Every minute a dozen new IT companies with the same business model of outsourcing or outstaffing are being registered all over the world. The internals of companies differs though – from “one director” to family contracts in the form of the former-developer CEO, the ex-QA wife and couple of friends who are tired of working for someone
What if they steal my idea?
“There is a TOR with a description of the project. But I need to go through loads of programmers. But the question is whether I will create my own competitors, during the search, revealing the idea, logic, formulas and other insights? How to protect myself from theft of MY idea? Is there a unilateral non-disclosure agreement?”
Have we just cited your thoughts, then we should say that you purely exaggerate the problem. Firstly, the idea itself, not yet implemented, is worthless. A good programmer is snowed under work, and, what’s more, he is paid well. And what is important, the payment is guaranteed, in contrast to theft of ideas. Even if the programmer wanted to steal something – to unleash the idea would take a lot of effort. During this time, the programmer would lose a bunch of dough (abso-bloody-lutely!). And whether the idea is untwisting – it’s still unclear. But it would be necessary to spend a lot of effort on it, that’s for sure, and meanwhile to lose a pile of slam dunk money.
Secondly, try to patent, that’s what the patents were invented for. That’s a joke, of course, but, as they say, give it a shot, why not.
In a point of fact, there are such things as Non-disclosure agreement (NDA), Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA), Master Agreement (MA) that are to prevent, stop, punish for disclosure and repair damages. Any of above mentioned can be signed with any entity to whom you trust access to confidential information.
What we’d like to add on top of that is that decent programmers are less prone to this problem. They have a reputation and a salary – there is no need to steal. Well, obviously, when outsourcing you provide contractors with some details on what the project is, but, indeed, they have no idea how to create at least an analogue, bring it to the market and in what direction to develop. And this is exactly what the leaders and founders of these projects know. There is nothing to steal, behind each idea there is an experience and knowledge that are simply not in programmers possession, because they are developers and they have the relevant experience and knowledge.
They wouldn’t understand!
Often – and this is actually normally – we doubt and fear, what if they would not understand me, what if my idea would be embedded, but not as I wanted it to be, what if the final product would be the polar opposite of my idea?
This, to some extent, well-grounded fears, because we are people and individuals, and everyone has s/he own views, perception and understanding of reality. It is not always possible to express verbally everything that is on your mind. So how to make it sure that your idea will be perfectly embodied by developers?
That’s why there are such wonderful people as business analysts, who act as a liaison between the customer and the team.
A business analyst is a specialist who investigates the customer’s problem, seeks a solution and formalizes its concept in the form of requirements, which will be used by developers in the future when creating the product.
Our business analysts, who are besides tech savvy, are able to identify the needs of the customer, and understand the problem that the latest one wants to solve.
Based on that, our profs independently or with the help of the team formulate the concept of solution. After that, using various techniques of business analysis (building of models of processes and structures, prototypes of the user interface, usage scenarios) they transmit the concept into the terms of reference with specific requirements for the future product. At the same time, an accurate estimates of labor costs and duration of work are done. To clarify and to ensure a smooth implementation process each requirement is detailed in the form of specifications. In order to foster more effective management and coordination our business analysts continually advise programmers and testers during the development of the product, and negotiate disputable issues with the customer. Thus the customers dreams come true.
If you are a shoemaker and you sew shoes, first of all they should be warm, comfortable, and crafted on time, and only then, pad-and-stitched.
Where was I going with that? Let’s backwind.
I need a program to be implemented in order to supply and develop my business. So I decided to outsource this task to a development company. But what if they build it on WTFC?
Obviously, as the customers we do not really care about the code itself – the main thing is that the code should solve our problem. We are, normally, ready to accept a few mistakes and bugs. We are only about to pay less money for the working automation system, which again will save our money.
However, a strange situation occurs: all developers say that they are using both hands for beautiful code. I have not seen a single developer who would say: I’ll write a WTF code! Unless in case of force majeure they sometimes lament “oh, damn, we have to put a hack, but we’ll get around to it one day and do it beautifully”. Literate, nice code is the clear value of any developer. Then how does it happen that with this attitude of developers to the beauty of the code (at least, as it is declared), it is seldom possible to find a really beautiful project without a s**t code? What’s the secret?
Firstly, the context of the code. The project, within which the code is written, is always bound with money and time terms, affecting people (customer, contractors, members, including developer’s spouse), each of which hogs the blanket.
Secondly, the developers, especially it happens over large projects, are not even familiar with each other. The code information exchange between programmers depends on how the information flows within the company are generally established.
Beauty is beauty, but there are more important things.
This is the culture of the code: first, the developer must create a running solution on-order – and then, if he has enough skills, time, can still hold his own, he makes this solution beautiful from within.
Well, in an ideal scenario, the competent developers write a beautiful code for adequate customers and fit into the timeline, and that is what everyone is striving for.
Can they say No and stood me up at the very last moment?
It’s a good reason to worry about. Because of some corporate culture or climate it happens that they are not able to say no to a superior or customer out of respect. But what’s the use of respect for the customer who didn’t receive the promised solution? That’s why honesty is the key to success and further development of climate of trust between a vendor and a customer. As a client, you should set a clear goal. As a vendor, you are to report the matter and consider the ways out, such as altering expectations or reducing the scope if the deadline cannot be moved.
They’ll drain my wallet!
I need to implement a project, which is mobile application. I am a customer, and concurrently an owner of the product, I ask for an estimate. Any person, being even a little bit with the “commercial vein” at heart, would immediately start to think that you can not miss the chance to earn some money, and begin to call, frankly speaking, the random price. And they certainly call the understated price, so as not to miss the customer, without thinking about what will happen next. Or, by fibbing, they understate the amount, and then knock out extra money, reasoning “pitfalls” and blackmailing the rejection of the project … I’m sure the managers are topping up some extra hours “to knock the dough off me.
Let’s figure everything out! Software development outsourcing is commonly performed on either Fixed Price agreement or Time and Material agreement. Fixed Price approach, to our opinion, is not reasonable for the task, such as software development. Who will cover any additional work that has arisen because of the absent-mindedness, and perhaps even the irresponsibility of the customer or the vendor. At Fixed Price approach there is a “risks” budget. But what if it’s already been exhausted, then, at best, the customer of the project will blame the performer for “loaded dice” … at the worst, litigation will begin. What’s more, at the very beginning of the project the scope usually is not clear either to the customer, or even more so to the performer. At the Fixed Price approach, the probability to get a disastrous project in view of the fact that the budget is too small is 50%. The remaining 50% is that the customer will overpay for the project.
Working with the T & M approach is more beneficial to both parties. The customer gets what he wants (a solution) eventually, the performer gains profit from the work performed. But this approach requires great efforts from both sides, and the availability of a certain material and technical base.
Well that’s OK, but how should I know that the scope is made properly, how should I know that then, out of a clear sky, the overtimes and extra expenses won’t fall on me?
First, and once again, to make sure the scope is clear there are Business Analysts, who’ll make additional discovery with the customer to satisfy that every single detail of the project has been scoped out properly. In addition, as a customer make sure you understand lifecycle of a product. The development process cannot consist of daily phone calls only. There are tools like issue trackers and source code repositories, which are a must, so that a customer gets back tracked progress and updated statuses.
They’ll steal my client database!
There are rising concerns about the security of data in the hands of foreign contractors. Day-to-day the Internet is teeming with news about the stolen, sold, etc., confidential information. Even such whales as Google and Facebook, have been landed on the list. How can I be sure of the honesty of the outsource company’s contractors and know that they will not merge my client database, when occasion offers. I do not want to find myself in a situation involving an alleged theft of confidential information, and to stand by someone’s sins, and pay huge fines, and accrue significant reputational damage.
So here for the customer, the main tool against the risk of losing control over the project is to always remain a full-fledged product owner – that is, to perfectly understand the business logic of your product and how it is technically realized.
For this, there should be 2 people on the client side: the head of the IT department (or Head of digital) and the business director of the project. The first one will manage third-party and internal IT teams, coordinate their work and provide quality control of the code, the second will be responsible for the business strategy of the product.
What is the most important for preventing information security breaches is a properly executed NDA or CDA. In addition to that, foreign governments are trying to handle these concerns, as well. So, as you may remember, recently there was a GDPR adopted to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personal information collected from clients in compliance with international privacy standards.
We won’t be able communicate with this big time difference!
Different time zones is a headache for large transnational corporations, let alone for outsourcing. When one part of the world runs a working day, they just go to work at another point of the globe. The answer to e-mails comes only the next day.
For the sake of general meetings it is necessary to organize calls on “neutral territory”, that emanates an increase in the cost of communication. So what to do? Is outsourcing the best solution for my business, though? Yes, it is. But be sure that the time zone of service provider would perfectly suit your requests. Since the globe is round it is easy to find the country somewhere “in between” zone. For example, the time zone of Ukraine is GMT + 2. This is very convenient for Europe – working hours are the same. And even for companies from America, Ukraine is the best choice in comparison with the time zones of Russia, India or China. Besides, IT industry excels at flexible hours, so it’s always easy to set up a meeting time convenient for both parties.
Obviously, at the first stage you will not bear 100% confidence that you have chosen the right company. But you can reduce the chance of error up to 80% if you drop frankly dumping players, check the competence of your IT manager, get maximum information about the quality of the company’s services from other customers, look and “feel” the IT processes and tools that outsourcer uses, and, finally, make sure of the importance of its financial and legal guarantees (the amount of refunds for low quality of services and clear SLA).
So, what do Redwerkers do to vanish all your doubts and concerns when outsourcing product development becomes a matter of choice. Check this list and make your deliberate choice!
First of all, we are not an overnight success, our expertise has been gained over more than 13 years. Blood and sweat built our company. Check our progress in one click and survey our Case Studies and Testimonials from utterly satisfied clients.
Second, we protect our client’s privacy and all his data privacy by signing a bilateral NDA where both parties foreknow disclosing information to one another that each intends to protect from further disclosure. Our Contract includes confidentiality clause as well to guarantee a complete discretion in keeping secret information. On top of that, the Contract considers “all rights reserved” clause by means of which all rights on the product developed go to the Client and we ensure an ultimate priority of holding the product.
Third, we build a comprehensive data solution, enabling you to process personal data fairly and in accordance with the law, and so do we, since we are GDPR compliant.
Forth, What’s next is that we are absolutely dedicated and loyal to Time & Material contract model, for it to have its own perks, such as to;
- guarantee financial planning;
- save the right to determine the number of members and qualified team members to customers taste;
- secure our prompt response to any issue. We don’t keep quiet, we discuss and solve any problem should happen;
- grant the customer relief from delegation, since the client communicates with the project manager and discusses the main requirements with him, who at a later stage shares tasks within the team;
- assure transparent development and desirable outcome. The client keeps abreast of the project development, having access to task management systems and accounting for labor costs in the 24/7 mode.
As you can see, our values are fairly simple – dedication, expertise, compliance, transparency, quality. If these are that you seek for, then don’t hesitate to rely your software development on us.