#frontendatbytex Episode 4

February 24 5 min read
Alex Debunking Outsource Myths

Next in our series is the #frontendatbytex episode 4, with Alex Răescu with his take on what the most popular outsourcing myths are and how you can tackle them in a way that’s productive for your business.

After the first three episodes where our colleagues openly talked about the challenges of working for startups and enterprises, and about managing on-site versus remote teams, today’s video transcript below is about the ways you can leverage an outsource team.

Alex: ‘Hello and welcome back to the fourth episode of #frontendatbytex. My name is Alex and in this video we’ll go through some common myths related to outsourcing. At this point, everybody’s heard of outsourcing, but usually people judge it based on the myths they’ve heard from other people. Biased opinions fuel these myths about how dangerous outsourcing can be for a company. One of the most popular misconceptions about outsourcing is that it aims to cut costs. This stereotype can affect a company’s outsourcing-related decisions. More than a few companies are scared of outsourcing, because it might leak confidential information to service providers. I’ll make sure to address this myth in my video.

But first of all, what does outsourcing do? Outsourcing is the practice of employing a third-party service provider. Most companies worry about lack of flexibility, miscommunication, quality of work that the service provider would render, or that the existing team may not get along with the remote team. Is outsourcing suitable for me? Will my team get along with the remote team? Will I lose control? Will it compromise my data security? These are some of the questions that can be a deal breaker when deciding to work with a remote team. This being said, let’s debunk these common outsourcing myths.

Myth #1: Outsourcing will compromise your company’s privacy and security. At a first glance, many would assume that outsourcing is a privacy breach waiting to happen, because others could see through the company’s true image. It may sound scary, but in business relationships, trust is the key to a successful and long lasting relationship. It’s a common gear that when you outsource software development to a third-party, it may steal the code or may fail to provide you with the full intellectual property rights. In reality, an outsourcing service provider signs legal documents such as NDAs with a business, meant to prevent disclosure of the project specifics to any external party and confers exclusive rights to the business. 

Myth #2: Outsourcing delivers low-quality services and outputs. In contrast to in-house product creation, outsourcing of product development such as web apps is often assumed to lead to a low-quality product. The main reason behind this idea is that outsourcing to other countries comes with a low price tag and a low price tag is associated with poor quality. The truth is, however, that a low-quality product is not the result of outsourcing, but a result of poor communication and insufficient skills of the developers, whether it is in-house or not. When product development is outsourced to a company with top tier, experienced developers, the product is always of high quality. The rate of software and web development in other countries is lower not because of poor quality, but because of the cost of living in these countries compared to the US. Outsourcing providers value their reputation most of all, which is why service quality is a priority. Moreover, the economic state of a country is not a valid and accurate indicator of the practitioners’ professionalism. Au contraire – IT specialists in developing countries have something to prove, and they’re aware of the stereotypes they have to counter and of the amount of competitive advantages they have to bring to the table, which makes outsourcing a safe and grounded business decision. 

Myth #3: Outsourcing comes with language and cultural barriers. Companies that outsource work often do so in other countries with native employees who may not speak English as a first language. Many companies are afraid that too many things will be “lost in translation”, but there are ways to mitigate the language barrier in outsourcing.
I can go through a few “tested” ways to prevent these possible minor inconveniences between your internal team and the outsourced one. Get on video when possible. Written communication can be hard. Befriend Zoom, Teams or any other video conferencing tool to communicate ‘face to face’. Document. Document. Document. Clear, explicit requirements and documentation will go a long way towards improving communication. That’s because you can be very clear in what you want to achieve when you need it done, and on how the team should be working. Cultural training for your in-house team: take some time to educate your team on where the outsourced team is from, what their part of the world is like, and what makes their culture unique. Gamification of this process goes a long way. Learn more about your team. Your outsourced dev team members are people too I know, right? They might be experienced developers, have great qualifications and skills. Take some time to learn more about them. Getting to know each other is a process you can’t afford to skip in any language. Plus, you’re probably already doing some of these good practices if the pandemic has forced your own team to close the office. Think of your outsourced developers as in-house employees who always work from home.

Myth #4: Time-zone difference poses a problem. There are 24 standard time zones globally, so the difference between you and your IT outsourcing provider can be up to 24 hours, which is quite a lot. The first and most important thing is to establish overlapping hours. Once you’ve agreed on overlapping hours for both sides, it’s necessary to decide on a set of tools for management and communication. Secondly, time-zone variations can be used to the advantage. For example, when people in the US stop working, people in Romania start working. This ensures a continuous 24-hour productivity cycle, leading to quicker project delivery. As you can see, outsourcing has no borders and time zones shouldn’t become obstacles. At Bytex, we’re very happy with our accomplishments, and we pride ourselves with high-quality projects and clients. None of these would have been possible without future-facing, open-minded clients who decided to trust us in the first place. 

Which brings me to the last point – the portfolio. A team’s experience with clients from various industries and who work on different technologies is universal and truly trumps any cultural barrier. When necessary, walk the beaten path and choose an experienced outsourcing partner. That’s it from me and thanks a lot for watching us. Next week, you’ll be hearing from Codrin talking about migrations and refactoring.’ 

Captivated by our colleagues? Binge watch the whole #frontendatbytex series here.