08 September 2020
IT outsourcing services: Five real-life scenarios for you and your business
If you’d rather steer clear of reading through another superficial cataloguesque article, let me briefly remind you what IT outsourcing really means in 2022. Practical advice will serve you much better than bland and general information, so in this text, we will focus on five popular scenarios related to outsourcing software development and how to tackle potential risks.
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If you type in “IT outsourcing services” or “outsourcing company” using any web search engine – most probably, you’ll find plenty of advertisements published by outsourcing companies from all around the world. In most cases, it would be a presentation of their stack and the IT outsourcing services they offer, complete with typical benefits of IT outsourcing such as cost savings, or relief for the core business.
At The Software House, we have over 9 years of experience in IT outsourcing and software consultations, and we managed to help a variety of businesses of all sizes to achieve many different goals.
We have enough experience in the business process to be in a position to present you with a slightly different point of view on IT outsourcing services. What you’ll find below is not a simple and boring catalog of technologies and frameworks, but a list of real-life scenarios in which IT outsourcing services can really get useful. Think of it as a case study for outsourcing specialists and offshore outsourcing from an expert’s point of view. .
IT services outsourcing trends
Historically speaking, software development outsourcing may be associated with such areas as the Republic of India or generally Southern and Eastern Asia. For many years, from both European and US perspectives, outsourcing has meant moving software development to a company in a distant country.
Over the last few years, however, the situation in the IT outsourcing market has changed considerably. More and more companies decide to look for a software development partner nearby. And one particular region emerged to challenge India’s outsourcing supremacy: Central and Eastern Europe. Countries like Poland, Czechia, Hungary, and Ukraine are famous for the outsourcing of IT services, offering a great price-quality ratio as well as the business value of being close to mainstream tech hubs in Europe. This is perfect for companies who are looking to outsource.
Not only does this lower operating costs and raise the cost efficiency of operations but it minimizes problems with time zones (especially when outsourcing from Europe) – and let’s face it, it’s sometimes easier to do team building when your software engineers are only a two hour flight away.
Due to the shift in the location of outsourcing providers, we can now distinguish two approaches regarding software development outsourcing: offshoring (moving the work to a distant country) and nearshoring (choosing to outsource to a nearby country).
Eventually, nearshoring proved to be the next big thing, as for example, Nordic companies have truly fallen in love with IT outsourcing to nearby countries.
Risks and benefits of outsourcing IT services
Obviously, outsourcing of IT solutions is something that’s changing rapidly, still remaining unknown for some entrepreneurs and their businesses. Should you need any more information about the risks of outsourcing or SaaS companies’ concerns about software development outsourcing, feel free to click on those links. TL;DR: even though having some initial concerns comes naturally, outsourcing solutions definitely aren’t “unknown” anymore so if you prepare properly, there’s really nothing to fear.
Now, having all the basics settled, we can step to the promised list of five real-life business stories we took part in. I decided to sort them out starting from the non-technical ones and finishing with some more specific examples.
Every company is a tech company to some extent. It’s because sooner or later everyone realizes that good software can boost business and bring some real advantages. Your company may prosper very well but it may happen that at some point you will notice that you’re lacking the proper software. Let’s outsource it!
It was the case with one of our clients – Flyo. This Norwegian company came up with a new, innovative airport shuttle idea. The concept worked great but operating on multiple spreadsheets and dozens of emails quickly appeared to be ineffective. They needed infrastructure solutions that would have been pretty pricy in-house or with local software engineers.
They decided that the best way to change it would be by outsourcing IT services. We helped them digitize and automate their processes. We started with an in-depth analysis of the project. Then, we developed a new platform for workflow management and created a web app for the clients of Flyo. So in reality, this project had two parts:
- Support solutions for managing internal workflow
- Product design and creation
A complete solution for both company and their clients
We were responsible for mobile applications development – for both the clients and the drivers. And, on top of that, we took care of the whole digital product design (branding included).
The introduction of web and mobile applications turned out to be a pivotal moment for Flyo. It helped the company increase their customer service efficiency by 560%.
This story presents a very wide spectrum of possible IT outsourcing services which may start with a simple need to improve the process and end up with a whole package of web and mobile apps (as well as the digital product design) completely transforming your business.
This case is universal for the majority of non-tech companies as outsourcing the software development to the proven software organization is one of the easiest ways to cut costs, get professional service, and boost your business.
The best strategy is to work with a company that is capable of covering more than one base with you – from helping you to manage workflow to also working with product design and seeing it completed and implemented.
It saves time on getting to know your team and learning how to communicate and it helps the IT company become more like your in-house team, being better able to suggest what software support is ideal for you and to completely back you up in your business goals.
Story #2: Getting rid of the technical debt and refactoring an existing system
It may happen that you run a company that has used specific software for a long time – so long that the software isn’t current and can’t keep up with your needs anymore. It was developed in the past and it was not built future-proof, or maybe it’s been grandfathered into your system and isn’t really that applicable65y7. Bummer.
But, well, that happens to the best of us. The only thing you can do (except for developing a whole new system from scratch, obviously) is to refactor and upgrade the existing system. Been there, done that!
Speakers Corner is a leading international booking service with over 7.500 keynote speakers. For years, they have been working using a custom platform but, after some time, the system turned out to be inefficient. In order to grow and attract high-quality customers, Speakers Corner decided to develop a new solution. Let’s give the floor to the managing director of Speakers Corner – Nick Gold (and here’s the full interview with him for you to check):
“We wanted to get some people who understood how to develop the system properly, get them involved, get them to be our partners – to make sure that as we grow, they will grow with us so we can develop some amazing ideas together. To be honest, there are a lot of people who are able to develop code but the real value is an understanding of the business process.”
And guess what. We were those guys – with the necessary experience, trying (with success) to understand Speakers Corner’s needs and business process. After a thorough analysis of the Speakers Corner system, we managed to track down the elements requiring immediate improvement and we rebuilt the system to make sure it would meet the requirements of users.
It’s a great example of how IT outsourcing services helped the company to achieve better results. Knowing their business objectives and needs were crucial for us to provide some support to improve and strengthen their existing platform. Again – it’s a pretty common scenario that the company has the necessary infrastructure but needs to execute some improvements. IT service outsourcing companies like us can come with a helping hand (and some world-class code).
Story #3: The inability to find the right software developers (or other IT professionals) close by
There are over 26,5 million software engineers in the world but even though many companies still struggle with the lack of software engineers. Some time ago, I wrote an article on software engineers shortage and I tried to illustrate how IT services outsourcing companies can help with that.
Long story short – there are several reasons for the lack of access to information technology professionals on a local level. Lack of experience, skill gaps, tech skills, or soft skills may be an issue along with high salary demands.
Inexperienced candidates are mostly those newly graduated software engineers. Obviously, everyone needs to start their career somewhere but for a potential employer, the lack of work experience may outweigh all the advantages.
On the other hand – there are plenty of software developers who lack formal education but have plenty of valuable experience, whilst plenty of employers would rather expect their employees to be at least an undergraduate in a STEM degree.
You can also find a senior developer with over 10 years of experience in the software development area who lacks skills in some technologies (like the newest trends or the tech stack that you’re using in your company that may turn out to be very specialized and not at all common in the market).
If you’re lucky enough to find a suitable candidate with the proper education, tech skills, and experience to join your team, it may soon appear that they lack soft skills – which, in short words, makes them difficult to work with. We don’t have to get along with everyone – but what if that’s the only expert in town?
Also, software developers can be really picky which doesn’t make it any easier.
Again, we played our role in the story of a technology company struggling to find the right software developers and thus deciding to turn to an IT outsourcing company. In an honest interview about their success, Matthijs Piëst talks about the reasons why his company, WieBetaaltWat, decided to outsource software development to The Software House:
“Before, we had our own team in Amsterdam, but we soon found out that it’s difficult to find the right people locally. Amsterdam is a quite competitive technology market. That’s why we grew our partnership with The Software House. We’re not looking for junior people who only do what they’re asked to, we rather look for smart people – let their voice be heard, let them be proactive”.
The WieBetaaltWat example is not an isolated one. Many emerging companies and start-ups are just weary of competing with big fish and rather want to eschew that war for talent. It’s much like the real estate market. While locally, it might be limited, expensive, and not quite what you want – why not teleport to a better place?
Again, outsourcing IT solutions may be the answer. It’s a relatively easy way to cut costs, choose from multiple solutions and get the necessary technical experience and support.
Story #4 – You need specialists with unique information technology skills and competencies ad hoc
Another story is about a whole lot of companies that suddenly need specialists with unique skills, competencies, and/or proficiency in certain technologies. It may be a tech company that needs to develop a mobile app as soon as possible but has no mobile development department.
Or a digital marketing agency that needs some specific software developers “just for this project”. Or maybe an IT company that needs just the right experts in microservices (or any other not-so-basic stuff) as soon as possible.
Yes, you guessed right. We have experience in these kinds of ad hoc projects as well. A good way to illustrate that is to mention the story of our cooperation with Property Finder.
Our project with their company started with their pressing need to refactor and modernize their existing systems. They were looking for a DevOps partner to help them.
DevOps engineers are very desirable – as they can take care of the security, speed, and scalability of your software’s infrastructure – but not many companies can afford to have a DevOps specialist on board full-time. Their support is expensive and specialized.
That’s why Property Finder outsourced it to us – they were counting on a business transformation and decided to gain access to experts on the global scale. But not too far from home!
After proving ourselves with excellent DevOps services, we’ve been engaged in some additional web development projects. Because TSH has the ability to manage more than one type of project and has experience in a wide variety of technologies, we are able to switch from one type of project to another in an efficient way while continuing the same tight teamwork.
With longer cooperation, this starts to work very much like in-house teamwork, without all the related risks of “hiring strangers”. The external providers become a part of your family and your business organization.
Outsourcing IT services gives you the flexibility that would be hard to afford otherwise. If you know that you need specialists for a certain project, you don’t have to hire developers permanently – you can hire a partner to deliver a project, and then you can decide whether you need to expand the scope and scale the team up or you don’t need the support any longer.
💡 Looking for artsy developers?
Story #5: You need to pivot your business extremely fast
We all love unexpected turns of events, right? Yes, I’m talking about you, the year 2022, you little scoundrel! 😩 Things are still changing fast for online businesses. Especially if we need to adjust the whole business or infrastructure overnight. Reliable software development outsourcing can provide reliable support in that matter too. And we’ve got something to brag about in this area as well, as we offered ad hoc support to execute a spectacular and successful business pivot this year!
One of our recent partners, StageClip, makes it possible for universities and high schools from all around the world to create individualized video clips from graduation ceremonies. Due to the outbreak of the “You-Know-What” pandemic, this British company needed to change its business model and move the real-life university ceremonies to the internet. This was giving them and their clients a whole new way of interacting, completely new technology solutions – they needed it fast, at lower costs than they could find locally and they needed full control of the process. They went for nearshore software development – like quite a lot of other outsourcing vendors from the UK.
So… they went with The Software House. The biggest challenge for us was a very tight deadline, as the graduation ceremonies were getting closer and closer. We needed to scale up the development team accordingly, making sure we meet the deadline and deliver the product on time. But our effort worked – the project was delivered within the expected timeframe, meeting all the technical objectives.
Thanks to the new solution, StageClip is now capable of providing its services to way more clients than ever before – we’re talking about over 800 universities and thousands of students! Pivot complete.
The conclusion coming from this example is pretty straightforward. You can run a software company and be successful, but if something unexpected happens – it’s cheaper, faster, and safer to find an outsourcing partner rather than doing everything on your own.
IT outsourcing services. Best practices & technical expertise from qualified teams
As you can see, there are many examples of when outsourcing IT services may help your business strive for survival and achieve better results. Don’t just think about language barriers or cultural differences when considering outsourcing – this is mostly a myth. We speak Engish, enjoy the same memes, we’re all on Clutch, and we have the same goals!
Companies outsource for many reasons:
- Better core competencies than local service providers
- Digital transformation on a holistic level – not just particular projects
- Supporting whole businesses processes – from internal to external
- Better affordability
When you decide to outsource software development to an external vendor, you must be sure that you trust your partner and the chosen vendor won’t let you down. That’s why it’s always very important to conduct thorough research and take into consideration a variety of factors before deciding. Independent data-driven online guides and rankings for B2B buying and hiring decisions such as Clutch may be helpful.
You should have this step-by-step guide to outsourcing
🗺️ Discover answers to questions our clients about outsourcing throughout the delivery of 200+ software projects. Grab a .pdf or read it online to know how to find developers that will feel like your employees.