Consumer expectations, competitive pressures, and the rapid pace of technological change are all driving the digital transformation for businesses. As Eric Pearson, CIO of the InterContinental Hotel Group has noted, “It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.” For many organizations, in-house IT has become an obstacle to speed.
When responsiveness is key, you may find it takes weeks or months to find the right IT staff. In fact, 69% of US employers struggle to find the right people for their needs, with IT talent scarcity topping the list. Hiring in-house also carries a fixed cost with the added risk that your talent pool will remain fixed while the market continues to shift.
Outsourcing allows you to tap into a flexible team of creative thinkers, designers, and developers to design and build the right digital product for your needs. This flexibility, efficiency, and innovation has driven the market for global IT services outsourcing, anticipated to reach USD 937.6 billion by 2027.
Why Choose Outsourcing?
One the primary drivers for outsourcing of any kind, including digital product development, is gaining access to skill sets not available within your organization – or at least not available at the scale you need them to be. Rather than try to fit the project to the skills you have internally, outsourcing allows you to weigh all the factors in choosing the right technology to support your project – factors which could change from project to project.
35% of organizations turn to outsourcing for innovation, with additional benefits in cost savings, capacity issues, and the freedom to focus on core business. Outsourcing helps align your organization with a flexible talent pool of people, skills, and services to transform your business outcomes.
Advances in technology have helped forward-looking companies to benefit significantly from outsourcing services for quite some time now. This is particularly relevant for small to medium-size enterprises, who simply lack the space or labour funds for in-house auxiliary departments like finance and payroll.
– Kikis Pissarides,
Manager, Business Process Solutions,
Here are a few key advantages of outsourcing to an IT service provider:
- Cost efficiencies – Outsourcing allows organizations to realize cost savings through economies of scale and the specialized experience of the provider without having the fixed cost of a full-time employee or costly re-training for new IT skills. At the same time, outsourcing eliminates fixed costs associated with certificates, office equipment, and other infrastructure.
- Scalability – Your outsourcing partner can scale when you need them to, allowing you to quickly start projects and ensure faster time-to-market since your partner can start working on the project right away.
- Expertise – Outsourcing allows you to access skills “on demand” as you need them, allowing you to expand your team to include a broader set of skills or to tap into new technologies quickly. Unlike in-house employees, you tap into experts only as much as you need them, allowing you to create a much more diverse team suited exactly to your project’s needs.
- Reduced risk – With the rapid pace of change in the marketplace, responsiveness is key during the development phase. If your needs change or the business environment changes (as we saw with COVID-19), you can scale your team up or down as needed. Outsourced partners are also used to working within budgets and tight deadlines, which are much harder to enforce with in-house staff.
The ideal partner is ever-evolving their own internal products to give you that lightning fast speed you need to remain competitive in the marketplace.
What to Look for in an Outsourcing Partner
There are many creative agencies focused on design, and many technical services organizations who can deliver a project, but very few combine these into a product development mindset that takes you from idea to outcome.
It is important to find a partner with a “product development mindset,” one who isn’t just focused on finishing your project and moving on. An outsourcing partner with a “product development mindset” looks at outcome instead of output, a shift in thinking that focuses on developing the right product for your needs. From the discovery phase right through to development, you want a partner who is experienced and who brings the right processes and skills to the table.
When it comes to selecting your outsourcing partner, bigger isn’t always better. Finding the right partner is more about fit, which includes looking at:
- An Established Track Record – Look for a provider with an established reputation in your niche. Look for strategic, long-term partnerships, test drive digital products yourself, or reach out to relevant references.
- Broad Technical Skills – There is no one-size-fits-all solution for product development, so look for a partner with published technical expertise in a variety of areas including platforms, mobile, web, databases, DevOps, video, machine learning / AI, Cloud, CRM, and analytics.
- Agile Processes – Look for a partner leveraging Scrum-based agile development methodology to be sure your partner is continuously incorporating feedback – avoiding costly rework. This iterative process allows for measurement, testing, and scaling to ensure the results align with your business objectives.
- A People-First Approach – Designing the right product begins with one-to-one attention to understand your needs and to document the scope of your project. The ideal partner will work with you to establish preferred communication channels and a roadmap for how often you’d like to be updated.
The right outsourcing partner is dedicated to helping you succeed and grow, whether you come to the table with a small project or have evolving needs.
COVID-19 Prioritizes Outsourcing
COVID-19 has had significant impacts on organizations and on the economy. Organizations have been forced to cut costs and focus on core capabilities in order to support business continuity. At the same time, COVID-19 has impacted consumer expectations, forcing organizations to prioritize their digital transformation.
The greatest merit of your outsourced partner is their ability to support your business through periods of both disruption and growth.
Tips to Make Your Outsourced Project a Success
You want a partner who wants to do more than just build your product, they want to work alongside you to elevate your brand in the marketplace in the long-term. However, like any relationship, the success of your outsourced project is a two-way street. Help your project succeed with these tips:
- Define your goals clearly
- Conduct feasibility studies and market research
- Choose a provider in a similar time zone (look for satellite office options)
- Check in regularly for progress updates and feedback
- Choose a provider focused on iterative development (Agile and DevOps)
- Choose a provider who is able to meet your compliance requirements without delay, giving you confidence their processes are already secure
Net Solutions is a strategic design & build consultancy that unites creative design thinking with agile software development under one expert roof. Founded in 2000, Net Solutions creates award-winning transformative digital products & platforms for startups and enterprises worldwide.
At Net Solutions, we take a 360° view of your brand to chart the optimal course for revenue- and growth-driving digital products and platforms, including:
- UX strategy and product prototyping
- Usability testing & validation
- eCommerce strategy and optimization
- Lean, agile product development
- Data analytics, visualization, and digital customer experience strategy & insights
- Legacy IT modernization and digital transformation services