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How to Evaluate Security and Contractual Aspects in Software Outsourcing

After discussing how to assess communication processes and standards of quality, you would also need to find answers to these questions:

  • How safe will your project be with the provider?
  • Do they have standard security protocols in place in case some unforeseen issues arise?
  • How often are their physical offices being monitored?
  • Do they have a business continuity plan?
  • What are their rates?
  • Have they worked on projects similar to yours?
  • What is their model of engagement? How cost-efficient would a partnership with them be for you?

Today, in this last article of the series, we will explain how to review the security and contractual aspects of a potential collaboration with a software outsourcing provider.

Review the Security Aspects

Before making that final decision, you should ensure first that the provider has security protocols in place that are above industry standards, at least up to par with it. Also, priority should be given to the security of the premises, protection of the IP and source code. Lacking these minimum requirements from the provider should cause you to think twice.

Security protocols should at least cover the following:
  • Physical access control and monitoring
  • Equipment access and security
  • Physical security monitoring
  • Fire and smoke protection
  • Network security controls
  • Business continuity planning.

Understand the Contractual Aspects

It is important that you understand the terms of the agreement before going too deep in the discussions. If you find out only later that your requirements are too much for what the provider is willing to work with, you already wasted a lot of time and effort. After all, nothing is worse than spending months discussing a collaboration when there are misalignments on the pertinent aspect of the contract. Perhaps, one of the most decisive factors when contracting any service is the cost.

What are Their Rates?

You may be given an hourly or monthly rate, what does it include? Make sure you understand what the quoted rate encompasses. Find out beforehand if there may be hidden costs associated with each hire.

Models of Engagement

Software providers have varying engagement models. Some are willing to engage in fixed-price models, while others are not. It usually depends on the types of projects and the expertise of the provider.

If you’re looking at a team extension engagement, make sure that you can assess every recruit and know exactly who is working on your project.

Even when you are satisfied with the team assigned to you, we strongly recommend that you regularly check in with them, so you’re sure they really are the developers working on your project. Some unscrupulous providers start with putting their A-team on the project only to switch them to more junior developers as time goes by.

Models of Engagement

Software providers have varying engagement models. Some are willing to engage in fixed-price models, while others are not. It usually depends on the types of projects and the expertise of the provider.

If you’re looking at a team extension engagement, make sure that you can assess every recruit and know exactly who is working on your project.

Even when you are satisfied with the team assigned to you, we strongly recommend that you regularly check in with them, so you’re sure they really are the developers working on your project. Some unscrupulous providers start with putting their A-team on the project only to switch them to more junior developers as time goes by.

Previous Projects

Most businesses seek outsourcing options for cost reasons. But while cutting the cost by half is a nice benefit of outsourcing, it’s definitely not always the most important. The flexibility, speed, expertise and access to a pool of resources you don’t have the luxury to maintain in-house are among the side benefits of outsourcing. Coupling these additional benefits to costs is an extremely valuable proposition. The most reliable providers often have more experience and maturity in running software projects, as they have seen hundreds of various configurations and solve dozens of common software development issues. Having those set qualities make them more qualified to turbo charge your organization.

Value for Money

Regarding the costs, you should be able to reduce them by half on average, reducing your burn rate for the same output. Then if you add the benefits given above, the value for money you get out of a good partnership is even greater.

Keep in mind that the additional leverage you get from working with an outsourced partner is that you get flexibility in your team. This means that your payroll is not necessarily a fixed cost, but can become variable depending on your needs.

Thanks to ramp up or ram down clauses, as well as a wide range of services you can use on-demand instead of having one full-time dedicated resource for the long-term, you can minimize the cost and maximize resources while still having the team you need. When you need it.

Risk-Free Trial

Some providers are willing to offer risk-free trials. While this is a great way to assess their capabilities, there may be some restrictions linked to this setup. For example, the provider may showcase their work but they likely will not deliver any code since it’s a trial without monetary exchange at first.

On the other hand, a free trial should give you a very good understanding of how they onboard a project, the quality of the developers in their roster and whether you feel comfortable working with them.

If a provider is willing to offer a risk-free trial, it also shows that they are confident of their capabilities, which is a step towards transparency and building trust with you.

Risk-Free Trial

Some providers are willing to offer risk-free trials. While this is a great way to assess their capabilities, there may be some restrictions linked to this setup. For example, the provider may showcase their work but they likely will not deliver any code since it’s a trial without monetary exchange at first.

On the other hand, a free trial should give you a very good understanding of how they onboard a project, the quality of the developers in their roster and whether you feel comfortable working with them.

If a provider is willing to offer a risk-free trial, it also shows that they are confident of their capabilities, which is a step towards transparency and building trust with you.
That is all for this series, if you have any questions regarding any of the topics discussed, feel free to contact EZtek. EZtek helps top brands worldwide to innovate and accelerate digital transformation. We provide world-class enterprise software engineering, design and technology consulting services.
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