Overcoming the Challenges of Offshore Software Development

By | Offshore Software Development | No Comments

 

The decision to take advantage of the benefits offered by offshore software development seems easy, right?  So why are many small to medium sized businesses still hesitant to give it a try? Probably because while the benefits are real, the challenges are also real. But with the right tools, these challenges can easily be overcome.   

 

One of the most obvious challenges is the language barrier. Most offshore software developers are located in countries where English is not the common language. Take complicated technological terminology and overlay it with language and cultural differences and communication becomes overwhelming at best.  The good news is that most reputable offshore developers employ Project Managers who are proficient in English as well as code. This person is critical to keeping your project on track. We recommend assigning someone from your internal team to communicate with this person on a daily basis. Emails and texts are great, but with so many communication variables in the mix, frequent live conversations keep everyone on the same page. A few of the tools Labs8 uses are Slack and Stride. Both offer live video conferencing and Slack can be linked to most project management software to provide automatic status updates.   

 

The timezone differences present another communication challenge. Your offshore team is just starting their work day as you are finishing up. These divergent work hours can lead to frustration and inefficiencies. Using project management software will allow you to stay on top of all the moving parts, easily check progress and make updates throughout your day. When your offshore team begins their day, they have immediate access to this information so both teams are in sync.  Labs8 uses Pivotal Tracker and JIRA project management software when working with our offshore development teams. These tools are critical in keeping everyone focused on the same priorities and moving forward.

 

Probably the greatest challenge IT managers face when considering offshore development relates to consistency of quality standards. Will the offshore team deliver the quality of work they want and expect? The last thing you want your internal IT team spending their time on is de-bugging work done by offshore developers. This is why we recommend thoroughly researching the multiple offshore options available. During this process be sure to ask for client references and then check them! If you don’t have time to research offshore options, it’s worth hiring a consultant familiar with the offshore development landscape to help out. A consultant can do as little as pointing you in the right direction based on your development needs to full project management including quality control. In the end, total costs will be lower than hiring internal developers. Most importantly, your business will get the quality development work you want and expect.

 

Labs8 has extensive experience in successfully working with offshore software developers to get projects launched. If you have questions about how offshore development might be a solution for your IT needs, we’d like to talk to you.  

The Offshore Software Development Solution

By | Offshore Software Development | No Comments

Technology not only drives businesses, it drives how consumers interact with products and services. Whether it’s a new website or a mobile app, very few businesses are untouched by the whirlwind of technology.  How fast your business is able to identify, develop and launch products will determine your success in the marketplace. With the demand for software developers being greater than the supply, the cost of moving products from the development list to being launched in the market is rising. This leaves businesses with the daunting task of balancing their competitive edge against protecting their profitability.

 

Labs8 doesn’t believe businesses should be faced with this either/or choice between competitiveness or profitability. We do believe it requires a willingness to think differently about the composition of your software development team. Labs8 successfully uses offshore software developers for their internal development needs and the development needs of their clients. This isn’t a new idea as many large companies have been using offshore software developers for decades. Yet hesitancy among non-tech firms and small to mid-sized businesses to take advantage of the offshore solution still exists. While this solution does have a few challenges- language barriers, time zone differences, and potentially lower quality output- if managed correctly the benefits can far outweigh the risks.  If your business doesn’t have the technological expertise in- house or you have no idea how your overtaxed IT team would manage this resource, you might want to approach this option with a partner.

 

A partner will manage the project directly and oversee the quality of software development work to ensure you get exactly what you want, when you want it. Working with a partner to secure offshore development talent offers the ability to get product work done quickly without compromising profitability and quality. In fact, there may be a positive impact on profitability due to the cost savings associated with this option.

 

One final caveat; choose your product development team partner carefully. You want to work with someone who has a strong understanding of software development and extensive experience working with offshore developers. There are a lot of offshore software development options but they do not all deliver the same results. A good development team partner can help you navigate these options to ensure you end up with the high quality software development support you count on.  While the cost savings associated with offshore development are indisputable, these savings are not worth sacrificing the quality standards your customers have come to expect.

 

Let Labs8 help you explore how offshore software development can offer a scalable solution to keep your business moving forward.    

Working with HisGifts!

By | Community, Cross Promotion | No Comments

We recently worked with David at HisGifts to help him create a short article.  The article is a great way for him to easily inform potential clients of the innovative things he is doing in retirement.  It also allows him to share his passion and open up a conversation.

 

If you are interesting in learning more and seeing his article you can follow this link to find the short article David put together to explain the benefits of IUL as a tax-free retirement investment option.

 

Davids Article

If you have any questions about what we are doing at Labs8 or how we can help fine tune your business you can shoot us an email here.

 

Cross Promotions

By | Community, Cross Promotion | No Comments

Labs8 believes strongly in supporting our community.  One of the ways we do this is by using Cross Promotions.  We love the idea of supporting business owners in our community by introducing them to each other while passing along useful tools.  Labs8 believes this kind of support can build trust in your business while strengthening connections in your community which ultimately connects you with new customers.

Labs8 can help facilitate a successful Cross Promotion for your business. One of the most important ways we do this is by helping you find the right cross-promotion partner.  This partner not only needs to bring value to your customers but must share the same level of respect you have for your customers. This is crucial in protecting the trust you are building with your customer base.

The basic principle behind a Cross Promotion is simply telling your customers about a business you trust and believe may offer them value and in turn that business introduces the value you offer to their customers. This value can take on a variety of forms ranging from a  short article to an e-book or even a free consultation.  If you’re not sure what this would be for your company, Labs8 can help you with deciding on the best offer and how to effectively communicate the offer in your Cross Promotion.

Cross Promotions help your community grow by reaching new people, they also  help your business grow by finding new prospects interested in your product or services.

As labs8 continues to grow and serve our community, we are becoming more and more passionate about the value of Cross Promotions.  We would love to chat with you about investing in your community and building your business.  If you would like more information or have any questions please Contact Us.  We are excited to work with you.

Contact Labs8

Building Community

By | Community, Cross Promotion, Marketing, Uncategorized | No Comments

In the beginning
When I started my first company some years ago I was overwhelmed with who I wanted to be. It can be lonely and overwhelming. As we grew and found ourselves I looked back and found that there were two key turning points in our growth. The first was community and the second was marketing. To some this is obvious, and to others they still haven’t realized the importance.

Let’s start with community.

Building a community for your business is more than just growth, it is finding who your customer is. It is seeking what their needs are so you can be dynamic. When we seek to build community we offer more to our customer base than just our business, we offer a package, a relationship, integrity. In building your community you partner with businesses who have something to offer your current customer and potential customers.

Maybe you are in Marketing…. Your customer doesn’t only need help with marketing! Your customer also has an accountant, your customer has a tech team, your customer has a banker, your customer has a customer service team! The list goes on and on. By building a community you gain the ability to suggest a resource to your customer when the need arises. Your customer mentions they have a need for xyz and you can say OH! I have someone in my community who can help you. It is like networking on a more personal level.

Sometimes it isn’t even when a need arises, sometimes it is not just sharing information but rather proactively educating your customers about a useful tool. Maybe you have a friend in your community who has created an ebook that is universally helpful. Sharing this with your customer base gives you a chance to both support your community and enhance your customer’s experience. At the same time you are helping your friend grow, you are building integrity in your business by showing your customers that you support those around you. You are helping to build both your customer base and that of your friend.

Next comes Marketing

After I had created my community, both by sharing my product as well as supporting those whose customers aligned with mine, I focused on marketing. The two pieces fit together seamlessly in so many ways. By knowing my community and supporting those whose customers aligned with mine I was able to direct my marketing to my prospective customers. I wasn’t seeking out my customer because my community naturally nurtured growth. I could cross promote someone in my community while they promoted me. My marketing was direct to my customer, to a list of people in my ideal customer realm yet outside my customer base. In turn I grew my base and my community grew their base customer lists.

By ground floor marketing in this manner you are supporting community. It all comes back to the same point. But most importantly you are showing your customers that you have their back. You are planting a seed of knowledge and support.

There was a time, and some still go this route, when business was self fulfilling. You had your back and you did for you. But as the world changes and business evolves we see a deep desire to help those around us, to be socially conscientious. It is in supporting those around us that we create change, we build integrity, we grow!

Contact Labs8

Unit 204
733 7th Ave
Kirkland, WA
98033

[email protected]

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