Software Executive Magazine

August/September 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Offshore Outsourcing: Obstacles And Opportunities Expert advice on what to watch out for and what to ask when seeking IT talent in offshore markets K R I S H N A N A I R ▶ 68 percent of companies with 50+ developers believe reforms will increase the cost to hire skilled IT talent ▶ 59 percent of companies with 50+ developers will consider offshore options With that in mind, offshore outsourcing seems like an easy alternative to hiring staff here in the U.S. But there's a bigger conversation that needs to happen in the IT industry about the problems that come with this assumed convenience. SKILL INFLATION RISK For example, let's say your organization is trying to move to the cloud from on-premises infrastructure, and you decide to add five offshore cloud and DevOps devel- opers. Your company has no experience working with an offshore team. Let's say you're lucky enough to find three people with a specific, refined skillset for cloud and DevOps. You can't assume they're experts ready to deal with any situation thrown at them. Why? Because the off- shore company you hire will say they can handle it even when they can't. Consider the perspective of the offshore company's salesperson. You ask, "Do you have cloud and DevOps talent available to help with my project?" espite the risks, outsourcing offshore is on the rise. According to the 2017 Har- vey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, the larg- est IT leadership survey in the world, as many as four in 10 IT leaders plan to increase off- shore outsourcing — a trend that has been largely un- changed in recent years. "IT leaders tell us they want to free up their own re- sources, gain access to new skills, and save themselves some money," says Dr. Jonathan Mitchell, the nonexec- utive chair of Harvey Nash and the Global CIO Practice. "Hot outsourcing areas include application development, followed by infrastructure and software maintenance." The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that includes offshore outsourcing confidence. Part of the rush to outsource offshore talent comes on the heels of H1-B visa uncertainty, with IT execs un- sure of how much international talent they'll be able to bring to the United States. Harvey Nash's Pulse Report on the impact of proposed reforms to the H-1B visa program found: ▶ 61 percent of U.S. IT leaders with large develop- ment teams believe the proposed changes will make skilled IT talent less available D Going overseas for IT talent is a lot like going overseas for vacation. If you don't have a reliable local to guide your offshoring efforts, you may end up taking some wrong turns — mistakes that can cost you time, money, and ultimately business. OPINIONS & CHALLENGES Index By K. Nair OFFSHORE OUTSOURCING: OBSTACLES AND OPPORTUNITIES SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 14

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