Offshore IT Outsourcing: Choosing a Perfect Partner
Offshore software development outsourcing has become a wide-spread phenomenon in the modern world due to its evident advantages. Among them: affordable and highly skilled workforce without hiring; the possibility to optimize a project development process and reduce work time used. The vital issue of outsourcing success is to choose the right partner and it’s not an easy thing to do.
So here are few tips to help you make the right choice:
1. DEFINE YOUR NEEDS
o Cut the list of potential vendors to 3 or 4 companies suiting you best. When making a final choice take into account the preferred destination (language, culture similarity, mentality, distance, political and economic situation, legislation; business principles etc.).
o Expensive – doesn’t mean the best. Nowadays companies, searching for a vendor, desire to get high-quality services at affordable costs.
Large scale vendors may be quite expensive but apart from high costs there are some negative sides of such cooperation. Your project might not get appropriate attention; negotiation process can be extended and complicated.
o Though, “the cheaper – the better” strategy isn’t winning either. Don’t compromise on quality.
3. TECHNOLOGICAL AND TECHNICAL ASPECTS
o Technology capability. It is very important to make sure that a vendor has the technology capability to complete the outsourcing job.
o Technical aspects shouldn’t be omitted either – find out more about test automation systems, bug tracking systems applied.
o Support and software maintenance – Maintenance plays an important role in the life cycle of a software product. It includes the process of enhancing and optimizing deployed software, as well as remedying defects. So it’s vital to find out if your vendor offers such kind of services.
4. CREDIBILITY & RELIABILITY
o Positive vendor’s reputation. Study customers’ testimonials; communicate with some of the company’s long-term customers. In fact, presence of long-term customers’ itself is a very good sign characterizing vendor as a reliable partner.
o Check how long is the company on market. Actually, 4-5 years may assure stability of the company.
o Ask for company’s profile & case studies. Study minimum 10 work samples, especially in your domain, to evaluate quality of design & development. Find out how many projects has vendor delivered. You may also review their website and blog to get as much information as possible.
o Awards and certificates surely contribute into vendor’s positive image; but take only wide-recognized and prestigious ones seriously.
5. SECURITY & SECURE SOFTWARE
o Security in general includes many important issues such as: intellectual property protection, contract laws of the country of vendor’s location, political stability, etc. In the time of global cyber attacks security has become the major issue for all the companies worldwide. So learn as much as possible about security level your potential vendor can provide.
o Secure Software is becoming a burning issue in the modern world with new threats appearing almost every day. So your vendor’s compliance to modern Secure Software approaches and practices such as BSIMM (Building security in maturity model), SAFE Code, OPEN SAMM (Software Assurance Maturity Model) is absolutely vital.
o Specify employee number, their education level & certification. You should know more about the team which you’re going to trust your project. Check out the education – do the team members have bachelors or masers degree in computing or related sciences? Do they have any internationally recognized certificates? Choose the most educated and the smartest team.
o Study development team members’ profiles. You can require profiles of the key team members to learn more about their education level, professional experience, their skills and personal qualities. It’s really important to be sure that highly qualified and dedicated people will be responsible for accomplishing the project.
7. FINANCIAL SITUATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
Pay special attention to the company’s financial situation and turnover over the past several years; you may even ask for a financial review. Their Infrastructure and Facility should be revised carefully as well. Does this vendor have enough capacity to handle your project and fulfill your demands? If it’s possible, pay a visit to the vendor’s office to check.
8. SCRUM & AGILE
Your new IT offshore outsourcing partner should follow Agile development methodology. So you can control every small stage of software development process.
Finally, communication between you and your vendor should be well-organized (e-mail, phone, Skype, personal visits or any other way convenient for you). Look for someone who’s flexible and customer-oriented to make sure you get all the necessary attention and understanding. An outsourcing vendor should insist on detailed design documentation, including clear business needs statement and functional requirements.
So, good luck in finding a great outsourcing partner!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ivanna Zhyljuk, Marketing Specialist at software oursourcing company, Master of Political Sciences, specializing in analyzing and examining company's marketing and promotional potential.