This article was previously published for the Forbes Tech Council
Over the past six months of writing these articles, I’ve been prone to using terms such as ‘Offshore 2.0’, and ‘dedicated team’, and ‘offshore cultural alignment’. I suppose because these form the bread and butter of what I do, I perhaps presume incorrectly that other people are as familiar with these phrases as I am. Additionally, I’ve tried to look at the concept of offshoring through an original lens, from Swedish pop music production to the operational model of global sports franchises.
Today I thought I’d delve a little more deeply into dedicated teams and the dedicated team model as it pertains to offshore software development, as a way to get back to basics so to speak, and to give a deeper level of insight into what it means in real terms.
Offshore moves to centre stage
I think it’s now crystal clear that offshoring — in the context of software development — has been gaining traction at an accelerated pace in the eighteen months since the pandemic erupted globally. With businesses seeking to diversify their offerings, from family-run cafes partnering with food delivery services to bring customer favourites to suburban dining rooms, or gyms offering personalised classes at home via streaming — the world has truly embraced transformation.
For many organisations I speak to, the pandemic has pushed forward their digital initiatives by as much as five years. In this new age, speed and flexibility are the keys to innovation, and unlocking this resilience requires software-centricity. Centric to that is talented developers.
Local obstacles to overcome
If we’ve established that developers are central to everything, then the next question to explore is why companies who limit their hires to those found locally risk falling behind? In places like Western Europe, North America, and Australia the competition for top talent is extremely fierce, with the tech giants hoovering up the best developers.
I suppose to put it in a nutshell: it’s very much a seller’s market where smaller organisations, including challengers and new entrants, have to compete with major players for the engineers with elite-level skills they need to go up a level. Simply put, building your engineering team locally means potentially missing out on skills you can find elsewhere.
“Can’t I just outsource?”
Of course. For some organisations, a project-by-project style of external software development is what they’re looking for. Perhaps for a temporary increase in their pipeline, or to build an app they don’t intend to deliver continuously for an extended period. However, there are issues around a lack of control and there remain concerns around quality control and engineer ‘buy in’ to the products and services being built, on a personal level.