Software outsourcing in Asia has long since become quite popular with international clientele, owing to many positive driving factors. For one, the advent of cloud computing has transformed how software solution companies build, sell and upgrade their software. On the other hand, real-time collaboration tools make it possible for clients to coordinate with software development companies without having to worry about document duplication or time zone differences, thereby creating a continuous feedback loop for efficient delivery.
Likewise, at EFutures we deliver software outsourcing in Sri Lanka and internationally, while expanding our focus on multiple industries and business volumes. With highly skilled teams custom built for each client’s individual needs, our software development and outsourcing services emphasise on deliverables that are of high quality, while being timely and scalable at the same time.
As the business landscape gets crowded with multiple brands all vying for the same customer’s attention, organisations are under great pressure to deliver products of true consumer value, and at the right time, that too. A failure to do so can only lead to competitors serving your ideal customer base, causing depletion of brand awareness and even an impact on your company’s bottom line. With competition so fierce in the market, it is imperative to ensure excellence in quality, while streamlining omnichannel communication so that customers have multiple modes of reaching out.
Rising competition has also led to greater challenges surrounding cost efficiencies. With software outsourcing offering a plethora of benefits to suit growing businesses, many organisations have now jumped on the bandwagon. Here, we discuss the pros of software outsourcing, as well as the cons that exist in due course – and how they can be circumvented for a productive software outsourcing experience.
This has always been one of the biggest reasons why the first companies to opt for software outsourcing, have taken the plunge. While this reason still rings true today, it isn’t the only influencing factor since quality cannot be compromised in due course of saving some money – especially in this day and age of tough competition. However, a reduction of costs tends to naturally happen when other responsibilities associated with managing a software team are offloaded to a software outsourcing company.
By having a software development team in-house, your organisation needs to incur multiple costs – from hiring the right talent, to onboarding and provisioning for all their needs as per the laws that govern your state and country. Add to this the costs incurred by purchasing or renting furniture, office space and technology infrastructure – and you have an entire department that doesn’t only demand financial commitments, but a managerial one too.
With software outsourcing, your organisation need not worry about this, since your software outsourcing agency will do the needful to hire, manage, retain and compensate your offshore team – while you get to solely focus on supervising the development of your new software.
When hiring an in-house team, your organisation will be bound by geographical and legal constraints during recruitment, either because regulations may make it tough to hire an outsider, or it is just too expensive a cost to bear. Hiring someone across national boundaries will require compliance with strict immigration guidelines, along with sponsoring extra perks such as accommodation and vehicle costs.
With software outsourcing, these challenges can be alleviated by simply hiring the right company that will serve as your software development partner. No matter where your software outsourcing agency is based, you now have the possibility of hiring global talent – and focusing better on the skills a candidate has, as opposed to bureaucratic formalities.
Differences in communication
When hiring a software outsourcing agency across multiple continents, certain differences in culture can subsequently result in differences around how certain ideas are articulated – even if both parties speak the same language. While this can hamper effective exchanges of ideas and feedback, it doesn’t have to be a persistent problem – if resolved in the beginning. Observing whether ideas are being understood correctly by your software outsourcing team is paramount to correcting any errors in articulation.
From email body copy to descriptions in task tickets, observe whether ideas have been captured correctly by the team. If you spot any issues, alert whoever is responsible immediately; if your new software outsourcing team is quick to correct such errors and not repeat the mistake, it is a positive sign that they are perceptive enough to learn and improve, while keeping their client’s expectations at the top of mind.
When teams are situated halfway round the world, coordinating amidst multiple time zones can be confusing and exhausting, while making everyone feel like they are spending more time at work than they expect. Again, this also boils down to managing schedules better and getting accustomed to what works best with everyone.
An ideal way to work with opposing time zones is to schedule meetings during a timeframe that is convenient for both parties. Although it may not be possible to arrange this all the time (especially when the meetings are urgent or ad hoc), it can still provide a sense of predictability to everyone’s schedules, when it comes to routine meetings and other coordination.
While offloading the responsibility of hiring a software outsourcing agency can take a big burden off your own shoulders as a business leader or senior manager, it may also offload more than you prefer. With your software development team now based at great distance, supervising them in-person is a challenge – and not possible, in many cases.
However, this doesn’t have to mean poor performance and deliverables; thanks to modern project management and collaboration tools, you can maintain a bird’s eye view of all operations from anywhere, and at any time. Thanks to cloud solutions, leading task management tools enable real-time collaboration, so multiple teams can work on the same activity, while each change is logged instantly, and version control is also automated.
Take advantage of real-time dashboards that can be customised based on hierarchical access, so that every member of the team can gain insights at a glance on what’s happening at a macro level, while having their core responsibilities laid out for them. Cloud-based project management tools that are especially built for software development also integrate with every stage of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), so every team member and every item of data is constantly connected, sans any silos.
Cloud computing has spearheaded the convenience, versatility and scalability required by the software outsourcing industry, but more than anything, has made software outsourcing a possibility in itself. Offering everything from virtual infrastructure to microservices, cloud computing has provided software developers to virtually plug in any resource that is required, without having to worry about purchasing and maintaining bulky on-site infrastructure.
With no geographical constraints in cloud computing, this also makes software outsourcing possible, since developing applications for an international client can be done from anywhere and at any time.
Real-time collaboration has significantly contributed to the speed, efficiency as well as transparency required within software development outsourcing. With most collaboration tools built on the cloud, companies are able to access SaaS products that require minimal configuration and can hit the ground running.
Collaborate via a task management board that is open to both internal and external teams, with access levels varying depending on role and hierarchy. This way, software outsourcing becomes a breeze, as clients can obtain a complete picture of what is happening, and whether projects are on track.
Furthermore, cloud-based project management and collaboration tools can also be integrated with ERP solutions. This can offer greater transparency on a companywide level, as department managers who are reliant on certain software updates can also keep track of progress, anywhere and at any time.
As AI and its subset technologies proliferate across every aspect of the digital landscape, project management and collaboration tools are also no exception to this rule. AI can be used to monitor interactions and usage patterns of task management systems, which can then make intelligent recommendations to users on performing future activities. Workflow automation, albeit being manually configurable, can also be enhanced to streamline tasks based on activity histories of users, so that collaboration isn’t just real-time, but also smart and intuitive.
Choosing a software development outsourcing company for your business is fairly similar to choosing a software vendor – but with some key differences, nonetheless. To start off, gather relevant members from your organisation (including those who will eventually use the software) to understand the problems that warrant a software transformation in the first place.
It is important that you and your team know what needs to be solved and what your core objectives are, before seeking the right software outsourcing agency for your business. Collate all your findings into a brief, and use this as the main point of reference when coordinating with agencies who are potential options.
While a search online can reveal a variety of useful results, also reach out to colleagues you trust for recommendations. When you sit down for discussions, share your brief and communicate your requirements and expectations, so that agencies are aware of what you are looking for, well beforehand.
It is also highly likely that the partnership you embark on with a software outsourcing agency will be a long-term one. For this reason, making the right choice is crucial. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask questions and express any doubts, while observing the acumen portrayed by the agency option on the other end – all of which shall enable you and your team to make the right decision when choosing a suitable software outsourcing agency.
Once contracts are signed and teams settle down after the initial newness of the entire outsourcing arrangement, facilitate a good eye for supervision by creating a sense of accountability. This could mean weekly reports from your key point of contact at the software outsourcing agency, or it could be round-the-clock access to progress reports via a cloud-based task management solution. Either way, focusing on bite-sized goals within an Agile project management framework can reap worthwhile results, since you will be able to gauge the overall quality of deliverables better as a business leader, and steer course as required to improve things further.
As the world continues to stay increasingly connected via the digital landscape, businesses and software development companies are capitalising on software outsourcing to hire the best talent without excessive red tape, and save on development costs across the lifecycle. Cloud-based and real-time collaboration tools further streamline the management process, since every team member will have access to the same set of resources, so that no data is duplicated, or falls through the cracks.
Although problems surrounding communication and timezone gaps can be common, they can also be alleviated by leading teams correctly – and observing their aptitude for learning quickly, and not repeating the same mistakes. Technologies such as AI and machine learning further enhance software outsourcing, both in terms of virtual collaboration as well as infusing such technologies into the applications that are being built.
Cloud computing is another key technology that enables software development outsourcing, since every stage of the software development lifecycle can be integrated with virtual resources in order to scale growing business demands. Without the need for on-site infrastructure (and even on-site presence, for that matter), software development outsourcing is now possible by teams that are remotely located across multiple time zones, continents and geographies – anywhere in the world.