The industry of software outsourcing in Sri Lanka is now one of the biggest industries in the country today, attracting top-notch talent as well as international clientele. Together with cloud support services, the goal to deliver advanced and powerful digital applications has been further spearheaded, owing to virtualized convenience. There is no doubt about the fruitfulness of this industry – both locally, and for global names that are looking for a reliable yet affordable application development team.
Unlike a decade or so ago, more companies have become open to the idea as well. Reasons otherwise setting businesses back (such as poor quality, tardiness or a sheer lack of integrity) have now become less powerful during decision making. This isn’t necessarily because such concerns aren’t valid anymore, but more so that the results now available for the world to see at large via outsourcing – are just too lucrative to ever miss out on. In other words, IT offshoring destinations (but more specifically, companies which operate in such a space) have really stepped up their game to deliver nothing short of the very finest to their clientele.
With a combination of cross-cultural assimilation, targeted business strategies and a plethora of factors in between, successful software outsourcing companies have made a good name for themselves – only to be recommended by happy clients, and retain who they already have. Striking long-term business partnerships with satisfied global companies has been a hallmark gamechanger for many boutique offshore software development companies, so much so that oftentimes this alone gives the business good flight in terms of recognition.
Furthermore, the normalization of remote work has also fuelled the offshore software development trend – especially amongst companies that weren’t willing to set base for any operations outside of the traditional perimeter. As a result, software outsourcing is now a thriving market that attracts businesses of all shapes and sizes, and not just tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks. With so much now having evolved in this market, software development in Sri Lanka has also stayed in lockstep with trends, technologies as well as maintaining portfolios of high-profile clientele.
As competition gets fiercer by the day, it isn’t much that differentiates one market from the other, in terms of value and uniqueness. With businesses now having a range of countries to consider in terms of where they want to outsource their software development operations, it is important to not just be competent – but offer additional value.
In this article, we zero in on the basics of software outsourcing, as well as what truly sets the good from the great, in a market that pretty much has a life of its own.
Software outsourcing refers to developing digital applications outside of one’s business, by delegating the task to a third-party software development agency. Such an agency can be in the same country as the business (onshoring), in a neighbouring country as the business (nearshoring), or in a country that is geographically much further away/in a different continent (offshoring). No matter which outsourcing variant a business chooses, it needs to facilitate acceptable standards of quality, while offering feasibility, value and sustainability.
In an age where virtual meetings are a norm and cloud-based resources are easy to centralize, share and scale, software outsourcing has received more leverage than ever before in order to accommodate shifting client demands across multiple continents. Leading software development agencies also strike dedicated partnerships with cloud service providers (such as becoming an exclusive AWS partner, for example). This is so that any cloud-based service can be conveniently sourced from under one roof, with larger subscriptions even offering a dedicated account manager to address every customized need.
By coordinating virtually, software outsourcing companies deliver and iterate based on client feedback. But such an alliance can only be successful and sustainable, if teams are sourced correctly and schedules are maintained for consistency. Before we get to how such a standard can be maintained, it is useful to know the many benefits of software outsourcing – so that you, as a business leader or manager, can identify what will help your existing operations the most, and do the needful to achieve just that.
Once remote work became the new normal, it didn’t matter where your staff was located. Whether they lived in town or across the globe, meetings still happened virtually, and cloud-based project management tools were the central source of truth. Software outsourcing precisely helps encourage this, as collaboration beyond national boundaries means that your business now has greater scope to hire skilled folks who aren’t in the same country as you are – but with greater ease.
Software outsourcing agencies by nature offer businesses the opportunity to select from a pool of competent candidates. Now having the freedom to custom-build your dedicated offshoring team, software outsourcing invites greater access to some of the world’s most advanced talent. This is a boon for any business, since getting the best competencies for the same or lesser cost is a high-value initiative, and something which companies never want to pass.
A significant savings in cost was what many tech-savvy businesses were drawn to, as sufficient justification to set a software outsourcing base in a different country. While this was the greatest motivating factor a decade or two earlier, it isn’t the only reason now. Nonetheless, it is still a massive advantage for many offshoring businesses, as affordable talent coupled with foreign currency rates create a budget-friendly price which most companies are happy to accept.
After all, going the intercontinental offshore route isn’t worthwhile, if there aren’t any cost savings. By giving many businesses value where the best services can be obtained for even a fraction of the cost sometimes, software outsourcing is an option that is performant as it is lucrative.
Software development, in itself, is a crucial part of any business operation nowadays. It needs to be delegated to the right personnel, so that applications can be built in line with the expectations of various stakeholders – especially your employees and customers. With a reliable software outsourcing agency, your digital applications aren’t just in the right hands, but they’re the lynchpin for taking your business forward.
As you and your outsourced team collaborate on key strategies that will heighten brand reputation, revenue and your bottom line, you are giving yourself the autonomy to oversee all duties, without having to do all the heavy-lifting.
In other words, free up precious time to focus on matters that require your strategic and analytical insight, while delegating execution efforts for building and maintaining your digital applications, to a relevant outsourcing team.
4 The opportunity to expand towards more international markets.
Although software outsourcing is geared towards building a development team that is more competent yet affordable than what you would find at home, it is also a catalyst for expanding into other markets. This depends on factors such as business size, and what it specializes in – so it isn’t applicable in every business use case. However, if you are keen to expand into international markets, the nature and build of your digital applications can be such that they could possibly suit audiences in the country where your offshoring agency is, or those that are neighbouring.
Software outsourcing agencies, in some cases, can also be boons in terms of offering local insights, and then using those very insights to build customized digital products which can appeal to local customers. While it may take some time to reach this stage (if ever your company wishes to carry out such an expansion), a trusted partnership with a software outsourcing agency can open doors to new markets, based on their local expertise of audiences your business may find valuable.
While regular meetings are important for any business, they become even more crucial when teams are dispersed across the distance. Since your team does not have the opportunity to meet in person, it is important to meet them virtually, based on a regular schedule. While it may sometimes seem that there are no talking points, it is still vital to hop on for a few minutes, and ask how everyone is coping with their work. Many nuances, although minor, can make all the difference in a software development project. But, they are often not expressed through emails or private messages, due to just how trivial they may seem on the outset.
With people being naturally inclined towards face-to-face, social interactions, a meeting (even if it’s virtual) feels more organic and effortless when it comes to talking about daily tasks – niches and nuances included. This is why regular meetings are essential for remotely distributed teams, so that nothing will slip through the cracks.
With numerous software outsourcing initiatives taking place on an intercontinental level, differences in accents and time zones are only expected. However, what sets competent software outsourcing agencies from the rest is their ability to adapt accordingly. Whether it’s being fluent in English (or any other language which the client dominates) and adapting their local schedules to stay available for clients during any given work day, it is such behavioural changes (among other qualities) that will let business leaders know they have made the right choice in software outsourcing.
When working in conventional brick-and-mortar environments, teams take articulation for granted. With coworkers and managers available over the intercom or with a simple tap on the cabin door, it is easy to reach out and address any concerns face-to-face, no matter how small or quick they may be. This is something that remote teams aren’t afforded, so it is crucial for every team member to articulate themselves well – especially when they experience a problem or in the event of a crisis.
This means that expressing oneself through written words becomes all the more important. Although virtual meetings (as elaborated above) are also essential in order to capture nuances that may otherwise never be expressed through written means such as emails and text messages, changes in time zones may mean that one team’s shift doesn’t completely overlap with that of the other. In this case, hopping on a video conference may not always be an option that is available, which is where one’s qualities to write and express well, come in. Team members who are competent in this regard will certainly stand out – a clear sign that they are valuable individuals to continue working with, and retain for the long run.
As remotely distributed teams work day in and day out to help your business achieve its goals, they are still hired by an entity that is local to their home country. Bridge the gap by letting your dedicated team know where your business is headed in the future, and how their skills will be necessary in order to achieve such goals. This gives outsourced teams great clarity regarding the longevity of your project, and helps them understand how they can grow together with you.
Software outsourcing is an operation that more businesses are comfortable to undertake, unlike a decade or two ago. Owing to the normalization of remote work, businesses (especially those that were staunch with maintaining a conventional in-person environment) have long since realized that they don’t need to confine themselves to geographical boundaries when searching for the best talent their money can afford.
Combined with cost savings and the insight to expand into international markets, software outsourcing is a sustainable investment that can reap big rewards in the long run – especially once initial setbacks are resolved, if any.