In the time of COVID-19, you won’t find any area untouchable. After the weeks of lockdowns in many countries, we all understand that the end won’t come soon. The world is entering a new economic crisis, and no field will avoid it.
It is also the world of countless connections – any change causes the domino effect. We’ll face the economic decrease in China, the USA, and Europe. Many influential players have already announced bankruptcy. It is hard to say when the pandemic ends. Still, it is already evident that there will be several more years before we recover from the crisis.
The IT sphere is used to react faster, adapt better, and even got boosts in some aspects. Still, it is a part of the more significant world system. When the other markets fall, the IT-sphere suffers from that.
Business at a crossroads
One of the immediate crisis impacts is switching to remote work as a new standard. It is an overwhelming mass experiment. Before COVID-19, it was sporadic. Now, it is the default mode. There is a burning need for reliable and convenient solutions. People need to work, learn, communicate, and entertain remotely.
Ironically, it produces the most significant problem and the paradox of today. The IT business faces the growing demand, but it can’t fulfill it, as the crisis forces the companies to downsize.
A new software product is more than coding. It is the marketing and UX researches, business analysis, planning, management, and all other tasks. You need a fully staffed team for that. However, salaries are the biggest expenses for most IT companies. When the financial collapse comes, you have to cut the wages too.
You can either keep the team, but you won’t be able to pay them properly, or you can slash the personnel to save money – but the reduced team won’t beat this crisis.
Does it seem unresolvable? Wait a minute. What if a different approach is possible? What if you can cut the costs, save the money, and have the fully staffed team?
Outsourcing: the middle ground
Outsourcing, also known as staff leasing, has been around for at least several dozens of years. It is not specific for the IT field – the world’s big businesses use this model. As for small and medium enterprises, they are regular outsourcing clients.
- Outsourcing gives you a combination of high-level expertise, performance quality, and affordable prices. Western businesses use it all the time, especially when they have to slash costs preserving the quality. In times of recessions, the need for outsourcing expert teams will only increase.
- There are professionals with any specialization. Outsourcing is like extending and improving your own team. The people you hire are similar. They know your business and work for it, sharing your company’s values. Though this team is in a different office, the people are still your personnel. It means you can manage them appropriately.
It is not like hiring freelancers. Outsourcing is a different model. When you deal with separate freelancers on Upwork, the whole hiring process takes place. Your find one, two, three – as many, as you need – independent contractors. Then there will be interviews, team building, on-boarding, and all the other team management. With an outsourcing agency, you get the team at once, so, cross off the time and HR costs.
The outsourcing team is the staff already managed and motivated to do the job for your company.
More pluses of the outsourcing model
- Saving money
The cost-efficiency is a deciding factor at all times, but it is crucial during the crisis. Companies that can’t reduce their costs get in trouble. However, with the outsourcing model, the cost efficiency is about 50% in most cases. In some cases, it is up to 70%. Thus, instead of reducing the team and assigning additional duties to the remaining staff (with the same salaries), you can hire more people.
It is an impressive trump card these days. A bigger well-trained team can deliver the full-functional product faster. Besides, the current situation is a driving factor to get even more attractive rates. The outsourcing industry suffered the crisis too, and it has to adapt by offering better deals to the employers.
- Choosing from the best
The IT outsourcing sphere is an international community of most exceptional talents. You can literally find any rare specialist that is necessary for your project.
Moreover, you have even a better choice now. Outsourcers are the long-time partners of startups, but many startups had to suspend their projects. Thus, a lot of highly qualified experts are open to new job opportunities. A broader field means a better choice with more beneficial conditions for you. Even if you are under a deadline, finding the right specialist is much more comfortable. Besides, outsourcing has no boundaries, so you can attract the best-trained specialists from any country in the world.
- Working remotely and productively
The pandemic caused lockdowns and the “stay-home” principles. In practice, it meant the mass switching to the work-from-home model. For many, it was high stress. First of all, most companies didn’t have the necessary experience.
Working from home was a rare option, as companies always preferred an in-house model. Being forced to change, they faced lots of obstacles. Let alone the self-evident equipment issue (how many employees have all the necessary capacities at home?), and the organization problems are no less important. The teams lacked the tools, the guides, and the training.
Everything that came for granted in offices became questionable. Don’t forget about the security problems, such as the scandal with the data leaking from Zoom. Such is the general idea of the current situation. It is time to feel sorry for chief security officers who must resolve many urgent and unexpected issues.
Eventually, all teams will adjust to the new status. The CIOs will develop new standards, and the employees will reach their usual productiveness. Unfortunately, it will take time. Possibly, more time than you can afford.
One of the critical benefits of outsourcing teams is their readiness to work remotely – it is their standard operation mode. These people have already practiced all the approaches that you might try or haven’t even heard of. For you, it will also be an opportunity to learn about the most efficient remote practices too.
Maybe, we’ll get back to the offices and our normal lives after the pandemic ends. However, no one can guarantee that it won’t repeat. It’s more reasonable to keep the remote work as a fully-functional alternative and be ready to switch any moment.
Expertise on scalability
The time of COVID-19 has also forced the society to pay attention to the tools not so famous before. There are all kinds of online platforms for remote work and learning, as well as communication tools. Telemedicine is on the rise – the opportunity to track and analyze people’s health remotely is in high demand.
It turned out, there were already enough suitable tools, and many more are in development. Hence, businesses offering these services can take the lead.
They can, of course, Still, it takes quite a long time for the tool to emerge and pass the experimental stage before it comes to serialization. Also, many ready solutions could not withstand the load of millions of new users. Even a giant like Google did not predict such a charge!
There is an obvious problem – business needs scalability. You may own the right solution already. Still, it is a different task to scale it up and adjust to mass usage.
An outsourcing team with proper expertise in DevOps and cloud systems can resolve the problem. Specialists do all tasks to migrate your system to the cloud, for instance. They will cope with the rest duties to scale the infrastructure too. Also, it relates to the team itself – you can scale it up or down, depending on the needs. Under the usual circumstances, it would bring more risks and HR costs. With the right outsourcing team, you’d save your resources.
Most businesses have already delegated tasks to outsourcing partners. They do it for two simple reasons: to save money and to make the work more productive. Today, employers looking for IT-outsourcing opportunities, seek high quality and responsibility. The suppliers agree to that and work to meet their partners’ needs.
Where to look for the right outsourcing partner?
COVID-19 has become a severe challenge for this industry of all countries, and not all of them survived the test. Before the crisis, the choice of the outsourcing team would be between Eastern Europe and Asia. India is a billion-people country, where hundreds of millions are software developers. The state seemed an obvious favorite, but it was before the pandemic.
The work-from-home switch became a millstone around the neck for the Indian software development. On many projects, the works are not performed, as the developers were not prepared for the remote work. In fact, many Indian engineers don’t even possess proper computers at home. Thus, when they had to leave their offices, they could not work. The lockdown in India is really severe, with struct prohibitions to leave homes.
India is losing the battle of outsourcing territories. As for Eastern Europe, it copes much better. Let alone the joke about the crisis as a usual way of life, such countries as Ukraine, Romania, and Poland had switched to remote smoothly. The pandemic had not impacted the IT companies’ productiveness.
- One of the most substantial advantages of the Eastern Europe region is a “price-quality” ratio. European specialists possess strong expertise in all areas. Computer science education is of high quality in these areas.
- There are about a million professional software developers, including rare specialists. You can find experts on the most prospective modern directions. It would cover spheres like the Internet of Things, AI, automatization, blockchain technology, and so on.
- Eastern Europe turned out to be excellently prepared for the work-from-home mode with all the equipment. The companies have developed working protocols ensuring the necessary level of productiveness. Cybersecurity measures are already in place.
Experts predict that European countries will overcome the coronavirus crisis much faster. The fourth quartal of 2020 should show the recovery signs. Many projects that are paused now will get to their normal statuses. But now, in time of uncertainty, you get the most remarkable opportunity to find a reliable partner.
What to consider when choosing an outsourcing partner?
If you’ve decided to save the money and improve your business by outsourcing, you need the right team. We all understand it, but the task might not be such natural. Provided that you’ve already chosen the region, there are many teams. How to find the most suitable and reliable people at this time? Let’s think the criteria for your consideration:
- Security management. It is, of course, much easier to ensure the necessary digital security level in offices. Still, a decent team must provide it for work-from-home too. Our company has developed the “home security” protocols for digital tools and people’s communication. Our partners can be sure that their sensitive information will never leak. We work under international security standards (ISO, HIPAA, PCI).
- Appropriate business continuity planning. Speed and efficiency of reaction are the key factors to fight the crisis. Ukrainian companies track the situation regularly and are ready to meet any new challenge. Every decent company has a business plan for recovery. Flexibility is the priority: the teams must respect all the previous agreements. The goal is to ensure that new features come on time. Is the company lacks such crisis strategy plans, it would not make a reliable partner?
- Agile approaches. This methodology was efficient before the crisis, and it is indispensable now. Agile means allow the quickest reactions to the new conditions. At the same time, they ensure that the continuous delivery won’t break itself even in a small team. If the outsourcing company works under Agile, it can cope with the crisis.
- Flexibility in pricing models. The right outsourcing company offers different models of cooperation and pricing models. Your professional conditions and needs are individual. The team will develop a suitable solution for them (e.g., extended team, dedicated team, outsources team, fixed cost, or else).
- Communication and transparency. Your best match must understand the business needs and remain in touch. You should get constant updates about the status of the project. Any issues demanding your attention should be highlighted. All the essential decisions you do together. You and the outsourcing team are partners, and the company bears responsibility.
It is, perhaps, the biggest challenge of this crisis – you have to stay in business. However, this crisis may be the right time for you to take the essential steps to evolve. As we mentioned earlier, people are the lifeblood of the company, so you should find and hire the right people. Now, it is much easier than before and more beneficial for you.
Technologies won’t get anywhere either, so stake on the most prospective projects. The crisis will pass, and you will meet the after-crisis time fully armed with the most progressive solutions.
Having the right outsourcing partner and communication are the critical factors of success. From our side, we can claim that we always do the best we can for our clients. Our goal is to help you to stay strong and weather this crisis decently.