July 27, 2016 12:52 pm | Updated 10 months ago.
Offshore Outsourcing of Software development
Over the last four decades, the software development processes adopted by the offshore outsourcing vendors have matured substantially with almost all major offshore vendors from India being not only ISO 9001 certified, but also with process maturity level at CMMi Level 5. Does this, however, translate to the software delivered by the Indian Offshore vendors meeting the expectations of the US Customers? In this article we will analyze what, from the perspective of D2E and its US Partner Affinity Inc., is important for meeting the expectations of the US customers in today’ highly competitive business environment.
While listening to a number of our US Clients, the message that comes out clearly is that the Indian software vendors are good at delivering software once the requirements are specified with fair level of clarity, but they fail to understand, or more importantly they fail to adapt to the challenging and rapidly changing business needs of the customers in today’ dynamic business and technology environment. The top tier Indian software vendors, on their part, are deploying highly experienced industry experts on customer projects so that the understanding of the customer’ business is factored into software delivered by the vendors. What more, then needs to be done by the Indian offshore vendors to deliver software meeting expectations of the US customers?
Listening to the Customers
While most software vendors submit reports and metrics in line with ISO 9001 and CMMi processes, we see many instances where there is a lot of distrust and miscommunication between IT and the operational functions. This, in D2E’ opinion, results from the software vendors trying to tell the customer how they are performing rather than listening to the customer to know how their performance is being perceived by the customer. D2E and Affinity have developed a comprehensive process, based on Agile, DevOps and other methodologies that continuously receive customer feedback so that the software delivery processes can be altered appropriately.
Challenging conventional wisdom
This is one area if done consistently that can truly elevate the Indian IT service providers to the same level as the MNCs. Customers are expecting out-of-box thinking from their strategic IT Partners that will help them leverage IT Solutions for competitive business growth. On the part of the IT vendors, this requires not only deep domain expertise but also an in-depth understanding of customer’ business, its drivers, and challenges. One solution could be to have an American consulting company as the front-end that not only understands the customer’ business but also is capable of developing deep customer relationships both with IT as well as with business. D2E’ Aggregator platform has adopted this model by establishing a partnership with Affinity
Collaborating to design right sized solution
Often, customers have a grand vision and attempt to design IT systems in line with that grand vision, while the business reality may be somewhat different. It is desirable for the IT vendor to work collaboratively with the customers to analyze the vision and then design the solution that is right size meeting the customer ‘needs. This clearly demands not only a high level of maturity from the vendors but also a deep insight into customer’ business.
Acting with the highest level of integrity
While this sounds like a cliché, this possibly is one of the most critical factors that need to be addressed by the Indian Offshore Vendors. The customers often feel that they are not getting the correct on-the-ground information. In D2E’ experience, it is not the senior management that tries to hide bad news, but the bad news just tends to get camouflaged as it passes thru the layers – developers to the management. Right processes need to be in place in the vendor organization to ensure that the customer gets the feeling that the vendor is acting with integrity.
Executing on promises
While this is simply stating the obvious, the number of instances where the customers feel that the offshore vendor over promised are far too many. It is the responsibility of the management of the offshore vendor company to be able to assess what the company can deliver and make appropriate commitments to the customer.