Calling on Freelancers: A Winning Strategy for IT Departments in Times of Crisis

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ByThomas Delfort

Published10 September 2020at12:06, updated on10 September 2020at12:23

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While flexibility, responsiveness and speed are more necessary than ever, the use of independent consultants takes on a new dimension.

Manage emergencies

IT departments – and especially support services – were put to the test during the lockdown. Between the massive deployment of remote work, the explosion of security threats and the problems of VPN congestion or application availability, support teams have had to deal with a major increase in requests. And this, overnight and under a lot of pressure. The business continuity of the company – and therefore its survival – is at stake.

Imagine that your organization is facing a massive ransomware attack. If you are not able to mobilize the right skills in-house very quickly, you expose yourself to serious consequences in terms of data loss and potential suspension of your activity.

Using freelancers such as cyber security consultants makes it possible to respond very quickly to the overload of work and to absorb the peaks in demand. Whether these are basic requests or tasks requiring specialized skills, calling on additional reinforcements on an ad hoc basis allows the company to have all the responsiveness necessary to respond to these exceptional and urgent situations.

Dealing with uncertainty

While the lockdown has plunged companies into paralysis or at least a slowdown in their activity, the looming economic crisis will be a long-lasting problem. Uncertainty and doubt set in, challenging businesses to continue to grow when they are virtually forced to navigate on sight.

In this context, agility and the ability to adapt are crucial. IT departments have long been used to working in project mode, but this ability to mobilize the best skills very quickly for success will become absolutely essential moving forward.

Ambient instability greatly increases the risk, especially in terms of recruitment. Caught between the need to restart as quickly as possible and the threat of economic crisis, companies must nevertheless act. In the IT field, using freelancers makes it possible to reinforce existing teams in an efficient and less risky manner.

Did you plan to recruit a Data Scientist or a Product Manager on a permanent contract before the economic and health crisis broke out? Opt for a freelance profile while things stabilize internally and externally. Companies can find the talented and experienced consultants they need, while still maintaining the budgetary and organizational flexibility needed if the situation worsens or if the prioritization of certain projects needs to be changed.

Without forgetting that freelancers have, in essence, a great capacity for autonomy and adaptation and are also more used to teleworking. They are therefore a particularly suitable response to the crisis.

Accelerate development

Despite the difficulties and complexity of the current context, there is no reason for companies to get stuck. On the contrary, they must find the tools to continue to develop and grow. This crisis is a test: companies must not only prepare for a quick recovery, but also think beyond the crisis and build solid and innovative models for tomorrow.

For these reasons, structuring technological projects and IT architectures that enable business transformation is at the heart of the game. It is essential, even vital, to continue to implement them, and even to accelerate them. However, the success of these strategic projects largely depends on the teams in charge. So how do you make sure you have the most competent people possible?

Using one or more experienced freelancers on specific IT subjects, such as cloud or machine learning, can save a lot of time and significantly speed up these major projects. In addition, the contractual relationship between freelancers and the company often requires them to make a higher commitment in terms of performance and quality of service.

In conclusion, the use of freelancers is not a one-size-fits-all solution and must be part of a more comprehensive strategy. But it represents a flexible, responsive and efficient solution for IT departments, which must more than ever learn to juggle between internal and external employees to emerge winners from this period of instability. One thing is clear: the success of companies in these times of crisis depends in large part on the skills and talent it can mobilize.

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By Thomas Delfort

Mindquest

Connecting Europe’s top IT talent with the most innovative brands

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