How to Choose an Offshore Partner for Outsourcing Software Development
Outsourcing software development to an offshore development business may seem to be a scary prospect.
The following guidelines may assist you in making this selection by allowing you to verify that prospective software development outsourcing partners match the requirements outlined below.
One of the most critical variables is the development's quality
The majority of businesses prefer secure, dependable long-term relationships and expect the same level of quality that their in-house developers provide.
In fact, though, a new offshore partner always carries the danger of the exact opposite.
As the CEO of a long-standing outsourcing software development company, I know how difficult, if not impossible, it is for a business (for example, an IT company in Europe or the United States) to be absolutely certain that a potential new partner in India, China, Russia, or elsewhere can truly deliver top quality.
However, the following suggestions may assist you in developing fruitful business connections with offshore development organizations.
The initial step should be to do an internet search for the prospective firm.
Check the year of their domain registration, since some offshore organizations claim to have around ten years of expertise on their website, but their domain was just registered the previous year.
Additionally, it is critical to categorize all offshore software development providers into two categories: developer groups and reputable organizations with a brand name and reputation. You should be mindful of who you are dealing with from the outset.
Developer communities are insecure and often unreliable. Their skill is tough to assess since the quality differs significantly amongst different developers.
If a talented developer quits the team in the midst of a project, it is probable that timelines and development quality will suffer dramatically.
Developer groups charge less than true offshore outsourcing organizations, and although they may work effectively for small-scale projects (USD 1,000 to 10,000), they sometimes vanish abruptly.
Developer groups often market themselves as dependable and experienced professionals with extensive work experience.
If you just have a few minor projects to outsource, I strongly advise you to consider collaborating with a group of developers. If you do thorough research and choose the appropriate organization, this may be a very cost-effective alternative.
However, if you're looking for someone to build a major project that will take three months or more to complete, I strongly advise you to deal with a reputable offshore firm rather than a group of developers.
The complications that might arise from a development group departing in the middle of a project, failing to meet your deadlines, or failing to produce the high quality you want are just not worth the cost savings.
To mitigate this danger, I propose that you outsource any substantial projects or long-term development to select reputable, established organizations (good references, big clients, good reputation online, older domain name, etc.).
These firms often have well-organized software development processes in place and are well-known for adhering to current software development techniques and best practices.
Rather than freelancing or working in small groups of workers, the most competent software engineers often work for established firms.
When confronted with difficult projects or uncommon jobs, working in a firm has the advantage of always having someone to turn to for guidance on a particular technical issue.
This is only one of the reasons why businesses constantly provide higher-quality products.
Several other factors to consider:
1. If a service provider provides you with a price and timeline for the project but does not offer a thorough estimate of the time and expenses associated with the various activities, you are entirely correct in raising concerns about the partner's qualifications.
This kind of business may be unable to fulfill deadlines or produce high-quality software solutions.
2. Testing should always be a part of development. Testing and issue fixing may account for up to 50% of the total duration of a project's implementation.
A seasoned and competent firm understands the critical nature of thorough testing in the creation of complicated projects and implements the essential quality assurance methods.
3. Examine the firm's portfolio. I strongly advise you to seek for a firm that has previously built projects comparable to the one for which you are seeking to outsource.
The firm that best meets your demands is likely to be one that specializes in the industry in which your project falls.
Do not prioritize the lowest price. Please remember that you get what you pay for.
If a firm provides a cheap pricing, it is possible that they are utilizing young developers instead than senior or mid-level workers.
Another explanation may be that you are working with freelancers or developer groups that operate from home and so avoid the overhead costs associated with running a business.
Additionally, I recommend you to avoid entering into a commercial connection with a new partner prematurely (a policy that I follow myself as well).
Begin by addressing any concerns or specifics that arise and agreeing on a model and working style that works for both sides. Following the tips above will ensure that you choose an offshore software development center that will serve as a long-term business partner.
Another area of concern for many customers is communication. Even when two individuals speak the same language, miscommunications are inevitable.
When various languages and cultures are involved, the chance of misunderstandings grows exponentially. When different preferences and ways of communication are involved, the risk of misunderstandings increases enormously.
It is insufficient to have English-speaking connections at your new Offshore Development Center.
The business should have a communication system in place that facilitates collaboration using suitable technologies, such as problem tracking systems, conference call scheduling, and Skype conversations. Professional firms are often very skilled in establishing efficient communication techniques.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we must tackle source code security and intellectual property protection, since these issues can potentially become the most critical of all.
When a business wants to outsource software development and the generated software is based on existing source code, it is critical that the source code and any client information stay secure.
Since a result, I do not encourage working with groups of developers when sensitive material is involved, as these developers cannot provide adequate intellectual property protection and their reputation is not as valuable to them as it is to a huge corporation.
For instance, as the company's CEO, I sign NDAs with all of my engineers. This, I feel, is the proper strategy for every business. Please certain that you inquire about your service provider's policy on non-disclosure agreements for all workers.