An interesting comment from a person with years and years of experience in COO roles across several industries, and with a keen interest in organisational psychology. It is always exciting to find out that what DataArt is saying resonates really well with a client perspective.
Two important things happened recently. Argos announced that they are likely to shut or relocate 75 of their stores in the UK, and Apple has announced the launch of the iPad mini.
Both events are in fact similar in the way that they were predicted with a high degree of precision. The rumour machine has worked really well again, guessing most of the components of Apple’s new offering (screen size – 7,85 inches, a bit off; screen resolution – 768×1024, spot on; processor A5 – spot on; even the price, $329 was guessed by 9to5Mac).
Furthermore, in the same way that Apple has battled with a continuing dispute with Samsung, Argos, once a high-street dear, is suffering from competition from the likes of Amazon and online parts of rivalling businesses. It is a wonder, quite honestly, that it survived unchanged until now.
As Microsoft reveals prices for its Surface tablet, the concerns for the fate of the product grow bigger and bigger in the technical community. The product’s basic price is on the iPad’s level and to get the cover that serves as a keyboard a customer is expected to shell out even more.
Thus, as long as the price would not be an advantage there should be something else Microsoft should offer to beat the competition. But what might it be? Surface runs Windows RT which is not compatible with the desktop version of Windows application-wise, so the iPad would even have a better ecosystem. Besides, using desktop applications in tablet format, while at a first glance sounding attractive always has been a nightmare. This was shown pretty well by Microsoft’s own early experiments in the tablet market with Tablet PC platform.
Outsourcing in general, and software outsourcing in particular, has accumulated so many myths and legends in such a small time that I can only compare it with stories about UFO’s. Those myths mutate, and change colour, and sometimes even pass as best practices.
I am not pretending to know all of them, however after working in the industry for many years I have come across dozens of them and even (and I’m not proud of this one) most likely did participate in creation of at least a couple.
Here is a small and humble attempt at redemption; I hope you will read this with your sense of humour switched on.
Myth 1. Offshore costs are so low you save 80%.
If you look at pure cost per hour, then this is probably the number you will see on your calculator. However, you should be prepared to find out that when you add the cost of management, your time to monitor the process, and the fact that cheapest developers rarely are the best ones, you will save 25-45%. This is still a very good number, mind you.