An Information Technology contractor is a trained professional who chooses to perform important IT functions for a client as an independent contractor. The IT contractor usually operates under the auspices of a working agreement with the customer, and is available for a specified period of time in exchange for the completion of specific tasks within that period of time.
There are several reasons why a company may choose to employ and IT contractor rather than hire a full time individual. In some cases, the utilization of the IT contractor is a means of temporarily securing competent information technology support during an interim period. The period may occur when the company’s information technology technician is away from the job for an extended period of time, such as a leave of absence or an extended illness. The IT contractor steps in and takes care of the day to day support until the full-time employee returns to duty.
At other times, a company may choose to go with an IT contractor that provides support to several small businesses. In exchange for a monthly fee, the IT contractor provides a roster of ongoing services to the company, with the provision that functions that are outside the scope of the monthly agreement are subject to additional fees. Smaller companies with fairly simplistic information technology systems may find this arrangement is economically superior to having a full time person oversee the IT functions.
An IT contractor may be engaged to work with the existing IT team in order to handle a mass migration from one system to another, especially if multiple locations are involved in the process. The cost of the IT contractor is offset by the savings in both the time it takes to complete and fully implement the migration, as well as the reduction of time that systems are down during data transfers and other matters that often occur with a system migration.
Some companies have been known to engage IT contractors as a means of finding a permanent information technology professional to join the team. At the end of the contracted period, the company can determine whether to extend an offer of permanent employment to the contractor, if the relationship has proven to be stable and positive for both parties.