Software development outsourcing - particularly in the technology, media, and telecommunication industries, but also in the financial, and increasingly, the energy sectors - is actually a mainstream enterprise today.
However, for years, the process has been subject to change, and now, cooperation with external, specialised expert teams, is performed differently than a few years ago. The cooperation character has changed, bur primarily, so did the advantages. Currently, the software development outsourcing is primarily dictated by the care for the highest quality of provided solutions.
How enterprise software development is changing?
A key transformation of outsourcing is taking place before our eyes. The analysts do not hesitate to announce even the death of the traditional outsourcing, that is systemically replaced with automation and cloud services. In result, the previous financial and organisational incentives, have partially or entirely become outdated.
In the disruptive era, outsourcing is dictated by the necessity of maintaining competitiveness, and leading in the area of innovation. According to the opinion of 64% of executive directors and higher ranking managers from various industries, who took part in the Deloitte survey, it is the increased dynamics of the catalysis of IT innovation, that is the main motivation behind disruptive outsourcing. Additionally, 56% of the survey respondents list the increased flexibility of developed solutions, while 51% – the access to new technologies.
A specialised software development team, in interval between status meetings, is highly autonomous however, the contemporary analytic tools offer the monitoring of work flow, and real-time reporting, e.g. due to the use of cloud infrastructure shared between the commissioning party and the contractor. Just a few years back, such possibilities in this aspect were much limited.
Agile and DevOps – what do you have to know about the work of the development team?
Regardless of whether we adopt the more traditional model, or the aforementioned disruptive outsourcing that uses i.a. the capabilities of the cloud structure, the means and procedures of cooperation between the software development team and the commissioning party do not change dramatically. Currently, the use of the Agile methodology is well-established and it brings a lot of benefits to the company. It is also worth turning your attention to the more novelty concept of DevOps.
Some wrongly assumes, that the developers who apply the DevOps methodology, instead of possessing a particular specialisation, have many of them, and each member of the development team may replace any other programmer in the team, at any time given. This may be a cause of misunderstandings within the process of outsourcing.
In practice, according to the premises, DevOps may be compared to any other manufacturing entity. Specialisation still plays the key role, however, each expert possesses general knowledge regarding others’ tasks. It does not mean, that one can successfully replace other team member without any damage to the quality of the final effect. What it means is that the knowledge harmonises the entire programming process, and improves cooperation.
Outsourcing as a domain of the largest players
An additional obstacle in a successful outsourcing of software development, may also be a belief, that commissioning tasks to external organisations is the domain of small businesses. Quite the contrary, even the biggest software developers in the world, the kings of Silicon Valley with Slack among them, eagerly commission the development of particular components or even entire services to teams specialised in the area.
Slack – the expanded communicator which is one of the most popular IM solutions is chosen by organisations i.a. due to high-quality multi-platform agents available in the browser, on mobile operating systems, and also, quasi-native on desktops. The company uses Node.js and Electron frameworks, and decided to develop their aforementioned mobile and browser applications with outsorced providers. For some it may be surprising but it was a good, well though through decision.
An even bigger surprise is the range of tasks outsourced by GitHub. This largest internet repository of code was taken over by Microsoft in 2018. Before that happend, the entirety of back-end works of the main service was outsourced. Let the figures speak for the scale of the enterprise: in 2019, GitHub had 40 million users.
Outsourcing, even in the case of very complex task, which are at times essential for building the organisation, is an efficient method for drawing the biggest talents of the industry.
Outsourcing – what’s in store in the third decade?
The analysts agree, that the dynamics of the development of outsourcing, where, in the next years, the key role will be played by the trends of disruptive outsourcing and the popularisation of the DevOps method, will continue. The popularity of commissioning tasks that have substantial or even strategic significance to the functioning of the organisations to the external teams, will increase systematically.