5 Tips for Successfully Outsourcing Software Development
Imagine you own a business and it’s doing well but you want to monetize it by going digital, taking advantage of innovations and your technologically savvy customers. In order to achieve, you need a team of professionals. And that’s when outsourcing software development comes in handy.
Today outsourcing is turning into a common practice and the one that slowly but surely changes the face of global business. The global outsourcing market has already exceeded $ 524.4 billion back in 2015 with IT outsourcing being its biggest sector. And according to Deloitte’s 2016 survey, there are some additional benefits to IT outsourcing apart from cost reduction. The company cites enabling focus on core business, solving capacity issues, enhancing service quality and being critical to business needs among top reasons why companies outsource.
Source: Why companies outsource (Deloitte Report)But outsourcing software development isn’t a magical solution to any problem. It will only work successfully if both the company and an outsourcing vendor are deeply committed to a project and are willing to adapt to each other’s needs. Before you entrust your idea into someone else’s hands, here are some tips to consider.
Define your product and identify the user
Before you even start considering outsourcing software development, put your ideas into writing. Stories of failed products often cite not making assumptions about the market, product, and competition as one of the reasons. When you have a clear vision of your product, you can concentrate on the technologies and requirements aspect when searching for a software service provider.
Don’t strive to solve everyone’s problem. By trying to tap into needs of every user, you end up attracting none. Have a clear vision of the need. You can save yourself from miscalculated decisions, uncertain performance characteristics, and unrealised business values. All of which in their turn lead to a higher cost, wasted resources or lost business opportunities.
Sole sourcing has its risks and rewards. According to a recent survey, sole sourcing is still a widely applied method but only 6% of respondents always use it, while 48 % sometimes use one vendor.
RFP is still considered the most popular method to use when considering outsourcing. However, if you manage to find a trustworthy software vendor you see a potential for collaboration with, it makes sense to stick. 89 % leverage their current vendor always or sometimes for additional services. The business environment is dynamic and changing and finding a reliable partner you can entrust your product is difficult but not rare. Collaboration between the client and the vendor is beneficial for both sides. It can increase efficiency, cut costs and time.
Strive for outsourcing transparency
Successful outsourcing requires communication between a customer and a provider. Both parties need to agree on priorities and information requirements. By choosing a software vendor with a clear and transparent approach, you will find a like-minded partner that will be fully committed to the quality of your software.
According to Deloitte’s report on outsourcing transparency evolution, taking a proactive approach of discussing mechanisms and requirements can enable software vendors to provide better information and more efficiency. Transparent providers may offer opportunities for customers to involve them at more strategic levels where they can drive a higher value.
Learning how to use outsourcing transparency for risk management and leveraging provider capabilities can gain a competitive edge to both parties.
Give UX design a careful thinking
Very often it is up to design whether a product makes it or joins the ones that failed. A robust UX design brings value by helping understand users’ needs and desires.
Today design is not only about making a product look good. It’s about its functionality as well. 64% of employees cite poor UX as the main reason for rarely using enterprise mobile apps. People care about efficiency, especially when it comes to products they use. If the experience is bad, they will simply abandon it.
By adopting a user-first approach you are more successful at delivering right solutions and meeting users’ needs. Businesses are using it as a core element of companies’ strategies to realize business value. It’s not enough to find a software vendor that is technologically strong. Look for a provider that understands the importance of a strong overall user experience and is capable of delivering it as well.
Adopt Agile principles
In order to move faster and help your product reach customers quicker, go agile. Agile methodology has successfully spread to all types of industries. The need to use it in general management has been recognized by Harvard Business Review and McKinsey & Company. There’s already an agile marketing manifesto and UX and graphic design are widely using it in their design sprints.
Agile helps corporations adapt to the ever changing business environment. It promotes rapid delivery with a predictable cost and schedule because of the fixed sprint duration. But most importantly, it is flexible to changing circumstances, helps to understand what’s the most important to the client’s business, and focuses on technical excellence and solid design.
Agile methodology requires open communication and collaboration between the business, customers, and development. Partner with a software vendor who is experienced in Agile, is aware of the latest trends and knows how to move faster.
There are many other aspects worth considering when outsourcing software development. But what’s important to remember, no matter how efficient and experienced your software vendor is, your product development needs your personal involvement. By establishing communication, mutual understanding, and a constant feedback both you and your software provider have a better chance at succeeding and forming lasting business relationships.
Originally published at perfectial.com.