15 August 2019 | Sebastian Bucur
Outsourcing as a Journey
In our industry, it is very common to see software development compared with building a house. There are many parallels between the two but in reality, they are quite different. Having spent the last 21 years in the trade, DataArt can attest to the fact that a software project is more like a journey and that technology consulting companies are means to an end rather than the end in itself. One may wonder how it can be a journey when there is a deliverable at the end, which is the actual piece of software.
At some point, we got together internally and asked ourselves ‘what do we do better?’ And the answers came swiftly: our time to market is on average 30% shorter; the software we create is lean, easy to maintain, and reliable; we use cutting edge technology and tools. Well, that’s great but frankly, so do two dozen other companies in our segment. Then we asked ourselves another question: ‘what is it that we do differently?’ We scratched our heads and beards for a while until the penny dropped and the answer became obvious. It was simply one word: the journey.
Clients have various business challenges. Some of them can be met with more capital, by hiring experts, or by launching a new product. Other challenges can be met with software, and this is where we come along and, using our skills and experience, take the client from where they are to where they want to be. It’s a journey that we want to make as pleasant as possible.
So, it happens that we are experts in Travel & Hospitality and for a better illustration compare what we do with a long-distance flight between two world capitals. Ever wonder why various airlines can sell a New York to London trip at different prices, some very divergent although it is the same fuel burnt, maybe even same airplanes and the clearly same number of miles in terms of distance to cover? The answer is simple: the journey. Can a direct business class flight be compared to an economy class, a 24-hour flight with two connections? Absolutely not, and neither can the prices.
There are those who just need to get from A to B on a budget and for them, the second option is perfectly suitable, perfectly legit, and there is nothing wrong with that. But then there are those who want to arrive at point B as fast as possible and when they get off the plane they want to be fresh and ready for business, all because they had a great journey, a satisfying experience.
Coming back to technology and software, we have looked at ways to make the project a more pleasant experience and we found there are three factors involved. Number one, without a shadow of a doubt, is the Communication element. Number two, very close behind, is Industry Knowledge and number three is Problem Solving skills. This particular skill is generally misunderstood, but not by us because we have learned that a beautiful solution to a tech problem has to have a positive impact on the business or it has no practical value, no real purpose. We don’t do technology for technology’s sake. We impact businesses.
For example, it often happens that the challenge the client brings to us has another underlying challenge and we need to address that first. Sometimes, we can improve the existing applications and solutions by refactoring the code or by creating additional layers of interfacing. That is what consulting is and it can only be done effectively after having thousands of completed projects in our portfolio, a few failed ones, and deep industry knowledge. But there is still more, a valuable lesson we have learned, and we would like to share it with the world.
A beautiful solution with business impact, engineered by experts with deep Industry Knowledge is complete when indeed, as a team, we are able to Communicate it to the client, in a clear and effective way. Then the journey can begin and we know it’s going to be an enjoyable one.
By contrast, hiring an ‘economy class’ outsourcing company is going to be less of a pleasant journey because the client will have to pay separately for the luggage, have less legroom, the flight attendants might not speak English and the meals will be more for survival rather than enjoyment. Oh, and there will be connecting flights, delays, and you will need two days to recover after the trip. Let alone the lost luggage.
Economy class outsourcing companies, truth be told, often learn on the job (at the client’s expense), a lot is lost in translation, there is poor project management, mistakes, delays, bugs that made it into production, hardly any documentation and an extra couple of invoices (because the first estimate was optimistic and small enough to persuade the client to sign on the dotted line). It often happens that in the middle of the project, the client feels like giving up but cannot because by now a lot of money and time have been invested and also because the deadline is looming. Now his or her job is on the line, as well as reputation, and maybe even the whole business at risk.
Outsourcing is a journey and we make it our mission to take each of our clients from A to B in the fastest and most pleasant way possible. Our Communication, Industry Knowledge and Problem Solving skills continue to guarantee every single project is successful. We do only direct, first class projects handled by experienced project managers, solution architects, and professional developers and QA’s. We will take you from A to B with no extra miles, but a good meal and we will arrive together at the destination on time and with all the luggage. Oh, and the price is still ‘economy’. Come fly with us because we make outsourcing a pleasant journey!