Running your own business as a consultant is an inherently risky venture. The majority of threats come down to risks to your bottom line.
You may well be sick of hearing about data leaks as the news headlines continually featured many terrifying incidents last year. Unfortunately hackers or even disgruntled employees can be responsible for the data leaks even with a system in place. In 2015, Vodafone had the privacy of 1800 customers compromised. Customer names, mobile numbers and bank codes were taken. Despite the shocking stories, IT departments remain unprepared and not properly protected from a variety of these security threats.
Dealing with humans means that there can often be a difference in expectations leaving one party dissatisfied with the final outcome of a project. IT contractors risk dissatisfaction can exist on a wide ranging scale and unfortunately can blow into big problems.
In the world of IT, it is not just the paying customer who you need to worry about as stakeholders often hold a lot of power too. The census fail in August 2016 will go down in the history books as a blunder not to be repeated. Big Blue was the IT contractor who was hired for the Census website. The site went down due to multiple denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This #censusfail led to an outcry of unhappy Australian’s and widespread backlash. IT consultants need to think about the customer and wider stakeholders too.
Projects can grow beyond the brief which causes huge headaches if additional hours and resources are required. The headache becomes traumatic if the extra costs cannot be serviced by the initial budget.
You try to grow your consulting business and start hiring employees to balance the workload. The problem is… how do you know you are not employing the next Edward Snowden? Contractors who employ rogue employees or subcontractors are also facing a huge risk. Snowden, a former contractor for the US government leaked highly sensitive information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013.