Break the Addiction to Economies of Scale: Complex Projects Do Better with Bestshoring

Offshoring, or global delivery—the incorporation of remote teams and individuals in support of projects—has become an attractive alternative to meeting staffing challenges. Offshore teams can provide comparable expertise at a fraction of the cost of local, onshore resources, and help to alleviate chronic shortages of qualified experts, especially in IT.

Although it has been around for a while, global delivery is still being refined. Many organizations, consumers and providers of Information Management are still getting it wrong by applying simplistic assumptions about economies of scale. For basic consumer goods, producing a greater number of units drastically reduces the cost per unit. Logic would suggest, therefore, that larger service providers with access to massive pools of resources would likewise be able to keep costs down and lock in larger pools of qualified resources: the bigger the provider, the cheaper the price, and the same quality output.

Complex IM solutions are not, however, flashlights or door handles. IM output—refined processes, error-free data repositories, accessible quality data that truly represent the facts on the ground—cannot be met by a cookie-cutter method. They require qualified, experienced resources; effective client-provider and team-team (internal) working relationships; well-implemented and appropriate technologies; as well as methodologies built on best-practices that are flexible and robust enough to respond to evolving requirements.

Qualified, experienced IM resources are scarce, and therefore expensive. What’s more, no schools have been able to teach the skills and impart the knowledge needed to develop more resources. Potential IM consultants need on-the-job training, mentorship, and exposure to the latest technologies. They can only get these working with an organization that is willing to invest in them.

Successful IM projects are tailored to the specific, business-driven needs of the client. A thorough understanding of data, data sources, and requirements depends on an effective client-provider relationship. Requirements always need to be clarified, and client subject-matter experts (SMEs) need to be available to provide clarification for the project to proceed. Large, isolated offshore teams tend to have more such questions, and often questions about the answers, leading to more strain on the client team, and a cycle of problems that can sour the project from the very beginning.

Because it operates on scale, a scale vendor naturally places less importance on individual clients: the loss of one or two clients pales in importance to the cost-focused aggregate. After all, what’s driving the large provider’s offshore team is the same thing that motivated the client organization to employ them: to keep costs down, at any cost. As a result, important aspects of the project, such as quality assurance, are often pushed through by brute force. A scale vendor is motivated to complete tasks, not to fix issues quickly, which results in more issues. Poor internal and team-client communication means the scale vendor will produce even more errors that won’t be caught until much later. In the end, a buggy solution that has frustrated its champions at the client organization is less likely to be fully adopted, meaning that much of the investment has been for nothing. A cheaper solution that performs poorly and that no one uses can’t be considered a bargain.

Going with a scale vendor ends up being a false economy. You don’t end up paying less. Sure, the cost per hour is less, but if that means your own team is needed to put in more of their more valuable time, and the solution takes longer to be finished, and takes more work to fix when it breaks down on the job, and is harder to upgrade when the time comes (and, because of the poor performance, it comes much sooner than you’d expect) the cost-saving soon vanishes.

The only scale that matters is the scale that meets your needs. In spite of rapidly expanding automation and remote work, the human dimension is what really matters. Most of us care more about those we work with—the people we see and communicate with daily, who help us do our jobs—than the organization we work for. The cachet of being a “part” of a large, well-known brand name notwithstanding, no one really cares about the tens of thousands of their “colleagues” they’ve never met, at least any more than they care for those they see on the bus or at the mall.

A complex project with lots of moving parts needs to be managed properly. Adastra Bestshoring overcomes the difficulties associated with remote teams by including an onshore component to the project (the right mix of onshore + offshore=Bestshore). The onshore team serves as the liaison between the client systems, processes, SMEs and the offshore team. Requirement gaps are filled quickly and effectively, since the onshore team first understands them and then relays them to their colleagues on the offshore team. This is possible because Adastra maintains active relationships between onshore and offshore resources. Many team members have worked together before; they’ve trained together. They are colleagues in the truest sense of the word.

The integrity of Adastra’s Bestshoring team includes empowered Account Managers. Far from mere cogs in a scale vendor machine, Adastra Account Managers participate in resource meetings, and they work closely with Team Leads. They are tasked with helping you build requirements for projects that will bring your organization the most value, and are an integral part of the team that will get you there.

Adastra Bestshoring focuses on project success—quality, productivity, and time-to-market—driven by the desire to deliver a quality solution. We always look to automate processes where possible—this is where our cost-savings come from—which translates into reduced effort, as well as a better quality and faster implementation for you. A solution that meets the requirements is less prone to error; one that is well-implemented and documented also translates into subsequent savings.

A well-built solution is scalable to your expanding needs just as it meets your current ones. When you need to add a report or want to take advantage of a new data source, a well-built solution will get you there faster and cheaper. The cost-savings extend beyond the initial solution, rather than petering out before the solution is even fully implemented. With Bestshoring, the cost savings are lifetime cost-savings, and are not limited to the implementation phase.

The dawn of Big Data has meant exponential growth of data in terms of volume and complexity, both of which can be translated into dramatic increases in the insight data can provide. If you have the right approach, and the right partner, the sky’s the limit. Adastra has been committed to Big Data-related training and development since before it was called Big Data. As a result, we have a global delivery team ready for your next Big Data project. And, because we’re Adastra, our Bestshoring delivery model is best-sized—flexible, nimble, intelligent, and experienced—to execute in this critical new area.