Cyber attacks are continually evolving and companies are struggling to keep pace to protect their information. IT architecture contractors are uniquely positioned to quickly respond to such threats by plugging the skills gap with their specialist knowledge.
IT architects who have similar responsibilities may be referred to as solutions architects, technical architects, data architects, cloud architects, enterprise architects and security architects to name a few. No matter what title you prefer, as an IT architect you could command higher rates of pay by working on a contract basis to meet the needs of companies demanding a quick turnaround to address unexpected or ongoing security or IT concerns.
This article will discuss the benefits of working as an IT architect contractor, rates of pay, securing work and how to operate as a contractor.
Why are IT Architect contractors in demand?
“Architect” was not typically a term used to describe someone working in IT. With technology evolving at a rapid rate, the term “IT architect” has become commonplace when describing someone who can navigate the complexities of modern IT systems and provide solutions to any obstacles encountered on the way.
IT architects make it their priority to understand how complex IT systems work, along with the functionality of the individual components. With businesses becoming increasingly reliant on digital platforms and systems, IT architects identify potential problems and find ways to reduce the severity of possible risks.
Businesses will also call upon IT architects to evaluate potential new IT systems before they are installed full time, as well as lead their implementation into the business. IT architects may also be asked to envision new systems or to identify which areas need to discarded to make way for new technologies.
Solutions Architect Contractor Benefits
High rates of pay, flexible working hours and no office politics are some of the reasons why IT architects prefer working on a contract basis as opposed to in a permanent role. 80% of our contractor clients who work in the IT industry say they enjoy contracting to the extent that they don’t miss the benefits of being an employee.
Some other benefits of working as a contractor include:
- Skills development: Contractors generally work in a variety of roles in a relatively short space of time. Exposing yourself to different working environments, companies and projects will increase your skill set and enhance your CV. For example, some companies will give you the opportunity to enhance your time management skills by working within the agile development methodology.
- Better work/life balance: Most of of our IT contractor clients say that contracting has had a positive effect on their work-life balance. Many get the opportunity to work from home, leaving the daily commute redundant and allowing flexible working hours.
- Option to stay in a technical role:Some of our contractor clients say that contracting allows them to continue working in the technical areas that interest them, rather than taking on management positions. This opportunity to keep your skills sharp in a technical arena, rather than become a manager, is a huge advantage to those that love dealing with code – not managing coders.
- Variety of work: As a contractor, you can experience a diverse range of technologies. Contract work gives you the opportunity to experience and use different platforms, coding practices and testing environments. This diversity further enhances your adaptability and knowledge base.
Find out more about IT contracting
To discover more about becoming an IT architect contractor or contracting in general, please get in touch with our experts.
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Limited or umbrella?
As a contractor, the two most common ways to operate are as a director of your own limited company or through an umbrella company. Both options come with advantages and disadvantages and the best route for you will depend on your daily rate, length of contract and personal preference.
Umbrella company contractors are employed by the umbrella company and paid after tax and national insurance contributions have been deducted. Although this is the most straightforward way to operate, it is also the most expensive.
Working as a director of your own limited company is widely considered to be the most tax efficient way of operating as it allows the most opportunities for tax planning. It is most suitable for those earning more than £25,000 annually and who are considering contracting for three months or longer. Limited company ownership does come with some additional administrative responsibilities, which will usually take around 15 minutes to complete each month.
Setting up a limited company
The process of setting up a limited company is usually completed within three to four working hours and all you need is your desired company name. Enjoy online registration, VAT & PAYE registration, share structure advice and other benefits when forming your limited company with SJD.
Appointing an accountant
Limited company contractors can save themselves a whole lot of time, money and stress by appointing an accountant to take care of their personal and company tax obligations. When choosing your accountant you may opt for your local high street accountants or you may decide to go with a firm that specialises in working with contractors and the issues that affect them, such as IR35.
SJD Accountancy has been supporting contractors with their taxation needs since 1992 and currently have over 15,000 limited company clients. Find out more about our fixed-fee accountancy packages here.
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