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Preparing for software outsourcing & observations from a newbie

Milla Railo

Not so long ago I thought that IT outsourcing must be pretty straightforward – you find a vendor, pay them and they do their job, right? Why would any company need services from a third-party company to help prepare for outsourcing and to find providers? Nine months later, after taking a deep dive into the IT outsourcing industry and starting work at East, I understand how much work goes into preparing a successful outsourcing project. At East, we connect Nordic clients to Bulgarian IT service providers and ensure safe and successful outsourcing projects. In this article, I want to share some learnings from a newbie perspective on what the preparation for outsourcing looks like, and what’s the added value of third-party services in this process.


Preparation for outsourcing


In the current market situation where finding IT talent is difficult, many companies consider using outsourced services. There are many reasons for outsourcing, and I truly believe that it can be the right solution to many staffing challenges companies are facing. Nevertheless, there are some concerns and doubts about the subject. 




Companies are scared that they end up contracting someone who is not the right fit for the job or that the cooperation with the local and offshore teams won’t work out for one reason or another. Indeed, there are many ways an outsourcing project can go wrong. What I’ve learned though, is that research, careful evaluation, and emphasis on the process of preparing for outsourcing might save you from a lot of trouble.

Here is my list of four things to consider when planning an outsourcing project:


1. Budget


Outsourcing is often a faster and more cost-effective way to execute an IT project. However, if you focus too much on finding the cheapest provider, you might end up having problems with the quality, and end up paying more in the long run. Preparing a reasonable budget and investing in the process of finding trustworthy and skilled providers is one of the first steps towards a successful outsourcing project.


2. Needs and requirements


Defining the needs and requirements for an outsourcing project makes finding the perfect IT service provider and their work in the future much easier. In a remote setup, you don’t have the same opportunities for quick clarifications, decision making, and changes that you can do when developers work in close proximity.


3. Knowing the market and finding an IT service provider


Finding relevant candidates and evaluating them can feel laborious but it is one of the most crucial parts of the process of preparing for outsourcing. Putting a little extra effort into this phase might in the end save money, time and work. If it’s your first time outsourcing IT or you are not familiar with the market they are looking to outsource to, it might not be a bad idea to consult someone who knows the local market. This is where outsourcing consultancy companies, like East, can help.


4. Agreements


To secure confidential information and to ensure you get what you pay for, all general agreements should be in place. In the current market situation, clients have less leverage in forcing tough highly detailed contracts that only protect the client and not the partner. IT service providers have clients lining up for them, thus they will choose one that has an interesting project to offer and who also understands their rights. 


East point of view


We at East connect Bulgarian IT service providers to Nordic clients. As a company that is working with both clients and providers, we want to be mindful of everyone’s time and work. We take each case individually and want to understand what the client is actually looking for and in which areas they need help. Taking care of our partner relationships and knowing our partner companies is also something very important to us. We need to trust the IT service providers and them to trust us in order to recommend them to clients. Our services include preparation for outsourcing, finding talent, and technical guidance. With these services, we ensure safe and successful outsourcing projects.


With a new client, we normally start by defining their needs and requirements. We evaluate the project and the needed talent from technical and cultural perspectives and discuss possible approaches with the client. For example, sometimes clients come to us asking for a team of several senior developers. In most projects, however, a team full of senior developers is not necessary and there can be a fit for a few junior or mid-level developers in the team as well – hardly ever all the development work in a project is something only senior developers can do. After defining the client’s needs we start looking for developers. Evaluating candidates for a project takes time and work but in the end, it is all worth it. 


In my view, what makes our services special is the personal approach. We put emphasis on clear communication and transparency to create trusting relationships with our clients and partners. I think of maintaining our partner network as a long-term investment for us. Having trusted partners we can refer to clients without having to do thorough evaluation each time makes our and everyone else’s work easier and more enjoyable. 


If there is one thing that I've learned over my time at East is that more effort goes into ensuring the success of software outsourcing than I thought before seeing the process firsthand.

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