Myth 1: All outsourcing companies are alike
Reality: There is a world of difference between companies that do outsourced projects and companies that build software products. A successful outsourced product development company needs to have the product DNA, coupled with the process and methodology for successful outsourcing. For projects based outsourcing, the criteria for success is a deliverable that meets all the requirements specified upfront before the start of the project.
For successful outsourced product development, the criteria for success is delivering products that consistently meet the requirement for releases those span months, years and sometimes decades. It is impossible to know or specify all the requirements upfront, and yet the product has to meet the requirements for subsequent releases, on time, on budget and with best quality. The ability to foresee the evolution of the product, its future requirements, plan for them, architect them, build in pre-requisites, and then consistently execute and deliver quality products release after release, differentiate an outsourced product development company from one that builds one-off projects.
Myth 2: Management ownership has to remain with the customer and the outsourced team
will be effective only to execute work assigned on a day to day basis.
Reality: Managing product development teams remotely is difficult if not impossible. One can keep track of the deadlines and deliverable and quality of deliverable, but in order to motivate and retain the team for the long haul, one needs to have the pulse of the team. One needs to understand their challenges, provide them visibility to enable them to plan and innovate and consequently add value to the product.
Myth 3: My Intellectual property will be stolen if we outsource.
Reality: Choosing a vendor that is only into outsourced product development, ensures that Intellectual property is respected and protected by the vendor, given that it is their bread and butter business. This is done on two fronts. Operationally the vendor should be capable of assigning dedicated teams, setting up isolated secure networks, deploying network, host and physical security for the team and source code, and have a process, policy and methodology for product development that ensures IP is respected and protected. Additionally, regulatory compliance to a process can be mandated to ensure that there is an audit trail. Legally, and contractually, strong Non-Disclosure Agreements, and IP protection clauses should be built into the contracts. Having dedicated teams, enables the customer to have direct agreements with the individual engineers assigned to the project as well, and ensures that un authorized personnel do not have access to the data.