As a business leader or entrepreneur in 2019, you’ve probably heard the common tips on software development outsourcing: don’t buy on price alone, research vendors thoroughly, consider location, communicate desired outcomes clearly. But the best practices for outsourcing technology teams are evolving as quickly as the industry itself, and there are some newer challenges that can throw a wrench into an already-tricky web or software development project. Here are three mistakes to avoid when outsourcing IT or building an offsite tech team.
1. Not Sharing Information Securely
Careful vetting before onboarding any vendor is inarguably key, but that’s just the first step in effective risk management when outsourcing talent for software development projects. In this tech-driven era, perhaps the biggest risk for any company is a data breach; as of 2018, 73% of U.S. enterprises have been breached, and the average cost of a singular data breach was $3.86 million. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to establish robust internal and external governance processes for safe data-sharing in 2019, and ensure all of your employees – whether at HQ, offsite, or offshore – are aware of the latest risks and tactics used by attackers.
2. Compromising Innovation for Cost
Creative problem-solving is an essential trait to look for when filling individual roles, so it only makes sense to prioritize it when outsourcing a larger team for a tech-focused project. Oftentimes, though, innovation gets left behind for a more cost-effective deal, even though it’s so valuable in moving complex tech projects forward. Global studies show that many leaders are already figuring this out – in 2017, the ability to provide innovative solutions was the #1 quality businesses looked for when outsourcing IT. Still, the harsh reality is that only 29% of IT project implementations are successful and 19% are considered total failures, according to recent studies. To overcome the roadblocks that have caused so many other projects to fail, one needs a creative team who can assess unforeseen issues from all angles and offer truly innovative solutions.
3. Communicating Quickly, But Ineffectively
Outsourcing tech projects often means bringing remote workers onto your team, and while the distance may seem daunting, you can take some easy steps to ensure it doesn’t disrupt communication in your business. There are numerous modern tools to help leaders manage projects in multiple time zones – however, many solutions solve for speed and efficiency, leaving the human element up to you and your employees. Loneliness and collaborating/communicating were cited as the top struggles for remote workers in 2018, so it’s essential to build a company culture that feels inclusive and receptive to questions, new ideas, and open dialogue. Years of research has shown that a positive work culture leads to increased productivity and profitability, so it’s vital to assess how you’re communicating to employees at all times. Rather than quickly relaying instructions for the sake of speed, take the time for conversation that welcomes the views of your outsourced tech talent and fosters true collaboration.