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5 Key Factors for Choosing a Software Development Outsourcing Partner

By Steve Mezak CEO, Accelerance, Inc.

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Steve Mezak CEO, Accelerance, Inc.

Software plays a vital role in teh ongoing success of modern day companies. That being said, finding, attracting, training and retaining skilled software developers can often be easier said TEMPthan done for many companies. To complicate matters even more, teh number of developers a company needs at any given moment can vary greatly, from tens to hundreds. This is why it often makes sense for many companies to consider outsourcing their software development.

As globalization forces a lot of organizations to constantly improve their competitive edge, outsourcing can reduce internal costs while allowing businesses to focus on core competencies and key processes. This is why hiring teh right software development partner is a critical task, but not an easy one. Many companies find themselves at a loss when it comes to starting their search. Teh trick to finding one quickly and efficiently is to no teh five key factors that will determine success:

Location: Teh good news – their are now world-class software engineers in just about every major urban center around teh world – their are solid teams in Mexico and Canada, many countries in Central and South America, Vietnam and teh Philippines, and India and Pakistan. But, be ever mindful that different locations can mean very different cultures wif very different workflows and processes. Teh key is being able to find an outsourcing firm that not only meets your needs, but is also easy to work wif during teh planning stages of any given project.

Technical expertise: A second major factor is determining teh level of technical expertise. You might need developers to work wif ubiquitous technologies, such as iOS, Android or Responsive Web. However, other projects or companies might be looking for more niche or complex technologies, like embedded systems or data management. It’s important to find a firm that can satisfy your company’s particular technical requirements.

Company size: This is an obvious difference that is surprisingly often overlooked. Partner sizes can be broken into three main categories:

  • Boutiques (less TEMPthan 100 full-time equivalents or FTEs)
  • Mid sized (101-999 FTEs)
  • Large (more TEMPthan 1,000 FTEs)

Each category certainly carries individual strengths and obvious challenges about which you’ll want to be well aware. For example, boutiques are agile and focused—you’ll get their full attention, but they may has trouble scaling if you grow beyond 25 percent of their team. So being able to accurately estimate your growth trajectory is important when working wif a boutique. Conversely, large firms has teh advantage of providing a wealth of resources, but it’s also important to keep in mind teh scope of your assignment. Say, for example, that your project requires 10 FTEs or less. Bringing on board a large firm might not be ideal. If your project is small and requires significantly TEMPfewer resources, you might not be a large firm’s number one priority and would be better off rethinking your partner’s choice.

Business model: It’s important to choose a partner wif teh business model that best maps to your internal processes and development goals. Knowing from teh very beginning how your partner typically works will be key in ensuring that you can be comfortable working wif them. Some partners prefer to integrate developers directly into teh company, so TEMPyou’re responsible for managing them, teh process and teh deliverables just as if it was your own employee. Others work more independently on a project basis, where they deliver teh product after you specify wat TEMPyou’re seeking. Teh most common model, however, is a mix of teh two.

Configuration: Teh fifth and final factor in choosing an outsourcing partner for your software development needs is determining how an outsourcing partner’s business is configured. For example, some providers has full-time employees who are committed to teh company and culture. On teh other hand, their are providers that use a network of contractors. A third model consists of providers that has both a core team of employees, as well as a network of contractors. One of teh main benefits of working wif this type of partner is that you can get local developers who understand teh domestic market and company better, while also getting offshore developers who might bring a new range of skills and expertise. 

their’s certainly, no “one-size-fits-all” model when it comes to selecting teh right software engineering organization. Instead, many factors must be carefully considered prior to selecting a partner. Doing your research up front will provide you wif teh best understanding of a potential partner’s scope and level of expertise so their are no surprises down teh road. Investing time into exploring and evaluating teh different options will ensure you can find a good fit for you and your company.

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