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cojak
18th January 2017, 08:38
I think that we need to look beyond IR35, to see ourselves as working beyond that and to show companies that contractors are still a valuable resource.

As I'm in a project building a new cloud environment for a client, it's suddenly occurred to us that contractors need to sell themselves in the same way that Microsoft sells Azure - "Scale when you need to, pay as you go".

Companies are beginning to understand that benefits of cloud computing rather than resent it, we need them to feel the same about contracting.

What do you think?

northernladuk
18th January 2017, 08:59
My immediate thought you are compare apples and pears. Azure is a configurable flexible platform and all that. A contractor offers a single highly skilled service. A client either needs it full time or they don't. Azure is a jigsaw that can be anything when finished, a contractor is just a single piece of that jigsaw. If you can start to think like this at all it's going to take bigger change in clients view than it is the way we market ourselves. No good trying to sell something the client doesn't want or understand.

There maybe a few that can position themselves like this but am not sure how the vast majority can.

Any more thoughts on what the offering might look like?

cojak
18th January 2017, 09:05
No, Azure is there all the time, but the usage of Azure can fall and rise to meet the capacity levels of the client. As a retailer example they can ramp up just before Xmas and let the resource go in the New Year.

Remind you of anything? ;)

northernladuk
18th January 2017, 09:11
SWMBO and my credit card use?

Hmm might have to think on this one to see it working. Maybe someone a bit smarter than me will post and all will become clearer.

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 09:12
No, Azure is there all the time, but the usage of Azure can fall and rise to meet the capacity levels of the client. As a retailer example they can ramp up just before Xmas and let the resource go in the New Year.

Remind you of anything? ;)

Zero hour contracts. We've got a thread for that. :p

cojak
18th January 2017, 09:15
Yes, I suppose there is that :(

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 09:19
Yes, I suppose there is that :(

Sorry to rain on your parade. :hug:

I like the idea in principle but there's a danger of the right resource not being available as you ramp up. Unless those already on the project are prepared to put an extra shift in to increase capacity, you could still leave yourself short. Virtual consultancies of mixed end to end resources are a distinct possibility though; especially with contractors you can trust. That said, your payment terms would definitely need to be paid when paid to reflect the B2B nature - work in Jan is paid is invoiced for in February and paid second week in March for example.

cojak
18th January 2017, 09:23
Thinking about it its supply and demand.

Skilled contractors have always been in demand and not worried about a lack of permanence.

If we don't like the contract we don't sign it - it's always been like that.

northernladuk
18th January 2017, 09:26
You are talking about quite a small number of contractors there.

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 09:41
Thinking about it its supply and demand.

Skilled contractors have always been in demand and not worried about a lack of permanence.

If we don't like the contract we don't sign it - it's always been like that.

I agree. But what if, from your pool of trusted contractors, there aren't four suitable developers available when you need them, only two? Do you take the risk that two will be able to do it, based on their say so?

Alias
18th January 2017, 09:51
Sounds like you are proposing a retainer/demand based contract.

eek
18th January 2017, 10:11
You are talking about quite a small number of contractors there.

Yep and also the one thing they will need is backup... Having spent the last year architecting systems on my tod, the ability in current clientco's to grab an exchange expert in minutes is saving me hours of research....

Hence consultancies with a breadth of knowledge are going to win this battle, your sole gunman just doesn't have the ability to react quickly enough.

that doesn't mean its not doable but it does mean to be a cloud expert you will need a group of experts in other areas to be able to answer questions quickly or at least point you in the correct direction...

cojak
18th January 2017, 10:12
Sounds like you are proposing a retainer/demand based contract.

No, I'm just mulling the ideas over really.

eek
18th January 2017, 10:23
No, I'm just mulling the ideas over really.

You also have to look at how contractors currently work and how end clients recruit said people.

S3 may be able to pull such a scheme off but it would require a fair bit of investment up front and a lot of willing contractors.

The end result would I suspect look very much like a consultancy however...

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 10:28
You also have to look at how contractors currently work and how end clients recruit said people.

S3 may be able to pull such a scheme off but it would require a fair bit of investment up front and a lot of willing contractors.

The end result would I suspect look very much like a consultancy however...

Create a virtual consultancy, charging people out at £100 more than their day rate (rather than the double their day rate charges that mainline consultancies charge).
I've seen it done and it can work; engaging contractors as associates through their limited companies, guaranteed outside IR35 due to the contract and the financial risks. Massive amount of trust involved for the person handling the payments but that's a given.

eek
18th January 2017, 10:34
Create a virtual consultancy, charging people out at £100 more than their day rate (rather than the double their day rate charges that mainline consultancies charge).
I've seen it done and it can work; engaging contractors as associates through their limited companies, guaranteed outside IR35 due to the contract and the financial risks. Massive amount of trust involved for the person handling the payments but that's a given.

It also requires contractors willing to wait 3+ months to be paid....

malvolio
18th January 2017, 10:39
SWMBO and my credit card use?

Hmm might have to think on this one to see it working. Maybe someone a bit smarter than me will post and all will become clearer.

I could but I'm on holiday for another week . Watch this space

malvolio
18th January 2017, 10:42
It also requires contractors willing to wait 3+ months to be paid....

Do you want to be a business or not? You want the benefits but they come with attached costs and risks. If you want security then stay doing what we do now.

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 10:48
It also requires contractors willing to wait 3+ months to be paid....

Depends on the commercial terms. I've worked for a virtual consultancy and work done in January was paid middle of March. But then again, do you want to be a business or an employee. ;)

eek
18th January 2017, 10:54
Depends on the commercial terms. I've worked for a virtual consultancy and work done in January was paid middle of March. But then again, do you want to be a business or an employee. ;)

Um, given the fact I spent 9 months preparing to start a consultancy before a particular opportunity came along I think that should answer the question. The 3 months statement was a reason why others aren't rushing to do it.

Contracting has been the game for a long period of time for a lot of people simply because its a very easy way to earn a lot of money. Now contracting may not be so profitable other ideas may take hold...

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 10:55
Um, given the fact I spent 9 months preparing to start a consultancy before a particular opportunity came along I think that should answer the question. The 3 months statement was a reason why others aren't rushing to do it.

Contracting has been the game for a long period of time for a lot of people simply because its a very easy way to earn a lot of money. Now contracting may not be so profitable other ideas may take hold...

Didn't mean you personally with the last question, I know you've been PlanB'ing for a while.

europetractor
18th January 2017, 11:53
Cloud computing is killing IT jobs especially contracting jobs.

Only dev IT contract jobs have remained but there is now even more competition for dev work.

Cloud computing is helping make everyone an employee of the new world order.

SueEllen
18th January 2017, 12:03
Cloud computing is killing IT jobs especially contracting jobs.

Only dev IT contract jobs have remained but there is now even more competition for dev work.

Cloud computing is helping make everyone an employee of the new world order.

Yawn.

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 12:08
Cloud computing is killing IT jobs especially contracting jobs.

Only dev IT contract jobs have remained but there is now even more competition for dev work.

Cloud computing is helping make everyone an employee of the new world order.

My plan B of selling tin foil hats is doing very well though. :)

eek
18th January 2017, 12:11
Cloud computing is killing IT jobs especially contracting jobs.

Only dev IT contract jobs have remained but there is now even more competition for dev work.

Cloud computing is helping make everyone an employee of the new world order.

Really? Cloud computing is changing the market and providing me with plenty (in fact far too many) opportunities...

europetractor
18th January 2017, 12:16
My plan B of selling tin foil hats is doing very well though. :)

Yes but you know what the problem is ? The radiation can get from below therefore making your hat a radiation container, totally reversing the intended effect. I bet you don't mention that on your advertising :P

DaveB
18th January 2017, 12:18
Really? Cloud computing is changing the market and providing me with plenty (in fact far too many) opportunities...

Same here, especially for clients in regulated markets.

It may be killing the operations side of things but you still need people who understand it to assess the security implications and do your due diligence and risk management for you.

cojak
18th January 2017, 12:37
Really? Cloud computing is changing the market and providing me with plenty (in fact far too many) opportunities...

Me too.

And remember, this isn't General....

cojak
18th January 2017, 12:40
Same here, especially for clients in regulated markets.

It may be killing the operations side of things but you still need people who understand it to assess the security implications and do your due diligence and risk management for you.

No, it's not killing the operations market, but it is forcing Ops bods to re-skill quickly.

And good Capacity/Demand and IT finance people will be able to name their own price shortly...

SueEllen
18th January 2017, 13:37
Me too.

And remember, this isn't General....

Sorry.

I've got more work since cloud computing came in.

LondonManc
18th January 2017, 13:39
Yes but you know what the problem is ? The radiation can get from below therefore making your hat a radiation container, totally reversing the intended effect. I bet you don't mention that on your advertising :P

How many do you want? :D

Semtex
18th January 2017, 14:22
Managed Service?

m0n1k3r
18th January 2017, 23:38
I think that we need to look beyond IR35, to see ourselves as working beyond that and to show companies that contractors are still a valuable resource.

As I'm in a project building a new cloud environment for a client, it's suddenly occurred to us that contractors need to sell themselves in the same way that Microsoft sells Azure - "Scale when you need to, pay as you go".

Companies are beginning to understand that benefits of cloud computing rather than resent it, we need them to feel the same about contracting.

What do you think?

The difference is that of "personal service".

m0n1k3r
18th January 2017, 23:39
Managed Service?

A contractor that is under management (and control and supervision)? Instant IR35 and agency worker indicators.

bobspud
20th January 2017, 11:24
I think that we need to look beyond IR35, to see ourselves as working beyond that and to show companies that contractors are still a valuable resource.

As I'm in a project building a new cloud environment for a client, it's suddenly occurred to us that contractors need to sell themselves in the same way that Microsoft sells Azure - "Scale when you need to, pay as you go".

Companies are beginning to understand that benefits of cloud computing rather than resent it, we need them to feel the same about contracting.

What do you think?

I think what you are really looking for is CAAS some examples include:
I need a design for an exchange environment
I need someone to document process X
I would like to understand my building infrastructure to understand IoT risk

in all of those cases a decent contractor should be able to say that will be between £5k and £100k

However the part where most customers fall over is when you say but I'm not sitting in your office for 40 hours a week and I'm not telling you who's doing the work.

That fee buys a document on x date and I will call your staff to arrange knowledge share.

NotAllThere
20th January 2017, 11:36
...A client either needs it full time or they don't....Not the case. My current contract is 2 days per week. Another consultant here has a contract for 2 days per month. It's been like that for years, and the client likes the model.

The reason this doesn't happen more often is
1. Contractors want full time work
2. Clients may want part time or short-term resources but can't get them easily because of 1.
3. Agencies aren't interested in part time because of 1 and 2.
4. Contractors who'd quite like to have a few part-time clients can't do it because of 2 and 3. (Yes, it's a negative feedback system).

The niche exists, but there's no infrastructure in place to support it widely as a way of working. The only reason I've been able to do it is because my reputation* as someone who delivers is spread by word of mouth.


Sounds like you are proposing a retainer/demand based contract.It's exactly how I've been working for the past 10 years. E.g. I have a 100 day contract this year for one client. If it turns out that 120 days are needed, they'll raise the extra PO. If it turns out I only use 90 days, then that's the way it works, and why my rate is slightly higher than the norm. It's a risk, but mitigated by higher fees.

In ten years, I've never had a problem meeting the clients' needs. On occasion I've worked for one client at another client's site, but it is rare that there's any kind of clash.

For reference, my work is development (mainly), tech lead, tech consultancy, proofs-of-concepts, new technology exploitation (all in SAP area).


* Hard to believe I know, but I do have a good rep. :)

bobspud
20th January 2017, 11:37
A contractor that is under management (and control and supervision)? Instant IR35 and agency worker indicators.

Ah but hang on this is the problem.

This whole concept of control is bullshit. I am controlling a dozen suppliers at the moment not a single one of them is free to do as they wish. I have detailed what I want, when i want it, the standard it is to be delivered against and why to all of them.

If control is a real concept then there are a number of large organisations that need to yield to my requests and thus are in the same legal boat as a one man band.

i.e you are not a business you are being controlled and so we need to treat this as we are paying the person doing it as an employee...

eek
20th January 2017, 17:18
Not the case. My current contract is 2 days per week. Another consultant here has a contract for 2 days per month. It's been like that for years, and the client likes the model.

The reason this doesn't happen more often is
1. Contractors want full time work
2. Clients may want part time or short-term resources but can't get them easily because of 1.
3. Agencies aren't interested in part time because of 1 and 2.
4. Contractors who'd quite like to have a few part-time clients can't do it because of 2 and 3. (Yes, it's a negative feedback system).

The niche exists, but there's no infrastructure in place to support it widely as a way of working. The only reason I've been able to do it is because my reputation* as someone who delivers is spread by word of mouth.

It's exactly how I've been working for the past 10 years. E.g. I have a 100 day contract this year for one client. If it turns out that 120 days are needed, they'll raise the extra PO. If it turns out I only use 90 days, then that's the way it works, and why my rate is slightly higher than the norm. It's a risk, but mitigated by higher fees.

In ten years, I've never had a problem meeting the clients' needs. On occasion I've worked for one client at another client's site, but it is rare that there's any kind of clash.

For reference, my work is development (mainly), tech lead, tech consultancy, proofs-of-concepts, new technology exploitation (all in SAP area).


* Hard to believe I know, but I do have a good rep. :)

Yep and to do that you need to build up a reputation and remove agents from the loop...

Bee
20th January 2017, 20:35
My immediate thought you are compare apples and pears. Azure is a configurable flexible platform and all that. A contractor offers a single highly skilled service. A client either needs it full time or they don't. Azure is a jigsaw that can be anything when finished, a contractor is just a single piece of that jigsaw. If you can start to think like this at all it's going to take bigger change in clients view than it is the way we market ourselves. No good trying to sell something the client doesn't want or understand.

There maybe a few that can position themselves like this but am not sure how the vast majority can.

Any more thoughts on what the offering might look like?

It's time for contractors become multi-skilled and flexible, don't you think?

northernladuk
24th January 2017, 10:35
It's time for contractors become multi-skilled and flexible, don't you think?

Nope.