Too many people still think that creating great software and having a great outsourced relationship can be achieved by randomly selecting lightly vetted vendors, sending requirements - detailed or not - and asking for competitive (and questionable) quotes.
Don’t do it! Evaluating and selecting your software outsourcing partner is really like dating.
My assistant sent me a text message on Skype the other day. A woman was on the phone and wanted to tell me that someone stole my identity on a dating website. “Do I want to speak to her?” my assistant asked. What!? I’m not active on a dating website (at the moment). “No.” I replied, “Please take a message.”
And the message was that the woman, let’s call her Jane… that Jane was communicating with a gentleman she met on a dating website by exchanging emails and phone calls. For some reason she decided to hire a private investigator to find out more about him. The PI did a Google image search using the guy’s dating website profile photo. And where was there an exact copy? On my Twitter profile! Which is connected to Accelerance and why she was on the phone with my assistant.
I guess I should be flattered that the guy “borrowed” my photo.
Don't Trust Everything You See
Obviously this kind of deception does not make for the start of a good relationship. You can’t trust everything you see online. And the same is true of software outsourcing companies and their websites!
Looking for a good software outsourcing company really means you are looking for a good relationship. Online searches and deciding on cost alone will set you up for disappointment. And then limiting yourself to an arms-length client-vendor relationship and trying to create your custom software with over-the-wall communication and contractual mandates is a recipe for disaster.
Attempting to “purchase” software outsourcing and failing is an important lesson. But it's a lesson better learned from the experience of others instead of directly.
Companies that follow this philosophy of “purchasing outsourcing” constitute an uncomfortably high percentage of our clients. Consequently, their subsequent horrible experiences, loss of significant time to market and wasted investment lead them to overall negative feelings about outsourcing. It’s like Jane saying, “I’ll never data again!”
Variety of Benefits
Outsourcing software development with a good company has a plethora of valuable benefits if you do it right. Beyond a cost savings of more than 50%, you get access to a flexible talent pool that you can tap into quickly and grow up (and down) easily as opposed to hiring your own full-time back office development team.
Also, remember that most companies are NOT a professional custom software development shop. Is yours? Leave creating your software to a partner who specializes in the creation of custom software development like yours, so you can focus all your energy and resources towards the vision, evolution, promotion and sales for your service or product.
Like dating and marriage today, you don’t sign the certificate and show up at an alter sight unseen. You might do some remote due diligence and check references, but once you validate your requirements alignment (when outsourcing or dating!) you’ll want to spend the greatest percentage of your process evaluating culture and chemistry.
And by the way, if you want to remain anonymous on a dating website, don’t use your Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook profile photo. Not everyone needs a private investigator to use Google image search. Anyone can use your photo to find you!
Do your due diligence when choosing an outsourcing partner, download our free eBook "The Essential Guide to Outsourcing Software Development."