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For a startup, to establish its strong presence and get through the initial stages, it can be strenuous. There are a lot of things that must be taken into account like training, hiring, outsourcing, in addition to this; structure, brand and values.
With time, outsourcing has become common and there are many companies that consider it essential in completing tasks. In point of fact, there are many companies that outsource almost all the tasks from their virtual space.
Companies have a good reason for doing this as it enables them to increase productivity at reasonable costs. A study done by Intetics tells that companies who outsource tasks can save up to 60% on overhead costs.
The tasks to be outsourced depend on the nature of the business and your set goals. You need to make sure that you are outsourcing through proper channels without putting your business at stake.
To explain it further, consider this example. If you want help with your mobile app development and you lack technical education, it is better to outsource the task. This way you will be able to focus on other areas of your business like marketing.
You have the freedom of outsourcing every task of your business but development is essential. If you are confused about this industry then the following 7 factors can help you know more about outsourcing.
- 1. Choose the right partner
When it comes to choosing the partner for outsourcing, many companies oscillate between different options that are in front of them. For instance, if it is related to development like app development, it is the crucial element in the success of your business and you should be careful while outsourcing. Most of the entrepreneurs prefer working with agencies over freelancers.
Those who are short on a budget can go to Upwork.com to find a technical co-founder. Whether you hire a freelancer or agency, it has its advantages and disadvantages. You need to do your research first before outsourcing the task.
- 2. Consider the current technology standards
Technology has completely revolutionized the web and app development. For this reason, you should consider the technology standards you are using while outsourcing.
The usage of mobile has affected the desktop and drowned it with a 58 percent growth rate. If you want to outsource the task of developing a website then you cannot trust a person who has no knowledge about responsive design.
In order to increase the flow of the traffic, leads, and customers to your site you need to make your application mobile-friendly. This would help you in achieving your goals.
The founder of B7Dev.com, Chaim Sajnovsky says “Being able to feature up-to-date technologies in your development is critical. Otherwise, your project will be outdated.
- 3. Know the challenges of communication
You need to know the significance of personalized communication. It is essential due to the technical issues.
You need to know about the time zones as they will determine what services you want to outsource and when. For instance, if you are in Canada and you have chosen someone from China then you need to know the time difference so that you can communicate, make calls, and send e-mails at an appropriate time.
- 4. Do not overlook the considerations of intellectual property
There is absolutely no regard for intellectual property like software. There are some laws regarding pirated software that you must be aware of. According to a survey, about 61 percent of software in most of the countries in Asia and 58% in India is illegal. Sadly, there are no lawsuits that have been filed up until now.
It is your responsibility as well as an ethical duty to be aware of such illegal acts. There should be no room for tolerance for misusing or stealing intellectual property. You can restrict such acts by making the freelancer/agency signing the non-disclosure agreement. Seek some professional legal help if need be.
- 5. Consider the exclusivity of your software or other product
There are some central elements in a business like a product or a service that makes your company stand apart. These unique things should never be outsourced because you would not want other people to know about the secret ingredient. If you really feel the need to outsource the task then rely on an in-house developer to do the task.
There is no restriction on outsourcing products like process automation or reservation systems. However, if it is about designing chip programs, consumer games or architectural rendering then do not divulge the information as it can work against your company. You can have someone work on this in-house.
- 6. Ask for regular updates
You are the boss of your business and do not give a 100% control of your business to a third party. One cannot deny the importance of outsourcing; however, this does not mean to remain silent when the work is being done. You have every right to ask for an update every now and then.
Do not wait for the final product to be presented at your table. You have an option of getting involved in the process; you can give your ideas, ask questions or give suggestions. This way you will learn about the process. If you are not aware of the minute facts of the app development then it can lead to a bad decision.
- 7. Get satisfaction from the services you have paid for
Be careful and remember that getting cheap services to get the work done is not a smart idea. 46 percent of startups that fail are because they think it is the right thing to do. They fail to see the return of investment and became the reason why 80 percent fail.
You usually get what you have paid for. This, however, does not mean that you should hire people with expensive rates. You just need to find agencies/freelancers that have the relevant experience, expertise, and modern tools so that they can deal with the task.
Outsourcing can prove to be a better option for development and success. If you have tried it in the past and still have a bad aftertaste then just do not give up. Give it another chance.
Driven to automate
Pressure to improve the customer experience and reduce lead times. Customer demand is driving financial institutions to update software more often or release new products more rapidly. With each new release, software functionality must be tested quickly and manual testing cannot adequately address testing requirements. Automated functional tests are faster, more accurate, and can be performed repeatedly and frequently.
- Pressure to improve the customer experience and reduce lead times. Customer demand is driving financial institutions to update software more often or release new products more rapidly. With each new release, software functionality must be tested quickly and manual testing cannot adequately address testing requirements. Automated functional tests are faster, more accurate, and can be performed repeatedly and frequently.
- Risk aversion to post-production defects. When software fails, the cost can be substantial in terms of lost sales, unhappy customers, and time wasted due to duplicated efforts, among other negative outcomes. The later in the development cycle defects are found, the more expensive they are to fix. Studies show that the formal testing phase of most development efforts detects only about half of all defects. Automated functional testing can be used to identify errors earlier in the development cycle.
- Evolving regulatory requirements. The modern complex regulatory environment requires financial institutions to have the flexibility to make application and system changes that organizations don’t always have the time to fully develop and test. In response, IT organizations are implementing Agile development principles, which automated functional testing is better suited to than manual testing.
A defect identified after software has gone live can cost 100 times more to fix than if it were found in earlier stages.
Preventable pitfalls on the road to automation
We see a growing adoption of automated functional testing by financial institutions as these organizations recognize the need to improve how they deliver and update software-based products and services in a competitive, fast-paced environment. However, financial institutions face four key issues as they strive to implement automated functional testing:
- Lack of long-term planning and a roadmap. Financial institutions frequently implement automated testing on an ad hoc basis, without the long-term plan and roadmap required to succeed on a larger scale. Despite initial senior level support and substantial budgets, without a long-term plan for automating functional tests, momentum stalls after the initial project ends.
- Misconception that automated testing is a quick way to cut costs. There’s a widespread belief that automating functional testing will lead to immediate cost reductions because fewer resources are required to perform testing. Automation can eventually generate sustainable cost savings, but in our view, cost alone should not be the main factor when considering whether to automate testing. The benefits of automation far outweigh the drawbacks of manual testing—including potentially substantial financial losses and damage to the organization’s reputation resulting from defective software released to the market.
- Project vs. process. Another common misconception is that automated functional testing is a “once and done” exercise. In reality, it should be considered an ongoing process. For example, test scripts should be maintained as features are upgraded or rolled out to new platforms.
- Fragmented approach to implementation. Many financial institutions have fragmented approaches to implementing automated functional testing, including outsourcing testing to different third party vendors, resulting in multiple contracts, service-level agreements, and pricing structures. Additionally, each vendor may use different tools and implementation frameworks. This fragmented approach leads to duplicated efforts, decreased efficiency and effectiveness, and increased costs.
These challenges help explain why few financial institutions have come close to reaching the industry target of automating 70% of application testing.
Boosting the odds of success: our approach to automation
A common misconception is that automated functional testing should be implemented as a project. In fact, to derive the most benefit from automation, it should be an ongoing process that is embedded into the operations of a business. Our three step approach serves as a guide for financial institutions to implement automated functional testing into their operations.
Step 1: Develop a long-term plan and a roadmap.
When developing a long-term plan and a roadmap, financial institutions need to identify and prioritize test candidates, which should include frequently updated applications and any customer-facing apps. Once identified, financial institutions need to decide whether automated testing will be implemented in-house or outsourced. Following this testing decision, organizations need to develop a communication plan as effective communication with business and IT stakeholders is essential to success.
Step 2: Develop a testing framework and plan.
To develop a testing infrastructure, financial institutions first need to create a test team consisting of individuals with the knowledge and expertise to develop, update and automate test scripts. Once the team is in place, the organization should establish collaboration between testers and developers, which will serve to support a rapid software development approach. With the plan in place, organizations need to remember to start off small with implementing automated functional testing. After small wins, organizations can continue to add automated functional testing candidates until the ratio of manual to automated testing is approximately 30:70. Finally, throughout the implementation of automated functional tests, ad hoc manual tests should also be performed to confirm that automated tests scripts are working property.
Step 3: Centralize management of service providers, tools, and resources.
To avoid the fragmentation that leads to inefficient, ineffective, and costly testing infrastructure, financial institutions should consolidate the number of third-party vendors providing support to automated testing; they should consolidate / rationalize the number of testing tools utilized in automated testing; and they should centralize testing program management.
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