The world is not what it used to be. The pandemic, the Ukraine crisis, and current inflation are reminders of how fragile our perceived normal is.
Such extreme fluctuations in the business environment pose a major challenge for companies. Having the ability to navigate a company through crises and reducing exposure to a minimum, will most probably determine a business’s capability to survive.
Although software development might not be a core component of many companies, it is a crucial pillar for day-to-day business operations. The question is how big a role does software development play in reducing risk.
Crises are the new disruptors
As much as we all prefer to live and work in a predictable environment, the past few years have shown us that Murphy had a point when he said “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, usually at the worst possible time.
A crisis is only a crisis if it catches you off guard. As Nassim Taleb pointed out in his book “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”, the butcher showing up is only a surprise for the turkey.
How do you “avoid being the turkey”? By being prepared, agile, and knowing your weaknesses.
To identify vulnerabilities in a business you need to know how every department is performing internally and compared to the competition. State-of-the-art information gathering and tailored analytics are your best bet to stay on top of things.
No matter where you look, everything is dependent on bits and bytes. There is no doubt on the importance of hiring a dedicated team of IT specialists for business success, but for some companies, the jury is still out on whether to or not to outsource.
Outsourcing is the natural choice
The web is full of articles stating the obvious advantages of outsourcing, like cost reduction, agility, efficiency, and instant access to expertise. These should be enough to tip the scale in favor of outsourcing for most departments. Nevertheless, there are a few arguments to strengthen the case for outsourcing as opposed to in-house software development.
Disruptive technologies are now sustainable innovations
It is no secret that keeping up with technology can be challenging, to say the least.
Just a few years ago the cloud and machine learning were buzz words, disruptive technologies that were out to revolutionize the industry. Now the disruptors of yesterday are technologies that we take for granted and are even crucial for success.
The point is, unless you have an enormous IT department and budget, you will automatically fall behind on the latest developments. If a business misses out only one generation of technical development, they will feel the disadvantage, compared to competitors, immediately. The more iterations a business misses out on, the more expensive and time-consuming catching up will become.
On the other hand, tech companies and developers’ livelihood depends on being up to date with the latest developments. Their job is to keep up with the market and new technologies, train their people accordingly and deliver solutions to customers in a timely manner. Trying to keep up, or even compete, with specialized tech companies is expensive, risky, and fruitless.
In short – let the professionals do their job.
Flexibility and adaptability are key factors for weathering market fluctuations.
Software engineering is not a straightforward science like civil engineering or the likes. There is no proven right way to build something. There are tools and techniques available to reach a goal, but maybe a thousand ways to get there. Usually, you will not know if you took the right route until you manage to reach your destination.
When pursuing new strategies or experimenting with ideas, having the freedom to hire a dedicated team at short notice is an enormous advantage that can only be realized through outsourcing. It is always comforting to know that you can change your horse if it is not getting you anywhere.
Business IT needs are becoming more complex and diverse, to the extent that even maintaining a web presence can be a challenging task. If technology is not your core business, there is no need to invest company resources in an industry that isn’t yours.
Written by Scott Weathers