Graham Burchell

Just because you’re partnering with an offshore technology solutions organisation, it doesn’t mean you can ignore talent and the management of this; it’s going to play a vital part in your success in the future. It’s important you are bought into this, believe in it, and share a vested interest.

It’s important you work with your partners to create and manage a good talent strategy to develop and bring on highly focussed and skilled teams. It’s also important to create a culture of inclusivity and look to make your offshore team feel they are a valued part of your team and business. Ensure the standards and ways of working are acceptable and something you’d be proud to show to investors, customers and even the media. You will not get good quality out of a team which is working 15-20 hours a day, in an awful working environment and buckling under the pressure and unrealistic expectations. We also recommend you play an active role in handpicking your teams. Get to know them, interview them and ensure you’d employ them if they were applying for a job with your local team today.

People are not commodities

It can be easy for quality to slip when using any external team so it’s vital you set out a plan to address and manage this from day one with all the right protocols and processes in place. In fact, quality control is often one of the biggest barriers to organisations taking the plunge and working with an offshore development team.

If managed in the right way, your offshore team can highlight and address new ways of working and new found efficiencies your in-house, permanent teams can adopt too.

If you want to achieve a top-grade quality output when working with any remote IT services team you need to invest and it’s vital you expect to pay more than the minimum wage and this also links into your talent strategy. If you cut corners when it comes to resourcing this venture, it will come out in the wash further down the line and any savings you might make in the long term will be destroyed if your in-house, teams need to rectify issues and mistakes. Quality assurance needs to be ongoing, with service level agreements in place and a clear understanding between both parties about what’s expected.

India has the biggest network of talented developers and this, coupled with the fact CPD and learning is in their DNA, means technical personnel always have the most relevant skills. In fact, India graduates more than one million engineers each year and a good proportion of these are in software engineering.

And just as important, our Indian peers are the most fluent in English, which is a key consideration. Effective communication is quite often going to make or break your offshore partnerships and if you can’t understand or communicate effectively it’s never going to work. This is an area in which some of the less mature offshore and managed services markets fall down.

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