Software development is becoming an increasingly important process for many businesses but what is software development outsourcing, and can it help your business?
Software development outsourcing involves hiring development teams nearshore or offshore. The alternatives are to use a team of programmers and developers in your own country, or to directly recruit developers.
The countries that are popular for outsourcing software development include India, Poland, China, and countries in South America.
The Benefits of Software Development Outsourcing
The potential benefits of software development outsourcing are substantial:
• Cost savings – this is one of the main reasons why people choose to outsource their software development. Depending on the project, the cost savings can be substantial. What’s more, those savings can be realised quickly – often from the very start of the project.
• Speed of development – outsourcing gives you immediate access to large teams of people and/or expertise. Recruiting this expertise directly takes time, so outsourcing becomes the only viable option. In addition the resources that are allocated to a project are usually more substantial, so the time it takes to complete a project is shorter.
• Scalability – outsourcing software development also gives you the option to quickly and effectively scale up or down. This flexibility allows you to respond quickly to market conditions, disaster situations, internal staff issues, or other business situations.
• Access to high quality developers – the level of education in all of the main outsourcing countries is very high. This gives you access to top quality engineers and programmers, plus it is possible to find specialists if you have a particular programme requirement. They are all typically fluent in English, so communication is rarely a difficulty.
• Frees up your resources – outsourcing your software development also frees up your in-house resources so they can concentrate on other core areas of your business. For example, you can expand, diversify, or test potential new revenue streams, systems or processes, while having minimal impact on your main business.
Software Development Outsourcing Trends
Software development outsourcing is an industry that has been around for many years now, but it is still in a state of flux and change. It is maturing as technologies improve and people gain more experience in both procurement and delivery.
Today the trend for companies is to move away from purely cost-based decisions. As already indicated above, cost savings are a major reason for people choosing outsourcing as a method of delivering software development. But experience has now shown that other factors are just as important as cost – often they are more important.
For example, research has found that only two-thirds of enterprise-level customers are satisfied with the outcomes from software development outsourcing experiences in Asia and the Americas.
Undoubtedly those companies would have saved money by using an outsourced development team, but it is significant that such a high number of them said they were not happy with the process overall.
This has led to a change in priorities. Of course cost savings are important but other factors that are also critical now rank just as high on the list of priorities. These include a focus on results, overall expertise, and flexibility.
Therefore the outsourcing companies that will survive and thrive in the future are those that concentrate on outcomes and customer service.
Another trend that is becoming increasingly important is security. This has always been a crucial consideration, but new breakthroughs in technology, the increasing sophistication of hackers, and the importance of big data, are all now having a significant influence on software development outsourcing.
Making Software Development Outsourcing Work for Your Business
India and China remain significant players in the software development outsourcing industry, but Poland and other central European countries are now the first choice for many companies. There are many reasons for this but they are all centred on a focus on outcomes. These include cost, level of expertise, quality of end product, quality of delivery, emphasis on security, good customer service, etc.
Here are the benefits of software development outsourcing in Poland that you don’t get when you outsource to other countries:
• Multi-lingual capabilities – as already mentioned most outsourcing teams that you will work with are proficient in English. English is the global language of business so this makes sense. But what if members of your team don’t speak English? Do you have customers that don’t speak English? In Poland, proficiency in English is as crucial as it is in India, but Poland also offers multi-lingual capabilities. For example, it is common in Poland for programmers to speak German or Spanish, two other important global languages. Working with Polish outsourcing companies therefore gives you multi-language options in addition to English.
• Shorter travel distances – for some projects, the closer proximity of Poland to European countries is an important factor. In particular, travel times are shorter, and travel costs are lower.
• Closer time zones – managing communication because of time zones is essential to the success of any outsourced software development process. This is easier when working with a team in Poland as they are on the same – or very similar – time zones to companies in other European countries.
• Better understanding of culture – working with Polish developers also means you will have a team that better understands European / Western culture.
• National holidays – you will not have to deal with national holidays that are out of sync with European and other western nations either.
• Costs – finally, the costs of outsourcing to India and China are going up.
Making the Right Choice
So there are significant benefits that you can gain for your company by outsourcing your software development, but those benefits are amplified by contracting with a team in Poland rather than further afield in India or China. Wherever you choose to outsource make sure you get the level of skills and expertise that you need, and make sure the focus is on a successful outcome.
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