Outsourcing your software development projects is no new phenomenon, but it’s one that’s on the up – especially in the current climate. Even before the pandemic, global spending on outsourcing was predicted to reach $445 billion this year. With the advent of the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent push for digital transformation, the market is well-and-truly booming, according to a recent report.
However, an increasing amount of outsourcing players means more variation in the kind of partners available. While demand for digital products is higher than ever before, choosing an IT partner is not a decision that you should rush into without doing the proper due diligence. One of the most pivotal elements of the client-vendor relationship is transparency – without this, your chances of receiving a high-quality end result are next to none. Here’s why transparency is more crucial than ever during and post-pandemic and how you can make sure you select an expert partner that honors its importance.
Transparency is foundational to success
Ultimately, you can only be sure of the expertise and experience of your development partner if they are transparent when it comes to all of the processes which involve your project.
When your partner is transparent around the commitment of their team to your project and the processes they’re following on a daily basis, there are far fewer instances of miscommunication and missed expectations. It becomes much easier for you to understand why certain obstacles may arise and what it will take for them to be resolved. With real-time insights into the work being done on your product, you can see potential delays develop in real-time, instead of being misled by promises of smooth-sailing and then hit with problems that have seemingly blown up out of nowhere. While it’s never a good idea to micromanage your outsourcing partner, it pays to be able to know what stage your project is at and what the path ahead looks like.
A lack of transparency can even result in cases of code theft and if you don’t have a clear vision into what’s going on behind the scenes, an outsourcing company could limit assets to one of your key resources.
What many companies don’t realize is that transparency is a two-way street. As the client, you must be clear about your expectations, timeline, and budget so as to not throw things out of whack which may result in poor-quality deliverables and mismanaged expectations.
In addition to all of this, there’s one fundamental reason for transparency that’s more prescient now than ever: Security
How COVID-19 made security even more vital
Transparency on the part of your outsourcing partner is vital when it comes to security. The pandemic has increased cybersecurity risks for all organizations – from enterprises to individual entrepreneurs – as hackers capitalize on the uncertainty and work from home policies that have come into effect. As a result, companies are forced to increase their focus and spending on cybersecurity measures to protect the integrity of their data and systems.
When seeking out an expert partner to build your product, this increased commitment to cybersecurity has to be evident especially if developers are working remotely on personal hardware. Getting a clear picture of the security infrastructure of the outsourcing company is the only way you’ll be able to ensure that your personal and business data is in safe hands.
How to make sure you pick a partner committed to transparency
So now you know why you need transparency when outsourcing your software development. Let’s dive into what you should look for in a potential partner.
One of the key aspects of teams that are committed to transparency and accountability is an agile approach. An agile approach towards development promotes continuous reporting and status tracking, making it easy for clients to see the progression of their project. The ideal partner would produce clear-cut reports which accurately present the state of the project, leaving no room for misinterpretation. Agile teams also often use various tools that allow them to check project quality in real-time, including platforms that enable continuous integration, static code analysis, and unit tests. The KPIs that come from these tools should be available for you to see on a continuous basis.
Furthermore, an agile methodology means a commitment to open and frequent communication. This bodes well for clients seeking updates from team members from the outsourcing partner, as they should already be holding frequent meetings and utilizing platforms such as Slack to communicate via message. However bear in mind that if you’re outsourcing to a company whose time zone varies significantly from your own, this could very well cause communication issues and project delays.
Finally, any quality outsourcing partner should be open to you having access to their code repository to get an understanding of how they’re working and conduct quality control. This demonstrates that they truly have nothing to hide and are happy for you to be as involved as you want with the product-building process.
There are a number of benefits to outsourcing software development but the truth is that very few of these can be realized without a commitment to transparency on both sides. By going into an arrangement with a clear picture of your own expectations, timeline, and budget as well as conducting thorough vetting to ensure your partner is dedicated to transparency as you are, you can up your chances of product success.