You have an idea. It's a superb idea. You’ve done your preliminary analysis and yep, there’s a market for it with minimal competition in an important vertical. It could be Ed-Tech, Fin-Tech, or IoT, you’ve got your idea, and you want to realize it.
So, who’s going to build it?
Knowing who to trust to make your product, your corporate innovation project, or even bolstering your current architecture is a difficult choice. As many companies do not have the time, money, or expertise to properly vet prospective tech resources, many turn to hiring freelancers to speed up development. Outsourcing dev work is not inherently wrong, but when you've heard countless nightmare stories of expectations not being met, the concept of due diligence comes into play. This is especially relevant to startups who cannot afford delays to their development due to a limited runway or other extenuating circumstances. With this is mind, let’s talk about why you should be upgrading your outsourcing to outsharing when you start your digital product development.
First, let’s discuss why companies outsource tech in the first place.
Primarily, companies outsource to reduce labor and operational costs. It’s a simple premise - if I outsource, I pay less overhead. It’s an attractive proposition; there is theoretically some freelancer or team of freelance developers who can deliver the work I’m requesting at a reasonable price point, and promptly, and I don’t have to vet and hire in-house tech myself so I can focus on my core business. Outsourcing allows me to tap into knowledge and skills that I don’t possess and can reduce my time to market, and that vendor knowledge can better inform my hiring procedures in the future, should I move my development in-house.
The problem is that this is ‘best case scenario’.
“most companies report only adequate satisfaction with their outsourcing initiatives…”
- Aberdeen Group
Finding teams or individuals who care about the digital product they're building can be a challenge, many are focused solely on getting paid then moving on to the next client. As long as initial conditions are met, then that’s as far as it goes, so there is no shared passion or creativity with the visionary. Boutique development studios are active in the development of digital products, providing creative solutions to things that pop up during development, and the process feels more like a partnership than hiring a digital labourer - this is in stark contrast to the majority of outsourcing firms. Despite the considerable limitations, trust issues, and a general culture of producing the bare minimum, outsourcing is a thriving industry, and it’s not going away anytime soon, but how can we make the experience of outsourcing less unpredictable? How can we make sure that when we choose remote workers to build our digital products, that they are the right team for the job capable of quick execution? Or have excellent communication skills and the creativity and expertise to take your scope (which may be loosely defined) and turn it into a working and good product? The answer to this is outsharing.
“....a great team, aware of how to employ the proper methodology, can turn an entrepreneur’s rough product concept into a solid software solution.”
Outsharing is a relatively new term, coined to differentiate its practice from outsourcing but still be part of the remote working sphere. Outsharing places a huge emphasis on working partnerships rather than the usual model of hiring somebody to do the job for you; it encourages collaboration. Through outsharing development with boutique tech studios, you experience an altogether new outsourcing experience - one that works.
“...(outsourcing) customers are no longer focusing on bringing services back in-house, but are focusing on optimising vendor relationships...”
Historically, outsourcing, and IT outsourcing in particular, was the ‘cost of doing business’, but as the core activity of a young digital company is tech - innovation and differentiated outcomes actually matter, more than that they are expected. Startups strive to break new ground and solve problems creatively during the development process, and this is difficult with a standard outsourcing company or a makeshift team of freelancers. Companies are starting to realise that great digital work comes from both parties - the customer and the supplier - being tightly aligned. That synchrony leads to innovation which is a win-win for both sides: the client gets the digital product that matches what they envisioned, and the tech team has created something they can be proud of. This is happening more and more - startups, in particular, are no longer being swayed by the low costs of freelance portals, but want something more from their remote teams - the higher cost means better quality that can outweigh the initial investment, along with a much greater mitigation of risk. Bad development leads to cost after cost as you’re always putting out fires caused by the wrong stack for the job, or messy code. Point being, with a little due diligence you can avoid an outsourcing nightmare by outsharing your development instead.
If you’re a startup, SME, or corporate who would like to learn more about how outsharing your development can help you, get in contact with Digital Knights.