Recent surveys clearly suggest that cost savings are a low priority when it comes to outsourcing. Instead, businesses outsource in order to access skills. According to Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019, skills shortages are at an all-time high with 67% struggling to find the right talent. The top three scarcest skills are big data/analytics, cyber security and AI.
Outsourcing software development can be riddled with pitfalls and finding an outsourced provider that delivers a good match against organisational requirements and culture is essential. Some key points to consider when hiring include:
Outsourced development teams are structured to meet a company’s particular needs. Where companies are simply looking to ramp up development capacity a generalist model may make sense, while organisations looking to innovate could opt for a specialist team that covers cutting-edge tech.
The team can employ experts from a wide range of technological specialisms. The optimal team composition is the one that allows to successfully deliver even the most complex project requirements.
There is, however, a point in any outsourcing relationship where a project is finished – and knowledge must be transferred to the client. Or to another technology partner that will pick up the baton.
Absent knowledge transfer there is a risk that the lost knowledge can so deeply undermine the success of a development project that the entire outsourcing exercise accounts for little. Importantly, knowledge transfer should account for both explicit knowledge (documented in data, records, files) and tacit knowledge (the experience, understanding, and competence of a team).
It’s unlikely that an informal knowledge transfer process will be comprehensive enough, instead a formal step-by-step process will bring the best results:
Some knowledge will inevitably be lost, but organisations embarking on outsourced software development can always capture the most essential knowledge by following a planned, comprehensive transfer process.
Top-tier software development firms will deliver excellent management skills, but that does not mean that clients can sit back passively.
Instead, for maximum success in any software development project organisations must closely manage offsite teams. We suggest five essential points to consider in order to avoid many common challenges:
Offshore teams have a large degree of independence but must nonetheless be managed as if there is a degree of proximity. After all, an offshore team is tasked with building something that brings success for your business.
That said, successful team composition, as well as knowledge transfer, depends on both sides: the client and the outsourcing partner – as does the success of outsourced software development. ELEKS is a long-standing expert in outsourced software development. To find out how we can produce class-leading results for your software development project, simply get in touch.
The breadth of knowledge and understanding that ELEKS has within its walls allows us to leverage that expertise to make superior deliverables for our customers. When you work with ELEKS, you are working with the top 1% of the aptitude and engineering excellence of the whole country.