Types of IT Solution Consulting During Times of Uncertainty
Maybe more so than ever before, the modern world can be described with the four words: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, & Ambiguity (commonly shorthanded to V.U.C.A). For any modern business, it’s crucial to stay resilient in the V.U.C.A. world, as it is constantly shaken by all sorts of unforeseen situations, for example, the Covid-19 pandemic. All things considered, resiliency is one of the toughest tasks for any CEO to handle nowadays, as it requires seeking new IT strategies aimed at overcoming the challenges of the V.U.C.A. world.
In this post, we will focus on the possible approaches to IT solution consulting you may resort to when building software products during times of uncertainty. We aim to give you an idea of how each of them can withstand potential disruptions that may appear down the line.
This type of IT solution consulting refers to adding staff to your existing teams through a vendor. In this case, the vendor will play the role of the consultant when it comes to the following concerns:
- Team formation (including such steps as candidate search and initial screening);
- Staff retention by providing competitive retention services;
- Setting up IT infrastructure for your team and fostering smooth communication with your team members.
As you can see that the vendor doesn’t mediate the software development process within this type of IT solution consulting, meaning that you will work with your staff directly and manage the workflow as you see fit. Staff augmentation is all about having external team members dedicated to your goals, each of them acting as an integral cog in your workflows.
One of the IT strategy challenges that you can resolve with this approach is assuring the contingency of the software development process. On the caveat of working with a reliable provider (for example, nCube), you can be sure that your workflow is secure no matter what happens. The vendor will have your back when it comes to many aspects, including creating and implementing a contingency aimed at minimizing disruption during uncertain times.
As a company whose main specialty is staff augmentation, we can attest that this approach is sustainable enough to be your safe haven in the V.U.C.A world. Over two years into the pandemic, we can say for sure that this model of IT solution consulting is a proven way to build sustainable and secure remote infrastructure where all team members are able to continue to support their clients’ projects regardless of any turbulence that may come their way, including the pandemic and geopolitical tensions.
Software development center
This type of IT solution consultancy, which is also among our specialties, lets businesses involve external IT specialists to develop their software products. Unlike staff augmentation, a software development center is more like an offshoot of your organization located in an offshore/nearshore zone. Apart from cost-saving, your software development center can help you solve IT strategy challenges such as:
- Building a full-fledged software development team dedicated to your goals full-time;
- Having an autonomous external unit that still reports to you or your company leaders, thus letting you retain full team control;
- Working with a stable team that operates like a well-oiled machine, in a secure remote setting.
In this model, you also retain access to all team members and will be able to manage the software development process without any intermediary. The team in this case will be stand-alone, yet managed by you. Thus, even if your company hits rocky waters (like the next wave of the pandemic), you can count on a stable team that operates autonomously and consistently delivers on your goals.
“Turn-key” IT solution consulting
This type of IT solution consulting is also known as traditional outsourcing where the product is developed using an internal team on the vendor’s side. In this case, the team will be gathered based on your project specifications, but it suggests a hands-off approach when it comes to overseeing the development process. It means that as a client you are excluded from the process, as you delegate it to the vendor.
A “turn-key approach” addresses the following IT strategy challenges:
- Decreasing the managerial effort you would otherwise have to invest into team management;
- Having your product or an MVP built according to the specifications, promoting a guaranteed result;
- Freeing your team up to focus on business development and marketing matters while a team of developers works in parallel on your product.
Unlike staff augmentation and a software development center where the client is actively involved in every aspect of software development on a daily basis, this model is more about getting a ready-made solution at the end of an agreed period.
We believe that it’s possible to protect yourself from the whims of the V.U.C.A. world by choosing this approach to IT solution consulting, at least to some extent. Although the development process is going on the side of the vendor, you will receive the agreed deliverables stated in your contract. Your cooperation is also secured by a service-level agreement and all other types of agreements, which imposes an obligation to comply with deadlines and achieve the KPIs. Thus, chances are high that you will get everything done in line with your prior agreements, on the caveat of partnering with a reliable provider.
It’s not a secret that freelancers are the hidden engine behind many products. Freelancer platforms have long since been proven to be a bullet-proof solution to the lack of talent. Here’s a set of IT strategy challenges that you can resolve using freelancer platforms:
- You can reduce your overhead costs, as freelancers are far less high-maintenance than your in-house staff;
- You can easily find talent with the skills you need and rates that fit your budget;
- Freelancers can provide the benefit of flexibility, as you can expand or downsize your team whenever you need it, without bothering about the notice period.
When it comes to the challenges of the V.U.C.A world, this recent Wired post focused on how Ukrainian freelancers cope during the chaos incurred by the war. It shows that most freelancers didn’t abandon their projects, as freelancing remains their main source of income.
On the other hand, when it comes to freelancers, it can be described as “Every man for himself.” It means that freelancers commonly do not have any recourse or an “airbag” in the form of an organization that can ensure the contingency of their work during difficult times. More than that, oftentimes, it can be hard to pull money from freelancer platforms in case of any work undone, which also makes you vulnerable as a client. Thus, at the end of the day, it all comes down to your ability to minimize disruption when working for freelancers in the V.U.C.A. world.
IT strategy consulting: Summary
We reviewed several approaches to IT solution consulting, including staff augmentation, software development center, “turn-key” or outsourcing solution, and freelancers. If we map them out onto the V.U.C.A. world, we can see that all of them can be viable solutions when it comes to uncertain times.
But if we were to name the most bullet-proof strategies, those would include such models of IT solution consulting as staff augmentation and software development centers. They are tailored to reduce risks and sustain high levels of dedication from team members no matter what outer circumstances factor in. Face-to-face communication with team members plays a significant role in this.
Having direct access to your staff within these models enables you to instill the right kind of atmosphere (and attitude) based on mutual understanding and trust, which will definitely pay off if you ever happen to find yourself in difficult times. On their side, the vendor should also invest heavily into team retention, thus saving you from abrupt attritions. At least, that’s what remains our main priority at nCube. Of course, you can invest in forging a solid relationship with your freelancer team as well or find an outsourcing vendor who will hopefully cope with the challenges successfully and deliver on your prior agreements. However, we still believe that working with a team face to face can better protect you against the challenges of the V.U.C.A. world, as a solid relationship with the team boosts stability. For example, working with our teams, our clients can have peace of mind knowing that their team members will stick around through hard times because they have built a trustful, human-to-human relationship with them.
Contact us to discuss your IT strategies challenges and ways you can overcome them.