6th May 2016
Project management is all about making decisions and often that boils down to choosing between three distinct priorities, usually discussed as the fast, the cheap and the good.
In almost any given project, decision makers end up choosing two of those particular options and sacrificing or compromising on the third:
SharePoint projects are no different.
Whether your project is a simple application or a more complicated business-wide document management system, the development process requires particular skillsets and experience if it’s to be successful.
There’s a number of different factors that contribute to the cost of a SharePoint developer or SharePoint specialist, including the following:
If your organisation has a large SharePoint project, you usually have three options open to you when it comes to procuring a suitable resource. In order of overall hourly rate, those options are:
In terms of the hourly rate you could expect to pay, employing someone directly is often the cheapest option. You’re responsible for their salary and associated employment costs which, according to accountancy firm ASFB, work out approximately as £33.74 per hour for someone on a £35k salary.
Using a contractor or freelancer is more expensive. The rate you pay will depend on what they feel is a fair based on the demand for their skillset. According to IT Jobs Watch, the average day rate for a specialist SharePoint contractor in 2016 could range from £50 to £375.
On the surface, the contractor is twice as costly as a salaried employee, however the benefit of using a freelance specialist is that you only pay them for as long as you need them, which could make them more cost effective for specific projects.
Specialist development companies operate a similar model to contractors, you pay for the length of the engagement or a flat fee for the project. Typically, the rates of quality SharePoint companies mirror other professional service organisations and could cost between £75 and £100 per hour.
The advantage of choosing a development company over a freelancer is that there is greater accountability regarding project delivery and the ability to draw on a wider range of skills within the business.
As you might expect, the level of expertise offered by a SharePoint specialist will have an impact on the amount that you need to pay for their services.
As noted above, while the average salary for a SharePoint specialist might be around £35k per year, a senior consultant or highly specialised developer might be able to command upwards of £60k in salary with an additional benefits package.
Similarly, a contractor who is just starting out may charge well below the expected rate of £250 per day, while a very experienced SharePoint specialist might charge far more, in excess of £1,000 per day in some cases.
Most development companies will charge different rates for various members of the team involved in a project, but these will normally be averaged across personnel, making a development company cheaper than a contractor while still giving you access to the highest level of skills required.
The rate of SharePoint specialists does vary, sometimes considerably, across the UK, but the biggest differences in rates are international. Here’s an advert from Google that appears for the term “SharePoint Development”:
The hourly rate mentioned above is £15 per hour – a massive discount compared to the rates charged by freelancers and contractors.
On the largest Indian jobs website, Nakuri.com, there are 1,660 SharePoint developer roles being advertised and the average salary is 4-6 Lakh per annum. This roughly converts to £5-7,500 p.a., around 1/5th of rates advertised in the UK.
Based on price alone, the temptation to use an offshore development company is huge. It’s possible to get four or five times as many people working on a project for the same fee you would pay in the UK. That won’t necessarily mean that the project is completed four or five times faster, but it’s possible that the duration of the project would be shorter.
However, there are drawbacks with an offshore development team that can compromise the success and stability of a project. Managing remote workers is relatively simple thanks to modern communication systems, but there are always issues with time-zones so any changes made to the specification may not be addressed in real time.
Going back to the beginning, you may want your project completing cheaply, quickly, and well, but you will only ever get two of the three.
Development companies offer benefits in terms of project management and consistency but they cost more. An in-house resource might be more cost effective, but you have the internal management overheads and ongoing staff costs to manage. Contractors offer a mixture of the two, but when you’re dealing with a single person, there may be a skills gap that gets in the way of project delivery and there is a risk that you end up with unsupported software when the contractor moves on.
There isn’t a single answer to what you should pay for a SharePoint specialist, it all depends on your needs and what the goals of your project are.
If you’d like to talk to us about how we approach projects in SharePoint, or find out more about our SharePoint Support service, please contact us today on 0207 099 0632
Call now on 0203 697 0302 to speak to a member of our team