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March 1, 2017 | Jeffrey Palermo @jeffreypalermo | www.jeffreypalermo.com

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When outsourcing custom software development, it pays to stay in Texas

For most small and midmarket companies based in Texas, the case for keeping software development here in the Lone Star State is more compelling than ever.

Indeed, the reality of outsourcing software development to countries like India is that it’s not always the best or cheapest alternative for a company to pursue. Offshoring software development is complicated. Put simply, the risk of outsourcing to offshore software development firms often outweigh the financial savings that those firms always advertise.

At Clear Measure, we were faced with a similar decision years ago. We wondered if we should follow others in the custom software development industry by sending more of our work offshore in order to offer a lower price point. We decided that keeping our talent in-house and onshore (mostly here in Texas!) would be a competitive advantage that our customers would appreciate.

It turns out we were right.

Here are just some of the advantages our own Texas-based customers — many from traditional industries like manufacturing, natural resources and logistics — are enjoying by outsourcing their custom software development right here in Texas:

Accountability: We’re from here!

One fear Texas-based companies often have with outsourcing their software development and support is that if the company has a problem, the offshore software consulting firm can just skip town. After all, the company may be headquartered in Bangalore, India. That doesn’t happen with custom software development provided by reputable firms in Texas. Companies like ours are based ‘just down the road’ in cities like Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. In the case of Clear Measure, almost every customer is based in Texas. Our reputation depends on our accountability, and if we failed at that then we would be out of business fast.

Expertise: Have you done this before?

Businesses in Texas are leaders in their respective industries. When they turn to a software development consulting firm, they want expertise and familiarity with their business requirements. They want to know that a project to modernize their existing software, automate their supply chain or build a partner engagement platform will be done by competent industry professionals.

A Texas-based partner with a variety of small and mid-market customers offers a degree of expertise not shared by offshore counterparts. Whether it’s a kitchen tile company in Temple, an auto insurance company in Austin or air logistics company in Dallas, the need for Texas-based expertise is paramount for these companies to get peace-of-mind when investing in custom software.

Communications: Could you repeat that, please?

Communication comes in many forms. From the English fluency of a software analyst working with customer staff to the timeliness and accuracy of project updates, a custom software provider has to excel at communicating with customers at every stage of a project. While communicating with a Texas twang is rarely a necessity for even the most rural of Texas companies, there are always protocols and customs to keep in mind when communicating with all levels of a company, whether it’s with a field staff or the CEO. It’s a huge reason why software development consulting firms from the Lone Star State are so valued.

Responsiveness: Be right there!

How do you measure responsiveness in a custom software development partner? For many Texas companies it’s measured in miles, time and speed. No, we are not talking about a person speeding up IH35 to go from Austin to San Antonio, but it’s not far from the mark. Many small and mid-sized Texas companies like to know you’re from ‘around these parts.’ Translation: If we need to see you in person, you’ll be there ASAP. But just as important is the ability of a custom software dev shop in Texas to take a call at 2 A.M. to resolve a problem on an urgent customer order. In other words, Texas companies want to know you have their back, no matter the time of day or distance you have to drive.

Less Risk: A lower total cost of ownership.

A software consulting firm based offshore may advertise some of the lowest rates in the industry but the total cost of ownership (TCO) can be much higher. For instance, it’s not uncommon for offshore software consulting firms to throw resources at a project when in reality what is needed is quality over quantity. At Clear Measure, we have seen our share of offshore projects involving Texas companies where the projects either cratered or were completed with such shoddy coding that we had to clean everything up afterward.

Nor is the TCO as easy as an up-front sales quote. It encompases your customer experience, the quality of coding, the cost of any system downtime, and cost of upgrades. If you have the cheapest solution in place but it’s a painful process for your most important customers, then shouldn’t you add the cost of customer dissatisfaction and possibly even losing a customer to the TCO? The fact is, a poorly designed system carries risks far in excess of the initial project quote.

A compelling attribute of Texas-based custom software development firms is that they are staffed with top-shelf talent who can get the same project completed right the first time, often in less time and with a zero-tolerance for mistakes. If a Texas custom software development firm gets the green light, you can be assured it will minimize the risk of a spiraling TCO.

Author: Jeffrey Palermo