The right vendor does not just come with low cost or years of experience. Discover how experts evaluate outsourcing companies with these top vendor selection criteria.
Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Software Outsourcing Partners
Admit it or not, outsourcing has been providing all types of organizations across all industries with a wide range of advantages that they would not otherwise have access to. Nowhere is more true than in the space of software development, where the benefits of outsourcing services have been well pronounced. In the early days, when software development outsourcing services were still young, they simply comprised the transfer of the entire software development process to a third-party provider. But over time, as the IT industry has grown and matured, so has the outsourcing model.
And today, there exists a variety of different types of software outsourcing services that organizations can take advantage of to achieve their specific business goals and objectives, such as custom software development, QA testing, dedicated development team, etc. Furthermore, outsourcing services now cover more ambitious scopes than just merely some sort of technical support and enhancement, ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, and DevOps to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and more. The diversity comes along with the responsiveness to the niche requirements of each project and client.
However, software outsourcing is not without obstacles. As you are about to hand over the development process to an IT vendor and have your project taken care of by an external team, there obviously must be some potential issues. But all can be settled properly if you are powered by the right outsourcing partner. That’s why trying to track down a good partner for outsourcing services is a nerve-wracking task for every outsourcing client. The debate around the topic of how to find the perfect outsourcing partner seems to go on forever because there will be no one-size-fits-all solution. Fortunately, it is hard but not unachievable if you boast this guide in your hands.
What Factors Should a Firm Consider Before Outsourcing?
In fact, many organizations, especially young ones, are being too hasty in finding potential outsourcing partners but ignoring the importance of carefully planning and strategizing the move; eventually, they end up with no success but time loss, additional expenditure, and, even worse, failure. Without a clear understanding of both your in-house capabilities and business goals, it would be challenging to draw up an outsourcing plan that hits the target right from the start. Also, it is not advisable to make a decision on outsourcing services purely based on cost considerations because cheap doesn’t always mean quality. To put it in another way, you should focus on value for money. Therefore, it is crucial to first sit down with your project manager and your team and analyze your current situation before making any further moves. Below are some main points that you must take into account before searching for an IT partner:
Your Business Objectives
Before you think of outsourcing anything, it would be better if you prepared a comprehensive plan with all the nitty-gritty details regarding your business needs and what competitive advantage you would like to reap from the partnership with a service provider. All the requirements and the scope of work that you would like to assign for the service provider will be crystal clear and should be documented on paper in a way that can be easily communicated and implemented by your team as well as the outsourcing firm. This will facilitate a two-way understanding of both your business objectives and their technical capabilities, making it easier to set realistic expectations from the get-go.
Your In-house Team’s Capabilities
Next, you also need to assess what your in-house team is capable of handling before deciding what to outsource services to an IT vendor. For example, if you have an in-house development team that is already working on a couple of other projects and is understaffed, it would make more sense to outsource the project to an external company rather than putting additional pressure on your employees. This will help you avoid any potential burnout and allow your team to focus on more important tasks. In opposition, if you have a large and experienced in-house team that is fully equipped to handle the project, then there might be no need to outsource it at all, or perhaps you only need to augment your IT staff.
Type of Outsourcing Services
Combining your objectives and your internal capabilities, you can come up with an idea of which specific outsourcing services you are in need of. Only at this point do you have enough information to drive an informed decision on the IT vendor specializing in the areas you require and which services to outsource, and which parts of the project to carry out in-house. For instance, if you are conducting a project of web application development, you should approach an outsourcing partner that has a strong background and solid experience in this domain. This will give you confidence that they can provide you with the necessary expertise and resources to accomplish the job right and on time.
Where to Outsource
A little while back, the rise of more alternative IT outsourcing destinations in Asia offered more options when it came to vendor selection. For example, a myriad of global companies prefers outsourcing to Vietnam as this country can offer the same level of quality but with better price and more competitive advantages compared to others. So, it is up to how you decide to outsource your project, such as nearshore or offshore, then you can come up with the most appropriate location that bears the lowest risk and delivers the highest value in each specific situation.
As mentioned earlier, cost should not be the only determining factor when choosing an outsourcing partner. However, you still need to have a realistic budget in mind before starting your search. This will help narrow down your options and make it easier for you to find a provider that fits both your business needs and budget. In most cases, high costs do not necessarily mean high quality and vice versa. Therefore, it is significantly important to balance these two factors if you want to reap the most from outsourcing. The clearer your big picture is, the easier and more precisely you can communicate your budget accordingly. When everything and everyone are on the same page, then it is the right time to hit the ground running and look for potential partners.
Practical Tips to Pick & Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner
Not only do you have to comply with the unwritten rules of dos and don’ts when choosing an outsourcing provider, but there are also a few tips you should keep in mind. These tips are meant for outsourcers to avoid any diversion from their goal and a relationship with the wrong outsourcing company. All right, let’s see what we got.
Utilize Agile Methodologies in the Development Process
In such a highly competitive IT market, the ability to quickly respond to and accommodate the always-changing requirements is the key to surpassing rivals and gaining competitive edges for any business. And that key lies within the agile methodologies, which enable you to break down your project into smaller tasks and deliverables for easier and better management. Moreover, the agile methodologies offer a highly collaborative environment in which the client and the service provider can work together to make changes, improve the quality of the project, and ensure timely delivery. In other words, agile development processes allow for a great deal of transparency, flexibility, and collaboration between all parties involved in the project. With all the benefits, the crucial tip here is to hire vendors who are well-versed in agile approaches and able to utilize them throughout the whole process to increase efficiency and avoid any potential delays or disruptions.
Verify Track Record & Expertise Level
It is one thing to claim that you are the best and another to actually prove it. Any vendor can talk about their expertise and experience, but what really counts is their track record. The best way to see whether or not they can back up their words with deeds is by looking closer at their portfolio of previous projects as well as the customer reviews. If they have successfully delivered similar projects in both scope and scale, then there is a good chance that they will be able to do the same for you. Furthermore, you should also inquire about the size as well as the seniority level of the project team who will work on your project. It would be even better if you could request a face-to-face meeting with the team members to get to know them and their working style better. Doing so will give you a chance to confirm that they have both the expertise and experience required to deliver a high-quality product that meets your expectations.
Compare Service Providers Side by Side
Do not rush into one outsourcing partner unless you have put them through an in-depth comparison with other shortlisted candidates. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of what each vendor has to offer in terms of services, quality, price, and, more importantly, whether or not they are the right fit for your business. Furthermore, such an approach will also give you more leverage in the negotiation process as you can quickly switch to another service provider if they fail to meet your expectations or deliver what they have committed.
Care about Data Security & Privacy
When outsourcing, you are sharing access to your business’ sensitive and confidential data with an outsider, which boasts a number of risks for data breaches. In order to mitigate these risks, you need to make sure that your provider has the necessary security measures in place. This includes having a robust data security policy, as well as ensuring that their employees are properly trained in data handling and protection.
Always Prepare for Changes
In any project, there are always some unforeseen changes and challenges along the way. No matter how well you have planned and prepared for the project, there is always a chance that something might go wrong. Consequently, it is a must to have a backup plan in place to deal with such situations. It is better prepared than sorry.
With these tips, you are stepping one step closer to your perfect-matched partner. Now, it’s your turn to start hunting down your own software outsourcing partner. Look no further because the best option – Orient Software – is already at your fingertips. Reach out to us for consultation and a free quote. We are here for you!
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