25 May 2022

Planning to engage with a remote partner for your product development needs? Here are 5 things you should know

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Written by Gauri Kalurkar

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“Remote is the new-normal!” I think, this is one thing most of us will agree upon.

In a seemingly post-covid age (well, let’s hope so), with the myriad of things global businesses of all sizes have been through, one clear thing to arise is the shift to everything “remote”. It’s not just us, numbers too support this- According to a recent report by Business Wire, the valuation of the global IT outsourcing market is expected to reach USD 397.6 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 4.5%

This paradigm shift driven by the global pandemic has made it inevitable for companies to engage with remote partners based offshore.The IT industry continues to be a major outsourcer. Within IT, application development is one of the most frequently outsourced IT functions.

According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey in 2021 alone, more than 60% of tech companies were outsourcing at least a part of their application development.

So, with that said, whether it’s now or further down the road, whenever you’re planning to partner with a remote agency for your application/product development needs, it’s always good to be aware of certain must know factors.

Based on our experience working with our clients based in North America, Europe, and Oceania, here are the top 5 things we have learnt:

5 Things to know before engaging with a remote partner:

1. Choose the right destination

India, China, Ukraine, Philippines, Mexico, and Brazil make for the most popular destinations to outsource software development.

Of these top destinations, India stands out significantly due to the following reasons:

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  1. India boasts of one of the largest technical talent pools (India produces I million engineers every year!)
  2. English speaking workforce
  3. Competitive pricing (India offers one of the most competitive price point in comparison to other countries)

As a testament to its popularity as an outsourcing destination, India was top ranked in the Kearney’s 2021 Global Services Location Index for attractiveness for outsourcing.

2. Is your partner remote or distant?

A ‘remote’ partner does not mean someone who rarely communicates and whose work isn’t visible

Make sure that your remote partner isn’t keeping you in the dark and ensures complete visibility/transparency throughout your working relationship.

Use this basic hygiene factor as you evaluate potential remote partners to engage with. Make sure to setup requisite processes and tools from the get-go to ensure total visibility

3. Are they true partners or mere contractors?

One of the most important questions to ask yourself before forging a remote partnership is- Are you engaging with true partners or mere contractors?

How to make out the difference you say? It’s rather simple- gauge if they’re adding overall value to your business.

Once you embark on a search for a remote partner, you’ll find many vendors who will merely execute things exactly as you want.

But is that enough? Well, certainly not when this business relationship comes with unlimited potential to add value to your business. This value-addition comes when your partner understands your business intent and strives to add value not only through their technical prowess but also their execution maturity.

4. Don’t let distance become a barrier

Engaging remotely means having a partner located thousands of miles away. It’s pretty easy for this distance to become a barrier in the relationship.

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Find a partner who ‘owns it’: A remote partner who carries tremendous ownership of their work is someone you’re looking for.
  • Establish channels & processes for open & honest communication
  • Work together to setup project timelines and deadlines—when both partners have a say in the process, the chances of the deadlines being honored are much greater!
  • Insist on having complete visibility in your relationship—ask your partner to keep you posted about all the nitty gritties of your project
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5. Beware of the Low-Cost Trap

We certainly do agree that cost savings is one of the primary reasons why companies choose to engage with remote partners.

But it is of utmost importance to remember that a lower price tag does not warrant top quality and a hassle-free experience.

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Consider pricing as a parameter to choose a remote partner only after certain basic hygiene factors are taken care of.

These preliminary hygiene factors are-

  1. Value Proposition
  2. Attitude of the Partner
  3. Communication

To sum it up-

Deciding to enter a remote partnership and going about finding the right partner is certainly not an effortless endeavor.

We have touched upon the top five factors you should keep in mind before taking the leap but there are many more factors to be mindful of.

Stay tuned for the next part to know more!