No one should deny that outsourcing IT can bring several benefits to a company. But no one also should forget about the challenges that come with software outsourcing. Hiring a company that deals with software development projects can become our support towards achieving success. Unfortunately, the process isn’t associated only with advantages, as many challenges occur at every stage of the outsourcing service – starting with the selection of the company, through the implementation development process, up to the delivery of the final product.
Problem 1: The company selection is a key to success
Right from the beginning, the problem we observe is the choice of a partner based only on the price of the service. Unfortunately, for many businesses executives choosing an outsourcing partner focuses mostly on the cheapest offer. We have to remember that a well-performing final product is a key to success.
The belief in getting the highest quality for the lowest price may be misleading and illusory, resulting in the apparent savings causing hiccup for a very long time. Ultimately, this can have not only financial but also reputational consequences for the company. Although costs are a high priority issue, when choosing a partner we should also evaluate and compare other issues that are crucial for our product. Before choosing the right outsourcing IT company carefully do your research. Pay particular attention to:
- Experience – years of experience can make a big difference in how smoothly the work on your project will proceed. If a company doesn’t have the right professional background but previously has done projects for your industry and can show off similar products, then that’s a good sign.
- Testimonials and customer feedback – as in any industry, the more positive and satisfied customers the software house has, the better for you!
- Technologies they work in – pay attention to if they align with your product vision and can provide technological background for your expectations.
In addition to all of the above aspects, when possible it’s worth visiting the company’s headquarters to experience the atmosphere yourself. Note the communication between employees. An employee-friendly place allows them to fully focus on the work that they will be doing soon for you.
Well-done research will narrow down your choices quite a bit and make it easier for you to avoid working with an inexperienced company whose product won’t meet your expectations.
Problem 2: Communication difficulties
Working with an outside company comes with many communication challenges. Business owners decide to outsource development offshore because are not capable of having an in-house development team. But often, in addition to geographical or language barriers, we see differences in the culture of the organization, which can cause many misunderstandings and obstacles in the workflow process. The key to this problem is to ensure continuity of communication. Discuss with your business partner how would you like the service to be, who will be responsible for project management. Find out how developers usually work, when and with what tools you will be contacting them and with the project manager to discuss the progress of the project. If there are differences in time zone, make sure that the contact won’t suffer and you will be kept informed about the progress regularly. Make certain that the software outsourcing companies you consider have the Quality Assurance team to check the code quality.
Don’t skip this step and make sure it fits with your vision. Creating a clear information flow will help you avoid any problems. An experienced third-party outsourcing company certainly can help you design a detailed plan of action.
Problem 3: Unclear objectives and poor product specifications
The success of a project can be compromised by a vague indication to an outside company of what we want. We cannot treat the project specification as a sideline. If we don’t know how the finished product has to look like, we can’t expect an outsourcing partner will fulfill our blurry vision. Make sure you are clear about the goals of the product and the accuracy of your expectations. Think about the match between the product and your customers and the importance of the features. Just because you’ve seen a cool feature somewhere doesn’t mean you also need it in your product. If the product doesn’t fit your customers, it probably won’t be successful.
The vision of the finished product is as important as the components that make it up. Before signing the contract, make sure you provide the basic requirements of the project, confront your vision with the development team, and take their suggestions into account. By preparing a digital product specification for outsourcing, the final product will be enough for an external development company to choose the right solutions to meet your expectations. The delivered product should work properly not only at the moment of project delivery. If you already know that in the future you are going to extend the product, be sure to inform the outsourcing partner about it.
Problem 4: Ambiguous costs
Nothing can spoil cooperation like sudden information about additional costs. To avoid disappointment, ask at the very beginning of the partnership about any costs that could increase. Find out how to handle any billings and overtime hours that weren’t included in the software project estimated completion time. Be sure that all of these arrangements are written into the contract and set a notification interval for changes.
Problem 5: Concerns about data security
The final major problem that faces companies choosing to outsource software development services is taking care of the organization’s data security. To take care of confidential information and intellectual property, several steps need to be taken. Experienced software development partners can propose solutions that reduce this threat to zero. Be sure to share your concerns as well as any regulations the third-party provider should be aware of. It’s also necessary to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that will ensure your company protects confidential business data.
Guarantee for success in outsourcing
Outsource software development is quite a challenge. On the way to product development success, there may occur some problems – from misunderstandings in communication to mistakes regarding technology. Yet, it’s not the whole list of possible problems. The key to success is to choose the right IT supplier and determine the course of collaboration in detail. If you take care of all aspects of cooperation, you will not only avoid problems but also receive a high-quality final product.