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Saturday 20 October 2018
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Should you Augment your In-House Software Development Team?

Should you Augment your In-House Software Development Team?

6 Basic Benefits to Augment your In-House Team with an Outsourced Dev Team

1. Access to a Pool of Flexible and Scalable Resources

The necessity for temporary capacity enhancement can be driven by the need to:

  1. Undertake short duration tactical projects – Enhancement of product features/functions based on specific client needs or to keep pace with competitor offerings
  2. Implement projects for new clients Need for additional capacity driven by client desires for enhancement requests to product features, duration of the implementation life cycle, and system integration requirements.
  3. Develop new products – Software product development firms may consider partnering with outsourced service providers once there is a clear product development roadmap. Partnerships with an outsourced service provider may cover tapping into an outsourced pool of resources for the planned enhancement releases and independent testing to ensure that quality is assured.

Having access to a flexible pool of resources, that can be ramped up or down with appropriate lead times, can help augment in-house capacity to meet market and client demands.

A. Short Duration Tactical Projects

  • Business are often faced with the need to take on specific projects to add to its products line or enhance an existing product’s functionality to keep pace with competition.
  • Expanding the company’s in-house team, for a short-term project, can be a lengthy and impossible process.
  • Outsourced providers are well versed to quickly assemble an experienced team, with the specialized skillset required, within mutually agreed upon timelines.
  • Providers are also highly experienced in learning the client’s existing product and codebase quickly to achieve the desired productivity level in a short time span.

B. Handling a New Customer with New Requirements

Gaining a major new customer is always a welcome prospect for any business.

  • A large engagement can put a major strain on the in-house development teams if the project involves substantial customization, integration, or implementation challenges.
  • The new customer may require customization of a product that is beyond what the business’s software product development organization typically handles.
  • The customer may require integrations into an existing IT application landscape, which outsourced teams are very familiar with.

C. New Product Development

Software product development firms are under constant pressure to innovate and keep pace with competition. To meet or exceed time-to-market challenges, partnering with an outsourced service provider is the perfect option. After the terms are set the hybrid partnership can be very helpful with many responsibilities such as:

  • Core product development and independent quality assurance (QA) testing for scaling and product performance
  • Require the outsourced service provider to maintain a core team that would help retain the knowledge and facilitate onboarding of the flexible team of resources depending on the workload.
  • The core team would be responsible for maintaining the product (i.e. fixing bugs post-release and QA).
  • Enhanced product features, release time-line, product performance

The in-house team would maintain the responsibility of product feature planning and release strategy, they can begin to rely on the outsourced partner to quickly move their product’s upgrade time-lines.

2. Looking for Niche-Skilled Resources

One common benefit that comes with engaging outsourced service providers is having access to a scalable pool of resources with hard to find niche skills that have been developed over time with hands-on experience. Some examples of the niche skills include:

  • Mobile application development, validation and verification testing, legacy modernization, cloud migration, database administrators, performance engineering, and
  • Resources to engage for short durations to conduct assessments and implement the recommendations/roadmap.
  • Implementing a ‘core and flex team’ engagement model to augment your in-house team

For some software product firms, hiring these resources on full-time and keeping them engaged for sustained time periods may pose challenges – this is where the hybrid approach becomes tremendously beneficial for firms. Hiring outsourced service providers to deliver skilled resources allows for mutually agreed upon lead times for onboarding and off-boarding resources. Service providers achieve this by maintaining a pool of resources across many niche skills that can be productively deployed across a number of different client engagements.

3. Reduce Total Cost of Development

One of the main draw towards an offshore outsourced hybrid approach is cost benefit. The time zone difference allows the offshore service provider to deliver extended working hours while seamlessly integrating work with the onshore client. The seamless integration would rely on “work packing”, where logical chunks of work are given to the offshore service provider to be completed in a specific schedule. The remotely delivered work would be integrated with the work being undertaken by the onshore team. It is paramount that there is transparency, communication, and a clearly articulated governance model in order to have a successful hybrid experience.

Engaging outsourced service providers can also result in freeing up some of the critical resources of the in-house team and allow them to focus on more valuable activities, such as:

  • Market research and analytics
  • Client acquisition
  • Client relationship management
  • Conceptualizing the future product roadmap
  • Architecture and long-range planning

The combination of cost advantage and time to development completion offers significant competitive advantage to the software development process. Outsourced service providers can lead to a cost advantage in the following ways:

  • No need to hire a full-time employee with benefits
  • Reduced cost on your project due to outsourced service providers already have the niche-skilled employees that you may only need for a short duration
  • In-house and outsourced teams working together can speed up a company’s roadmap, allowing for a better release strategy to reduce the total cost of the product development
  • Continuous delivery methodology may a way to reduce defects and thus ensure cost controls and reductions

 4. Expanding Overall Productivity to Improve Product Development

A workforce that is distributed across time zones offer software product firms the ability to extend working hours, extended support hours, and reduce the total cost of support. Extended working support hours is a key feature that is required for mission critical applications. Major enhancement releases are often scheduled to go live over weekends, having an offshore based team supporting the application releases can significantly reduce the cost of support and help to identify the bugs and make the necessary changes before the application is utilized in prime-time.

By utilizing a hybrid development model, it is possible to have more targeted and productive product releases in a year than possible with just an in-house team. The result from this type of release strategy will have benefits to include:

  • Increased competitive advantage
  • Higher customer acquisitions with increased focus on product development and management
  • Increased scalability from the increased bandwidth of highly experienced enterprise developers
  • Strong focus on collaboration to make changes quickly with a continuous development strategy

 

Using a hybrid method can free up the in-house team to focus on mission critical objectives and plan for strategic and long term product goals.  In contrast, the outsourced team can focus on tactical objectives such as maintenance, release management, and can provide expanded Quality Assurance (QA) and testing. With the previously mentioned ‘core and flex’ method, the outsourced service provider can add a ‘flex’ team to afford more in-depth QA and continuous product testing. This expanded team will allow defects to be caught quickly and fixed, allowing the product development company the ability to expand their market share and competitive advantage.

5. Improved Geographical Reach

A workforce that is distributed across geographical locations enables staff to learn and appreciate cultural nuances. Low-cost locations, like the Philippines and India, have abundant talent graduating from colleges with the requisite language and technical skills. The combination of the numerous Special Economic Zones and Information Technology parks, with the latest telecommunication infrastructure, these countries offer the right mix of talent to support software development companies in the United States.

Global reach is becoming more important for businesses of all types, but especially in the technology field. A software product development company’s ability to deliver a competitive product across geographies is paramount for its success. By leveraging an offshore outsourcing partner, the development firm easily and cost effectively improves their global reach.

6. Other Major Benefits to Consider

Finding the right outsourced service provider is vital. The proper partner will not only do the work assigned to them, but share their expertise with the in-house team. The mindset should always be of collaboration. The right outsourced partner will enhance the in-house team both by providing niche-skilled services and teaching those skills to the members of the in-house team.

The process maturity of outsourced service providers can help the software product development company scale-up their own software development processes when working together. These benefits become highly evident in these areas:

  • Improved documentation and adherence to laid down processes
  • Repeatability of processes, predictability of outcomes, and having a stake in results
  • A collaborative atmosphere leads to the product can be developed more quickly, leading to increased market advantages
  • Shared knowledge will in enhance the in-house team’s expertise and abilities
  • Key quality accreditation held by the outsourced partner can also bring better process discipline and improvements in documentation, functional specifications, design, and development.

Should You Look into Outsourcing your Software Development?        

Yes is the Short Answer

Many businesses stay away from engaging an outsourced partner with the rationale that they already have existing in-house teams that meet their needs.  In addition, outsourcing is perceived as an “either-or” and not as a complimentary business model.  The position of this white paper is to highlight the various reasons why a hybrid business model of having both an in-house and an outsourced team can provide compelling business advantages.



Tracy is responsible for the marketing of Telliant Systems. Always looking for ways to increase Telliant Systems' brand. She loves finding ways to show how software development can make our daily lives better and more productive.


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