Simple Outsourcing vs Product Development 2.0
Keeping up-to-date with the latest technological developments and available solutions can be a struggle even for bigger companies. The market is evolving and changing rapidly all the time. Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud, Blockchain until recently were just a few more buzzwords, captivating concepts for tech evangelists and enthusiasts but it took them less than few years to get into the mainstream vocabulary. Now try to visit any trade show, conference, and look at directions a tremendous number of startups are heading in with their innovative solutions, and you will hear (and see) them inflecting those phrases in all possible ways.
On the other hand, developing an innovative solution does not necessarily require a pioneer in any given “new” technology. Oftentimes it means the effective and conscious usage of the ones which already exist. Think about IoT (Internet of Things) for a second and how it is benefiting from technological achievements in other fields; thanks to those new developments the whole IoT ecosystem is constantly growing, you can see new platforms emerging, new communication services that cater to IoT systems are popping out in the market making the creation of innovative solutions easier and quicker.
Thus, keeping an eye on all the newly available solutions, tools and other elements which could be used to speed up one’s own development of an innovative solution tend to be very time-consuming. It requires having in-house experts able to grasp the concepts and use them effectively. Hands-on experience is another important factor. You can understand the concept and its logic but having already available expertise can boost your IT product development process enormously. It will limit the software development time and as a result will help you save a significant portion of your spending budget. There’s not always a need to reinvent the wheel in order to create an innovative IT solution.
Yes, you can always outsource a development process or its parts. Software development outsourcing, like any other kind of engagement where you need to rely on your partners, requires a proper amount of trust between the parties involved. The most common way of outsourcing is the so called “staff augmentation”. It is a very good solution if you already know exactly what you are doing, have in-house domain experts who will be able to coordinate and manage the “external teams” and you are just lacking the right talents, or you have too few of them. You also need to be able to integrate the external teams well within your currently existing structures, which is not as easy as it may seem.
Outsourcing in the form of staff augmentation will not be the best choice if:
- you do not have an already existing, strong software development team
- you do not have enough resources or time to manage external teams effectively
- you have short deadlines for delivering MVP
- you are entering the whole new area of expertise which you currently need to cover but is not that crucial for your overall business
- you expect your partner to be pro-active and to take responsibility for his actions
If any of the above rings a bell, you may want to check whether Technology Partnership or as some people call it Product Development Services 2.0 is the kind of IT outsourcing engagement most beneficial for your project.
What is Technology Partnership/ Product Development Services 2.0?
It is one of the most innovative strategic outsourcing engagements. The outsourced partner takes on a wide range of responsibilities by actively taking part in the designing and further co-creation of the product. A typical, project-based engagement is the one in whichan outsourcing vendor constructs for you a dedicated software development team comprising of his in-house talents and additionally sourced domain experts to meet all the Project’s requirements. The vendor will manage this newly-constructed team by themselves and plan the team’s work in accordance with the agreed development road map. You can count on complex coverage of the whole IT product life cycle starting from working on the concept, the selection of the technology stack, the development phase and finally the service delivery phase and ongoing product maintenance.
The relation between you and an outsourced partner is deeper than in typical outsourcing models, as you usually start working together in earlier phases of an IT product life cycle. For example, here, at Pro4People, we are often involved in our client’s projects from the Solution Providing phase, where we master the product’s concept together, build and test business models, create a solid value proposition and decide on the technological stack, architecture, milestones etc.
After that, we move to the Research & Development phase, where we create the product. Development is never what it used to be. It is more agile, multi-faceted, and paced faster than ever before. We usually mix the agile and maturity approach by taking the best of both worlds. This is especially effective if you work on complex, global IT solutions where on the one hand you want to be flexible, having received feedback and validation fairly quickly (based on regularly delivered increments of working software which allow adjusting the Product’s roadmap correspondingly), and on the other you need to plan the project and its milestones in advance.
Once we have made the official release of the Product, we continue delivering our services if the Client wishes to do so. We work on new releases and construct Service Delivery teams which are responsible for uninterrupted, continuous operation of the Product. They resolve technical issues, take care of proper configuration of the IT infrastructure and its monitoring. Those guys will also make sure that the agreed Standard Level Agreements (SLAs) are met so that you can rest assured that your new product is accessible to its users.
Which outsourcing model would work best for you?
It is always a hard question and you need to take your time to choose wisely. Sometimes saving some money can be disproportionally negatively reflected in the quality of outsourced services delivered to you.
Here, at Pro4People, we feel more as your true technological partner than “just an outsourcing vendor”. When we get involved in the project, we do it comprehensively, assisting our partners in each step of their IT product development journey. Their success is our success, so we always advise and recommend given solutions, having the best interest of our partners in mind.