As the drive toward offshore software development heats up, firms like CrossWorld Technologies have the resources ready to handle the transition.
As the drive toward offshore software development heats up, firms like New York City-based CrossWorld Technologies have the resources ready to handle the transition, by helping companies find and hire IT professionals in Russia and the Ukraine. President Andrey Tymoshenko talks about horror stories, hostility, and cultural differences.
Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?
Nowadays, many companies move their software projects offshore trying to reduce the cost associated with software development or to start new projects that are just too expensive for them if done by local programmers. If planned and executed correctly, it really helps in improving the business process and growing the business.
However, it can easily turn into a horror story, lost time, and money. Many companies fail to understand the difference between traditional in-house development and the process that involves multiple groups of programmers working in dispersed locations, various time zones, different cultures, and different languages. The right thing to do is somewhere in between. And there we see our fit.
Do you feel that you might be the target of hostility by those who think that offshore outsourcing is bad for the tech sector?
Yes, I do. And I understand those people. In fact, I personally was against offshore outsourcing four years ago. I know several people, including my friends, who lost their jobs because of that. Then I realized that this is just another sign of economy globalization. At this point, it is very hard to imagine that it will be or can be stopped anytime soon. So why not to be a part of the process instead of being a victim? I agree that this process is bad for some American programmers, but I do not think it is bad for the tech sector. In fact, I believe that decreasing expenses associated with offshore outsourcing helps companies maintain and grow their businesses during these tough times.
What are the challenges in working with development companies in other countries?
There are numerous challenges. As offshore outsourcing has gained in popularity, countries that provide these services have mobilized to meet the demand. Governments and private entities are training thousands of software developers each year and offshore companies are lowering their prices to undercut their own local competition. While this may sound promising, the truth is that many developers receive as little as six months of training.
The other huge challenge is cultural differences. Offshore partners work in unique environments, reflecting different, and sometimes conflicting, social norms and business practices. For some offshore outsourcing companies, the concept that “the boss is always right” is a guiding rule. If something is going wrong, the workers will assume that the boss knows “what’s what” and will handle the problem without ever mentioning it to “higher ups.” This is a major communications breakdown that can easily lead to a project disaster.
What kinds of benefits do you see coming from the growth of outsourcing?
Businesses that outsource can focus energies and resources on their core strengths while leaving other tasks to professionals with area-specific expertise. Outsourcing partners may also be more innovative and creative in their area of specialization, offering an up-to-the-minute “knowledge base” that a business could never achieve in-house.
Businesses also benefit from calling on an outsourcing partner to provide services on an as-needed basis, rather than maintaining a full-time staff onsite. With outsourced work, there’s no “department” to maintain and no employee benefits to provide. The company gets the best possible service while enjoying cost-saving advantages.
I believe that there are long-term benefits to the American economy in offshore outsourcing. Lowering the cost of business frees the capital necessary for expansion, and consequently will cause the creation of new jobs here, in the United States.
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