Every person running a business will not all have the same talent and nor should things be that way. For the skills that every business does not possess or does not have time to do then the best option is outsourcing. Software development is a common area of business that is outsourced to third parties across the globe.
Software development outsourcing can be considered as having a third party handle any or all their IT needs from cybersecurity to app maintenance. Some organizations may be a bit hesitant to outsource software development, but it is all about finding the right partner and knowing the true pros and cons. It comes down to proper planning and strategy, vetting potential partners, and executing proper practices when project building.
Planning and Strategy Needed to Outsource Software Development
Several actions can be taken before selecting potential IT partners. First thing is to be clear on what the needs of the business are that should be passed on to a third party. What part of the project requires skills that the business lacks? Those needed skills needed should be what to look for in a potential partner.
Outsourcing models can help determine how outsourcing projects will be conducted. Sometimes the business outsourcing the work may be still involved and present during the process.
There are also times where third parties have plenty of control over how a task is executed. A business should understand the three models of outsourcing and apply what works best for their unique projects.
Staff augmentation allows the business to retain some control of the project based on requirements and directions. This is normal in most freelancing scenarios where the business has requirements, they provide to a third party in return for a finished project or milestone.
A dedicated team could be a more collaborative approach as the business works more closely with the third party to complete the project. The business will typically still give direction but then also offer some support in task completion.
The project-based model consists of the third party likely having full responsibility in completing the project. Many outsourcers work on this model as well but usually after a build trust with their clients.
Once a business is certain about what its approach to outsourcing should be then a strategy can be determined.
Planning out the project consist of a strategy that will map out the process. Out tasking and multi-sourcing are common strategies businesses follow. In either strategy is establishing some milestones or KPIs important.
Out-tasking involves outsourcing certain parts of the project where a particular skill set is needed. Multi-sourcing is more like a project having multiple people responsible but only in their certain assigned areas based on their skills.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to outsource a project. What is important is having a plan in place so choosing a software development partner is much easier and efficient.
Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner
Selecting a person or company that will be an IT partner to a business is driven by far more than just the price. It is not wise to decide on an outsourced software developer simply based on what they charge.
The Eastern Hemisphere may have lower prices than the Western Hemisphere but that does not mean that correlates with skill. STEM education is influenced in that part of the world and numerous graduates occur annually. Therefore, price is not a key indicator of the right fit.
In addition to relevant skills, a good candidate will be able to communicate in their client’s language, be flexible, and maintain the privacy and security of their client’s information and content.
Typical Concerns That is No Need to Worry About
A concern for many is alternate time zones if working with software developers globally. There are some outsource companies that offer 24/7 customer support to ease these concerns. English-speaking businesses do not have to worry about possible language barriers as many international software developers have chosen English as a second language. Countries outside of Europe like India and Ukraine have made learning the English language a priority.
Actions to Take Upon Choosing an Outsourcing Partner
Whether a business takes a collaborative approach or gives the third party plenty of creative control, there is still proper planning and communication that must happen.
Interacting with the Outsourcing Partner
Regular meetings should take place to establish an open line of communication. Both parties must give effective communication by being honest, avoid being misleading or too vague, and avoid withholding feedback. If working with an outsourcing partner for a longer period, then requested reports should be provided with information showing progress.
Larger corporations should have their legal team informed of any business dealings with international software developers. Attorneys can make sure the business stays compliant with any guidelines for outsourcing globally.
Contingency plans should be in place just in case things do not work out for any reason. There should be a backup plan of how any software development projects get completed.
Software Development Will Only Grow
The software outsourcing market is currently hundreds of billions of dollars. The growth will continue as common digital trends like virtual reality and artificial intelligence will expand in the years to come. Avoid the common myths of software development outsourcing that looks at third party development as a short-term solution.
It is not a cheaper, lack of control kind of option to hire within the global talent pool. It can become a permanent approach for software development in a business. Therefore, businesses should do due diligence to get the best software developer to outsource projects.