JUNE 1, 2023
13 min read
Over the past 15+ years as a fintech expert and CEO of DashDevs, I’ve learned a thing or two about outsourcing. Sure, it’s a smart move when you’re looking to bring in some top-notch talent, cut down on costs, or keep your team focused on what they do best. But in my book, outsourcing is more than just a business strategy—it’s an art. And the masterpiece? Finding that perfect partner who gets your business, shares your values, and is ready to roll with your project.
I’ve had the good fortune to launch over 20 fintech products from the UK to the US and the MENA region, steer the development of 2 white label banking platforms, and work with more than ten financial institutions across the globe. Along the way, I’ve re-engineered business processes for established products and companies, boosting their user base and revenue by up to five times. The secret ingredient to this successful recipe? You guessed it—rock-solid outsourcing partnerships.
Here at DashDevs, we’re all about teaming up with tech startups, mid-size businesses, and large enterprises to help them tackle technical challenges, scale up their systems, and build custom software solutions that fit like a glove. We’re big on web development, mobile app development, blockchain tech, and artificial intelligence, and we’ve used our know-how to help our clients stay in the game and reach their business goals.
So, in this article, I will pull back the curtain on the art of choosing the right outsourcing partner. Drawing from our own experiences at DashDevs, we’ll talk about why culture and communication matter, how to size up a partner’s technical chops and track record, why flexibility and scalability are a big deal, and the cherry on top—finding a partner who can offer strategic insights and consulting. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Before choosing the right outsourcing partner, let’s first understand what outsourcing is. At its core, outsourcing is the business practice of hiring an outside, third party provider to perform services or create goods traditionally performed in-house by the company’s employees and staff. It’s about leveraging external talent and resources to help you focus more on your core business operations.
Now, outsourcing comes in various forms, especially in the tech world. You might be familiar with terms like IT outsourcing, software development outsourcing, or outsourced consulting. Each has its own set of benefits and considerations. For instance, outsourcing IT services can allow a company or you to access top-tier tech talent worldwide, while outsourcing software development can help accelerate your product development timeline.
For a more in-depth look into outsourcing, I recommend checking out a couple of our other articles:
- How to Outsource App Development?: This article provides an overview of the outsourcing process, complete with actionable tips on how to start your outsourcing journey.
- The Difference Between Outsourced Software Development and Outsourced Consulting: This piece dives into the distinctions between different types of outsourcing, helping you understand which might be the best fit for your needs.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Cultural and Communication Alignment: It’s important to ensure that your outsourcing partner understands and aligns with your company culture. This includes shared values, work ethics, and attitudes towards work. Moreover, clear and effective communication is crucial in any outsourcing partnership. Without it, misunderstandings can occur and potentially hinder project progress.
- Assessing Technical Expertise and Track Record: Before outsourcing, you need to assess the technical expertise of your potential partner. Do they have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out your project? Also, consider their track record. Have they successfully completed similar projects in the past?
- Flexibility and Scalability: Depending on your project’s needs, you may require a partner that is flexible and can scale their services. For instance, you might start with a small project and gradually expand, requiring more resources from your outsourcing partner.
- The Value of Strategic Insights: An ideal outsourcing partner is one that can provide more than just technical expertise. They should be able to provide strategic insights and add value to your business. This could be in the form of industry knowledge, innovative ideas, or problem-solving abilities.
Remember, the goal of outsourcing is not just to offload tasks but to add value to your business. Thus, selecting the right partner is crucial to the success of your outsourcing endeavors.
Assessing Technical Expertise and Track Record
When assessing a potential outsourcing partner’s technical expertise and track record, several key points should be considered. These include but are not limited to:
- Technical Expertise: This is one of the most important factors to consider when outsourcing. You must ensure the outsourcing partner has the technical expertise to handle your project. This includes knowledge of the specific technologies and programming languages needed for your project, as well as experience. If you’re uncertain about the best technology to use for your product, a partner with a broad technical know-how can provide advice and assist in this key decision. They should be able to navigate current technology trends, and help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different options in relation to your project’s specific goals. Ultimately, their role extends beyond service provision to acting as a strategic ally contributing to your project’s success.
- Track Record: Investigate the potential outsourcing partner’s history and past projects. Look for evidence of successful projects similar in scope and complexity. Client testimonials, case studies, and reviews can provide valuable insights into the company’s capabilities and reliability.
- Location: The location of the outsourcing partner can impact the quality of work, communication, and project timelines. Some countries have a strong reputation in the software development industry due to their technical education systems, robust IT infrastructure, and pool of skilled developers. For example, Ukraine, India, Poland, China, Brazil, and Mexico have emerged as major countries for software development outsourcing, providing efficient and high-quality services. Location can affect communication, project timelines, and the quality of work due to factors like time zones, cultural differences, and local IT infrastructure. Consider how these factors may impact your project.
- Size: In addition to technical expertise and track record, consider the size of the outsourcing company and its team. The size can affect the company’s capacity to handle your project, their flexibility, and their ability to provide personalized service. Small teams can often offer more personalized attention, while larger teams may have more resources and a broader range of expertise.
- Specialization: Consider the company’s specialization as well. If you have a specialized project, it can be beneficial to choose an outsourcing partner with expertise in that specific area. On the other hand, if your project involves various areas, a company with a broader range of expertise may be a better fit. For instance, at DashDevs, we have expertise in ten industries, with a deep specialization in fintech, allowing us to handle both specialized and cross-industry projects efficiently.
- Value: Finally, assess the company’s value for money. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, this can often lead to lower quality work. Look for a company that offers a balance of reasonable pricing and high-quality service.
Cultural and Communication Alignment
Having a clear understanding of the cultural and communication styles of your potential outsourcing company or partner is vital to a successful collaboration. Just as we value and prioritize this at DashDevs, you should, too, because it goes a long way in bridging gaps and fostering a healthy working relationship.
Your Needs is a Priority
Understanding your own needs and expectations is also a crucial part of the process when choosing an outsourcing partner. This involves determining what you want to achieve with the partnership, which may vary widely depending on your specific situation and goals. Here are a couple of scenarios to consider:
- Idea Stage — Comprehensive Development Approach: If you have an idea, but you’re not completely sure how to implement it, you’ll need an outsourcing partner capable of providing comprehensive support. This includes industry expert consultation that takes into account factors you might not even be aware of. In this stage, you require a partner who can help refine your idea, define the project’s scope, create a roadmap, and advise on best practices.
- Formulation Stage — Supportive Approach: If you have a clear vision of what you need, including the technology to use and a roadmap, but still need deep technological or industry-specific consultation, you’re at the formulation stage. Here, an outsourcing partner should provide the necessary support and advice to make sure your vision comes to fruition.
- Execution Stage — Self-Assisted Approach: If you have a comprehensive understanding of your product, your process, and your roadmap, and all you need are extra hands to execute, you’re at the execution stage. At this point, you’re primarily looking for an outsourcing partner that can effectively carry out defined tasks. Key considerations include technical proficiency, capacity to scale, and the ability to integrate with your current operations seamlessly.
Depending on the stage of your product, the role of your outsourcing partner will change. Knowing your stage and corresponding needs can guide you in finding the most suitable partner.
Each country and region has its unique business culture. For instance, the work ethic, communication style, and expectations can vary significantly. This diversity is not a setback but an opportunity to foster innovation and creativity. However, ensuring these differences is also essential for the project’s success. Understanding and respecting these cultural nuances can significantly influence the productivity and efficiency of the collaboration.
Communication Is Key
Effective communication is indeed key in any successful outsourcing partnership, but it’s more than just language proficiency. It’s about clarity, transparency, and frequency of communication. When these elements are in place, the chances of misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and project delays can be significantly reduced.
However, communication alone is not enough. The establishment of trust between you and your outsourcing partner is just as critical. A suitable partner is one who can create an aura of trust, providing you with peace of mind that they will deliver on their promises and handle your project with the utmost care and professionalism.
Trust is built over time and through consistent actions. It comes when there is transparency in operations, clarity in communication, a strong commitment to meeting deadlines, and a clear demonstration of expertise and reliability. When you trust your outsourcing partner, it not only makes the working relationship comfortable, but it also improves collaboration, decision-making, and ultimately, the success of your project.
So when choosing an outsourcing partner, look beyond their technical skills. Assess their communication style and their ability to foster trust. This way, you’re more likely to have a successful, comfortable, and productive outsourcing partnership.
In addition to cultural alignment, effective communication is critical in any successful outsourcing partnership. This includes not only language proficiency but also clarity, transparency, and frequency of communication. Communication gaps can lead to misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and project delays. Therefore, ensuring that the outsourcing partner has strong communication skills and a clear understanding of your project’s needs and goals is crucial.
The DashDevs Experience
At DashDevs, our focus isn’t solely on providing high-quality technical solutions. We also prioritize clear, consistent, and personalized communication with our clients. We recognize the vital role communication plays in ensuring project success, and we strive to keep our clients informed and involved throughout the entirety of the project lifecycle.
With over 12 years of experience in the fintech industry, we’ve observed firsthand the significant impact that cultural understanding and effective communication can have on a project. We’ve built a diverse team that understands the legal and regulatory nuances in various jurisdictions, including the UK and the UAE. This cultural and legal sensitivity allows us to tailor our approach to each client’s unique context, fostering smoother project execution and a superior end product.
Choosing the right outsourcing partner isn’t just about technical expertise. It’s also about finding a team that aligns with your communication style, understands your cultural context, and can adapt to your specific needs. At DashDevs, we pride ourselves on being that kind of partner. Our commitment to effective communication and cultural alignment is at the core of our client relationships and project success.
Flexibility and Scalability: Adapting to Your Project’s Needs
Regarding outsourcing services, flexibility and scalability are key factors that can make or break the success of your project.
- **Flexibility **refers to the outsourcing partner’s ability to adapt to changes and new requirements during the project. This might involve changing the scope of work, switching technologies, or accommodating new business requirements. In a fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, flexibility is crucial. You want to avoid being stuck with a rigid outsourcing partner who cannot adjust to new circumstances.
- **Scalability **is about the outsourcing partner’s ability to expand or reduce the size of the team working on your project based on your needs. If your project grows, they should be able to quickly add more developers to the team. Conversely, if your needs decrease, they should be able to scale down without causing disruption.
It’s important to discuss these aspects upfront with your potential outsourcing partner. You can ask them about their previous experiences with scaling teams and how they handle changes in project requirements. You should also check their contract terms to ensure they offer the flexibility, cost savings and scalability you need.
In this regard, DashDevs offers various services catering to diverse business needs, including a dedicated team model that provides high flexibility and scalability. With this model, you can easily adjust the size of your development team based on your project’s requirements, ensuring that you always have the right amount of resources to get the job done.
Looking Beyond Development: The Value of Strategic Insights
Choosing the right outsourcing partner involves more than just evaluating their technical expertise or cost-effectiveness. You need to take a comprehensive 360-degree view of potential partners and align them with your unique goals and projects.
While technical skills are essential, what truly sets a partner apart is their ability to understand your business objectives and provide valuable strategic insights. The technology landscape is ever-evolving, and you need more than just code developers. You need a partner who can guide you on best practices, inform you about emerging technologies, and help you align your business goals with your software solutions.
A proactive partner that can identify future opportunities or challenges is also invaluable. They should bring innovative ideas to the table, enabling you to stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs, and drive growth.
For instance, at DashDevs, we strive to be more than just a vendor; we aim to be a strategic partner to our clients. Our deep understanding of the technology landscape and our extensive industry experience allow us to provide valuable insights and guidance. Our work with fintech companies worldwide has endowed us with a wealth of knowledge that we bring to every project.
Key Questions to Ask a Potential Outsourcing Partner
Selecting the right outsourcing partner is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your project or client company’s success. To help you make an informed decision, here are some key questions you should ask a potential outsourcing partner:
- **Can you provide examples of similar projects you have completed? **This will give you an idea of their experience and expertise in your industry or technology. Don’t just take their word for it — ask for case studies or references you can contact. Ask if the potential partner has specialization in your industry. The more specific your services are, the more narrow specialization you’ll need.
- **What is your approach to project management? **Understanding their project management methodology can give you insight into how organized and efficient they are. Ask about their use of project management tools, how they handle project timelines, and their process for keeping clients informed of progress.
- What KPIs will define the success of your work? Ask your outsource partner if they agree with your understanding of key indicators.
- **How do you ensure the quality of your work? **Ask about their quality assurance process. Do they write automated tests? Do they perform code reviews? What standards do they follow?
- **How do you handle communication with clients? **Good communication is vital for successful outsourcing. Ask about their preferred communication tools and frequency and who your point of contact will be.
- **What are your terms for scalability and flexibility? **If your project’s needs change, you need an outsourcing partner who can adapt. Make sure their terms allow for the flexibility you need.
- **Can you share your insights and experiences that can benefit our project? **The right partner should be able to offer valuable strategic insights based on their experiences, so ask for examples of how they’ve helped previous clients in this way.
Remember, the key to a successful outsourcing relationship is choosing a partner or service provider that understands your business objectives, can deliver high-quality work, and is flexible and adaptable to your needs. At DashDevs, we strive to be this partner for our clients, offering technical expertise, strategic insights, and a collaborative approach to achieving their business goals.
Choosing the right outsourcing partner is as much an art as a science. It’s not just about comparing credentials and portfolios but also about identifying a partner that aligns with your business values, understands your specific needs, and can bring strategic insights to your project. It’s about finding someone who can be more than just a vendor—someone who can be a true partner in your journey.
At DashDevs, we strive to be that partner for our clients, providing them with quality, reliable software solutions and strategic guidance in business process that helps them navigate the ever-changing tech landscape.
So, as you embark on your journey to find the right outsourcing partner, I hope these insights prove helpful. Remember, the goal with outsourcing providers is not just to find a company that can code but a partner who can help you achieve your business objectives, adapt to your changing needs, and bring valuable insights to your project. In my opinion, this is the true art of choosing the right outsourcing partner.