How to select an outsourcing firm to make it work

There are several benefits of a dual shore or blended delivery model. The benefits to be gained vary by organization, but include the following:

  • Reduced cost and investment: Transforming fixed costs to variable costs provides every company with more financial and operational flexibility to better meet its business objectives.
 Companies can have access to industry experts without having to increase headcount and the associated fixed costs. Organizations can also take advantage of lower cost offshore resources as part of the team composition.
  • Increased flexibility:  As the requirements of a specific project or overall application support changes over time, modifying the team is more easily done with a partner offering a blended delivery model. The team composition can be changed to match the right resources for the task and the right mix of onshore (same time zone for ease of communication and work coordination) and offshore for lower cost and round the clock delivery.
  • Increased focus on core business: Business can stay focused on strengthening their company’s core business while having outsourced partners provide efficiencies and cost savings on the company’s non-core functions. With the challenges of attracting and retaining top IT talent, organizations are better positioned by having their employees work on new development and exciting IT tasks while outsourcing the more routine tasks. This helps retain and develop critical employees.
  • Added strategic value: A good strategic outsourcing partner can add value in leveraging the various technologies and solutions used to provide value to other clients, without compromising confidential information, of course. The partner may come to the table with valuable IP – applications, frameworks, test libraries and will be willing to invest in POC’s in many cases to benefit both the client and their consultancy as well.

Good news, to be sure, but the benefits of dual-shore development can only be realized if you select a partner who carefully manages their resources, their teams and client communications to ensure that offshore project teams deliver business benefits while reducing the client’s management overhead.

8 tips for choosing the best outsourcing partner

  1. Engage an outsourcing partner that encourages your business to pay considerable attention to establishing and continually enhancing work processes, strong communication and quality reviews to measure the productivity and overall success of their outsourcing relationship.
  1. A good outsourcing partner understands flexible staffing models, including part on-site/onshore and part offshore, and puts processes in place to reduce client overheads. Quality outsourcing firms provide complete project and team ownership, with fixed price deliverables based services, reducing greatly the client’s risk.
  1. Choose an outsourcing partner that will encourage you to pay careful attention to establishing a well-defined strategy of work distribution, and that will help you determine what work should be done on-site by company and outsourcing partners, what work should be done onshore, and what work can be done successfully offshore.
  1. Companies achieve success with an outsourcing partner that makes sure that work coordination between the members of the team is well defined and understood by all.
  1. A good outsourcing partner understands differences of language, culture and geography. Good communication is critical to the success of any development project, but it becomes even more critical when working with offshore vendors. The onshore organization must be cognizant of the cultural differences that affect how directions are received, problems are resolved and responsibility is delegated.
  1. Given the limited supply of technical resources in any given location, organizations are driven to look globally for resources with skill and experience in both established and new technologies. Selecting the right outsourcing partners enables them to meet the application demand and also the flexibility to increase or decrease resources quickly to meet demand.
  2. Since IT solutions are increasingly in support of direct customer interaction, businesses are not just looking at technology to play a supporting role, but to become a business driver and to deliver measurable business results. As a result, companies are looking to outcome-based models of outsourcing partnership, where value is driven from measuring business impacts such as revenue generation, market penetration and resource optimization. A good outsourcing partner will share in the risks and rewards of outcome based pricing, and understand that rewards and penalties should be expected for early or late system delivery and quality measures.

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Laura Shumaker is a Staff Writer on the Menlo Technologies Marketing team. 
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