Reasons for Outsourcing Software Development

Every company makes decisions that are right for them. Outsourcing software development can be risky sometimes, as some of the outsourced projects fail to meet deadlines and requirements of the customer. The trick is to choose the ideal software vendor that will deliver all useful functionalities on time and on budget. Trustful software companies usually can boast an impressive portfolios of international projects in the corresponding field of the company’s industry.

For many companies software development and maintenance is just a function within a much larger enterprise. Only partnership with more tech-savvy software development companies can allow such companies to launch and deploy innovative products designed around emerging technologies like backend as a service or data mining. But the time moves forward, and most of corporate giants maintain their leading positions thanks to state-of-the-art technologies they buy and deploy. Ready-made software solutions are often not the best fit for a fast-developing business, as they lack certain features and don’t follow the main business logic of an enterprise. Under such conditions, outsourcing custom software development is the right move to do.

The first reason to outsource IT tasks is efficiency. Today many large companies have their own IT departments that are capable of developing some products in-house. The question is, in what situations it is efficient enough. Most of technology departments successfully cope with software integration, development and maintenance of minor priority products and third party systems. The smooth operation of an enterprise would be impossible without their modest work, but this is also a reason not to distract internal teams by supercomplex tasks.

The next reason is the qualifications and expertise of highly specialized IT production. Rational work of an enterprise serves the larger purposes than building software infrastructure and developing custom software. If the general course of business is other than IT, then it should not rely too much on its own technology department. To take, for example, mobile software development which is becoming more and more demanded by companies in various industries. But it also needs skills and expertise in a relatively specific subject, especially when it comes to iPhone programming. For this reason, even established technology vendors outsource mobile programming when they need mobile applications for enterprise or e-commerce use.

One of the most important reasons for outsourcing from the business point of view is that time is crucial for commercial success, and extra teams can significantly accelerate the development. When the decision is made to implement an absolutely new solution to boost sales or enable programming services, this software solution must be deployed as quickly as possible to make excellent progress on the company’s strategic plans. It is in the organization’s best interests to outsource software development to larger, better prepared teams of software developers that are able to accomplish the task quickly and focus on the best practices of development.

Finally, risk management experts also agree on the efficiency of outsourcing. Success of a software project is not only following the timeframe and specifications. Best software projects demand creativity and innovation, which is not easy to find in software companies specializing in offshore development. But the risks of failing the project partly lay on the contractor, so they are actually less than in case of in-house development. Risk sharing is also a very important reason for passing the tasks offshore, and the risks of failure can actually be considerably decreased by cooperation with reliable software vendors from countries with a strong legal system and profound education system. In this case, offshore development can be an answer to many challenges that increasingly complex business world is posing on many companies.

Using Offshore Software Development

IT outsourcing or offshore software development is one of the quickest ways to get a job done and it will also prove to be less expensive than hiring your own staff. Whether you choose to go with the simple way of hiring a person to do a single task or hiring a firm for a large amount of work, using offshore software development as a means of expanding your business and saving money can prove to be very fruitful for your company.

Sites like freelancer and Elance allow you to hire someone for a single job. People from countries like Pakistan, India, the Philippines and Ukraine will bid on the job. These bids are visible so you benefit from everyone getting into a bidding war to get the job. As a result, you save money through IT outsourcing and you pay these people directly. No need to worry about meeting minimum state requirements for pay or even having to worry about taxes because it doesn’t apply.

If you are looking at setting up an office in a foreign country, it can often be difficult. This is because of language barriers and the political uncertainty of some countries, like Pakistan. You don’t want to go through the expense of setting up an office somewhere only to be involved in a political battlefield a month later. Using organizations from India like NASSCOM or Russia including RUSSOFT will let you experience offshore software development with helpful backing that takes care of all of the uncertainties for you.

Offshore software development can be both a time and a money savings for you, as long as you know what you are getting. There are definitely ways that it can be beneficial by using IT outsourcing but you need to know what you are getting yourself into, as well. There are some cons that you need to be aware of.

The time difference and language barrier of working with offshore software development can work to your advantage or not. The time difference means that people are working around the clock for you, whereas locally they must go home at some point. This also means that if you need to reach out to them during your business hours, they may be sleeping. Your options for handling this means as much as a 24-hour delay in communication or you working around the clock, too. The language barriers may not be as significant as you would expect as many of these people who participate in IT outsourcing speak very good English. Their grammar, however, may be severely lacking. Depending upon the offshore software development project they are working on, it may not even come in to play, but it could.

When you are aware of all of the pros and cons, you can then make an educated decision of whether offshore software development is right for your company or not. Your competition is most likely using them and saving a lot of money doing so. It can be a very lucrative business move, however anticipating potential problems before they arise will make the move even more lucrative.

Open Source Software – an Educator’s Overview

I have always been keen on taking advantage of free offers. Given the choice between a fast food meal with a freebie or one without, I’ll plump for the mystery envelope every time. It’s human nature, and marketers know it well.

Even in 1979, when I bought my first home computer, there were user groups who supplied type-in listings for a nominal charge. When I bought the first of a series of Atari ST computers in the ’80s and ’90s, I was a regular customer and contributor to a public domain (PD) software library. Fast forward to the end of the ’90s and I was distributing the source code to a number of simple educational flash games to other teachers over the internet.

So that’s my credentials. Like many others, however, I have received much more from open source software than I have ever put in. For the uninitiated, it is worth explaining a few definitions here:

Shareware Software: is free to try, but there is a moral obligation to register your software with its creator and receive upgrades and support in return for a fee. The evaluation period may last for a reasonable length of time after which some features of the software may become unusable.

The Public Domain: if the creator of a work relinquishes all his rights to his intellectual property, it enters the public domain and can be used by others to create derivative works or profit from it without payment of any fees or need for some form of license.

License: many creators who wish to share their intellectual property with others will give away limited rights that allow the user to do a range of things – but still maintain overall control of the way their work is used. Many open source software developers will use the GNU Public License (GPL) as a framework for stating how their work can be used.

Open source software does not have to be synonymous with poorly written undocumented utilities that nobody else wants. Here are a few of my favourites:

Open Office: a fully-fledged office suite, word-processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and graphics package. The fact that these programs will export both PDF format to be read by Adobe Acrobat reader and SWF flash files for use on the web makes them incredibly useful to me. They are the main application software that I use on my laptop.

The GIMP: an image processing package with enough features to rival Photoshop. For younger artists, my daughters love Tux Paint with its variety of stamps and special features.

Moodle: an open source content management system specifically designed for educators. There are plenty of other open source CMS packages available for blogging or running your own web portal.