“Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower cost goods and services, causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment, and increases productivity and job creation”. – Larry Elder
We live in a world where globalisation is the order of the day, and it is common for global corporations to outsource their software development to an offshore company.
Before we look at tips to help you with your software development project, let’s look at the definitions of foreign-based software development and an offshore software development company.
Foreign-based software development
Wikipedia states that software development “is the process of computer programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications and frameworks resulting in a software product.“
Furthermore, the term “offshore identifies any item that is located or based outside of one’s national boundaries.”
Therefore, we can conclude that an offshore software development company is a company that designs, codes, and tests computer software outside of your national borders.
Contracting an offshore company to develop a software package for you
It would be naive to assume that just because a foreign-based software development house advertises on the Internet that they are as good as they advertise. As with all aspects of the online world, there are hackers and scammers out to take your money without delivering a finished product in return.
Therefore, to help you mitigate your risk of when making a choice about which software development house to appoint to work for you, here are several tips:
Have an intimate understanding of your software’s requirements
The software development lifecycle essentially works as follows:
- You provide a specification document to a business analyst.
- Once the business analyst has drawn up the requisite business spec, it is signed off by you (the client) and then sent to the technical team to study.
- The technical team will then create a functional or technical spec which will be used as a basis for which the developers and testers work.
- Finally, you will receive the final product which you need to test and sign off on.
From this step-by-step discussion you will see that it is vital that you understand exactly what the primary function of your software must be. It is easy for instructions to “get lost in translation”. In fact, most of outsourced software does not match the original specification.
Research as much as you can about the software house you intend to contract
A software development house that is serious about developing a good product will answer any questions that you might have. They will also provide referral companies who can testify to the quality software that the firm produces. If the computer programming company that you are talking to avoids or sidesteps answering any questions that you might have, it is wise to stop negotiating with them.
Outsourcing work to offshore companies has its place in today’s business world. However, it is vital that you tread with care ensuring that you choose the right company to develop your software for you; otherwise, you stand to lose large sums of money!