When to think about co-sourcing software development?
Competitive companies are constantly keeping up with what’s new in terms of hardware and software technologies. The main concern of such companies is to take their products and services to the next level continuously. If you don’t, you stay behind, most probably forever. Sometimes, the tools needed are ready and easily available, for example SaaS platforms, but many times, they are not.
The same applies to your IT talents. Of course the need of development capacity depends on the business field and solutions required to offer a value proposition to the customer. However, sooner or later successful IT companies need to deal with software development capacity expansion which involves risks and financial costs. To outsource remote dedicated teams or individuals might be an option. Unfortunately, it has its own benefits and challenges. Beyond “how to do it”, it’s important to know “when to do it” – knowing this accurately will enable you to be fully aware that your in-house IT may not be the only or the best option. Let’s look at some cases when you might want to find a co-sourcing partner that will help to fulfill the software development needs.
When a relatively short-term project is coming on the horizon
Whether you have a dedicated IT department or not, new software needs aren’t commonly covered by existing resources. In this case, you have a choice: either hire new staff to fulfill an existing need or find a partner who could handle your project from start to finish. Hiring staff might be an option, if you are willing to have an oversized IT team after finishing your development projects. A software development partner, on the other hand, can act as a backup resource which you can call on whenever the need arises. Basically, under such a setup, you’re no longer in danger of having too big team after the project ends.
When your current development team does not have skills of specific tools and techniques
This is based upon the same principles as the above, but this time, you’re dealing with the lack of skilled resources. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a one-off need to develop a Ruby on Rails web app, but there is no one in your team who knows Ruby. Would you hire a new Ruby developer for a one-time project? Of course, not. Collaborating with a software development partner is a good solution in this case as well, since it helps you maintain a diverse, readily available skill set. Talented developers will rather work with specialized software companies rather than be part of an in-house IT department; where they run the risk of bringing their skills to a halt. So, even if you would try to find someone who has the skills, you’d have some trouble recruiting an experienced developer who doesn’t think Ruby on Rails is a code name for the greatest precious stone theft operation or that Python is a deadly snake.
When your software requires a high degree of customization
If you need complex, highly customizable work done, you might not want to bear the entire burden yourself, even if you’re a specialized IT company. Complex software requires accurate processes, cutting-edge technologies and most of all, highly talented people. If you have the slightest doubt about your capacity to handle such a task with your in-house team; or you would rather not take any chances, then you most definitely need to extend your IT efforts by cooperating with a co-sourcing provider. This makes things a lot easier, as it allows you to come forth with your own needs and requirements, to supervise the entire process and have complete control over the results. More over an existing in-house team might learn from new remote colleagues starting with technical knowledge and ending with collaboration communication and other social skills.
When the project cost matters
While sometimes it might seem cheaper to involve your IT team, this might lead to overwhelming them and affecting other areas of the business in ways that you may not realize in the beginning. Co-sourcing, on the other hand, is a cost-effective way to basically extend your IT department with a dedicated team that you can supervise directly. When we speak about the cost we consider not only salary and wages and all the benefits usually given to developers but also equipment, administration cost, search and recruitment, hiring and replacement cost.
Co-sourcing software development is a shortcut to fast and reliable results. A co-source combines your own management expertise with their technical knowledge, delivering quality software development services, in a timely manner, while fulfilling your ever-changing requirements. When co-sourcing, you are hiring an entire company, not a single developer. You’re benefitting from the skills that an entire team has honed through years of practice. Sure, this doesn’t apply to any software development service provider whatsoever; it would only apply to those that work under high quality, professional standards; to those who employ and grow the most talented staff and who greatly value each customer they collaborate with.
If you are considering to co-source your software development to such a partner, let us know.