Nearshoring for Independent Software Vendors: If you’ve developed an in-house solution that might be useful to others in your industry, it’s definitely a revenue stream worth pursuing, but software created for in-house use is often very utilitarian. If you put it out there in its current state, it may not appeal to the average user. To really maximize it as an offering, you need to make it accessible and easy to use. You need to consider the needs of a broader range of users outside your own organization. You’ll have to address security issues, that your software could create if integrated with other systems, and how do you plan to create buzz and market your product?

The tasks involved in developing software for commercial sales are diverse. Unfortunately, too many companies find that they simply lack the time and internal resources to develop solutions that they’ve created into polished and finished products. Even though, it’s nearly guaranteed that other companies would benefit from them. Nearshoring can be an ideal solution to this conundrum. While it offers some specific conveniences, it also provides sophisticated development options well beyond what you might be expecting.

Nearshore teams are more well-versed in this process than you might think. For example we often work with clients to productize in-house software solutions. In one recent case we helped a client in the healthcare industry develop a program that allows patients to see all of the quality ratings for physicians in their area, and quotes for the cost of medical care. Soon, this software will be marketed nationwide. The revenue it brings our client will help drive an ongoing cycle of innovation that will benefit their company, and the industry as a whole. Yet, it might not have happened if they hadn’t sought an outside partner to expedite development.

Nearshoring offers distinct advantages for a project such as this. Nearshore markets boast large numbers of highly trained innovators, and believe it or not, you can expect as much as 40% in cost reduction over hiring an onshore team. Nearshoring also mitigates complications you might have heard about when it comes to relying on more geographically distant teams. For example, AAJ’s teams are based in Argentina, a locale that’s culturally similar to ours. This reduces misunderstandings that are based on cultural differences, such as how one is supposed to relate to authority, or when it’s acceptable to offer criticism. Nearshore locations also reduce the communication difficulties caused by far-flung time zones, which create needless silos that derail agile development cycles. In short, nearshore teams are much more closely aligned to your existing onshore agile culture. You’ll find them well qualified and a pleasure to work with.

That said, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind throughout your project. You’ll definitely want to determine whether the team you partner with has the related skillsets, so let’s discuss some of them here.

Team Dynamics

One of the first questions you should ask anyone you’re partnering with for agile software development is how they build and optimize their teams. All the talent in the world won’t matter if your agile team doesn’t mesh. A well-chosen team will hit the ground running, sort out roles and workflows, and reach optimum efficiency much more quickly than other teams might do.

Mobile and Wearable Technology

As an increasing number of tech users are mobile-first, a beautifully designed, multi-platform app is a necessity at this point. A team that’s well-versed in mobile can also challenge you to consider new uses for your software in the field, making it a more valuable asset.

Internet of Things

If you’re not considering the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will affect your business going forward, it’s time to start. The IoT has created an unprecedented opportunity for data collection. and can be used to expedite tasks like inventory tracking. How can the advantages of the IoT be integrated into your software?

User Engagement and User Experience

Your finished product should have beautiful and scalable architecture. It should also be a pleasure to use, intuitive in design. You want new customers to approach your product feeling confident that it can meet their needs.

Cloud Architecture

If you’re looking to offer a subscription-based or high-mobility product, you need someone who’s accustomed to the specific needs of cloud-based services such as Amazon. The right team can ensure that your software will scale well within the constraints of that specific service, and that it will couple smoothly with other applications as needed.

Business Intelligence (BI)

If you developed your software with an eye of looking at operations from 50,000 feet, look for experts in Business Intelligence who can ensure that your product is adapted to provide the same level of intel to other organizations, and possibly even expand its scope.

Gamification

While this may sound like something that only matters during retreats, gamification should be an everyday consideration. Integrating an element of game play into your software can be as simple as adding a function that allows workers to post their accomplishments socially, fostering healthy competition. Make sure your agile team has more than a passing familiarity with this increasingly important focus.

Agile teams aren’t just about talent; they’re about knowing how to use it. While many companies are addressing these factors, it’s sometimes done in a piecemeal fashion. Find out if your team is truly empowered to address these unique challenges, so that you don’t end up with a finished product that’s behind at the starting line.

If you’re using software that you developed out of necessity, every organization in your market niche needs it too. There’s no point in letting a good idea languish when it could be producing revenue for you, instead. If you’re trying to get a software productization project off the ground, nearshoring is a powerful and cost-effective way to make it happen.

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