Posts Tagged ‘IT industry’
Startups have short launchpads and high expectations. In order to lighten the yoke, many startup founders turn to outsourcing, letting a third party provider handle some aspects of the business.
If you do it the “right way”, you can build a very successful company that way. The right way is *not* to think of your remote team members as outsourcing, but as a key part of your team.
In considering outsourcing as a potential option, you must first weigh the positive and negative impacts. Outsourcing frees up leadership to focus on the parts of the business that differentiate you from the competition, while staying assured that the basic parts are all still operating properly.
Outsourcing is a great option for some startups, but it can be confusing. There’re 5 questions you should answer to decide if outsourcing is the solution:
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the farming out of a business process or service to a third-party provider. Outsourcing frees up some mental space for founders and can sometimes even save money.
What exactly are you outsourcing?
There are certain skillsets which are difficult to bring in-house. It is essential to understand what you will and what you will not be outsourcing, to understand what should rest totally in your control and what can be handled by someone else.
Is the vendor startup-oriented?
The choice of which company to outsource to is important. Vendor should be very active in implanting best practices from the software industry into the startups they work with.
Are you a good client?
Good clients should know what they want, otherwise they’re effectively wasting their own money. A highly collaborative attitude is helpful too. Clients should want to understand the development process just as developers should get a handle in the product’s business objectives. A mismatch between end-project and expectations is often the result of poor communication.
Does the reputation of the vendor matter to you?
People often rely on reputation to make outsourcing decisions. Ask for reviews and recommendations of providers to try and determine which one best fits your needs.
Outsourcing is one of the earliest crucial decisions that startups have to make after inception. Often, the decision lies not in whether to outsource, but who to outsource to and how.
Do you outsource? Please share your experience in comments bellow.
According to Gartner’s predictions, by 2012, 50% of traveling workers will leave their notebooks at home in favor of other devices such as iPad, Tablets, and Smartphones.
By 2012, 80% of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology. Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. Open Source is here to stay. Such as: specific applications such as Gimp (GIMP.ORG) which are now contenders for the commercial market. Look at the CRM market for good open source examples.
By 2012, at least one-third of business application software spending will be as service subscription instead of as product license (SaaS). The web will allow SaaS providers to compete worldwide against established players. Cloud computing & SaaS will be a big push this year – Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, etc are all moving in that directions. I think this will be big for development projects – many organizations will be showing Proof of Concepts with it — and it offers an option to crowded data centers. This type of development will go in conjunction with the changing view of Desktop platforms to the new alternative devices.
Personally, I don’t subscribe to Gartner’s views since they get it close 33% of the time. The OSS trend has been happening for 10 years now, the mobile trend has been visible for some 3-4 years now, and the service oriented trend has been visible for some 8 years now. They have little forward thinking.
In my opinion right now the trend is towards mobile. If you are a developer and you are not developing your application to run on mobile devices, you are behind. IOS, Android, Mac OSX, and Linux are the targets developers need to focus upon.
The next top trend is HTML5 which lends itself to the cross-platform need above. HTML5 still has a fair amount of shortcomings from a consumer perspective, but will solve those when the applications truly require the missing functionality.
Finally, the consumer markets are hot. Enterprise business continues to trudge along, but if you look around consumerization is everywhere.
So in summary, the trends are mobile/cross platform, HTML5/CSS3, and consumer focused software.
One last moment to think about. The software market is changing rapidly, a far faster pace than Moore’s law predicts. Hardware is also changing rapidly – ARM has changed the mobile industry and is about to change a lot more in the coming months. Software developers need to be looking much further ahead than Gartner just to keep up.
Smart phones are already changing many markets in the IT industry. Mobile gaming represents one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market, and potential for future growth remains strong as more consumers are using smartphones for games of all types, including the increasingly popular mobile game apps. Is the mobile gaming industry a threat to the console industry?
Traditional PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games can take two to three years and $20 million to $30 million to build. By contrast, apps for Apple and Android handsets can be assembled in weeks for less than $20,000, which explains why they’ve captured an entire generation of bedroom entrepreneurs’ imaginations. Given sales of 100 million-plus iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, etc.) though, producing high-quality titles capable of selling in the millions isn’t the issue.
Despite the best efforts of Nintendo and Sony, mobile games are taking a bigger chunk out of the portable gaming market, with one in every three dollars of portable gaming revenue going to smartphone and tablet games, according to new analysis from mobile analytics firm Flurry. Games for mobile devices now account for almost half of all the game downloads.
Even most of the gamers who use a dedicated console to play online are spending the largest chunk of their change on games for mobile devices. The rest of their game funds are going toward titles downloaded for PCs, full consoles, portable consoles, and other systems.
A recent report revealed some startling facts about mobile gaming and the rise of smart phone gamers. iPhone user spends around 15 hours on average every month playing games. Android users weren’t far behind by cloaking 9.3 hours monthly average while other smart phone users were at 7.8 hours. Overall around 64% of people who download applications have installed a game in the past 30 day period making gaming apps the most popular genre of apps.
Although the message is clear many publishers are not very worried considering that the market is still dominated by console games. Since the cost of production for many mobile and social games is extremely low in comparison with console games, when the time comes for jumping ships or expanding over to mobile and social platforms it will not be difficult, especially for a video game development company that already has the assets, technology and manpower necessary to develop games for consoles and the PC market.
While portable gaming market is changing rapidly, Nintendo and Sony aren’t sitting still. Nintendo recently launched the 3DS, which sold almost 400,000 units in its first week, a respectable number that still fell short of some analyst expectations. Sony is working on new portable hardware and moving closer to the mobile market with plans to make its PlayStation software available on Android devices. We’ll have to see how the two gaming giants fare in their efforts to kick-start their businesses, but it’s clear mobile games are posing a huge challenge with their cheap (or free) pricing and easy digital distribution.
The rise of cheap mobile games, even as low as 99 cent apps are compared to that of the iTunes music revolution and that of the takeover of the traditional books market by self-publishers via eBooks. Does this mean that internet is about to change the gaming industry once again? Many companies have already started integrating their games into social and mobile platforms. EA and other major studios and platforms such as Sony, Microsoft, etc., have also started experimenting with social media platforms, as well as the development of games for mobile devices. However, for the near future, gaming companies are quite unlikely to have any serious issues due to the rising popularity of mobile games. There will always be a demand for console and PC games, in addition to mobile games.
And what do you personally think about expanding of mobile games popularity? Do you think mobile games are going to beat console games? And are they more advantageous to invest in?
Gartner’s outsourcing tip: “Don’t just seek the leaders blindly – determine which vendors are the right fit for your organization”
Posted July 7, 2011on:
The debate on the success of outsourcing as an industry seems to last endlessly. Over the years outsourcing contracts underwent a lot of changes – as the result we now see more multi-sourcing engagements and smaller focused contracts. In fact outsourcing contracts shrank in length or value per contract, but the relationship with the client has endured. Indeed, it’s relations, not size that matters. So, recently the issue of a choice of a right vendor for an outsourcing contract has become even sharper and vital for a larger number of companies in IT industry.
Many organizations that want to outsource IT services are intimidated by the task of determining which location in general and vendor in particular would best suit their requirements. Many researches in the field have been made. If in the early days of outsourcing price level was the weightiest criterion, now determination of an outsourcing partner and their geo-location is based on a whole system of criteria including not solely cost competitiveness based ones but key statistics on resources and skills level, country’s business and economic environment. Among them you may see English (French, German, etc) language skills, educational system quality, cultural compatibility, political and economic environment, global and legal maturity, and data and intellectual property security and privacy.
Historically such low-cost locations as India for instance were very popular offshore outsourcing destinations, still recently with the maturation of IT domain and with recent wage inflation and educational challenges these locations have receded their position as outsourcers now expect more “added value” to their projects and business. In this respect more attention is paid to Eastern European region, especially by Western and Northern European companies. Germany, Switzerland and Austria along with the Nordics in particular perceive Eastern Europe as a favored nearshore destination. Eastern Europe ranks high in terms of efficiency of technical education, work ethics and cultural sensitivity adding to the region’s geo-attractiveness as a base for outsourced activity.
Many respectable researchers think in the next ten years it is likely that Eastern Europe will move out from being an ‘emerging destination’ to a ‘key destination’ for outsourced activity: even though facing continued cost pressure from Indian market and despite being largely ‘overlooked’ by US based outsourcing providers, it is expected to proceed receiving its share of traditional high end software engineering and other IT services, from Western and Northern Europe. Many who experienced outsourcing there are characterizing Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, etc) as [a good place to find low cost, technically superb coders,.. generally hard workers, honest in answers to any your questions and strategically thinking].
Anyway, all these ratings of outsourcing locations are just generalization – anywhere you may find good and worse executors. As Gartner tips: “Don’t just seek the leaders – determine which vendors are the right fit for your organization”.
Well, perhaps very generally it would be a bad idea to hire designers from South East Asia if you expect a Western looking result :), still efficiency of an IT service provider should be checked in each particular case. There are a couple of advises helping to choose a good provider:
– Choose companies who have good feedback, ratings and recommendations. If a company follows market trends, makes marketing and technical researches, has good recommendations, especially from the companies from your geo-region, these all mark quite a solid level of credibility.
– Be careful about generic responses. This mostly concerns a stage when particular project details/requirements are already discussed. The tip considers both parties actually :)
– Start cooperation with a relatively small test/pilot project to evaluate provider’s competences. Altabel Group’s experience shows it’s natural for our clients to develop a pilot project with us to confirm our competences and then organically move on to Dedicated Development Team model for further cooperation.
– Try to meet your partners personally at initial stages of cooperation. Arrange short trips to visit a provider and especially meet your team members face to face.
– Think “potentially”. Keep contact information of those companies whose responses you liked for future references even if they do not fit your current project requirements.
And what are tips from personal experience? When does outsourcing have the best chances to succeed or fail? Do you have any preference in terms of a region to outsource from?
You are welcome to share your opinions here.
Helen Boyarchuk – Business Development Manager (LI page)
Helen.Boyarchuk@altabel.com | Skype ID: helen_boyarchuk
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development
People say: Cloud computing a major transformation of the IT industry or just another overhyped trend?
Posted June 9, 2010on:
Cloud computing is all the rage. The problem is that everyone seems to have a different definition ;)
Further to discussion of this topic I’d like to quote some interesting opinions of LinkedIn members who left their comments to the question in the title of this post.
“It’s a major trend but not a transformation, because a fundamental flaw in how IT is managed has not been addressed. We are still relying on IT teams to interpret and act on an ever-expanding, real time flood of data, and expect them to make the “right” decisions about how to plan, build, and operate the environment.
Cloud computing will bring this problem to the forefront because these decisions will need to be made both accurately and in real time in order to meet the expected service levels of an always on, always available cloud.
Managing these environments based on static rules, thresholds, and constraints (like IT has been managed for the last 20 years) will not work because of their dynamic nature. Unless we want to have huge clouds that are massively over provisioned to work around it – which would defeat the whole purpose (and kill the margins of the cloud providers) :)”
Product Marketing and Business Development at VMTurbo
“Cloud computing is another example of the pendulum effect of technology. From as far back as the 50’s and 60’s with the advent of Mainframe computing, the end user would have nothing more than a dumb terminal at their desk and everything, from storage to processing, was done on the centralized Mainframe.
Then, industry experts thought it would make more sense to have the computing power be more distributed, more in the hands of the user, and the personal computer revolution began.
Now, more and more, products such as netbooks/net-tops and ultra mobile devices like the iPad and others are starting to bear more resemblance to the “dumb terminals” of old than their PC predecessors. Sporting features like minimal processing power and memory, they become increasingly reliant on “cloud” services for basic functions and applications that used to be hosted locally.
Moving further into the future, as network speeds increase and latency becomes less of an issue, I can see more of these ultra cheap, ultra portable devices becoming popular with the general public.”
“In my view, cloud computing is just a new name for something that has been around a long time. Anyone that has a Hotmail or Gmail or Yahoo email account is already using cloud computing. The same goes for Amazon and eBay. At the core, cloud computing is just storing your data on a remote server rather than you own computer. What has changed is that now entire applications, such as Salesforce, can be run in the cloud. The biggest challenge I see for cloud computing is data security. Someone once asked Willie Horton why he robbed banks and his reply was “that’s where the money is”. So I’m sure that the cyber thieves will be targeting data centers because…that’s where the data is”
Senior PeopleSoft Consultant at CedarCrestone
“I think Cloud computing must be taken under consideration for SMB, ehre the cost and leverage of holding an DataCenter is out of scope, for large enterprises, software and hardware providers are releasing ways of Upgrading infrastructure lowering cost and offering benefits like redundancy and Private Cloud making a robust platform. The Security issues are a concern and must not be taken for granted, I also comply with preveous answer where stated that Cloud services have been around for a long time but recently due to the continues strive to offer innovative ways of improvements make it up to the top… we will see how it goes…”
Information Security Assistant Manager
“At IMS many of our customers are realizing the value of the cloud. Simply put; reduced cost for server infrastructure allowing the company to focus on their core competencies. It is not for every application or every company, but if you manage a P&L in an IT department it’s worth a look. As for security, there are many ways to achieve this and I would caution against looking at the cloud as one simplistic giant leap at once.
Consider the fact that there are private clouds that offer you the ability to have the same security you’d pay for in any datacenter. After all clouds are run from data centers right?
If you need more convincing take a look at how much the government is spending by 2013. It’s definitely in the 10s of billions. That makes it real!”
And what are your thoughts on this topic? You’re welcome to leave your comments.
I’ve recently asked a question on LI about top 5 IT Industry Trends. Cloud computing was mentioned practically in each response. So this points to the fact that cloud computing is all the rage.
But why is cloud computing a major transformation of the IT/software industry and not just another overhyped trend?
Firstly, cloud computing solutions are delivering measurable business benefits, and generating customer deep satisfaction and referral rates.
Secondly, corporate executives and end-users need and want to have a better way to acquire and utilize technology and business applications to meet their rapidly changing business and workplace needs.
Thirdly, a new generation of workers who have grown up online – are entering the market and will demand web-based services to do their jobs.
Finally, because today’s tough economic climate demands that organizations of all sizes fundamentally change the way they do business, and few will resist the temptation to revamp the way they procure and use technology and applications so they can get a better ROI at a lower TCO.
“Usage of cloud computing is not something fancy anymore but day-to-day reality of many small and medium businesses as well as ordinary users of PCs/devices connected to Internet. That basically means for software vendors that either you are starting doing something in the area or you are going to be out of business pretty soon.”- says Ruslan Papou, director of Altabel Group Company.
Much like the open source world, the cloud computing environment enables users to take advantage of a wide assortment of piece-parts from a variety of sources to create their own solutions for various project and production purposes. They both rely on incredibility of economical development resources and generous community-minded contributors willing to share and swap ideas and outputs.
Have any thoughts? You’re welcome with your comments!
Altabel Group Company