Maintaining IT service continuity during uncertain times







Maintaining IT service continuity during uncertain times

Published: 2020/06/04

6 min read

Within highly developed countries almost all the IT specialists switched to home working without any additional obstacles and with the support from their employers. At the same time, the situation in the world’s biggest cheap outsourcing market is exactly the opposite. Lots of Asia or South America based employees cannot work from home due to not being able to maintain safety requirements or simply not having the necessary infrastructure to do their job remotely. That forced lots of operations to stop, since leaving the offices that are mass gatherings is best what we can do to stop the spread of the virus. 

Now in the middle of the crisis, we can observe that many western companies are forced to rapidly search for their outsourcing partners’ replacement to keep their operations running. If your company used to rely on vendors that now are unable to operate and you seek a way to overcome this problem – you came to the right place. 

Inability to work from home

Smooth transition to remote work was possible in Western countries due to the experience of employers and the conditions in which employees live. But in Asia or South America, the situation is completely different. Although some companies were able to provide their employees with computers that they could take to their homes that was not enough to solve the problems. Due to living in crowded houses and having poor-quality broadband, or even no internet connection for multiple companies it was almost impossible to organize the work from home. But even if those obstacles were overcome, as some companies paid to connect internet for their employees there was a final bump on the road – security. Many outsourcing companies work with sensitive data and making sure these are secure is one of the highest concerns, that in the vast majority of cases from mentioned parts of the world is nearly impossible to cover. From what we can observe now, only the biggest IT providers from these regions were prepared enough to adjust to current conditions. The rest had to either highly limit their operations or even completely stop for the time of lockdown.  

To illustrate the timeline let’s consider India since it’s the leading cheap outsourcing destination. The country-wide lockdown was announced on 24th March – initially for 3 weeks and the introduced restrictions can be described as one of the most severe in the world. These were being upheld for much longer than originally assumed and only recently first restrictions were loosened. However, even opening the offices with a limited capacity up to 33% of the maximum does not allow a return to productivity “from before the pandemic”. What the future holds, and when it will be safe for the entire staff to return to office can’t be predicted.

Rebalancing capacity

This situation highly affects all the companies that used to rely on outsourcing providers located in the mentioned countries. Time passes, and even though the pandemic is slowly losing its strength, we can’t be sure how long it would take for it to end. Tech giants like Facebook or Google allowed their employees to work from home till the end of 2020. Their move indicates that the best strategy for the months to come is to prepare to operate in this reality for a long time. Multiple companies from the USA or Western Europe already start to look for a replacement either trying to hire local talent or searching for new external partners who could deal with the current difficulties.

Move your software development to a safe place

As companies outsourced different areas of their work, we clearly can’t cover all of them but having 20+ years of experience in software development outsourcing we know a thing or two how that will help if the current situation made your project go offline.  

1/ The outsourcing advantages are still valid.

The vast majority of companies already identified the benefits of such cooperation and although the COVID-19 shows that cheap destinations come with a price during the crisis, you still can benefit from all the advantages if you choose a company that can deal with current issues. Even now, hiring top-notch developers in counties like the USA or UK is a difficult and expensive process. But if you decide to look further, some European countries like Poland, for example, can provide you top talent at a reasonable price due to lower labour costs. That makes the price to quality ratio excellent, allowing you to get the best value for money. Since we’re living in a new reality for quite some time now, you can easily verify if and how the company managed to switch to a remote manner and maintain effectiveness to be sure that no matter how long it would take for the pandemic to end, your project will be developed accordingly to the plan. What might seem difficult is how to launch such cooperation when you can’t meet in person, but we already covered this in our previous article, which you can find here

2/ Consider the time needed for the takeover.

If your projects are already delayed, you need to act quickly to minimize the loss as much as possible. Onboarding and introducing people who aren’t familiar with your business domain takes time, which now is priceless. Outsourcing companies often focus on specific business areas and already know the particular environment and understand the business language used in these sectors. In our case for example that mostly finance and healthcare services. That allows for the smooth and rapid project takeover. While looking for your current provider replacement you should verify if potential partner background matches your needs, so the time needed for the onboarding could be narrowed. Choose wisely and the project will go-live again, allowing you to maximize business profits and focus on the whole picture of you IT roadmap. 

3/ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

The pandemic showed us that being prepared for the unexpected is the crucial risk mitigation factor. Hopefully, the difficult time we now live in is soon going to become a memory but it’s impossible to predict exactly what would happen in the following months. You should verify the potential partner response to COVID related problems and risk mitigation strategies to choose the one that could rapidly adjust to external conditions so your project would not be in danger once again. What’s more, outsourcing software development allows for quicker ramp-ups/downs than recruiting internal employees. Flexibility is a powerful tool. Since the business environment is constantly changing, you’ll gain a huge competitive edge just by being able to adapt to those changes rapidly. 

You can’t afford to wait.

Living in the new reality for a few months was not enough for every company to adjust to the current situation. If your provider fails to comply with the contract you can’t wait and see how the situation develops. Problems with remote work in Asian and South American countries have shown that companies that chose to work with outsourcing providers from developed regions are now in a more favourable position. Transferring a project to a new team is the best you can do to maintain operations continuity.  

Due to the mentioned knowledge of the business domains in which we have worked so far, we know that there are no two identical companies nor projects. But the experience can be used as a foundation for creating a solution to a specific problem in a particular situation – and to be able to help we need to get to know you, your company, your processes and values behind it. Once we’ll do this homework, working out a solution that will suit your needs is a piece of cake. So, what are you waiting for? Fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We’re ready to tailor a solution that would precisely fit your needs and allow to maintain business continuity. 

About the authorSoftware Mind

Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world. 

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