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7 Misconceptions about Working with an Offshore Web and Mobile Technology Partner

After a long conversation with a prospect who was looking for a professional team for developing a mobile application; I realized that the major part of our dialogues were about why he should outsource his job requirement than build an in-house team. It’s not like I am against in-house hiring or it is my occupational partiality inducing me to suggest outsourcing to patrons. The simple reason is that outsourcing is a beneficial move which saves time, money and also the hassles of tackling a job which might not be a part of your core business needs.

However, during this conversation all I kept doing was convince this prospect on why choosing an offshore partner would be beneficial to him. But he had his own reservations and I have seen similar hesitancy in several prospects and clients in my career in presales. It is very difficult to bring out people from these preconceived notions about the ill-effects of outsourcing; and undeniably it comes from past experiences where these people have burnt their hands.

offshore

1. Offshore Outsourcing means Poor Communication

Myth:
Since your service-provider will be sitting in a different country and not in your nearest cabin or within the office premises, you often feel that it will be difficult to reach out to him whenever you desire. But then most professionals do not wish to talk about work once they have called it a day; so you might end up in the same situation even with an in-house team.
Reality:
A professional who knows that his client from a distant country might get restless if not responded to on time, will ensure that there are no disruptions in the communication threads. Moreover, with the availability of so many project management tools, you cut down on the talking time rather it is used to enhance productivity.

Net Solutions follows a Distributed Agile Development Model so that our clients are able to express their requirements clearly and we are able to deliver quality outputs that too timely. Many clients are sceptical about hiring an offshore software development partner because the difference of time zones often gives them limited scope of interaction eventually affecting the workflow.

2. Offshore Outsourcing means Delays in Delivery

Myth:
Once you have hired an overseas company for your web or mobile technology development needs; they will not be as prompt as they might have promised you to be. Rather all the great presentations and assurances were part of a trap laid down to win your project. And suddenly you feel you are stuck with them for an indefinite period of time and there is nothing you can do because you have already invested your time and money in them.

Reality:
I cannot say that this does not happen, it does in a majority of cases but only when you have not been careful about choosing your outsourcing partner. The best way to find out the credibility of your offshore technology partner is by checking out their portfolio and their list of long-term clients; video testimonials are a more reliable proof over written words. Also, their experience in the field will speak about their capabilities.

3. Offshore Outsourcing means Cultural Difference Issues

Myth:
Most customers complain about the inability of their offshore vendors to add localization appeal in the mobile or web applications created. And this issue is finally boiled down to the point that since the service-providers are from a different geographical location it is impossible for them to add the local flavors in their overseas brewed product.

Reality:
We forget that these professionals have vast experience and during their R&D they make sure that the target audience of the client is analyzed properly, so that the application being created matches their usability patterns. Moreover, the extensive interaction with the client helps in getting a deep insight of the requirements as well as the expectations of the users and their pain points.

At Net Solutions we believe that collaboration is the key to successful outsourcing; hence we have delivery communities who add value to the relationship.

4. Offshore Outsourcing means Compromise on Quality

Myth:
Most vendors have the viewpoint that if they are outsourcing their job to an offshore country then, there are minimal chances of getting good quality service. It is a somewhat accepted norm that when outsourcing a job you are prepared for sub-standard outputs. Most vendors blame it on the technological incompetency of the outsourcing partner; because more often than not they are from countries not as advanced as their clients.

Reality:
Well, this is because you are hiring someone who will provide service at cheaper rates. If the main motive of outsourcing your service was cost cutting then there are high chances that you overlooked the competency factor.

Some of the top-notch companies in India are hiring and training skilled professionals to compete on international standards. Hence, you do not need to search too intently because every recognized firm has skilled manpower to deliver quality results.

I emphasize this point to my prospects and clients every time that when you are paying for a service then do not find the middle ground and settle for a sub-quality output. Rather ensure that your investment is put to use in the optimum way and only a service-provider who has the capability to provide quality service will bill you, even if it is comparatively more than other vendors.

A keen scrutiny of the website of the service-provider, will help you differentiate the reality from its projected version. For instance the awards and certifications of the company will be a proof of its technological aptitude as well as reliability.

5. Offshore Outsourcing means Compromising on Security and Confidentiality

Myth:
Offshore outsourcing is like giving the reins of your business in the hands of someone, whom you have never met in person. It is like putting your entire business at risk; you are never able to trust enough your outsourcing partner especially when it is about all the confidential data which might put your business in a dicey situation.

Reality:
A reputed vendor values trust as the most important factor which will keep him in business and compromising on any confidential information of the client will cost him his reputation along with legal and monetary penalty. A smart business manager knows how to select his technology outsourcing partner and carry out strong paperwork and include terms and conditions in the contract which will prevent hiccups at any stage.

6. Offshore Outsourcing means Low Costs

Myth:
The main reason behind outsourcing your tasks to an offshore technological partner is cost-cutting. The competition to acquire overseas projects is high in countries like India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Mexico; hence the lowest bid is awarded the project.

Reality:
I am used to hearing from some resource seekers that they are hiring us because of our inexpensive services. But I have always stressed and still do that they should only work with us if they find our services useful and high on quality.

Gone are the days when countries like India and Philippines were preferred for their low-priced services. Now they are hired for their technical capabilities and skilled personnel. If you are still looking to outsource your business just to cut down on the costs you are indeed making a big mistake because you are more likely to fall prey to one of those shady deals which will cost you on quality and time.

Besides, there are chances that you end up spending more as the hidden costs come up later. Only if you are working with a worthy offshore service-provider you will witness absolute transparency at all stages of the development process. And yet it will be a reasonable deal for you in comparison to having a team working in your vicinity.

When discussing about cost, I would also like to mention another advantage of outsourcing which is easy movement from the fixed price model to variable pricing ones, it gives both the parties the advantage to work in flexible environments and leaves scope for including better technological options.

7. Offshore Outsourcing means Spending More than an In-house Team

Myth:
Why not build an in-house team than hiring an offshore technology partner? The biggest assurance of working with an in-house team is their real-time presence. Additionally, any last minute requirements can be brought to their attention immediately and there are decreased chances of delays.

Reality:
This debate has become a favourite part of the tête-à-tête I have with my prospects. They have their arguments and I have my valid points explaining how they might get their jobs done without any hassles that too with better price options if they outsource it to an offshore technology partner.

First I would like to point out that although hiring and building your own in-house team is not a bad idea and it might work for you too; but retaining them in the long-run will turn into a difficult task. Not to forget the infrastructure, machinery and other associated costs which you will not need to bear with an outsourcing firm.

Second, what is the harm in expanding your search overseas when there are competent professionals prepared with their teams, to ensure an organized and proper development of your mobile and web applications? You will not be paying your in-house team on hourly basis and the added allowance will only increase your production cost.

Conclusion

When I boil down all the above mentioned points the conclusion drawn is that if you work with a trustworthy and reputed offshore partner, you not only save cost and time but you are also able to work with a specialized team which has a methodical approach.

The language barrier used to be an issue few years back, these days there are trained professionals who have a strong background in multiple languages. And for those who believe that meeting in person is the better way to build long-term relationship; I will say a dependable firm can always send their project manager to your aid and likewise the client is welcome for a business or friendly visit.

One of our clients who was hesitant in working with an offshore technology partner is now proud of their decision to have chosen a firm which understands their needs and works like their own team. It is time to shed the misconceptions and start collaborating with high-principled and trustworthy firms, even if they are located in a different part of the world.

Summary
Article Name
7 Misconceptions about Working with an Offshore Web and Mobile Technology Partner
Author
Description
Are you unsure about outsourcing your job to an offshore service-provider? Here are the myths you need to overcome.
About the Author
Abhay K
A sales/advertising/marketing enthusiast, Abhay got addicted to the Internet in mid-90s and has kept pace with its evolution and technology. This wide and deep exposure has helped him successfully lead multiple teams at Net Solutions. He's also involved in the (F)OSS movement and writes a personal blog about disparate things that interest him, ranging from science to performing arts.

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