5 Risks associated with IT Outsourcing

Summary: Many IT outsourcing companies simply don't hold up to scrutiny. Learn about the risks associated with outsourcing and how number8 stands apart from the crowd


Outsourcing software development has tremendous potential to save costs and company resources on a given project. Done right, outsourcing may be exactly what your company needs to finish a project on time and on budget. Delivering these kinds of positive results is what number8 is all about.

However, the risks of outsourcing software development need to be acknowledged too. Choosing a company because it's the first one you found or is the cheapest option could have disastrous consequences down the line. Join us today as we go over those risks and discuss how choosing the right partner can help mitigate them.

The Risks of Outsourcing Software Development

Outsourcing can be intimidating. The internet is full of stories of people trying to cut costs through outsourcing, only to be blindsided by problems that waste even more time and money than if they had gone in-house. Why does this happen?

The short of it is that it tends to come down to a lack of research. If your company doesn't investigate the option they choose, they become fully exposed to a variety of common outsourcing risks, including:


Risk 1: Lack of Expertise

Software development is an interesting game in that there are practically infinite ways to tackle the same problem. The trick is coming up with a solution that is efficient and doesn't produce a cascade of its own problems. That's where expertise becomes a must.

The truth is that not all outsourcing companies are up to a given challenge. Some companies will be full of novice developers who, even if they can churn out software quickly, are going to have you winding up with a shoddy product. You must make sure whatever outsourcing choice you go with has the staff and resources needed to produce professional quality work.

A lack of expertise can cascade into a host of other problems. It can mean a company isn't "ready" to handle outsourcing. One of the biggest risks it opens you up to is regarding data security (discussed later as its own point) as the company simply doesn't have the resources to be prepared for security threats.


Risk 2: Communication Problems

Outsourcing can often come with difficulties communicating. While most outsourcing companies have staff that can proficiently communicate in English, there is still a communication delay where your company must basically talk to a point of contact who must then relay what you've said to the rest of the outsourcing staff.

You can mitigate these problems by following some basic international communication tips. Regular meetings to help frequently touch base can make sure the outsourcing firm doesn't wander off base and allows you to better give regular feedback.


Risk 3: Misaligned Goals

Related to the above but different enough to warrant its own spot, outsourcing only works if the outsourced development staff understand your company's goal.

To mitigate this risk, make sure your goal is fully understood. Days or even weeks can be wasted if your chosen developers work at a problem you're not trying to solve. Write out a thorough outline of what you're looking for and, as we suggest above, frequently check in to make sure things are progressing the way you want.


Risk 4: Actual Fraud

One of the worst risks of outsourcing, some companies are just literally criminal fronts. These companies lure organizations in with big promises and good pricing, only to steal money or data through one of a variety of common scams.

The good news is research generally makes this easy to avoid. You should only use companies with a history of success and quality reviews. Just remember to glance over reviews before trusting a high score; some unscrupulous companies buy high rating reviews (which is usually against the terms of service of a given review site) but these illegitimate reviews often read extremely similar in tone and style.


Risk 5: Security Breaches

The nature of outsourcing means a lot of sensitive data will need to be transported to the firm you hire. Most of this transfer is done digitally, for cost and convenience. Unfortunately, this also means outsourcing firms are excellent targets for hackers looking to steal information.

Secure outsourcing is more important than ever, but many companies fall short. Hiring a poorly secured development firm is almost as bad as hiring one with malicious intent.

One security threat could cause personal information or important code to leak. Maybe worse, hackers can ransom or just delete whatever work they get access to. Depending on the nature of the attack, all progress up to that point (and thousands of dollars) could suddenly be lost.

Experts You Can Trust

At number8, we make delivering quality-work and doing so securely our top priority. Our team is highly rated, with a history of successfully delivering exactly what our clients ask for.

We also aren't kidding when we say we take security seriously. To list just some of the security measures we've implemented to guard against threats, we:

  • Use two-factor authentication combined with strong passwords on all cloud services
  • Keep our hard drives strongly encrypted and our computers updated with the latest in anti-malware software
  • Have all consultants undergo security training and adhere to quality best practices, so you can trust any of our staff working on a given project

Additionally, we have a number of measures we will discuss with your company to make our interactions even more secure. In short, your project is safe in our hands.

We're also experts on the development side of things. Our goal is to develop exactly what you're looking for, and you can expect constant updates and relevant questions to make sure that happens. We guarantee it.

Interested in learning more about how number8 can help your organization?

If you're curious about what we can offer, contact us! Consultation is free and will help you feel confident we're what you're looking for.

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