There are lots of different reasons to work with external delivery partners or consultancies, and these will vary in line with an organisation's needs and current project aims.
Consultancies often have a bad reputation for being costly, failing to integrate well with internal teams, or not entirely following through with the outcomes they promised. But the right delivery partner, working in the right way, can offer a unique way of sourcing talent, experience and a fresh perspective that provides real value to a client organisation.
Here are five reasons why you should consider working with consultancy led teams.
1) Consultancies are a cost effective way of sourcing specialist talent
Hiring new employees is one of the most costly and time consuming business activities. It's a huge investment, and may not always be the right option if new skills or additional capacity are only needed for a short amount of time.
Consultancies are a cost-effective way of sourcing specialist talent, particularly when it comes to new technologies and business approaches. All good consultancies will transfer their knowledge to internal staff, ensuring that they have all the relevant skills to become self sufficient by the end of the project period.
2) External partners provide confidence to try new things
If organisations want to keep up with a constantly changing world, then they need to take on the new and unknown. Tackling modern ways of working and new technologies is an inevitable part of an organisation's evolution, but it can often be difficult to know where to start.
Bringing an external delivery partner into an organisation is a great way of building momentum, giving everyone the confidence to try something new. Consultancies should integrate well with the team, offering guidance and advice as they go on a new journey together.
3) Benefit from years of experience
Consultancies are specialists in what they do. They know what works, what doesn't, and have seen things done well (and badly) before.
By turning to an external delivery partner, you'll benefit from their years of experience. This will ensure the project avoids false starts and dead ends, ultimately realising more value more quickly.
4) Bridging the application vs infrastructure gap
Traditional ways of working have led to a silo in IT careers between those who build applications (developers) and infrastructure engineers. Large organisations will often have separate application and infrastructure teams, so when one encounters a problem they believe sits with the other, delays and confusion can occur.
The right consultancy will have the knowledge and insight to bridge the gap between these two teams, helping them to break down or manage silos more effectively in the long term.
5) Offering a fresh perspective
Sometimes, we all need a change of perspective. Bringing in external parties such as consultancies can provide any organisation with a fresh take on a problem they may have been grappling with for some time. A consultancy team might spot something others have missed, or challenge assumptions that have been taken for granted.
Sometimes projects and initiatives also struggle due to organisational culture and politics. In these cases, a neutral third party can champion the right solution when it is more difficult for internal employees to do so.
Choosing the right partner
Once you've made the decision to seek help from an external partner, it's extremely important to pick the right one.
Not all consultancies are created equal, so it's important to ensure that your partner's strategic and technical expertise aligns with your objectives. It's worth thinking about shared beliefs and values too — you'll likely be working with these people for weeks if not months, so getting the right cultural fit for your organisation can't be underestimated.
Our recent insights
FAIR data - what is it and why should you care?
One of our senior data consultants, Dr Alasdair Gray, explains what FAIR data is, who’s using it, why it’s so useful and some common misconceptions around it.
Do you know how to destroy your data securely?
In this final part of our data ethics series, we look at what data destruction is and how you can comply with GDPR required actions.
Discussions in data ethics: How to develop data ethics in local government
In the final part of the Discussions on Data Ethics series, Professor Paul Clough, TPXImpact and Lucy Knight, ODI, discuss data literacy, effective community involvement and the value of bad news.