culture in software partnership
Software Development

Culture is key when it comes to an IT outsourcing partnership

date: 20 June 2017
reading time: 3 min

Successful communication is the core of any successful partnership, particularly in the IT outsourcing industry. If your company and IT outsourcing partner cannot connect successfully, your project will suffer.

In outsourcing, the cultural fit is vital for a successful relationship. So, when it comes to a perfect cultural fit, what are the critical factors?

There are several important parts to each outsourcing partnership, including:

1. Clear communication

For a partnership to be successful, the company and IT outsourcing partner need to be able to communicate clearly. Typically, if two countries are nearby to each other they share cultural values, which is very important in business. For example, if your company is based in Europe, it is ideal to choose an outsourcing partner that is also based in Europe. The risks of miscommunication can cause various business failures, which can be avoided by choosing a partner that is in a nearby location.

2. Similar time zones

It may seem trivial, but time zones play an important part in a successful partnership. If the clocks are out of sync between your company and the IT outsourcing partner, there will be a limited opportunity to communicate. If an urgent matter arose and you’re in different time zones, it is difficult to rectify the issue quickly.

Paul Van Haver VP, Global Data Services at Techsoup and an experienced outsourcing practitioner appreciates the nearby location of Future Processing. When asked about the cooperation with us, he said:

For me there is something about having a better overlapping time zone, especially with the UK – we’re only one hour away from each other. That makes it a lot easier to work together, rather than looking for other places for partners maybe further out in the world.

3. Shared holidays and customs

In Europe, many countries share a similar cultural heritage and holiday calendar, which ensures that you and your outsourcing partner will be out of the office on similar days. If your outsourcing partner is far away from your organisation, you may be unaware of when they have national holidays.

4. Cultural alignment

Cultural alignment requires a mix of cultural similarity and soft skills of the IT outsourcing team. From the client’s perspective, this may even prove to be the critical factor. Only a partner who understands the needs and the mission of their client will be able to effectively fulfil their expectations.

Paul Van Haver told us also about this cultural feel between Future Processing and Techsoup as an NGO:

I was looking for something that would give me the right resources of the right quality with some cultural alignment to what we’re doing in our mission, in a way that wouldn’t be too far away from me.

5. Managing the relationship

The last factor is about the business bond between you and your partner. They must be able to establish and manage the relationship. This ability combines all the above factors and is becoming a trend in the IT outsourcing industry. We observe it every day looking at long-term partnerships with our clients.

At the Global Sourcing Association UK Awards 2016 Future Processing was recognised as the Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year. During the event, Kerry Hallard, CEO of the GSA UK, said:

This was without a doubt the most competitive year ever in terms of submissions. Those who attended the awards ceremony were given the inside track on the very best examples of technology in outsourcing, but also relationship and contract management, innovation, service delivery and collaboration (…).

If an IT outsourcing partner cannot prove to be a good cultural fit for yourself and your organisation, they may never become a good fit. Luckily, investing in a IT nearshoring partnership with a company from a nearby country opens up the possibility of a perfect cultural match.


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