As IT outsourcing is growing increasingly popular among technological companies, the demand for software developers is surging as well. One of the most popular ways to outsource IT staff is nearshoring. It consists of hiring specialists in a nearby country to make sure that there are no cultural, time zone, and language difficulties. This option is proving time and time again to be the best, as companies get lower prices without compromising quality.
But how do you go about finding a nearshoring partner? The following steps are critical for establishing a long-lasting partnership with a nearshore IT company. Read on to find out.
Why do you want to outsource through nearshoring?
First of all, you need to ask yourself a fundamental question: why? What are the reasons I can’t complete the project in-house? Perhaps you lack specific knowledge within your team, or maybe the project is too large in scope, and you need an additional workforce. Finding these answers is instrumental to selecting the right provider.
If your project is minor in scale and it’s not like your life depends on it, then farshoring to countries like India might be the best choice for you. Usually, it’s much cheaper to do that, but there are some downsides to that. Communication is impaired due to language and time zone differences, and the work ethic of far-away developers are probably much different than in your own country. Still, if you’re willing to risk it, you could save a lot of money.
On the other hand, if you need solid experts without paying unreasonable rates, then nearshoring might just be the thing for you. Most commonly, projects that are essential to the business will be better off if you hire experienced staff.
Defining your needs
After you’ve answered these questions, go ahead and prepare a specification for the project. Define your requirements in detail. Nobody wants to end up in a situation where something was unclear, and the end result is not satisfactory. Nearshoring to Central and Eastern Europa can prevent such cases, as the developers there are very proficient in English.
Next up, you want to look for software development suppliers. Still, before you ask for a quote or request information about a provider, the common standard is to do some research yourself.
Find out about the team you’ll be working with. Are they experienced? Did they participate in similar projects already? What are their qualifications? What are the usual costs associated with hiring specialists from a particular country? What are the regulations in terms of an international contract?
Still, that information is not always available.
For this reason, there exists an entire system that’s helpful with choosing the right contractor for your project. It’s called RFx (Request For x), and it’s comprised of five diverse requests, each one serving a particular purpose. For now, you’ll want to look into the RFI (Request For Information) and the RFP (Request For Proposal) for software development. These two are the most widely used.
After you’ve done your research, you may go ahead and send an RFI to a provider of your choice. An RFI is a request where you communicate that you’ll need additional information about the company you’re about to hire. When you send an RFI, you’re not committed to anything yet. It’s a simple call for info. While you want to specify your project, it’s not required to do that meticulously. A brief overview of your needs is fine.
Asking about things like the development cycle of a provider is necessary for you to maintain peace of mind. The more you know, the better. Again, dependability is another essential thing. As long as their infrastructure and staff are reliable, you’re good. Finding out whether the provider is operating under the agile methodology is also fairly important. Agility usually results in flexibility and adaptability.
Cultural match has to be fulfilled, too. Ask the provider about their work ethic, communication practices, tools that they use, and transparency.
If you’re satisfied with the answer to your RFI, the next step is sending an RFP. This request consists of a detailed specification of your project along with a request for a proposed solution. It needs to be filled to the brim with information, albeit presented in an easily digestible way so as not to confuse the reader. With an RFP, both parties can understand each other more.
Time and cost estimation
The next step is an estimation provided by the contractor. A precise estimate is usually a good sign. This tells you that the company you’re hiring knows their way around similar projects. If they’re able to pinpoint the costs and set a deadline for themselves, you’re golden. Still, the estimate has to include a deadline for things like Minimum Viable Product. An MVP is a version of your project with its essential features in place, which allows you to gather feedback from early adopters. The cost is supposed to be transparent as well. Everything needs to be on paper.
Establishing a contract
Signing a deal with a partner can sometimes mean months or even years of cooperation for huge-scale projects. Making sure that everything is included in the contract is vital for the success of the partnership. Look into liabilities, intellectual property ownership, and whether it’s a fixed-price, cost-reimbursable, or a Time and Materials contract. Here’s a great checklist of what to include in an IT partnership contract.
Setting up a partnership with a nearshore software development team is pretty much the same as with any other type of outsourcing. Still, while the process is fairly similar, the experience can be entirely different compared to farshoring.