Finding key talent and top-notch expertise is always a challenge, especially for fast-growing companies working on the frontier of innovation. Outsourcing is a common solution, as it enables companies to access top-talent worldwide without the hassles of hiring internally (especially in light of growing IT skills shortages, particularly in the highest-demand specialized skill areas like blockchain, computer vision, AI and more). When done right, these arrangements help companies meet many other goals too, such as hitting the market faster.
However, as many have noted, outsourcing comes with its own long list of challenges and potential pitfalls, leading companies to weigh the costs, risks and benefits carefully. As a result, the industry is evolving newer and more creative arrangements to meet their goals while minimizing risks. As CIO magazine reported recently, “Old-school outsourcing has been under fire for some time and the steep decline in traditional approaches is expected to continue.”
Here are some common concerns we often hear about “traditional” or “old-school” IT outsourcing, and why it’s time for companies to consider alternative solutions and/or reframe their expectations to achieve the greatest return on their investments in today’s competitive market.
Concern #1: Outsourcing means I’ll lose control of my project and risk delays.
The solution: Consider the flexibility and control that can be gained from a team extension.
There’s more than one way to get the skills you need other than just fully outsourcing the entire development process for your project. For example, the team extension model, which continues to grow in popularity, offers the opportunity to fold and incorporate top talent into your own existing team.
Unlike old-school outsourcing, team extensions are a way to augment and enhance your teams, not replace them. Under this model, you remain in full control of your project management, but gain new team members that have the skills and experience to help you meet your goals more quickly (and more flexibly) than if you directly hired them yourself.
In our experience here at Genium, the most successful team extensions happen when team member candidates are carefully screened not just for their skills but also for their personal compatibility, such as with the destination team’s management style and the company’s business culture. This will help ensure the company can seamlessly integrate its new extended team members and that they are as engaged and invested in a project’s success as the original team.
Concern #2: Outsourcing is only for companies struggling with resources.
The solution: Don’t overlook the many benefits that can come from team extensions or other creative alternatives to old-school outsourcing.
We sometimes hear misconceptions that outsourcing is a solution sought out only by cash-strapped companies or those short on their own technical staff.
In reality, many companies can reap benefits from a productive and strategic partnership with a company that provides outside assistance. For example, here at Genium, we connect companies with experts that can allow them to save 30 to 50 percent of their budgets while increasing the quality of their resources thanks to our wide talent pool.
Even companies with plenty of resources can benefit from the advanced expertise (particularly in critical areas such as cybersecurity or in advanced, emerging tech), potential innovation and flexibility offered by a strategic team extension or other creative arrangement. This is especially the case for a company that needs to scale up or down quickly — in which case, finding a company with agile development expertise is key.
Concern #3: Outsourcing means we’ll risk losing quality.
The solution: Shift away from outdated outsourcing concepts and models that feature a cost vs. quality false dichotomy.
As Forbes notes, problems about quality in the services or product delivered rank high among the top concerns for outsourcing. Visions of “outsource farms” with lower-skilled workers churning out mediocre results in exchange for cheap labor are still floating around there. Indeed, seeking cost efficiencies above all else in any kind of outsourcing agreement can lead to disappointing outcomes or failed arrangements
However, companies increasingly are moving towards alternative approaches that allow them to work more closely with outside experts, while still gaining opportunities to optimize costs. For example, here at Genium we aim to connect companies with teams of top-tier experts that are hand-picked for concerns including geographic location, communication, compatibility and more. Customized, highly skilled teams allow for top-quality results while still achieving other efficiencies.
The Bottom Line? It’s All About Finding the Right Connection
At the end of the day, it’s clear that the business practice of seeking functions, skills and/or staff from outside providers isn’t going anywhere. As Deloitte noted in its most recent annual global outsourcing survey, 87 percent of companies are planning to either maintain or increase their current level of IT outsourcing.
Moving away from “old-school” outsourcing models can be an effective way to reap the benefits of advanced skills and expertise with fewer risks.
However, the most important factor for success will always be finding the right connections. It’s important that companies seeking team extensions, software development assistance or other services consider their options carefully and select a provider with a strong reputation and background.
Here at Genium, our reputation is something that we’ve earned over the years thanks to the exceptional quality of the engineers and talents we work with. Moreover, our strong client base gained through customer referrals is a testament to the high quality of service and support that we provide.
Interested in learning how we can connect your company with world-class expertise to help you minimize risk and maximize quality and innovation? Contact us today!