How to Make Offshore Software Development Work for You
If you're the owner of a small- to medium-sized business, you may have toyed with the idea of outsourcing your custom software development. You may have even taken the plunge and hired offshore freelancers in an attempt to get your information technology needs met while saving money. Unfortunately, many business owners who have tried outsourcing software development have had negative experiences. There may have been language barriers, insurmountable time zone differences, mismatched skill sets, or missed deadlines that caused innumerable headaches and cost overruns. As one executive ruefully admitted, "We were penny wise and pound foolish." It's two years later, and the same executive now understands the secret to successfully outsourcing software development - and is glad he didn't give up after the first attempts at outsourcing failed so badly.
When did the tide turn? When he started using an offshore software development company that, in essence, acted as an expediter. In other words, he contracts with a German company that in turn works with IT professionals and companies around the world to produce applications that are tailor made to his specifications. Because the German company can call on experienced IT professionals worldwide, it can perform agile software development without breaking a sweat. In turn, the German company carefully cultivates relationships with professionals who have a depth of knowledge in their particular specialty. In this way, the German company doesn't have a large staff with superficial knowledge, but rather can draw on the expertise necessary for individual projects.
At the same time, it ultimately controls all aspects of each project, and ensures that deadlines and quality standards are met. The executive touted the company he worked with as "forming the bridge between our company and the technical staff that develop our software." By using a company with an efficient infrastructure, he is able to avoid the typical problems and risks associated with offshore projects - problems that he had experienced in past years. He appreciates that the German company can fulfill virtually any request, whether it is for consulting and training, business analysis, systems architecture, software development, or design. He is also thankful that he doesn't have to deal with the individual programmers and that he doesn't have to find someone to stitch all of the pieces together. "Without exception, we receive software that has been extensively tested, and is bug-free and ready to deploy," he said. "We get all of the benefits of offshore software development without any of the hassles." Unless you have a large IT department that can design the custom software that your enterprise needs - and today's business environment makes that impractical for most companies - you have to rely on people outside of your company. The most cost-efficient and effective way to accomplish this is through a fast and reliable offshore software development company that will provide you with a turnkey product that has been extensively tested.
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