Software Outsourcing: How to not make it go wrong!
on December 21st,2016
As the name goes, outsourcing literally means sourcing it outside the defined circle. The word ‘outsourcing’ has gained more popularity today than ever. With the globalisation of the IT industry and the knowledge aps being bridged with constant technology updates readily available across the globe, the only factor in concern is the expense involved in the development of software.
To effectively use the resources and the investment available it has become the trend to outsource the software development and investment with a very calculated and efficient plan. Most companies in the west leverage the up-to-the-market knowledge & the cheaper labour costs in the east to outsource the software development.
Technically, outsourcing is a practice where an individual (freelancer in this case) and/or a company performs the tasks involved in providing the services required for the development of the required software for the client.
Insourcing vs. Outsourcing
Outsourcing in most cases today is the process of routing across work to an external party for the probable reasons of cost, time and resource saving. On the other hand is insourcing where the same tasks are routed to the professionals working within the firm and hence saving on spending additional money for getting the work done from outside sources (abroad in most cases).
The decision to insource or outsource the work varies from company to company, and hence there is no general recommendation when it comes to insourcing vs. outsourcing. However, it is recommended while making a decision consider the cost, resource, and time involved, and the most effective way of using them to your optimum benefit.
Why does Outsourcing work?
There can be multiple reasons why outsourcing works. Here are a few to list:
  • Save on the cost
  • Save on time
  • When the in-house experience lacks
  • To promote flexibility
  • To leverage talented IT professionals without having to hire them full-time
  • For a more focused strategy
  • For Improvement in compliance
  • To enhance the accuracy
  • To leverage advanced technology
  • For mitigating the risks involved
  • A modern and diverse skillset can be leveraged
  • Avoid the hiring mistakes
  • Leverage your strenghts
Mistakes made while Outsourcing Software Development!
When outsourcing your work to a foreign country, most the eastern countries with cheaper labour and non-English speaking natives, there are some very basic, yet extremely crucial problems faced. Here are a few to list:
The language barrier
Any outsourced project requires a smooth flowing conversation between the two parties involved, hence a communication barrier can result to huge losses in terms of work output, labour and time.
Quantity over quality
Sometimes while making these executive decisions of outsourcing, in order to work on a tight budget and timelines, companies outsource major part of the project where they get promised quick delivery in lesser cost.
Before falling for that bait, it is important to consider quality over quantity. Only make choices for outsourcing the software developments to firms that offer quality work in optimum time and cost.
Transition Faux
One of the major challenges faced by Multinationals and also start-ups while outsourcing work is the problems/ faults faced during the transition. Most big outsourcing projects are divide into multiple stages of transition, keeping in mind the time-work-cost ratio. However, there are high chances of these transitions having faults or problems that are unaccounted for.
Verification of the Outsourcing form
When outsourcing the work, trust is a major factor. Trying to establish a professional network in a completely new company and place can be risky when the necessary background checks are not performed before outsourcing the work and handling payments. This is one of the most necessary steps while setting up and outsourcing project.
How to avoid Software Outsourcing Disasters?
There are chances of the outsourcing projects going kaput. However, as man has it for the evolution of centuries, every foreseen trouble can be avoided by taking the necessary steps beforehand. There are some pointers mentioned below which can be executed by both the parties so as to make sure the project does not fail. Here are a few ways to avoid Software Outsourcing Disasters:
Ensuring the vendor understands the information correctly
Most projects have suffered failure due to the incompetence of the vendors. Hence it becomes highly imperative to collect appropriate information and escalate it to the vendors so as to avoid any failures due to the vendor incompetency.
Making an agreeable and achievable time and budget frame
However the much one wants to optimise the time and budget, goals set should always be achievable and not the kind that puts pressure on the client or the outsourced to compromise on quality or quantity.
Due importance should be given to the process and design
As a client, the company should have utmost clarity on the designs and the process of the software that they want to outsource for development. At the same time the company taking the outsourced responsibility should also have a clear understanding on the asked for design and process, so as to deliver successfully as per the client requirement.
Success metrics should be well defined
It becomes the responsibility of the client to set well defined success metrics and goals, which need to be adhered to by the company taking up the outsourcing work. At the same time, once the project is received by the firm, they should set up internal success metrics before cascading the finished work to the client. This ensures a smooth process.
Engaging a right skill set team
This is vital to both the client and the company taking the outsourcing work- know the skills needed in the people involved to complete the project, and engage them appropriately with a clear understanding of requirements and responsibilities.
To Conclude
Outsourcing is one of the most efficient processes involved in software development. However, when not executed properly it can come with its own set of challenges. Using the best practices and standards can ensure a smooth flowing and timely delivery of required work.