Do You Need a Technology Consultant or a Freelancer? Here’s How to Decide

When it comes to navigating technical hurdles with grace and agility, there are a few options open to your business. Two of the most effective choices are hiring a technology consultant, (like the team here at BTC), or bringing in a freelancer on a one-off basis. But when is the “right” time for each of these options? In today's article, we’ll find out.

It’s no exaggeration to say that software implementations can make or break a business. When you’re looking for a solution that’s going to streamline your workflow and allow your employees to do their jobs better, getting it right is essential. Just as having the right tool for a DIY task can make all the difference, so too can choosing the right technical solution provider pay huge dividends. Having said that, you don’t always need to bring in the big guns for smaller tasks. Which raises a question: when do you need a tech consultant, and when will a one-off freelance contract be the better choice?

When to choose a technology consultant

There’s no getting around it: hiring a technology consultant is the more expensive choice. However, as you’re likely well aware, cost is often the least important factor – especially when it comes to software. A technology consultant is the clear choice for any task that requires a large scope, such as a multi-user system that will be used day-in and day-out. Likewise, a technology consultant is ideal if you know what the problem is, but you’re not sure of the solution. The reason? Well, a technology consultancy firm will have a huge toolkit and pool of experience to draw from. They can use this to analyse your unique challenges, then propose and develop a bespoke solution that’s 100% tailored to your business. Pretty neat, right? A technology consultant is the ideal choice for the development of large-scale software solutions that you’re planning to become a key component of your everyday business. When there’s little room for failure, or when time is tight, a tech consultant can be a real lifesaver.

When to choose a freelancer

An important part of running a business is prioritisation, and it’s this skill that’ll let you know when a freelancer could save you a bit of dough. Generally speaking, hiring in a freelancer on a one-off basis is going to be far less costly than a tech consultant – and for good reason. With resources, expertise, and experience limited to just one person, a freelancer is ideal for smaller jobs with a more narrow scope. For example, let’s imagine you have a few gigabytes worth of customer data that needs to be imported from one system to another. Tedious work, yes, but does it really require a bespoke solution designed from the ground up? Probably not. In this case, a freelancer is the perfect way to get the job done in good time without breaking the bank. Even better, freelance resources can be found in no time using one of the ubiquitous auction-style websites like oDesk or Upwork. One word of warning when heading into freelance contracts: manage your expectations!


How much does your project matter?

When it comes down to it, the decision about whether or not to hire a technology consultant or a freelancer is all about the scale of your project. No matter if you’re a start-up looking for a software backbone for your business, or a long-established firm who needs to step things up, any large-scale software project will always be handled better by a tech consultant. Ask yourself the question: how much does this project matter to the business? If we’re talking about mission-critical, high-value, day-to-day essential business factors, you’ll want to work with the best and have the job done to the highest possible standard. On the flipside, if you just want a few files moved around or to migrate to a new operating system, well, a quality freelancer will provide just what you need. Want to talk more about how a technology consultant could solve your business challenges? Get in touch with the BTC team today and we’ll help get you on the right track.

What's your thought process when it comes to deciding on a tech consultant or freelancer? If your business does things differently to our rationale, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below or via social media. And when you're ready to hire a technology consultant that really knows its stuff, the team at here BTC will be waiting to hear from you.

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