Friday, 6 May 2011

Outsourced Product Development Myths and Realities

Outsourced Product Development Myths and Realities

Outsourcing software development has been in place for some time now, with companies having overcome the initial hiatus to embrace this new trend. Both small startups and fortune 500 companies have saved millions of dollars outsourcing their software needs offshore to locations like India, China and Russia and acquired a definitive edge over their competitors who chose to go without software or ramp up an information technology team in house. Whereas traditional software outsourcing has been by brick and mortar companies whose core competency was not in writing software, a new wave has recently arrived where even the Mobile application development companies are now looking out for coalitions or partners who can manage their product development offshore. This is in stark contrast to the normal principle of outsourcing where companies used to outsource tasks which were not a part of their core competency. One must say competitive globalization has arrived.

Choosing an offshore product development partner
Myth: When it comes to choosing a development partner, there is no difference between a one-off software development company and a company focused on Software Product Engineering Services
Reality: You couldn't have been farther from the truth. There is a world of difference between one-off software development and creating a software product. One-off software development is more of a 'Get it working somehow approach' while companies focused on software product engineering live by making strongly architected, portable, maintainable, secure, adaptable, highly configurable and installable software. For more details on the difference between traditional outsourcing and outsourced product engineering,

Project Management Ownership
Myth: Keeping project management onsite with just retaining the team with the outsourcing partner would lower the risk by reducing the number of unknowns.
Reality: Managing the project from onsite is a tricky affair. 70% of the projects can be run successfully by just keeping tab of the deadlines and the deliverables. For another 30%, specially, the pressure cooker ones, it is important to have a pulse of the team and to keep them motivated. This is difficult to achieve when the manager sits at a different location than the team. Moreover, if the manager is co-located with the team, he/she can resolve project/people issues better and keep a closer watch at the quality and the deadlines.

Protection of Intellectual Property
Myth: Our IP would be stolen if we outsource
Reality: Since product engineering is all the Saas application development vendors do for a living, they realize the importance of the partner's intellectual property and use legal and technological measures to ensure the same. Hence they take extreme steps to ensure that the most of the cases, these vendors have separate seating areas and sub nets to ensure safety of the partner's IP. All magnetic media taken in and out of the premises is accounted and the entire premises are under biometric access control. Employees of these vendors sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with the partner and confidentially agreements with their employers.

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