Any company can outsource software, but only a well-managed company can outsource ICT quickly and efficiently. In poorly organized companies, ICT outsourcing can only exacerbate the problems of software conversion. At the same time, practice shows that you should not expect internal managers to have a special experience, for example, in converting software from scratch to such a complex process as offshore software development.
However, if you get suck externa firms can help you find an offshore development center for you with the right placement of experienced external experts, which will help to ensure balance in the organization and consolidate the expertise in your own company.
Offshoring is more than a one-time client-vendor relationship, it is a relationship that yields the greatest long-term benefits. The golden rule is to offshore as much as possible, let them not only program but also write specifications, design, run tests and create test data. As a result, data grows overseas and the more data, the easier it is to manage from your own organization.
Also, remember that an offshore company reflects our organization in some way. When our organization shows unpredictable behaviour, our offshore company also becomes unpredictable. In other words; If we don’t respect offshore, we won’t either.
Place clear goals onshore and offshore
Its main task is to govern at sea, and at sea to build trusting relationships with clear goals. Therefore, we must direct all efforts to increase mutual trust:
- Stimulate personal contacts as a project manager.
- As a client, plan clear goals.
- Remain a predictable organization.
- As the contact person, encourage the respect of the parties through clear communication.
Manage ICT costs and offshore projects
Offshoring is a learning process, we must learn to manage these projects and IT costs. Offshore projects must be successful.
Offshoring basic design
Start small – The larger the project, the greater the likelihood of failure. Thus, it is most practical to start small if we rather think about the amount between 20,000 and 200,000 euros.
Build the learning process in the organization – This means that our own permanent staff should be involved in the project and that we can then start new projects with this core of experienced people.
Active involvement of management – In addition, establish a steering group and consult regularly with all stakeholders. Much is written about the choice of offshore projects, but in practice, it takes little effort to choose one or more projects that we can implement externally. So, the first project is usually an extension or replacement of an existing system.
Important considerations when setting up an offshore project
Select an important system, the goal is to get a real learning experience. However, the system should not have too many interfaces with other mobile systems.
If we outsource the maintenance of an existing system, we must ensure a “clean break”. From a certain point, we are not allowed to perform maintenance procedures inside the system, because all maintenance must be performed externally.
Pick your staff carefully. Interviewing, adventure and commitment are significant success factors.
Choose a system company with experience
As a large company, it makes sense to work with several offshore companies. This speeds up the learning process. This is a best practice that keeps offshore system development companies competitive and prices competitive.
Offshore startups are attractive, but it is better that they gain experience from another client. Therefore, decide on a systems development company with experience. Experienced offshore companies usually have a greater ability to solve problems than start-up companies, they have experience working with large Western companies. In this choice, it is important:
Choose a clear point of contact with the authorities
The structure of many offshore companies is unclear. For example, in Europe, there is a broker or trading organization with unclear tasks and powers. We are often approached by companies with offshore branches. They also depend on the cooperation of subsidiaries or the parent company. The larger the software company, the more references it can provide.
Choose a clear communication structure
Very important is how easy it is for software developers to communicate with the people who have to do the work. Is it simple, do you immediately understand what needs to be done, do you ask the appropriate questions? And are we sure that it is someone who is doing or managing the work, or is it just an intermediary?
Systems are used
- An offshore company should have systems in place.
- Version and change management.
- Estimating software, including delivery protocols.
- Project management and procedures.
Offshore issues that led to availability and time difference
Time difference and accessibility are not significant at first. But at some point, it can turn into an insurmountable obstacle and related problems.
With India and China, direct communication is possible, especially at the beginning of the day. It can be seen at sea, but it means that all questions will have to wait until the end of the day. As seen in Europe, it also means that any problems that arise after 9 am and 11 am can only be solved the next day.
What to look for when choosing and what not to look for?
The company has a nice office
Great, but we don’t want beautiful offices, we want software. For beautiful offices, we pay twice: office expenses + salary increase for employees.
Experience with a specific technology
When we hire employees on a temporary basis, we want people who can be engaged immediately. However, in the offshore market it doesn’t matter. All modern developed environments are very similar, they are much faster than the average Dutch programmer can quickly become familiar with another technology. In addition, there is enough time between the creation of functional specifications and the start of programming to familiarize yourself with the development environment
We need to involve the right online point of a specific company, only the technical knowledge of our offshore partner. Domain knowledge with our partners is only relevant if we are not only engaged in IT development, but the entire business process is moving.