CIO Watercooler Webinar: Scaling Your Business with Offshore Development Teams

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Thescalers
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Slow product and service roll-outs can severely impact a company's bottom line, but staying ahead requires constant innovation. Unfortunately, the scarcity of tech talent has become one of the most pressing concerns for businesses today. Some companies struggle with local teams, while others take risks for growth but remain dissatisfied.

To overcome resource constraints and skyrocketing office costs, partnering with an offshore development centre (ODC) has become a popular solution for expanding teams in critical locations.

However, integrating offshore developers can be a concern for some organisations. Regrettably, a few have had bad experiences with offshore service providers.
How to integrate offshore development teams into a business

We recently participated in a webinar hosted by CIO WaterCooler, where we engaged in discussions with other tech leaders. CIO Watercooler is a global community of CIOs, CTOs, and COOs, organising events and publishing content relevant to tech leadership.

The webinar explored how tech leaders can achieve the following goals:

Build integrated offshore and onshore teams and foster effective communication
Incorporate external resources into Agile or DevOps ways of working
Drive transformation and accelerate growth through offshore development

The keynote speakers included:
  • Emilien Coquard, CEO and co-founder of The Scalers shared valuable insights into building world-class integrated engineering teams
  • Antoine Laurent, CTO of Ykone, shared a successful case study of working with an offshore development team established by The Scalers, which has been an integral part of their business since 2014
  • Milan Juza, CIO for e-commerce at TUI, discussed achieving high performance with near and offshore teams
  • Alasdair Thompson, Head of Operations of Defence & Space at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
In this post, we will focus on the main points covered in Emilien's presentation.

The Silicon Valley of Asia

Emilien highlighted India as a leading tech destination and home for The Scalers.

India produces 2.14 million STEM graduates annually, with the lowest demand-supply gap among global tech locations. Bangalore, known as Asia's Silicon Valley, is on track to become the world's largest tech hub. The city hosts over 40 unicorn startups and is a preferred location for global development centres.

Moreover, Indian engineers have experience working for global companies, understanding Western expectations and facilitating effective communication due to the widespread use of English.
Types of offshore models

Outsourcing:
  • It involves third-party employees with multiple project engagements
  • It’s fast, as companies keep engineers "on the bench" waiting for projects to work on
  • It’s suitable for short-term results
Offshoring:
  • It utilises dedicated teams focused solely on your business
  • It provides higher quality service and products
  • It may take 45-60 days to hire dedicated offshore engineers
  • It offers the opportunity to create long-term value and build integrated offshore development teams
  • The cost savings potential may be more significant with offshoring due to better utilisation of resources
10 essential elements for integrating offshore development teams

1. Finding the right partners on the ground

Partnering with an offshore vendor who understands local legalities, administration, market, and culture can simplify the integration of offshore development teams.

2. Educating teams internally

To introduce the concept of building an offshore development team, involve your teams from the beginning. Identify an internal champion who will promote the project and facilitate team integration.

3. Integrating offshore employees in Scrum teams

Combine three to five senior developers within existing Scrum teams after hiring them. Offshore teams can follow their internal methodology better to understand the product, culture, and expectations.

4. Being ready for a high-volume hiring process

In offshore tech destinations, sourcing many candidates is necessary to find top talent. Vet candidates' skills to ensure compatibility with existing teams. An offshore development partner can handle this process and present you with the best candidates.

5. Establishing a brand in the local market

Even if your brand is well-known in certain countries, it may be unfamiliar in offshore locations. To attract top talent, establish your employer brand in the local market and excite engineers about joining your company.

6. Creating a positive culture

Maintaining good communication with remote engineers can be challenging. Engage offshore teams through regular casual conversations and dedicate a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) to organise events and training.

7. Don't only think about short-term cost benefits

While cost savings are a benefit of offshoring, focus on building effective teams of talented engineers. Set realistic expectations around costs and consider the substantial long-term benefits.

8. Embracing cultural differences

Cultural differences are inevitable when working with offshore teams, but they can contribute to success. Embrace diversity and avoid overthinking cultural differences. Indian software engineers are accustomed to working with international companies.

9. Meeting with your team regularly

Ensure effective management of offshore teams by organising regular meetings at the headquarters. Visiting their location or inviting them to the office promotes work agendas and allows time for team building.

10. Keeping in mind that local competition is fierce

Offer competitive perks and benefits to attract the best local talent. Align with what top-tier companies in the local market provide to engineers.
Scaling your team effectively

Regarding team expansion, The Scalers takes a dual approach: vertical and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling means adding more members and job functions, while horizontal scaling involves venturing into new technologies. With a well-built team, you'll discover your business's resilience and future-proof nature!

Offshoring provides access to a vast pool of experts spanning various technologies, from cutting-edge stacks to specialised areas. This advantage becomes a genuine competitive edge, especially as others struggle to fill tech positions while you enjoy a robust foundation for rapid scalability.
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