Developers outsourcing – unusual reasons
Grzegorz Papaj, 4 February 2019
Chief Information Officers have different attitudes towards outsourcing. Some of them consider using the services of an external software developer as a great solution, others as a necessary evil, and other ones do not care about this cooperation model, because they form their own dev teams and do not want to delegate any work outside. This article is addressed to the latter. It does not present a list of reasons why you should consider outsourcing but focuses on seemingly unusual reasons.
Outsourcing – use case
Let’s suppose that you are the CIO of a large IT team. Human Resources is doing great and finds experts whenever they are needed. You have great managers, so delays in projects don’t happen. Moreover, nobody accounts you for the number of full-time developers in the company. The whole IT department is working like clockwork. In short, you have a comfortable situation that many can only dream of. Do you consider cooperating with an outsourcing company? Probably not. Should you start thinking about it? We think so.
If you think that this is yet another article about why outsourced programming is better than your own dev team, you are wrong. That’s not the point. Your own, skilled, and trusted team is irreplaceable. Why is outsourced programming worth trying, even when you have your own team? Just to try out how outsourcing works in practice.
Even if you do not anticipate such a need, life is full of surprises, but a good leader is always prepared for the worst. There are many possible scenarios. For example, suddenly a high number of IT specialists decide to resign, you have an extremely difficult project to implement, or the company’s growth speeds up rapidly. But let’s skip the cliches because everyone knows that if there is a problem, you can turn to outsourcing. But unfortunately, not everyone knows how it works in practice.
Outsourcing from the inside
Let’s skip the obvious issues like the fact that finding a proper provider or negotiating satisfying terms of cooperation takes time. Because of that, it may be (and usually is) the biggest problem in a situation when something starts to fail in our perfect world. So how can you efficiently and onboard people from outside your own IT team? What communication rules should be set? How to divide the duties and responsibilities? How to set priorities? Who is responsible to whom? And what is the scope of responsibilities? Who and in what field is responsible for making project decisions? Which assignments should be assigned to an external provider, and which ones should be handled by your own team?
These are just some of the questions that can come up when starting cooperation with IT outsourcing providers. There are no simple answers and solutions. They have to be worked out together between the team and the provider. Perhaps the mentioned problems don’t seem to be so serious. But remember, this is a description of a crisis situation when you simply don’t have the time and willingness to handle them. How much better would it be if you were prepared and your department would still function properly despite the crisis?
You can achieve this by starting to work with an outsourcing provider when the situation in the company is stable. It is best to test this cooperation model on a project that is not key to your operations. Treat this as an opportunity to get to know your business partner. Thanks to this you will gain practical knowledge and be prepared for action when a crisis comes.
This is why many large companies outsource dev teams. Not because they have to, but because they want to. Companies want to know what it is like to work with an external provider. They want to have this cooperation model rehearsed because they know that a tried and tested provider will help to handle a potential crisis.
Therefore, even when your IT department works like a well-oiled machine, it is a good thing to have tried and tested outsourcing providers and a worked-out cooperation model. You never know when a crisis will come, but when it does, you will be prepared.
ImpiCode provides outsourced programming services. Read more about us here.