Conflict is inevitable in every aspect of existence in the world today. Whether it is the finance department conflicting with the marketing team on costs versus PR, or a manager quarrelling with a staff over a certain process. Whether to outsource or use own softwares has been a bone of contention for a while. In this article, we will highlight the pros and cons of outsourcing a software project. In the end, the decision to outsource or not is yours.
- Time saving
When a project is mentioned, time comes to mind. With projects, you have a limited amount of time to deliver. After delivery, you may proceed or stop there. This means, you only need contractors and probably not long term employees. Training employees for the long term takes time. To save time, you need to outsource experts who are ready to start and go.
- It saves costs
Internal teams come with extra expenses. Some include; insurance, housing, trainings, and many more. With outsourcing, you cut off these costs by a big percentage. In some states, it is 80% cheaper to outsource. Well, it is not all about the costs of staffing. These workers need equipment to work. You will also save the money you’d have used to buy the equipment, repair and maintain. This cuts down the costs further.
Experience is an important factor in excellent work delivery. In simple terms, it is the aggregate amount of time a worker has spent practicing his/her art. This translates to expertise. While more experienced workers will ask for higher pays, the gains outdo the cost. Besides, training your staff to the level of expertise you need to run the project would be more expensive than hiring a ready to work expert.
Uniqueness and indiscrimination is an enviable quality world over. With outsourcing comes diversity. You get different ideas from different experts coming from different backgrounds. This together with expertise brings better results to your organization.
Different projects will call for different needs. You therefore will be forced to bring in varied professionals with specialized skills. This brings in fresh perspectives all the time. Imagine using in-house staff. The lack of perspective will take a toll on your production especially as time goes by. Outsourcing also gets rid of the boredom in-house employees tend to exhibit.
- Better strategy
Business process development is a moving target. When staff work for an organization for a long time, they tend to be complacent. Although, this is not the situation all the time. That reluctance to improve is what keeps many organizations stuck in ruts of redundancy. With outsourcing, it is better to implement business process improvement strategies with every new team.
After delivery, you are able to tell what was done well and what needs to be improved. The business process improvement team will take over and do an analysis. After the scrutiny, proposals would be made and the next team advised when hired. After their delivery, an improvement checklist will be ticked and the process continues. When using in-house staff, it is difficult to improve business processes. Once a staff stays in a place for a while, they become resistant to change. Most end up sabotaging strategic decisions to improve things.
I’ll give you an example of a hospital. Their core business is healthcare provision. To be competitive, quality is paramount. Different departments exist in a healthcare setting, including finance, medical team, human resource, paltry, laundry, audit, and many others. All these departments require time, effort, money and strategy to run. If care is not taken, the healthcare provider might find itself losing grip of its core mandate.
The best thing to do is retain staff of crucial departments like finance and the medical team. Human resource may also be retained. The paltry, laundry and other support staff could be outsourced. This will save the hospital time and effort. The healthcare provider can now focus on improving the quality of care it provides. Imagine retaining and managing all the staff including those of non-essential services. It would be costlier and energy demanding. With time, the hospital will lose its focus.
There are many barriers that accompany outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing involves dealing with experts from different countries who speak different languages, subscribe to different cultures and are guided by varying values. This will not only hinder progress but may also lead to conflicts between the outsourced team and in house staff.
Motivation is key in service provision. Outsourcing may mean the firing of in-house staff. The remaining staff will be demotivated and this may take a toll on their production. Working with fear of losing your job is not the best feeling. You also expect resistance to policies and sabotage.
- Compromised quality
Onboarding staff is a costly activity. It is even more costly when the staff is outsourced. Keep in mind these are individuals working for a different organization which has different quality targets to your organization. If the outsourced organization doesn’t care about quality, then you should expect disappointment.
- Management problems
Protocol is key for the success of an organization. Outsourcing sometimes causes confusion. Think about the stubborn staff that must be supervised to deliver. How does the manager of the outsourcing team manage this individual? He/she will have a difficult time. Some employees will deliberately disobey others knowing they do not report to them. This may be a source of conflicts which may mean a drop in production and demotivation in the work place.
Outsourcing a software project may or may be a good idea depending on the situation. This process has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to evaluate which option suits your organization to avoid experiencing more of the cons than the benefits once it is implemented. This article has highlighted the major gains and shortcomings you should expect if you decide to outsource.