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What is Voice Recognition Technology and Its Benefits

Voice Assistants are around us for quite some time but once it was introduced into the smart phones, voice assistants have gained much more popularity. 

From Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa to Microsoft’s Cortana and less known Samsung’s Bixby – all the way, people got more interested in Voice AI (Artificial Intelligence). 

The trend of voice assistants is growing as only last year it was reported that over 1 million people in the US alone use voice assistants. 

What is Voice Recognition?

Voice recognition refers to the ability of a specific device to receive and interpret spoken directives – simply said, voice recognition technology can interact and respond to human’s commands.

Voice recognition originated on PCs but with integration in smartphones and its rising popularity, it became more accessible within the use of home devices. This way, the technology became available in our kitchens, living rooms etc. 

Source: totalvoicetech.com

The interest in voice recognition is continually growing as many people use it nowadays – this is the reason why businesses consider the utilization of voice recognition technology. 

Today, we distinguish two types of voice recognition:

  • Text-Dependent –  depends on the specific set of words the person says – you need step-up authentication and identity verification and in order to be activated, the user has to say the necessary phrase. 
  • Text Independent – does not depend on a specific text yet relies on conversation speech. The authentication does not require for the user to say a set of required phrases. 
Source: bayometric.com

Brief History 

The first time the voice speech recognition was documented was in 1952, when Bell Laboratories designed the ‘Audrey’ system – it was a system that recognized digits spoken by a single voice.

IBM developed ‘Shoebox’ in the early 1960s, which could recognize and respond to 16 English words including the digits from 0 to 9 – it was referred to as the ‘forerunner of today’s voice recognition systems’.

Following years brought technology advances and fast processors which led to the development and more common use of software like Dragon Dictate.

Throughout the time, voice speech processing technology has steadily progressed all the way up to 2011, when Apple decided to launch Siri

Since then, voice recognition is in the constant uprise and with Google’s Voice Search, Amazon’s Alexa following, it became widely accepted.

Source: wired.com

How does Voice Recognition Work?

Speech recognition and voice recognition are not the same thing. 

Speech recognition recognizes only the words and focuses on translation of verbal from to a text one. 

Voice recognition ensures for the voice to be recognized and to identify an individual user’s voice.  

Voice recognition is able to authenticate the speaker by analyzing the patterns and sequences of a person’s voice hence capable to identify the specific person. 

Such approach ensures safety as all the inputs will be authorized solely by your own voice and no others.

Source: geeky-gadgets.com

Benefits of Voice Recognition Technology

Voice recognition technology is already the trend – businesses should consider to explore such innovations as there are numerous benefits they can get if they include it to their own strategies:

Generate Personalization

Everything is about personalization’ 

The best way to add more personalization to your services is to enable your customers to easily and quickly present their needs – this can be accomplished by voice recognition technology.  

For example, today’s market consists of customers who are digitally literate or e.g. Millenials who are considered the digital generation – voice recognition technology would bring a personal touch for their needs and may be a winner for them.  

Those personal conversations can be developed with Voice AI which may provide better connection between the company and the individuals.

Source: voicerecognition.com.au

Generates More Time

Talking is faster than typing! 

Voice recognition technology is being built-in to more devices and gadgets in order to make life easier as voice inputs are far more efficient than typing. 

Voice recognition technology is improving each day and as per The University of Stanford, it has improved to the extent where it is able to be much faster and more accurate with text outputs (e.g. dictation on a mobile device etc.) than a person could be when typing on a keyboard. 

If such technology is implemented, businesses can streamline administration processes and mitigate the burden of typing and other similar tasks while enabling employees to focus on more complex aspects of the job. 

Source: usabilitygeek.com

Boosts Productivity Levels

When talking about workplaces, voice recognition can provide support and assistance with task-management duties such as setting up conference calls, scheduling meetings or setting up reminders, like with Amazon’s Alexa, for example. Such an approach enables companies to streamline the process for everyone leading to improved productivity and efficiency. 

With the development of voice recognition, it is now possible to acquire relevant information upon a voice instruction or request data for any specific project – all these activities can now take less time than it would usually do if we did it manually.

Translational capabilities enable people who speak different languages to communicate – the technology has the capability to translate the content into the target language which helps to remove the language barriers within daily business operations. 

Source: business.com

Makes You Accessible to Everyone

As voice technology requires only voice, it is a great option for people with motorical disabilities or difficulties to communicate much easier to your business. 

Such technology brings power to people who originally could have accessed it either at slow pace or not at all.

In addition, using voice recognition software can significantly help people with other kinds of disabilities like arthritis or hand tremors which can worsen if typing too much during the day. 

Reach Multiple Users At Once 

With Voice AI, it is possible to reach different customers all at once, unlike earlier when a customer support officer could only talk to a single person at the time.

Such technology enables businesses to increase the number of customers and deal with multiple questions or concerns more efficiently. 

Voice technology is continually improving and becoming more and more sophisticated thus companies invest more in exploring different ways on how to implement it and increase their reach as well as improve their business results. 

In the next year, it will certainly grow even more and a majority of companies will depend on it for their marketing. 

Source: freepik.com

Enables Hand Free Work

Whatever you do and whichever job you perform, task completion can be done more easily with voice recognition.

Dealing with a client, writing down notes after a customer call or sending a message to your colleague about the latest meeting etc. – all these tasks take a lot of time if done manually.

The Voice AI can facilitate work processes in a useful manner as you don’t have to use other materials – all client’s information and all notes or questions will be recorded automatically and accurately. 

FINAL

Voice recognition technology is a trend that a lot of people and companies want to embrace – it can provide benefits not only to households but also to businesses as well. 

As voice searches and voice assistants become increasingly popular, businesses started to consider if they should use such technology in their communication strategy. 

The evolution and improvement is still ongoing but keep in mind that voice technology has slowly proved its advantage to having voice assistance within your everyday life. 

How Can Industry 4.0 Help Companies Affected by the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses around the world to change their strategies to survive the ‘new normal’.  

Businesses that are already online experienced growth amidst the crisis, like SaaS and MicroSaaS companies that further increased demands for online, on-demand and cloud-based products and services

Other businesses had to quickly shift online to preserve progression, part of them not having enough preparations and acuity but certain industries cannot survive just on remote operations.

What is Industry 4.0?

Even before the pandemic, Industry 4.0 was a field of great interest to many manufacturers as they looked in-depth into how Industry 4.0 technology can help them transition back to profitable operations.

Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, involving transformative technology such as smart factories with connective machines and intelligent robots.

The First Industrial Revolution happened in the 1770s where manufacturing moved from manual to machine, from farms to factories, all using steam and water power.

The Second Industrial Revolution happened a hundred years later when electricity became available. It gave us automation, assembly lines, and factories’ real image as we know them today.

The arrival of computers started the Third Industrial Revolution, where factories were automated and boosted blue-collar jobs. 

This Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.0) now involves a network of technologies that can communicate and connect, learn from each other, diagnose and troubleshoot issues on their own, or alert human analysts.

Some practical applications are predictive maintenance, interconnected supply or logistic chains, intelligent robots, autonomous devices and systems.

Source: halvorsen.blog

Industry 4.0 and Its Relevance in the New Normal

Industry 4.0 is the age of smart connected machines and connected robots so we need to rethink our businesses, upgrade our skills and divert our investments into preparing and shifting towards these new technologies. 

Organizations that do not prepare for this will not be as efficient and effective. 

Here is a look at Industry 4.0 and how it can help businesses bounce back from challenging times so they can cope with whatever the future brings.

Boost in Smart Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 focuses on improving conventional production, industrial platforms and manufacturing processes with new technologies

A survey by Plex Systems—a company that sells smart manufacturing platforms—reviewed global companies to learn about their success using Industry 4.0 applications. The findings showed that smart manufacturing options were adopted by just 24% of respondents. However, 22% launched pilots to test the worthiness of the technical solutions they were adapting.

HFS Research analysts have polled businesses to determine which innovations attracted their interest the most. The results showed many choices, such as automation, smart analytics, and cloud computing, offering immediate cost savings.

Researchers found that spending on products in those categories is likely to increase, while investments on products that take more time to produce revenues may decrease or remain unchanged in the coming months.

Source: business.uconn.edu

Industry 4.0 Technologies for Remote Areas

Advanced emerging technologies provide telemedicine systems for proper infection prevention and control. These technologies identify patient abnormalities and notify medical personnel immediately during an emergency. 

These technologies make the remote health monitoring system more efficient. Sensors are used to detect physiological data providing valuable information to patients and physicians. 

Advanced technologies are implemented to create greater exposure and creative solutions for COVID-19 patients, even in remote areas. In schooling for example, digital technology supports distance  and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IoT Minimizing Supply Chain Stress

The coronavirus pandemic quickly exposed supply chain problems leaving many unprepared businesses to catch up.

Those who switched to online purchases also encountered delays, while eCommerce companies saw enormous traffic jumps at the same time.

In March 2020, ACI Worldwide statistics showed a 74% growth in eCommerce transactions for most retail sectors as compared to the month in 2019.

Many people reported shipping delays, especially as regional and national lockdowns complicated matters. Shipment firms issued updates on service suspensions in affected countries, but slowdowns continued even though respective nations of the sender and receiver did not cease shipping and acceptance.

Technology that increases the supply chain’s visibility will help consumers survive in pandemic aftermath and future hardships.

You could initially overlook the effect on end-use components, but COVID-19 also affected them. Computer chips are an example. Their cleanrooms need 1000% higher cleanliness than hospital operating rooms.

Obtaining computer chips’ chemicals also poses problems. Many chemicals must remain in temperature-controlled environments to avoid reactions during transit.

Source: mckinsey.com

Future of Industry 4.0 and HealthCare

Industry 4.0 innovations will apply in the future to store our health care system’s critical data that can be used for another similar pandemic like COVID-19. Specialists will soon adopt this development, especially doctors and professionals affecting COVID-19 and other parallel pandemics or epidemics.

It can be used to streamline all medical instruments, equipment, and processes. The medical industry will evolve in the future and adapt to emerging technology to build a smart healthcare system. 

So, and so the software platform systems need to be updated to the latest. This revolution offers groundbreaking innovation to reduce the COVID-19 virus.

Source: www2.deloitte.com

Smart Analytics to Boost Businesses

Companies may be even more interested in analytical methods to direct their decision-making. Some acted right away in going forward with such investments. Sisense surveyed U.S. data professionals to learn how they depend on business intelligence and data analytics after COVID-19.

According to the findings, 49% of those surveyed were more relevant than before the pandemic while most industrial and manufacturing respondents expected to retain analytics investment.

That’s good news, particularly when many businesses face the reality of making cutbacks to keep alive in some places.

The possibilities of using smart analytics are infinite. For example, an operating platform may display increased vibrational activity or temperature in a given machine, indicating it may need prompt service to avoid a breakdown.

Companies could also evaluate data at the departmental or shift level, keep up-to-date with overall efficiency, or which new processes are working well against those requiring modification.

Enterprises supporting Industry 4.0 can also apply analytics to help them deal with COVID-19 issues. Real-time platforms may provide alerts on shortages or demand spikes, providing business warnings to mitigate future disasters.

Source: smart-analytics.com

Ramping up Robotics Investments

Industrial robots can improve performance, streamline processes, and run continuously without interruption. All of these benefits are especially attractive when businesses are recovering.

Robots may become core elements of business adoption processes. Some countries have surpassed the worst of their coronavirus outbreaks, but there is still a risk of labor shortages when exposed persons need self-quarantine. 

Other diseases—such as seasonal flu—may also affect plant development. Robotic equipment eliminates these impacts, allowing businesses to fulfill their needs.

Companies may want to pursue opportunities for robotics slowly and wait to see results before they escalate. That’s why Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) companies will find plenty of opportunities to expand their presence in the post-COVID-19 marketplace. 

RaaS service providers manage computer repairs and maintenance and generally encourage their customers to invest in more items as their needs require.

Source: createdigital.org.au

Utilizing Corporate Environments

Decentralization and dual-use are essential to the post-pandemic economy. When customers can live anywhere, many would opt to have a bigger, cheaper home where they can live and work. 

For the first time, two big real estate applications have announced a reversal of urbanization. Businesses can continue with remote working and other new normal conditions. 

Virtual reality and augmented reality will also experience rapid change as companies seek more advanced, remote, and collaborative tools. 

Holographic displays and interactive, collaborative spaces will be made possible by telepresence technology would increase even more as well.

Digital transformations in telecommunication must be in place to support this new demand. 

Source: slideshare.net

Conclusion

Industry 4.0 offers an automatic solution for different manufacturing sectors and related areas. It consists of various manufacturing and digital information technology for processing, storing, analyzing, etc. to minimize the risks, speed up development and ensure growth.

By implementing these innovations, people can work from home and businesses can continue operating with more experience to cope better with future challenges.

The Basics of Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

The fast-growing environment we live in is bringing new inventions every day. There’s a constant need for new technologies, software development and better ways of achieving our business goals.

The consistently growing need for the development of new software has got us searching for the best solution. The practice in application development that attracted the attention of many is the Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). 

Development teams praise the method for multiple reasons, which tickle our interest to learn more about it. 

What stands behind the practices of Agile ALM? Let’s find out.

Source: bankingandlloyds.com

What is Agile Application Lifecycle

Management (ALM)?

The environment in which application lifecycle management develops is getting more complex. The increasing number of technologies, shortcuts to release apps quicker, the increasing amount of customization, continuous change, etc. can lead us to a big tangled mess.

Agile’s first principle – “people over tools” – is exactly what ALM needed to perfect the practices. When we combine Agile development techniques within ALM, we get a process of software development where communication borders are removed, and shorter iteration of review and development are introduced at the same time. Agile frameworks, strategies, and values are integrated within ALM for the best result. 

Agile ALM isn’t restricted to specific phases of software development. As the name suggests, it encompasses the whole lifecycle of application management. That includes design, deployment, development, testing, release, etc. The focus is to spread the agile principles across all areas.

There are numerous key phases of Agile ALM, but these are the key ones:

  • Task-based development
  • Functional and technical release management
  • Collaborative development
  • Quality assurance and stakeholder focus

Agile ALM accepts the necessary changes all in favor of creating healthy and productive relationships between people and organizations. Teams are able to react more promptly to changes and reorganize accordingly.

It is clear that Agile ALM’s primary focus isn’t the tools but the people. They are trusted to lead their portion of the work and therefore have to deliver high accountability. The flexibility of the open framework of Agile ALM allows adding more functions if necessary. All of this transforms the company into a holistic value delivery system.

Agile Principles

For a better understanding of how Agile helps with ALM and why this unification came into existence, we should revise its main principles. Agile Manifesto states four principles of Agile Software Development:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools 
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan
Source: toolsqa.com

Agile ALM aims to respect and follow these principles through the application lifecycle management. That combination of emphasized human element and communication with technological development is what makes this method successful. 

The ways in which Agile ALM adopted the principles within the traditional ALM are the following:

  • 1st principle of Agile in ALM – Instead of solely focusing on steps that will lead to finishing the software, Agile ALM prefers cross-functional team collaboration.
  • 2nd principle of Agile in ALM – Traditional ALM includes extensive documentation while Agile adds the component that prioritizes fast and quality release. 
  • 3rd principle of Agile in ALM – Requirement free request for bug fixes is replaced with focusing on customer feedback and getting to know the exact features that need adaptation. 
  • 4th principle of Agile in ALM – ALM is traditionally led by an initially composed plan while Agile ALM responds to change and therefore makes the team more productive and attentive to delivering the right functionality. 

By implementing the main principles in ALM, companies get a streamlined lifecycle of application management. The flexibility that comes with Agile development techniques allows the company, for example, to check the writing services reviews if they need additional help for content creation and not to struggle while trying to keep up with the plan.  

Benefits of Implementing Agile ALM

Agile ALM has many advantages. It is a somewhat new concept, and it is adapted to modern application management practices. Some of the benefits you can expect from implementing Agile ALM are:

  • Quicker releases along with delivering quality 
  • Cost reduction
  • Organized team collaboration
  • Improved communication across teams
  • Increase in productivity
  • Prioritized customer needs
  • Redundancy elimination
  • Making application development fun
  • A practical approach to coding and deployment

It is obvious that Agile ALM will speed up and perfect the process of software development. This way, teams can get more work done in less time and establish a steady communication flow that will benefit every member.

In addition, the cost reduction will allow developers to invest more in quality equipment and tools, instead of the lengthy process of finishing the task.

How Do Teams Benefit from Agile ALM?

Another major advantage of implementing Agile ALM is that every member of the team benefits by following this approach.

Agile ALM allows team members to:

  • be creative and come up with their own solution and ideas, instead of following a plan blindly
  • socialize and collaborate more, learning how to be a part of a high-functioning team
  • learn how to listen to their customers and use their feedback to improve the final product

Agile ALM will benefit the team members, making them more efficient, creative, and thus beneficial for the company.

Source: ntaskmanager.com

Why Do Agile ALM Principles need

to be Internalized?

Agile ALM principles need to be internally embedded and accepted – they have to be effectively established through manpower, tools, processes, and culture. This is the only way in which you can gain consistency across the whole development process.

The releases will be technically and functionally consistent only if engineering processes that comprise development cycles are aligned with Agile ALM. You will be able to track the development progress by linking, organizing, and referencing activities. With the internalization of Agile ALM principles, you can overcome functional and technological barriers and implement a consistent development process.  

Agile ALM can bring some notable transformation in the development of the software project. The principles need to be respected, and the Agile ALM needs to be properly implemented to achieve the desired result and reap all the benefits of this development technique.

The Most Effective Product Roadmap Types You Need To Know

No product can be done properly without a product roadmap to simplify the process and keep the entire team on the right track – it can be custom made for a particular audience, with particular type of information or different key points and methodologies. A roadmap may include one or multiple products depending on the type of the product where every product manager picks the best variation. There are thousands of custom roadmap types but I will classify only the most common ones for you. 

Last time, I’ve covered what is a product roadmap and also briefly mentioned Brian Lawley’s classification from his book Expert Product Development – strategy & market roadmap, visionary roadmap, technology roadmap, platform roadmap, etc.

However, the scope of product roadmaps is much broader – they can be classified by audience, industry, format and purpose. 

Take a look at the common product roadmap chart:

Common roadmap types classification

Let’s go through each type of the product roadmaps:

AUDIENCE-BASED ROADMAPS

Roadmaps are usually shared with various people or audiences to align the perspective of all production participants.

Different teams see things with different ‘eyes’ and in order to streamline the communication between different groups participating in a project, a product manager must create multiple roadmaps presenting the same information but from different angles.

This type of roadmapping will facilitate conversation about the necessary functionalities and strategy thus keeping the internal team in touch with customer needs. 

Types of audiences in roadmaps

The above chart outlines the audience (groups) which can be internal and external. 

Internal audience represents your production and management teams. 

Management team is usually consisted of shareholders (your company’s management) and they’re interested in a detailed vision of the product as well as the strategic goals. The solution is strategic roadmap which displays details about customer growth, competitor analysis, new market entry of a product and customer satisfaction.

Production team may be tricky and sometimes requires a custom made roadmap per their specific needs. For example, your engineering (technical) team would find Technology roadmap to be the best fit – it focuses on technical details, outlines deadlines, it’s feature-based as well as listing functionalities like registration form, third party service integration, search bar etc. It also includes high-level information like goals but keep in mind that your engineering team should not be focused too much on a vision but development process and requirements. 

Still, another team like Sales should not be focused on technical features but mostly on product features and its benefits for users – the roadmap for Sales team should focus mostly on the product value. For example, a good choice would be theme-based format as it can graphically show the goal of each feature.  

External audience and its roadmaps don’t share any particular details about internal processes – they should be visually clear and concise, easy to understand and to share ample of information about customer benefits. These roadmaps usually suggest rough time frames and progress of feature releases. 

INDUSTRY-BASED ROADMAPS

Roadmaps created for the requirements of a specific industry usually have a unique content followed by suitable format since they can be used in various industries.

There are few common industry roadmaps, let’s list them:

Technology (IT) roadmaps are usually created to define tech requirements – they determine the usage of a certain technology and help to assign resources they depend on.  

Manufacturing roadmaps refer to actual manufacturing a physical product – as the name says, these roadmaps help to control manufacturing and set the real dates for a specific delivery or release. 

Source: onepager.com

PURPOSE-BASED ROADMAPS

The main purpose of a roadmap is to communicate strategy and the vision between the participants but there are also further options.

Portfolio roadmap is created for the purpose of communicating the strategy between executives and product managers. It’s always crucial to track how each product grows and if your company has multiple products, you should check how do these products relate to each other so to accomplish your business objectives. 

Source: productplan.com

Market roadmaps are usually used if you plan to launch the product across multiple markets – it’s commonly created for the marketing team and internal shareholders to define the marketing strategy. As these roadmaps must catch rapid market changes, they are considered as the most dynamic ones. For example, if a technological progress causes significant amendments, it’ll call for a strategy modification which must be recorded in a roadmap.  

Source: productplan.com

PRODUCT ROADMAP FORMATS

The type of the product roadmap determines the format – it determines the type of content and the key components to create it. The most common formats are Goal-based, Theme-based and Feature-based ones. 

Let’s check each:

Goal-based format

Goals define the reason behind each feature. For example, goals can be ‘Simplify registration process’ or ‘Boost user engagement’ etc. Goal-based format helps to keep all information organized and explained in clear words. By doing this, you’ll maintain your roadmap top-level and make your strategy easy to understand. 

Source: roadmunk.com

Theme-based format

Theme-based format is similar to the goal-based one – the goal and theme both tend to answer ‘Why’ questions, however a theme-based format usually consists of several goals at once. 

Source: roadmunk.com

Feature-based format

Feature-based format uses a product feature as a central point of your roadmap and it’s usually very detailed. However, a feature is not a stable unit since technological innovations and users’ needs often lead to change within your features. This type of roadmap doesn’t specify high-level details and it can be a bit more difficult to understand and maintain.  

Source: roadmunk.com

ROADMAP TEMPLATES AND EXAMPLES 

If you don’t have time or don’t know how to create your own roadmap template – don’t worry since there are many valuable tools to help you out. 

Here are the most popular one:

Roadmunk – one of the most popular tools for roadmapping with different ‘views’ of your roadmap thus it is suitable for different teams involved (developers, marketing team etc.) They give 14 days of trial period as well as a batch of free templates

Aha! – a roadmapping software with really impressive integration list with various applications such as Jira, Slack, Zendesk, Confluence, Trello and the list goes on. They also give free trial of 30 days without requiring a credit card number. 

ProductPlan – also a popular software providing tons of popular roadmap templates. You are given a possibility to try it for free during a 30-day trial period

Open Project – open source software for Agile/Scrum teams. Their leading open source project management software is free (as they say ‘forever free’) and you can check their other pricing plans to see what works for you the best. They give 14-day free trial

Roadmap Planner – open source tool for Linux. They give different package plans for individuals, businesses and custom for your specific needs. Roadmap Planner provides 14 days of free trial so you can try it out and see how it fits your needs. 

Vengage – ‘easy to use’ website for making stylish content for websites, presentations, ads and much more. There are templates for a wide range of projects (infographics, posters, social media images etc.) however they also provide some templates for product roadmaps along with tips on how to create them more easily. Although it’s not as detailed as the above software, it may be a nice change for participants.  

Source: atlasandboots.com

Since product roadmap should provide only key points, try to avoid adding too much detailed information to roadmap yet better use supporting documentation to accompany the roadmap. 

Release Plan – contrary to product roadmap outlining the progress of product delivery, Release Plan sets out strict and precise dates for a certain feature to be released. 

Product backlog – used in Scrum and provides a list of high-level requirements and features – they consist of user stories and represent a to-do list defining the development process.

Technology roadmap is often used as a separate document when developing a digital product – it displays technologies to be used to meet the requirements as well as technical aids to use in order to achieve business objectives. 

Source: productplan.com

FINAL WORD 

Each product is important for your business and ROI – if you don’t carefully plan the development and maintenance process, it will surely turn out badly at some point. That’s where a roadmap comes into place – an essential document for any product development team. 

Although roadmapping is a time-consuming process, the templates and cloud-based applications can make it a lot easier. 

A good idea is to look at the examples of different roadmap types and see which one would be the best fit for your needs. 

Your needs are the ones that will provide you with an answer on which roadmap should you use. 

Outsourcing vs In-house development – pros and cons

Today, remote working became a common practice and a game changer for the global business. 

Many businesses found themselves having to alter their technical policies, but is it worth?

First, let’s check the numbers when talking about remote employment.

While 90% of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have accustomed to working remotely, it is 60% of Millennials that take the full advantage of remote work options as opposed to 33% Baby Boomers.

The worldwide outsourcing market has already surpassed $524.4 billion back in 2015 with IT being the largest sector outsourcing and according to Deloitte’s 2016 survey, there are more factors which you should consider regarding IT outsourcing apart from the cost reduction.

Let’s see some more factors you should pay attention to:

Hourly rates

To better understand why outsourcing is profitable, you need to know the differences between annual average salaries of software developers in Serbia compared to annual earnings of US and UK software developers.

As per a PayScale analysis, you can see average salaries of software developers per year in the graph below:

As per Accelerance 2018 Guide to Global Software Outsourcing Rates, here are the average hourly rates for developers (junior, senior or lead) in USA, Latin America, Asia and the Eastern Europe.

Always bear in mind that hourly rates shift per country, local economy standard, job positions and other relevant factors according to Accelerance The 2018 Guide to Global Software Outsourcing Rates.

Overhead costs

The burden rate provides a clearer picture of total labor costs than the payroll costs alone. The fully burdened cost of an employee includes payroll taxes, workers compensation, health insurance, paid time off and so on.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of the employee benefits is 31% of an employee’s fully burdened cost.

When outsourcing, the burdened costs don’t exist – it gives you an opportunity to invest saved money to the other segments of your business.

Recruitment costs

Recruitment agencies’ fees aren’t so moderate depending on the target country. In UK and USA, the recruitment fees rise as the wage increases.

For example, you will be charged around 13-15% for roles up to £15,000.
If you are seeking a job profile with a salary up to £20,000, then your fee would be around 17-18%, and anything above the £20,000 salary can be between 22-26%.

However, outsourcing allows you to get similar services at a lower cost. Even better, you can hire the services only for a specific task whilst in-house developers are continuous cost regardless requirements.

Outsourcing software development gives you flexibility to manage your resources and scale them quickly but if you need to grow your in-house team, you have to repeat the entire HR drill and there’s always a chance not to get the desired result.

Supervisory expense costs

Management time is not free – for each new person you hire, managers need to spend additional time on one-on-one meetings, coaching, managing reporting and so on. Many staff members would be involved (managers, HR team etc.) and you may face a loss of productivity from both sides.

For many companies, new employee onboarding can be a disruptive activity of the week which means you have to spend more money to get them working.

Office space and equipment

Office space is a cost you should be able to quantify especially if you think of growing your team. Here are some average prices of an office space rental worldwide per square meter per annum:

In USA, the price depends on the city and the location while in UK, the office space depends on the location, office size and type of lease (serviced, rented, freehold etc).

In Belgrade, for example, you can rent fully furnished office space from €80 going to €180 for the luxurious office building with all additional facilities (warehouse, garage, separate offices, etc.).

Don’t forget that your team will also need computers, storage, testing tools etc. which your company must buy so you must consider this cost as an add-on to the office space rental fees.

Talent Pool

Since hiring in-house developers for all technologies is not practical, if you need specialized service the best choice would be to outsource – you would have access to a diverse talent pool since software development companies that outsource have every type of talent on their hands.
Outsourcing provides you with unlimited access without paying anything extra.

More importantly, outsourcing development companies work across various industries so they have more industry knowledge since they have to keep the pace with the technology updates whereas in-house developers may be limited to a particular industry and may get the feeling that they are stuck with whatever they are doing.

Communication

It’s believed that companies that outsource often deal with employees that speak little or no English. But today, finding a team with a project manager that’s fluent in English isn’t a problem anymore since those skills can be easily determined within an introductory call.

Considering ‘remote’ communication, people say it’s easier to talk to a person sitting nearby. But let’s face it – we’re more keen on digital channels and even if sitting close to each other, we’ll communicate via chat (Slack, Google+, Skype etc.).

A good quality communication can be set up through digital channels, regular sprint planning or retrospective meetings, tools that enable remote collaboration (Jira, Taiga or Trello) and making stand-ups online a common practice.

When communicating remotely, you should always tend to over-communicate. Maybe it sounds silly, but communicating via text lack many physical cues such as body posture, tone of voice etc., so to avoid any misunderstandings, video meetings are excellent choice to get around communication barriers.

Source: integrant.com

Better Delivery Time

When you hire on-site developer, you have to pay the costs no matter his performance results while with outsourcing development company, you only pay upon delivery.

A competent outsourcing company will improve work accuracy within given deadlines on a project plus it will deliver desired results in less turnaround time. Great outsourcers would offer you valuable innovation consulting, identify advantages or risks, give suggestions for better execution, help you finalize software specifications and even more. Don’t forget, the best outsourcers always focus on establishing a long-term relationships with their partners.

However, if your in-house projects aren’t delivering, you can’t offload those employees unless after an agreed period. If you end up dissatisfied with the in-house recruitment, bear in mind that you may not be able to change things to improve your ROI.

Quality

It’s true that you need to be careful with your choice as some outsourcing companies may offer lower prices but accompanied with a good chance of not delivering the quality you desire.

To stay on the right track, consider a reputable outsourcer that has a demonstrated track record of high quality work. You should do a short research on the company by checking their background, how long they operate, previous client records, customer retention rate etc. You can also ask for code samples to verify if they deliver high-quality work as there can be huge difference in the quality of work.

Quality control may be more flexible when employing in-house software development team but if you find a great outsourcer for your partner, the benefits are endless.

Business focus

A good business strategy would be to find a reliable outsourcing development company that can be your long-term partner while you can concentrate on the big picture and keep up with the technical changes and consumer expectations.

Outsourcing software development enables strategic focus that can greatly benefit your business – when not busy managing financials, you can use the time for more constructive purposes. It’s also beneficial for your in-house IT team as it allows them to continue supporting other issues (network maintenance, cyber security, end-user support, etc.) that are critical for your everyday operations to run smoothly.

Hence, what’s the final word?

Globalisation’s been a buzzword for a few decades, but only now it shows its full potential – the world is shrinking and you can gain with it!

Don’t allow yourself to dismiss the option of outsourcing software development as ‘too expensive’ because of incomplete comparison of outsourcing rates and internal labour costs.

Mutual trust, respect, and teamwork – these three things are the main ingredients for a great recipe of client-developer partnership, and thus a successful outsourced development.