient
  • Frustration that the consultant was selected without the input or approval of the in-house staff
  • Office politics
  • Resentment that funds spent on consultants is not spent on the in-house staff
  • Previous bad experience with consultants
  • Lack of confidence in the consultant's ability, skills, experience or integrity

Q: If a consultant knows how to install and configure a software program, then shouldn't they be experts how to use that program and train users?
A: Not necessarily. Many computer consultants are proficient in Microsoft Word or Excel but that doesn’t make them Microsoft Certified Specialists (MCS) in the same way they don't become CPA's or Graphic Designers by just installing and configuring QuickBooks or Adobe PhotoShop.

Touchstone Systems Ltd are able to provide a wide range of Consultants and Contractors to assist in your Informartion Technolodgy projects, from consults experienced in a particular product sector, through to application developers and tests. Why not contact us now for more information.

Contact us to hire one of our IT contractors, freelancers or consultants