Will you outsource an IT project for e-Learning application to India ?
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Outsourcing to India has been the trend now for over nearly 2 decades. With inflation touching 7.23% in India in 2012 the wage rights are hitting the roof too. No longer is outsourcing to India becoming more feasible as it was 15 years back, which is opening up new outsourcing markets in South East Asia. The Global pie for IT Services and BPO market stands at approximately $952 Billion. More on the Global view point, with EU crashing down, North America fighting wars, China and India growing as economic power houses causing high inflation, time has come for the world to look down South. When I say South I mean South America/Latin America.
A good example from my point of view of going south is Chile. Chile startup is an accelerator by the Chilean Government to attract world class organisations to come and set business in Chile. Large companies such as Tata’s, Infosys, Polaris etc. moving into Colombia, Peru and setting up large development centers and sales force clearly indicates where the world is looking.
What is however missing currently is lack of information about most countries from this part of this world. Most information is about political failures or difficulty to do business. What the government cannot
provide currently, private investors can provide and encourage startups. What have also been observed are many small startups and small sized enterprises are doing good business. If proper marketing and positioning is done, then it won’t be long before the world outsourcing hub moves all the way South.
Living in South America, I am already enjoying being the first mover by increasing the margins of my company by providing low cost of production compared to India.
While there are companies who have training programs designed in Hyderabad or New Delhi that successfully meet their learning and development goals, there are also many who don’t.
In addition to India’s wide pool of IT talent, its high level of English usage has made it an ideal provider of technology services to EU companies. The proficiency, however, can vary. Commonly treating development as a primarily technical process, Indian designers can depend too heavily on email correspondence. They can also skim over important documentation or fail to engage in the kinds of discussions that ensure that they really understand the needs of the end user or wider organization.
Because designing an effective education program calls for an understanding of the culture in which the technology will be used, hiring a domestic development team can give an organization greater opportunity to customize. There’s also always the possibility that instructional designers in India with only general information on the people who will use the virtual learning program they’re creating it for, will deliver a product that’s not a good fit. Unfamiliar with the personal aspects of implementation, outsourced developers can mistakenly focus on code or software specifications and create training platforms that aren’t user-friendly.
Project management is always complex. When the IT project is being handled in another time zone, the plot thickens. At 12:00 in the morning in Paris, it’s 18:30 in the afternoon in Bangalore, and getting a fast response just isn’t possible after 12am. There are instructional designers in India who will work within the same time zone as the organization contracting them, for an extra fee that may be considerably more. Delayed release dates, however, can’t always be blamed on time difference. Sometimes the skill set of the developers isn’t up to par. Furthermore, monitoring a technology project remotely calls for a level of coordination that’s hard to maintain. It’s no wonder that projects that are outsourced are known for not meeting their deadlines.
In all fairness, it’s just as possible to be disappointed by a training platform designed in house as one developed by a technology team offshore.
Spending less may ended up being expensive.
The problem rises when companies prioritize on pricing. Its true that developing a solution in India might be cheaper compared to Western Europe but it boils down to the quality of the outsourced partner. If you have the right partner, you can do wonders whether its India, East Europe or South America. Due to the IT explosion, especially in India, I have noticed this boom in engineering colleges and what this has created is a vast pool of engineers who knows very little about what they learn and how to do. The good ones gets placed in good companies and they do amazingly well. But alot of these so called talents not getting jobs,do start ups and several of them lack the understanding of quality and deadlines. This is because they have not been exposed to quality work environments. The problem arises when Western clients take up dirt cheap or low cost companies as partners, there are delays in projects and it creates a whole mess for the client. End of the day, all the hard work and heartache ends up in frustrating results.
We have been doing IT projects for the past 13 years for Europe primarily for Switzerland, Austria and Germany. We keep our quality standards at top notch. So we only do business with clients who demand the very best quality. We even have a successful JV partner from Austria who enjoy a fabulous business relationship with us. This is all due to having the right partner, at the right time, at the place.
So my advice is don't jump markets based on pricing. Whether you choose India or South America or any other destination, always focus on quality. Keep that quality stake high up and you will succeed with the right outsource partner.