How to Successfully Outsource IT Development

With little IT (information technology) talent in the U.S., many organizations struggle to expand their IT teams. Despite this deficit, the need for IT talent continues to grow. Because of this, many companies are resorting to IT outsourcing to meet their software development needs. As such, the IT outsourcing industry has exploded, reaching a monumental $85.6 billion globally (Statista).

While IT outsourcing, offshore software development included, has grown in popularity, it can still be a challenge to find a team that can provide you with the quality, timely services you were hoping for. And when you’re evaluating your potential offshore team from afar, selecting the best team becomes all the more difficult.

Whether you’re looking to supplement the work of your in-house team, or if you’d like to outsource your IT projects entirely, you’ve come to the right place: Here’s how to successfully outsource IT development in 7 steps.

1. Set goals for how you’ll outsource your IT.

Before you begin your search for a team that you can outsource to, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what you want out of outsourcing. For example, pinning down your preferred CMS type and site type (e.g. a WooCommerce (WordPress) ecommerce site), you’ll be able to narrow down your search by looking for teams with the skills you’ll need.

Not only does this help you, but having a clear picture of your expectations can foster more productive interviews with your potential teams. By being honest about your expectations upfront, teams will be able to more easily share similar past work experience with you (if applicable); in contrast, they may also eliminate themselves as a potential option, making it easier for you to select a team that’s suited to your needs.

2. Find a team with experience providing IT support.

This may not apply if you are looking to entirely outsource your IT development, but some aspects of this point apply to either case: Gain an understanding of your potential team’s prior experience. Especially if you’re looking for an offshore team to support your existing IT team, having a team that is already familiar with how a long-distance partnership works.

As you discuss your potential team’s past work experience, don’t be afraid to ask them for a portfolio and if you can speak to any of their prior clients. Speaking to their clients, as well as taking a look at the work they’ve done, will shed light on how the handle common offshore issues (time zone issues, etc.) and what skills they truly have to offer.  

3. Select a team that values process & agile methods.

Once you’ve determined that your potential team has the skills necessary for supporting your IT team or tackling your next software project, you’ll need to evaluate how that team operates. In evaluating this, the first key component to consider is whether they value following a specific process. Team’s that follow set processes to develop software are more likely to provide you with the software product you envisioned.

93% of organizations say they’ve experienced success with an agile project.
— VersionOne

In addition to set processes, choosing a team that embraces agile methods can help to foster a more collaborative development process  of your software project. Guided by a set of 12 principles, the agile method focuses on collaboration, the regular production of deliverables, and strong communication processes. With the overarching goal of providing customer satisfaction, agile processes ensure you’ll receive the product you deserve.

4. Discuss the team’s methods for communication.

If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know that staying in touch can be difficult, unless you develop a schedule for regularly calling each other on the phone or video chatting. In the same way, when you're working with a team of remote software developers, you’ll want to ensure that they have a solid plan for communication in place.

Communication is the cause of failure of 57% of [business] projects.
— IT Cortex

Offshore software developers with a process are more likely to have a protocol in place for how they handle communications with their clients. For instance, our project managers keep clients like you in the loop by scheduling weekly phone calls to discuss the latest news on their project’s progress. Frequent communication ensures that projects remain on track and allow developers to pivot their plans as necessary.

5. Evaluate their project management strategy.

In addition to communication, you’ll want to gain a strong understanding of your offshore team’s project management strategy. Unfortunately, project management is often the weakest link of an offshore team—as such, this task often falls into the hands of you, the client. To prevent this, however, you’ll need to find a team that values project management.

80% of ‘high-performing’ projects are led by a certified project manager.
— Wrike

Particularly if you are looking to scale your IT team in a way that reduces the stress and workload of your in-house team, you’ll want an offshore team that you can trust to work independently. As such, consider looking for a team with its own project manager, which will help to ensure that you have the time to continue doing your part to grow your business.

6. Start with a small (or trial) project first.

While you may be considering a long-term partnership with your offshore team, or maybe you have a high-dollar project in mind, that doesn’t mean you have to “throw all your eggs into one basket,” as they say. Instead, you can start with a smaller project, which gives you more time to decide if you’ve found the right team for your needs.

The great thing about software is that it can often be built in layers, and expanded upon in the future. For instance, say you have plans to build a mobile app for your organization. You can start by building a basic version of your ideal app, and if you love your team, you can hire them to continue building upon the mobile software.

7. Take time to scale your outsourced IT support.

Just as you can take the time to scale your projects, there’s no pressure to scale your IT support right away. For example, if you’re hoping to expand your in-house IT team’s capabilities with outsourcing, you can start by hiring one dedicated developer. If working with that offshore developer is a success, you can proceed to hire a dedicated team.

Ready to Outsource Your IT Development?

After taking in these 7 steps for how to successfully outsource IT development, you’ve likely noticed that the main ingredient to success is finding the right team for the job. As such, tread carefully as you interview teams you are considering partnering with.

Here at ClikGlobal, we put a unique spin on our approach to outsourcing IT and other services. By bringing together U.S. and offshore software developers, we keep your IT costs down, while providing you with the quality software and web development services you’ve been looking for.

If you’re looking to receive IT support as quickly as possible, contact us.