How to Scale an IT Project with Outsourcing?
One of the key benefits of hiring external development teams is the freedom to grow.
Across industries and sectors, companies are often faced with a similar challenge: growth is not simply the result of an increase in demand for products and services, but of the ability for a business to scale efficiently, and in a way that does not disrupt or negatively affect product and service quality.
By now, practically every company will have direct knowledge and experience of how important digital assets and infrastructure are for operations, customer relations, and sales.
Digital infrastructure underpins more than just websites and internal communication systems; for many companies – especially those that are internet-based – essentially all business operations are reliant on digital assets. The ability to generate revenue is often exclusively facilitated through digital channels, while growth can be almost entirely premised on an ability to expand markets and customer bases online.
Beyond the big-picture importance of digital assets and how they are used to conduct business, companies also need to be able to quickly fix and adapt their digital offerings and systems in order to meet shifting customer demands and expectations.
The issue is simultaneously simple and complex:
- How can a company quickly expand an IT project or its digital assets in order to respond to fast-changing market conditions and dynamics?:
- How can businesses scale up or down without investing large amounts of time and resources on hiring and training in-house IT teams?
The most effective answer – which even big companies with large in-house development teams are discovering and using – is through outsourcing.
IT Outsourcing 101
Before we get into how a company can use IT outsourcing to effectively scale its operations, let’s first get to grips with what outsourcing actually entails.
Outsourcing software development or IT services involves a company contracting another company specialized in IT and development to undertake a software development or IT project.
For small to medium sized enterprises and start-ups with limited budgets, the ability to enlist the services of an external IT company that is specialized in delivering software solutions is often much more preferable than trying to hire, train and permanently employ in-house software teams.
Additionally, due to the nature of the internet and the powerful tools available for remote working arrangements, companies have the ability to contract IT outsourcing companies located all over the world. This is one of the key strengths of outsourcing IT: it frees companies from the limitations of seeking IT help and expertise from tech professionals or companies in their immediate vicinity.
This allows access to IT professionals in countries with lower labor costs, and whose business specialization is in providing software solutions to a wide range of industries in the most time-efficient way possible.
And it is not only small companies that have understood the benefit of this type of arrangement: even massive tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook regularly contract external IT companies to develop software for them, some of which has been used for some of their most popular products.
So now that we’ve covered why outsourcing is such an attractive option for a wide range of companies seeking to expand or upgrade their software and digital assets, let’s take a look at how a company can use outsourcing to scale effectively.
Scaling: Flexibility is the Key
The Covid-19 crisis laid out the challenge of scaling digitally for countless companies across the world when it first began wreaking havoc early last year.
Businesses that had until then relied on local-based, physical sales and services had to scramble to undertake a process of digital transformation in order to have even a chance of survival under the shadow of lockdowns.
For companies that were able to adapt to the challenge and quickly implement the types of digital assets needed to continue business operations in the new conditions – new local delivery options, upgraded websites, logistical communication systems, etc. – business may even have improved following the onset of the crisis.
Of course, Covid-19 is not the only cause for companies needing to embrace or expand their digital capabilities – it is only one of the most extreme, and recent.
In reality, and in ‘normal’ times, companies are constantly faced with a wide range of different challenges and opportunities that call for an expansion – or constriction – of their software development activity.
This is where an outsourcing IT company can become really useful. They allow companies to quickly respond to changing market dynamics and conditions, without having to go through the time and cost-intensive processes of undertaking software development in-house.
Specifically, a company can use an external IT company to go through the following scaling processes:
Outsourcing development work to a professional external IT company allows companies to respond to changing conditions in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
Having access to a pre-existing team of development professionals that know how to work together, understand the demands of different industries and companies, and have combined experience in a variety of different coding languages and approaches can be a huge asset.
By having access to such an external team, a company can focus on understanding their markets and customers, conceptualizing how they want to reach and service those markets, and then acting on that knowledge decisively without having to maintain an in-house team. They can just choose to “Press Go” and kick off their software project or upgrade without having to amass the human and technical resources to do it themselves.
2. Ramp Up
Let’s take the example of a manufacturing company that has realized a growing proportion of their online business is coming from a foreign country.
The company’s owners might rationally conclude that if they were able to create a website in that country’s language, with products specifically tailored to that country’s prevailing market conditions and the demand they have witnessed in their sales, they may be able to significantly boost their share of that country’s market for their products.
However, building that new, country-specific website might be beyond the scope of the company’s abilities, if they were to attempt to undertake it in-house. The answer: hiring an external IT developer to do it for them.
3. Ramp Down
This point is often overlooked in business strategy, but our experience tells us it’s an important point to consider.
One of the key benefits of outsourcing software development is the freedom it gives companies to not expend large amounts of money on maintaining software teams that are simply not necessary.
Most companies do not have a need for permanent in-house software teams. They want to build software solutions that work, maintain them with minimal effort, and then upgrade or expand them when it makes business sense to do so.
Opting to outsource software development allows companies to be as flexible as possible when it comes to their software solutions, building when necessary, fine-tuning, and then ending a project when it’s complete, without unnecessary legacy costs.
A professional and experienced IT service provider will be able to offer its clients clear timelines for a project, and also offer the requisite level of after-project maintenance and testing that is scaled and reflexive to the project in question.
Professional IT outsourcing companies will also seek to complete projects as efficiently as possible, as keeping their clients happy will be in their best interest. Professional IT providers know that digital assets need to be upgraded and expanded every so often, and understand that efficiency and flexibility are KSPs they should embrace and pursue if they want their clients to keep coming back to them.
Of course, as with any industry, there are many different players in the IT outsourcing world, and it is important for companies to do their research on any company they are planning on doing business with. An IT outsourcing company should be transparent about workflow, timelines, project limitations and data security – the list is long, and beyond the scope of this article (though we’ll be covering them in more detail in a future post).
But once you’ve decided to opt for the outsourcing option with a reliable provider – the benefits can be impressive – and scalable!
Are you looking for a reliable and professional partner to create the software solutions you need to take your business to the next level? Get in touch with us to start a conversation.