Outsourcing software development talent has fantastic benefits for businesses of all sizes, offering expertise on-demand.
However, the success of this process is heavily influenced by the amount of effort that is put in upfront. This offshoring strategy is likely to be far more successful when you consider the offshore team an extension of your delivery capability to customers, rather than merely a cost-saving opportunity.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what businesses should consider when selecting an overseas outsourcing solution.
1. Remember you are building a long-term partnership
Consider this process the forming of a long-term partnership. The benefits of offshore outsourcing really come into play after any initial communication and process issues have been resolved. This takes time and means that you may not get the most of your outsourcing initiative until you consider this a long-term partnership.
Like any other process, software development can be successfully outsourced but these offshore professionals will not immediately absorb your business strategy or fully understand your customer base. Delivering a one-off software product to your customer can be a challenge in itself, let alone balancing cost with quality over the long-term. This is where a dedicated and reliable off-shore software delivery process comes in.
Basically, the longer you spend cultivating this relationship, the greater the benefits for your business and your customers.
2. Keep hold of good developers
Good employees are hard to find; the same is true of your outsource staff. Once you find one then try hard to keep a hold of them. As we mentioned above, developing a high quality offshore software team requires time so once your outsourcing solution is delivering it makes sense to keep it in place.
It is important to ensure that any offshore outsourcing team feels like a valued and vital part of the organization, aware of the value they add to meeting strategy goals.
3. Choose a flexible outsourcing option
Of course, you cannot have as much influence over the retention of your outsource staff as you do your own internal employees, so it is vital that you are aware of how your outsourcing partner plans on retaining the key knowledge in their organization. It is important to ensure that they have a strong retention plan, with a robust strategy in place should personnel move on. This due diligence will help to develop your long-term partnership and ensure that your offshore software development solution is a success.
In some cases outsourcing companies provide two people for each role to step into place in the event of any personnel turnover. This is the sort of information that it is vital to know before you work together.
4. Start small
When switching any provider there are bound to be teething problems whether it is communication, technical or staffing issues. Developing trust with your offshore solution takes time; therefore, it is advisable to initially start with a small project that is not on the critical path. It is always best to ensure that any issues can be ironed out before an offshore software developer works on your organization’s core business.
5. Choose the right communication tools and techniques for your business
There are plenty of products that can aid communication with remote teams, trial a few of them to ensure that they work within the new process and are a good fit for your business. Some are better at informal communication, while others are better at logging everything. The perfect communication tool will depend on your business.
Again, you will need to invest time to ensure that you have the right set of tools in place to reduce misunderstandings and the volume of email traffic, and to provide the right insight when it is needed.
A full-time in-house software developer won’t be the answer for every business; for many, an offshore solution makes far more sense. We can provide the insight necessary to make your move to outsourced software development a success.
Chris Clarke regularly works with teams in the UK, Eastern Europe and India to support NZ technology firms when they have peaks in development demand or require new applications to be built.