“In IT industry either you move forward or you become less relevant.” ~Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft Ex-CEO was absolutely correct as IT industry is advancing with each passing day. Let’s face it, most of companies cannot afford to cope-up with latest technology by continuously hiring and training new resources. It definitely requires a Research and Development department which itself is a huge investment.
Alternate best possible solution is to outsource your IT services to some technically advanced company. This way you can expand your skill set, all you need to find a technically advanced & reliable offshore IT partner.
BUT there are obvious fears and concerns which are circling around every single company owner. Such as:-
The very first concern is of yours company’s identity. Either you may not want your clients to know about your offshore team or you may afraid of your offshore team to indulge in any direct communication with client.
Remedy: Many companies have successfully taken care of this issue. Usually there is a proper contract (known as Non-Disclosure Agreement) signed between Offshore Company and Native (main) Company. This contract obligate your offshore company to not to disclosure, share or use any of your company’s info, trade secret or code. Failure to which may cause them penalty in court of law. This agreement is signed in starting early process.
Second fear is of managing projects – Many owner afraid of remote companies due to possible communication gap and timely updates. This is obvious as you also need to update your client, so project management and timely updates are crucial.
Remedy: There are two ways of managing projects .i.e. either you (or your project manager) directly assign tasks to remote team on daily basis. Or if you don’t want to get your hands dirty then simple get updates from offshore project manager. For communication you can setup accounts on any project management portal to send/receive updates, files, notes etc…
Different Timing Zone:
This is third most fear-able thing in IT outsourcing. Offshore companies may be located at different timezones, hence you may need to wait for upto 1 complete day to receive a tiny update. Sometimes this really becomes furstrating.
Remedy: As most effective practice, both companies mutually agree to some “overlapping hours”. This means if you call-off your office day at 5:00PM then offshore company’s team should be available online few hours before your closing time in your timezone. This will allow you to get timely update every single day and/or assign new tasks as well.
How to see if offshore company can deliver:
Every single company will claim the ability to perform your desired tasks. But surely you cannot take risk with your client’s live project. You need confidence before handing-over your key projects.
Remedy: This is very simple! During early contract signing many companies put a clause to work on probation period of 2-3 months. In this period you can assess the capabilities of offshore team and will have ample time to decide whether you want to proceed further with them or not. In other case you can also try offshore company with a “trail” project. Once you are satisfied then you can handover your key projects.
In the end, outsourcing is the answer if you want to keep-up with new technology advancements. You can join the pool of technical advanced companies while keeping the budget handy.