IT outsourcing objections you may have & reasons why you should try it anyway
For many people- especially those who haven’t tried it yet- the idea of outsourcing is still petrifying. The obvious price and efficiency benefits are not always convincing enough for the businesses to take a leap and outsource work to another country.
We want to tackle the main objections that are usually spoken about when outsourcing topic pops up. Hopefully after this read it will become clear that if one is well prepared there is nothing to be afraid of.
1) Lack of control over the work
It is obviously different to have a team working remotely than keeping eye on the workers at your company’s office. That doesn’t however mean that it’s a worse option. It all comes down to good communication tools usage, high-speed internet and well organized and planned work on both sides.
Pick a team that can show you quality from the first chat. If they don’t respond on your emails for a while, can not show a portfolio (even small but with well done projects) or can not get requirements right then you may be warned that this team is not professional enough and won’t deliver a satisfying product.
2) Danger of product not being delivered
Always demand the team (whether freelancers or an agency) to tell you what is their production process. Are they familiar with Agile & SCRUM? What communication tools are they using? A good team could also have a presentation about it prepared for you to see right away and show you previous delivered work examples. There should also always be a clear delivery schedule idea between parties.
You may not get it all from the freelancers but any respectable agency should deliver it all as well as communicate with you well and on time. There is also smaller risk if you will go with an agency as they will care about their reputation way more than a freelancers that may come and go as they please.
Make also sure that during the project you are not the reason of the product not being delivered. It does happen when the client is not clear about the requirements and can not track the progress properly.
3) Language barrier
As you outsource the work to another country it is natural to be afraid of a communication issue. The only way to know that it won’t be one of your problems is to have a talk with the team- that includes: project manager, developers, designers and other people who will be in the direct contact with you. If their writing skill is communicative and doesn’t disturb the information flow then you are good to go. Do not expect junior coders to be fluent in english though. It is enough if the direct contact people will take care of anything you will want to talk to them about on the project’s matter.
4) Bad experience in the past
It is a key to find the right people. For some it may take few times but some people find the right team on a first try. Do not be discouraged if with a first one it won’t work out as planned. There are people (freelancers and agencies) who will take your needs seriously- it’s like with love ;)
5) Time zone difference
This can be an issue but doesn’t have to. Firstly, not always there is a need to be online at the same time- that depends on the project. Sometimes it is enough to deliver requirements and suggestions on Trello, chat on Skype and mark ideas in InVision prototypes. Secondly, even though time difference from USA to Asia is around 12h for Asia and EU it’s only 5h. That gives us a plenty of time to be online together and discuss all the matters. For example: when EU starts work at 8:00 am in Vietnam we have 1:00 pm which gives us whole 4–5h of a time window to use.
6) Security and Intellectual property
This objection is reasonable but preventable. If you are afraid that somebody may steal your idea/code/product/concept then you must shield yourself with all proper documentation.
- Sign a well prepared NDA that will protect your intellectual property
- Sign a well done agreement. In this one there must be a point regarding rights for the code transferring so that the agency won’t own what they will produce for you.
Any respectable outsourcing agency should propose those by themselves and present ready templates for you to revise.
If all the above are still not enough for you to make sure that the outsourcing agency or freelancers will do their job properly- and the project is serious enough in its size and budget- you can ask them to do a trial. A small task will show you how they work, gather requirements and deliver. It will give you some idea how the future working together may look like.
Hope that the above helps.
High five from Onteractive team!