Collaborating with an external team to deliver a work product can be frightening. There is a plethora of options when it comes to software development companies, and that’s why you want to ensure that you’re equipped with the right information to help you select the best partner. These questions can help you with that.
Modern society is more connected than ever before. Technology has enabled collaboration and communication on a scale that was previously unimaginable. It might prove to be challenging and expensive to onboard the individuals needed to develop the product you have in mind, but IT outsourcing enables you to do the following:
Tap into a global pool of expertise
You are no longer limited to just the individuals who are willing to work in your region. When you open up your software development project to global talent, you unlock new perspectives and international best practices that are capable of catapulting your business into the stratosphere.
Focus on your business’s core competencies
Imagine you were a professional footballer, playing in the Premier League – but before each game, you had to go out and mow the lawn to prepare the pitch. A little ludicrous, isn’t it? That’s not your job – and it shouldn’t have to be. In the very same way, if your companies core operation does not involve software development, then it shouldn’t have to be something that you need to worry about. Outsourcing services allow you to free up your valuable resources and do what your business does best, whether it’s men’s grooming or social sporting events.
Save on operational costs
Perhaps the perfect employee or group of employees lives within the vicinity of your company’s headquarters. Great! There are still a few factors to consider, though: the onboarding of new employees is expensive; acquiring the relevant infrastructure for your project can also be time-consuming and costly.
Your business needs to leverage its capital in a manner that will most effectively provide you with a competitive advantage. Investing in IT personnel and infrastructure when that may not be your core competency means allocating capital that might otherwise have been used to improve efficiency when it comes to your business’s central focus areas.
Save time and reduce risk
Subject matter experts will be better placed to execute on a software development project. They are the ones who are presumably most knowledgeable when it comes to best practices and considerations.
By consulting with a professional software development team, one might save time that would be allocated towards training and onboarding new employees. You would also reduce the risk of purchasing the necessary resources and then either compromising liquidity or being unable to put the tools to their best use.
4 TOP Questions to ask when looking into IT outsourcing
Do you have examples of your previous work products, especially those similar to mine?
Software development services are not a one-size-fits-all group of outsourcing services. It is essential to your project to determine whether your potential IT outsourcing partner has any industry-specific experience – especially in your industry.
Naturally, software development requirements in the financial services industry are much different from those in the hospitality industry, and a company that acknowledges the fact that they are better equipped to develop solutions within a specific niche, are more likely to be reliable.
Be sure to assess the quality of their previous work. Consider testimonials from clients to which they have previously delivered outsourcing services. One good sign of a reliable partner is the willingness to share the names of clients who have previously been satisfied by their work.
How much is this going to cost us?
It is said that comparison is the thief of joy – but in this case, it might be the one act that saves you from a tremendous headache in the execution of your project. Although cutting costs and increasing the bottom line might have been one of the reasons behind your company’s decision to outsource, it is important to not fall into the rabbit hole of simply opting for the lowest price when considering a partner for their outsourcing services. What are the additional services provided in the execution of the project? What kind of post-development support does the company offer?
Once you have done the sufficient due-diligence, decide which one of your IT outsourcing options are best suited to provide you the appropriate value for your money – but the key here is that you need to look at multiple options. Have a look at what a costing model can look like here on clutch profile.
What kind of outsourcing services contract are you going to commit to? Will you use a fixed-price contract or opt for an hourly rate? Perhaps there is a management fee or a cost per resource depending on the scale of the product and what the IT outsourcing partner is expected to develop. Investigate what the scope and cost of the project are expected to be.
What collaboration tools do you use during the project?
Communication is the apex of any software development project, let alone a project where you might be working with a team from halfway across the world. Establish the channels through which you will collaborate with your IT outsourcing partner, and whether your team members are proficient in those platforms.
Typically, project management platforms like Redbooth and Asana are popular for a wide range of unspecialized projects. Jira is a project management tool created specifically for software development projects. It provides you with oversight on the progress of deliverables and allows for streamlined reporting.
For meetings, Zoom and Skype are examples of video conferencing platforms that might be used to engage your partners and productively work through your project. To further enhance the in-project communication, some organizations might opt to use Slack for day to day contact, and limit emails to more formal communication and requests.
One sure red flag is if your potential partner is not clear on how often they would look to communicate with you. It is important to be able to determine the progress of a project and ask the questions that might allow you to elicit more information and respond in an agile manner. If you cannot make a reasonable estimation as to how your product is expected to develop over the life cycle of the project, then consider that a red flag.
What are the roles and expectations of each party for the duration of the project?
Accountability is one of the aspects that are essential to the success of IT outsourcing collaboration. Who is going to manage the project team? Perhaps you might want to consider having more oversight, which would be offered in the Staff Augmentation Model. Alternatively, you might only want to liaise with the person in charge of the development team.
Expectations also encapsulate the offering that one might expect from the project partner. Outsourcing partner should ensure that your product is developed with the correct market fit. Still, it is not unusual for IT outsourcing companies to hastily offer to build a Minimum Viable Product without having conducted any research, prototype testing, or determining the scope and vision of the project with you.
The core message that you should take away is that collaboration in software development is no easy feat. Sufficient due diligence will put you in the best position to come away with a product that you are happy with at the end of the project. No two IT outsourcing companies are built the same, but some are better suited to your needs than others.
We hope that you find a partner that works for you!
Related article of interest: “What is Information Technology (IT)?“