Get rid of the tech debt
An employee makes an audible groan as the internal application crashes once again. It’s not just him, everybody knows the system is getting slower and slower. It worked fairly well when you started and it was decided that it’s “good for what it is,” but since then the scale of operations expanded exponentially and it just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. What happened is that now you’re in “technological debt” (also called “code debt” or “design debt”).
What is technical debt?
Technological debt is the state of accumulating costs and technical deficiencies in the present as a direct result of cutting corners and choosing an easy and limited solution in the past. Analogous to financial debt, it “incurs interest, in the form of the extra effort that we have to do in future development” (Jai 2018). Maybe the developers of the system had to rush because of the time pressure and decided to postpone bug-fixing for the future. And maybe that future has already come, but they have left. And maybe they haven’t prepared any documentation either. That means you’re stuck with this less-than-stellar software.
Now you are faced with two alternatives:
- the system has to be built from scratch,
- the system can be refurbished (this is not always possible).
You can start a time-consuming recruitment process to find someone to patch things up. But the more cost-effective option would be to use an outsourced team of highly experienced developers to refactor – rebuild and upgrade – the system. This way, the software can meet the requirements of the business and satisfy the present (or even the future) conditions – and thus, the debt will be mitigated.
Optimize the software and join the digital revolution
When you’re a part of a business unrelated to the IT industry, the tech side of things might be slightly neglected, as the attention is focused on the core activity. In this scenario, there might be no outdated system in need of refactoring, because a simple ready-made solution, like Microsoft Excel, was once deemed good enough to keep things going. Because of that, there might come a point in time when your operations are at direct odds with the simple solutions adopted in the past. This might become a growing concern and a significant hindrance.
From stale software to a high-performing custom app
A food company from Poland specializing in ready-made ultra-fresh products did all of its production planning on the basis of Excel spreadsheets. With just one person manning the Excel station, and the sheets needing manual data input, updating them became a chore. This started to exert a negative impact on the company’s operations – circulating the files among staff took a lot of time, and, subsequently, production planning took a lot of time too. Not a very good outcome for a business that relies on “ultra-fresh” produce, as some items simply expired before they could be used to fulfil a customer order. The folks at the company wanted to make tasty salads but found themselves in a pickle.
They reached out to us for help. A custom app called the Green Planner has been created by a dedicated IT team and replaced the old Excel sheet. There’s no need for manual data input anymore, everything is collected automatically and stored in the database. A simple but elegant dashboard allows for optimized production planning (up to 52 weeks ahead); its functions include current order analysis, stock analysis, and inventory. More orders can be fulfilled, and this, in turn, generates more revenue. In this case, IT outsourcing has contributed to achieving a 20% growth target.
Expand your skillset and know-how base
The demand for software engineers doubled in 2021 (Carey 2021) and according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), “Employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030.” All over the world – even more so with remote work gaining on popularity – head-hunters are searching for the best of best and won’t hesitate to snatch that last Go specialist in your neighborhood. In these circumstances, growing your own team might be a challenge. Maybe you need a specific skillset or a toolset to develop your project. Maybe your company moved its headquarters to a new place and you found that the local talent pool does not meet your requirements. But IT outsourcing helps alleviate these problems. Suddenly, shifting through all these CVs is no longer an issue because the IT services vendor has all that covered.
A dedicated outsourced team has its own tried and tested specialists, not only well-versed in the selected field of programming or engineering but also with a past record of working together on a variety of projects. They will bring their own knowledge base with them and share it with your own in-house team. Even if you use their services for a limited time, that time will be beneficial to your own staff. Whatever your employees learn in the meantime can and will be used in any future projects (like new frameworks, new processes, new solutions for problems specific to a designated IT area or language – you name it). Once you reach out to an outside software house, you find yourself in the company of dedicated people you can learn from and work with to make your business succeed now and later on.
Boost the processing capabilities of your team
You know what’s better than a talented software engineer? Two talented software engineers. And you know what’s better than two talented software engineers? A whole extra team of them. That means more processing power but at the same time – more people to train, more people to manage, and more people to fill into the existing structure of your company. The other option is to use a software house. When you make use of the services of our dedicated IT team, you’re getting support of a whole assemblage of experts:
- Technical Lead,
- Product Owner,
- Developers (front-end and back-end ones),
- Quality Assurance,
- Test Automation Specialist,
- Product Designer.
They form a separate self-managed entity that you can delegate work to, be it a completely new project or perhaps a specific aspect of a project you are already working on. Depending on your needs and the size of your undertaking, you might want to choose a smaller-scale solution, like team extension, and get that much-needed extra pair of hands. Whatever you choose, your own in-house team will thank you for it. It will take a load off their mind (and save time), allowing them to push on, deliver the product and finish the task. You won’t need to detract them from that special thing they are already busy with or divide their resources.
When the clock is ticking, there’s no place for trial and error – you need people you can trust. And with IT outsourcing services you gain a valuable asset: additional staff that can either help you out with whatever it is you’re doing or take the ownership of the project. And the best part is that securing this cooperation will take less time than going through a separate recruitment process for each new person on the team (which sometimes can last so long that you’d finish the project well past the deadline).
Reduce the costs, improve the focus
Finding, interviewing and hiring more people costs money. The high – and growing – demand for IT services translates into high salaries as well. You might also need to ask yourself, “Do I even need to build my own separate IT team?”
IT outsourcing can work in two ways. The first option is to use a dedicated team to support the operations of your own team, while the other one is to delegate the IT part of your business entirely outside. Whichever you choose, you’re cutting down the costs. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a dedicated team usually works from their own facilities, therefore you’re also saving on onboarding, maintenance and hardware. Another possibility is to get them to analyze your processes and introduce a solution to help with your day-to-day operations.
In the case of a certain sportswear company, the problematic area of running the business was HR. There was no unified onboarding procedure, and each new application was processed similarly but without adherence to a single standard. Scattered files and documents became a challenge and a new definition of chaos. The solution was to reach out to a software house that created a dedicated app. Since its introduction, the company has been able to save time and make use of a powerful tool with valuable features:
- it navigates new employees during their first days in the company,
- it helps managers during interviews,
- it allows for storing employees’ contact data in one place,
- it generates statistics that help with analytics,
- it makes it possible for employees to provide feedback via satisfaction surveys.
Onboarding is no longer problematic and IT outsourcing has contributed to optimizing the process, saving time and money, and allowing to allocate further resources to expand other areas of the business – of course, if needed, again with the help of outside IT specialists.
Whether you are a manager at a multinational corporation carrying out gargantuan IT projects or a local company aiming to deliver the finest salad in the market, you need professional IT services. If you have forwent them in the first stage of your operations, this will make itself felt later on, sometimes also financially. But you don’t have to deal with this on your own. Using outside IT services may save you some time, money and nerves, and teaming up with a software house can be a beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.
Carey, S. (2022, March 22). Demand for Software Developers Doubled in 2021. InfoWorld. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from https://www.infoworld.com/article/3654480/demand-for-software-developers-doubled-in-2021.html.
Jai. (2018, November 15). What Is Technical Debt? DeepSource. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from https://deepsource.io/blog/what-is-technical-debt/.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, September 8). Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm.