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Can Outsourcing Reduce Business Expenses During Quarantine?

Can outsourcing software development help in alleviating the effects of the quarantine measures on business?

Last week we focused on the economic part of the quarantine effects on the business in various, traditionally-offline, industries. Many businesses are taking a pause right now, while others are experiencing a surge of unexpected activity.

The good news is that people are used to their comforts and right now, the absence of it acts as a sort of spring that keeps compressing. Once the medical world will help us deal with the coronavirus and we'll get back to normal lives, it's safe to say that the probability of people trying to get all experiences that they've missed during this time is quite high. The demand will be back again and now it's the time to get ready for that spring expansion.

This article will focus on the 4 benefits of outsourcing in times of the quarantine (and how it can help in reducing your general business expenses in the long run.)

Development processes are set up

One of the benefits of hiring a software development company to build your product is the fact that its development processes are clearly described and streamlined. (We highly advise you to only hire companies that can provide you with a description of their development lifecycle.)

What tools are used for process management? 

There are many options on the market, but Atlassian’s JIRA is one of the top solutions available. It is used widely among the software companies and it’s very convenient. 

atlassian jira for project management

At HUSPI, every project gets its own board in JIRA. At the beginning of the project development, the Project Manager along with the developers directly involved in the project sits down together (or via Skype) and evaluates each task that is described in the technical documentation. Then the tasks are entered into the backlog of the board and divided among sprints. 

A sprint in Agile development is a list of tasks that should be done in a given period of time. The time depends on the length of the project. Usually, sprints last two weeks since this period allows finishing quite a few tasks yet it’s not long enough to forget what happened at the beginning of the sprint. After each such period, a demo is done for the client to show what has been created.

The board is usually accessible to the developers and the PM, but often clients also want to see the live updates (or be able to add tasks to the “to do” column), so they can also get access to the board.

Communication is also a vital element for the project’s success, so there are several options as well: 

  • Skype - the majority of the calls are usually done via Skype. It’s convenient because most business people have an account and the quality of the calls and chats has become better over time.
  • Zoom - a rising star in the age of online conferencing. The number of Zoom users is growing exponentially, especially now during the COVID-19 quarantine, since they have temporarily removed the 40-minute limit on the free video conferencing. The quality of the calls is great and, what’s more important, even users without an account can join the conference via a link. 
  • Of course, there’s also email and phone available. Our advice: whenever possible, try to record everything that is discussed in written form to always have paper track and keep everyone on the same page. People might misunderstand a task or a request, but if they see it written down, it’s always easier to clarify the things that might be confusing. 

Every team also has planned standups, where they discuss the work that was done as well as the work that needs to be done, so the information and updates from the client get passed by the project manager and vice versa.

What is the difference between having an in-house team and outsourcing? In the case of the processes, if your software product isn’t your core business, you will have to create these development processes yourself. It’s not hard, but it certainly takes time and training. Therefore, it’s simpler to start with an outsourced team (and consider getting an in-house team later, for example.)

Administrative processes are taken care of

Quarantine or not, the process of hiring employees for your business usually takes quite a lot of time and administrative expenses.

The standard steps include: 

  1. Writing a job description
  2. Looking for a person that fits the description
  3. Interviewing
  4. Onboarding the new team member
  5. Starting to work on the project

When you outsource your software development, the steps are:

  1. Describing your project idea and agreeing on required technical skills
  2. Meeting the team members you’ll work with and onboarding them
  3. Starting to work on your project

Besides streamlining the process of hiring new people, whenever you face the need to send the employees home during the quarantine, outsourcing companies usually have a policy about remote work. 

Currently, with the COVID-19, the majority of the IT companies here in Ukraine (including HUSPI) have moved all work away from the office to support the social distancing advice. But, the development doesn’t stop. As a client, you don’t need to worry about setting up the remote work - all that is done by the admin staff of the outsourcing provider. 

That magical ability to work 24/7

What?! People shouldn’t work 24/7!

We agree. However, with properly set up processes and time zone management, it’s possible. For example, we have several clients in the United States and that’s where one of our PMs is located as well. 

As a result, the clients can meet with the PM during their normal working hours, the PM has a chance to process the received information and create tasks for the developers. By the time developers wake up and come to work (or to their kitchen table where they work from home), the tasks are all ready and they can start. No one works 24 hours non-stop, everyone gets enough rest, but at the same time, the development goes all day long.

Reducing your expenses even further

If you are looking to reduce your development expenses, signing a contract with a software outsourcing company to work on your project is the way to go. 

Besides saving your time (as we mentioned above, admin and development processes already in place), it is a great way to save a bit of money as well. You don’t need an additional office space for your developers, administrative expenses, and even basic coffee and cookies, etc.

The rates for outsourcing vary from company to company as well as from country to country. For example, developers from the US and Scandinavian countries charge a lot more than say, Eastern European software engineers (and developers from India are usually the cheapest.) 

Basic rates for outsourcing development:

  • United States: 
    • Enterprise-class developers: $250-$850 per hour
    • Big business class developers: $200-$300 per hour
    • Small and medium business class developers: $125 - $175
    • Freelancers - from $50-$75 per hour for inexperienced but eager ones to $100-$200 per hour for seasoned professionals 
  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, etc.):
    • Starting from $35 to $75 per hour on average
    • HUSPI rates start at $35 per hour
  • India: 
    • Prices vary very much, but on average, it’s between $15-$40 per hour

As you can see, there is a lot to choose from. Our personal advice - don’t judge the company based on their price only. Check out their Clutch feedback, portfolio, and talk to them about the process of development. 

Who knows, perhaps the outsourcing partner you’ll find right now will remove the need for the in-house development team.

Going beyond COVID-19

The global economy will be affected by these quarantine measures all over the world. While it’s important to minimize the costs of business, it’s important to be ready when the economy starts going up again.

Got a question about development processes at HUSPI? Send us a message.

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