3 Things You Must Ask Any Offshore Technology Partner Before Engagement4 min read
So you’ve made the important decision to engage an offshore technology partner.
While offshoring can be a great way to access a global talent pool, organisations that don’t do their due diligence run a very real risk of compromising the safety and integrity of their business.
Whether you need to bring on their specialist expertise full-time, to take the load off an existing stream, or to upskill for a particular project, here are the three key themes to clarify before kicking off.
A great offshore technology partner always guarantees the security.
Your intellectual property and data security must be protected on three fronts: from a contractual basis, from a policy basis and from a practice basis.
Most low-quality operators have a haphazard approach to IP security and ownership, putting not only your data at risk – but that of your customers, too.
Ultimately, you want to understand what provisions your offshore technology partner has to keep your information private and secure, as well as what penalties exist for them upon breaching these standards.
At Groove Technology, we are certified and fully compliant with the ISO 27001 International Standard for Information Security, which dictates our policies and best-practices for handling all data, UP and other materials.
Some specific questions you should be asking any offshore technology provider are:
- What measures are in place to protect my data and IP?
- How will my data and IP be stored?
- Who will have access to my data and IP?
- Are you compliant with international data security standards?
- Are your employees bound by non-disclosure agreements?
- Can you share your IT security policies with me?
Communication is a key factor to bring out the success when engaging with an offshore technology partner.
99% of issues in remote working arrangements are born out of miscommunication and misunderstanding, it makes sense that high-quality operators care about getting it right.
Good communication is a fundamental marker of success when engaging an offshore technology partner, and strong operations will have appropriate processes in place to empower their teams to speak up and seek clarity.
This is important for identifying and mitigating issues early on before they become bigger problems.
With that said, consider asking the following questions:
- What is your process for discovering, clarifying and seeking more details around requirements and expectations?
- How are requirements, specifications and solution designs documented?
- What channels of communication are preferable?
- What internal infrastructure is setup for remote communication? E.g. meeting rooms, cameras, microphones and speakers.
- What is the network speed and bandwidth like?
- Do you have a backup generator for unexpected power outages?
A reliable offshore technology partner must be able to show their history of delivery.
There is no better indicator of an offshore partners ability to deliver than their track record – it can be risky to engage a partner who doesn’t have a history of delivering complex projects for large companies.
The length of the engagement matters too, as it serves as a direct testimonial to the amount of value they have contributed.
High-performing teams who deliver value with very little friction typically get retained long-term after an initial engagement, so look for a history of many projects delivered over a long timeframe – it shows that the organisation enjoys working with them and recognises the high return on their investment.
To see whether this is the case, make sure you have answers to these questions:
- Who is your typical customer?
- How big are they?
- What projects have you delivered recently?
- What was the size?
- What was the technology?
- How long do your typical engagements last?
- Do you have any testimonials you can provide?
Ultimately, when done well, offshoring means you can enjoy the benefits of experienced, specialist technical expertise who seamlessly integrates with your current teams and technologies.
By asking the right questions upfront, you can ensure that your engagement is successful for the long-term, taking the pressure off your in-house team and allowing you to focus on more high-level strategic opportunities.