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April 30, 2018

A CTO's Perspective on Software Outsourcing

As a tech leader for most of my career, I’ve been responsible for software and systems for decades. I learned years ago that software development is a hungry beast in perpetual motion. It was my job to decide what software development resources I needed in-house and what to outsource.

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In-house development has its challenges

I’ve hired a lot of software talent over the years. You might agree, hiring internally is painful, time-consuming and too slow; fully-burdened developers are too expensive, I had to fight for headcount - and I never had enough developers; maintaining a Silicon-Valley-style software culture that would attract the talent we needed was a tough sell for my environment (think: beer on tap, open workspaces, catered lunches - you get the idea.) Building an in-house team has it’s advantages, but it also comes with challenges - and the biggest ones for me were always cost, competition for the local talent pool, time to ramp up for fast moving projects, and culture.

Over time, development bottlenecks and inability to move fast became a serious obstacle for forward motion toward strategic business goals. I needed speed, capacity and agility. Ultimately, I had to consider the obvious solution: offshore or nearshore resources.

Outsourcing became more and more attractive

The first time I used Accelerance, software outsourcing wasn’t a new idea for me. I’d outsourced many times before with varying degrees of success and I wanted to be better. I wanted to do it “right”. I knew a few things going in: vendor selection is critical, finding a great vendor is crazy hard, and I didn’t have time for mistakes. I knew I needed help and I also knew just who to ask.

I had met Andy Hilliard, CEO of Accelerance through my professional network and I knew he worked in the outsourcing space - so I reached out. Within days, Andy’s team at Accelerance had me connected with a vetted nearshore software team perfectly aligned with my needs. I was astonished! Within weeks, we were ramped and code was flowing.

Since then I’ve included outsourced development teams as part of my overall solution five times. Outsourcing became my go-to software pain release valve to achieve some of my most critical business objectives: growth, revenue, profitability and productivity.

My software initiatives comprised internal-facing products to create operational efficiencies saving the company time and money - as well as customer-facing products for revenue growth and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Working with global teams, I gained instant capacity to move forward with aggressive product roadmaps. And the big win? No long hiring process, 40-60% cost savings over fully-burdened employees, instant scale for ramp-up or ramp-down… and best of all… I didn’t have to build and maintain an expensive “best place to work” software culture. My outsourcing partner took on ALL of that burden.

Helping companies achieve high-performance outsourcing

Long story short - I was so impressed with Accelerance I joined the company. Software outsourcing is the model that makes sense for today’s software-everything tech demands.

Outsourcing development to high-quality software factories around the world is similar to outsourcing other aspects of your business (such as accounting, legal, facilities, etc.)  to experts and strategic partners so that you can focus on your core. But, it takes more than just a great partner (if you can find one) to achieve high-performance software outsourcing - the kind of outsourcing that gives you those software development breakthroughs that drive business results.

The reason many (most?) engagements decline into low-performance software outsourcing that leaves you swearing you’ll never do it again is most tech and business leaders want to hire a company and get started - without a strategy, without clear expectations, without a plan for alignment, and without the knowledge it takes to achieve a high-performance working relationship.

Accelerance Methodology for Software Outsourcing

Accelerance has developed a unique methodology for software outsourcing that will change the way you think about, plan and experience global software development. We help companies create effective strategies for global software outsourcing through better planning, better partner selection and better ongoing management.

Change the way you outsource and the results you’re receiving from your offshore or nearshore teams. Talk to Accelerance and gain the successful software outsourcing results you want.   


Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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