Will Outsourcing IT Development work for me?
Out sourcing is not for every IT project. If your project needs very high involvement of your domain experts, requirements are changing a million times, you are in stealth mode and want to work on the project only by yourself, then outsourcing may not work for you.
For all the rest, out sourcing should and would work, if done properly. The caveat is “if done properly”. Let us explore how to do outsourcing properly by trying to address a series of commonly asked queries and stated opinions.
“I want to develop a product. Will outsourcing work?”
Product Thinking is a rare commodity. Most teams will be able to execute what is being set out in the requirements, but are unable to think beyond. Choose a team that has experience in building products and will be able to add value to your product.
For instance, a customer of ours wanted to develop a product which will protect teenagers from getting involved with unscrupulous elements online by identifying the person with whom they are interacting with. The go-to-market strategy was to target anxious parents who want to spin a web of protection around their teenage kids. With our experience in building products on our own, we suggested that teens were naturally against any thing that is imposed on them. Instead, we said it would be better to target the teens themselves and make them the evangelists for the product. The client initiated a study based on this recommendation and found that teens are more willing to use the product if they make the choice on their own. We brought in many tweaks to the product so that it appealed to the teens.
“IT is core to my business. I can’t outsource it”
But let us re-think. Your core IT systems are your bread and butter today. Most companies have intense focus on today’s bread and butter leaving no time to think about tomorrow. Outsource your today and start working on your tomorrow. This will make sure that you always stay ahead in this ultra-competitive world. This is in a way redefining your core as tomorrow and not today.
Ideas2IT helped one of its customers to undertake such an exercise recently. The customer was growing rapidly and was on-boarding multiple clients on their system. This kept their entire IT team busy. The senior leadership was worried that their inability to invest time into newer developments may lead to them losing their competitive advantage in the market. Ideas2IT worked with the customer and took on the entire maintenance, support and enhancements of their current core IT systems. This has now enabled them to completely focus on future innovations helping them succeed on wining more clients and securing enough funding on the promise of tomorrow backed by a completely dependable partner in Ideas2IT protecting their today.
“For the time I spent with my outsourced team to bring them up to speed, I could have done it internally at half the time”
This is something we hear a lot, even from seasoned outsourcers. So let us ask ‘Why?’.
Your application might need intensive business knowledge for development. Since the key here is business knowledge, it would be better for you to invest upfront on transitioning the same to your dev partners. Getting offshore resources onsite for working along with the existing team for a period of time before they start work at offshore will definitely help. You will have to measure this investment against the long term gains and decide whether it makes sense to outsource. And it is all the more important to identify the right team as all this investment will go up in thin air if the team you are working with is not the right team.
“I don’t have this niche skill set internally. How do I execute this project?”
If your quest for outsourcing is to get niche skills, identify the right partner. You will need a partner who will be willing to work with you as a consultant and help you identify the right solution instead of treating it as a project and taking it up on the stated scope of work. Selection of such a partner by itself might become an arduous task if you don’t have the skills internally. Ideas2IT encourages its customers to start the engagement with a proof of concept, giving both the customer and us time to date before marriage. This takes out the ambiguity in selecting the development partner who will be the right fit.
A large industrial engineering products conglomerate wanted to build a recommendation engine for their online store in the lines of B2C eCommerce websites. They had no in house data science skills and chose to partner with Ideas2IT for a small POC. Ideas2IT Data Scientists analyzed the existing data and found that a B2C ecom kind of approach may not be the right fit. We recommended along with the market basket analysis, we should also do collaborative filtering and a constraint based dependent product identification for an effective solution. Our skills gained by working across the industry give us the edge to cross pollinate the ideas which would otherwise be difficult to access with a purely internal team.
“Will offshoring keep me awake at night?”
This really depends. If your requirements are well defined and your offshore team can work independently with very few touch points, you can have a 100% offshore team. We have customers who get on a call only twice during the sprint – launch and wind-up. All the rest of the interaction is via emails. The customer is able to clearly spell out the requirements and our team is able independently build what is required for the customer.
When the requirements are a bit dicey and you are looking for combined discussions to happen and decisions to be made every day, you can opt for an offshore team that would work on an overlap shift so that they are available part of the time on your working hours. This really helps when there are day to day changes and also during the engagement kick off stage.
The other very popular model is to have a member of the offshore team at onsite to act as a project coordinator between the two teams. Many projects adopt this model and have offshore resources come onsite in turns. That way, they get to meet most of the team and are comfortable dealing with them when they are offshore. The offshore team also gets the exposure to the thick of actions and are able to better relate to the business.
Outsourcing is not the silver bullet for all your needs. You may want not to outsource due to multiple reasons. But if you select the right team, the benefits of outsourcing will far outweigh your other concerns. We at Ideas2IT have been adding value to enterprises and startups alike by becoming their extended team. We bring in rich experience as we have executed more than 200 projects. You can reap multiple benefits by outsourcing, a few listed below.
- Cost Arbitrage
- Core Focus
- Flexible resource pool
- Niche Skills
- Around the clock availability
- Rich Gene Pool enabling cross pollination.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you have not outsourced your IT development before and are still feeling apprehensive on doing it for the first time or you have outsourced but still find it difficult to realize all the tall claims on the benefits outsourcing, do drop us a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are sure we can work with you, allay your fears and help you reap all the benefits that outsourcing has to offer.