Offshoring

Moving your development team offshore will save you a lot of money and improve the quality of your product

The subject of offshoring software development generates a lot of opinions and emotions.

Some people think it is a terrible idea, others think that it is brilliant. I’d like to share a story.

Development costs were increasing. Developers in London were getting more and more expensive and there demand was outstripping supply. At the same time, clients were under more financial pressures and were squeezing budgets. The company was being squeezed in the middle

Is this sounding familiar?

At the same time, the ability for developers to move to more lucrative positions and the company’s need to shed expensive staff when surplus to requirements meant that it was hard to maintain a consistent team. Quality suffered.

The company was wary about offshoring, but felt compelled to make the move, as there were few plausible alternatives. Having considered offshoring to Eastern Europe and South Asia, the latter won through. A partner was selected in Hyderabad, India. They would act as the company’s eyes and ears in India. They would support recruitment, HR and IT functions and mediate any growing pains.

Within 6 months the entire London based development team was gone and in its place was a growing development team in Hyderabad. After a year, the benefits were all too plain to see.

At a board level, there were lots of smiles – there were significant savings on development costs.

Picking into the details revealed a richer story. By reducing costs, the company was able to maintain a larger development team and were better equipped to hang on to existing staff. There were many factors to take into account, but the end result was a better quality product.

Lower costs, higher quality.

There has to be a catch, right?

Of course there is. There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is a catch, but it is not what you might think. Offshoring a development team can bring significant benefits, but there is a price to pay:

  • There are cultural differences between the UK and India. If your company is flexible and adaptable, these differences will be a benefit. If your company is rigid, they will be a burden
  • Your communication skills will need to go into overdrive
  • A million little things will have to change
  • The things you think will be hard, will be easy. Some of the things you think will be easy, will be hard.

You will find supporters and opponents within your business and it will take time to win everyone over. Small details will be critiqued and every issue will be seized on as a reason why it won’t work.

A trip to Hyderabad reveals that the software development industry in India is doing well and is not waiting for you. The likes of Microsoft, Google and Deloitte have all realised the benefits of offshoring – and they do not have offices in Hyderabad for the ease of commuting! Large companies can easily take advantage of a global workforce. For smaller companies, the challenge is a little harder.

Successful offshoring requires coaching, nurturing and care. With the right approach and a commitment to succeed, the significant financial benefits of offshoring can be realised.

26 Brains offers bespoke coaching across all levels of business from board, senior management and production teams. Having masterminded the process – from partner selection, recruitment, board-level buy-in and internal change management – we are perfectly placed to help you through the process.

Packages can be offered to match most scopes of work – whether you only need a basic consultancy or intensive internal coaching, 26 Brains can support you.

Get in touch and let us show you how you can benefit.