The way we work is changing.
You’re most likely familiar with the way the global pandemic together with fast-paced digitalisation and automation have transformed our lives. It became our “new normal” to work and collaborate remotely with other peers scattered around the world and in different time zones. We are now comfortable with it. And, in fact, those changes allowed us to tap into new opportunities, approaches and resources.
One example is the ever-increasing popularity of relying on external resources, by, for example, hiring dedicated development teams. Did you know that, for example, the US has the most percentage of outsourced jobs in the world, with almost 68% of companies outsourcing the development of their software? The UK, meanwhile, has around 48% of companies offshoring business functions.
For many of those companies external development teams became a source of new competitive advantage, as they’re solving the talent shortages or reducing the cost of delivering new solutions to the market. Whilst others haven’t yet explored this model of cooperation or perhaps don’t believe it can bear fruits for their business.
That’s why in this article, we’ll share our knowledge on:
- What is a dedicated development team.
- What are the benefits of hiring dedicated development teams.
- How this model of software development increases the flexibility of doing business.
- When you should hire a dedicated team.
- How to hire a dedicated development team.
And you can discover real-life examples that will help you better understand how this model works in practice.
What is a Dedicated Development Team?
A dedicated development team is a popular business practice where a company sources a dedicated group of IT professionals to complete a specific project. A dedicated development team works on a contractual basis as opposed to an in-house team and consists of hand-selected specialists who have the right qualifications to deliver a product or a solution.
This model of cooperation is suitable for both small-sized businesses and start-ups, as well as for established organizations. A global pandemic, ever-increasing scale of globalization and remote work have only accelerated the trend of companies looking to source a dedicated development team (often overseas) instead of hiring new employees permanently or building an in-house team just to complete a specific project.
Hiring a dedicated development team provides businesses with a flexible way to get qualified tech talent with a set of skills they might not have inside their organization or that might be hard to obtain otherwise.
This way companies are filling in the gaps when it comes to expertise, knowledge and experience, which is of extreme importance for businesses undergoing digital transformation and especially in times of “Great Resignation” when a “war for talent” is only getting fiercer.
Despite a “team” being in the name of the service, you can extend your IT teams with single professionals only, who would join your organization and work on your business goals hand in hand with your internal resources.
What roles might a dedicated IT team have? It makes sense for the team structure to reflect the development needs: to give you an example, at Seargin, we would propose an optimal team structure and required tech skills once we learn your goals. Nevertheless, one can summarise that a team might comprise of:
- Front-end and back-end, full-stack engineers, or mobile developers;
- UX/UI designers;
- DevOps engineers;
- Quality Assurance engineers;
- Business analysts;
- Product managers;
- Project managers.
Whilst project management can be conducted jointly by a Scrum Master and, for example, the client’s Product Owner. If you wish for another setup, your partner such as Seargin can coordinate the whole team and the Knowledge Management process, delivering training, workshops and consultation on a wide spectrum of technologies and methodologies.
What are the benefits of dedicated teams?
What exactly is it that makes businesses pursue a different model to approach software development? And in what ways is hiring a dedicated development team better than relying on in-house resources?
First and foremost, the benefits are all about saving costs and acquiring business guarantees – because, for one, you eliminate the burden of tedious administrative tasks such as renting and paying for additional office space, onboarding the team, dealing with equipment or local taxes, and so on.
And two, you can now tap into the pool of talented professionals anywhere in the world, particularly in regions where salary rates are lower. The rule of thumb is to turn to external teams when you’re experiencing a talent or knowledge shortage in certain areas. As a result, as a business, you can save money not only because of cheaper labour costs but also because you are in the position to ship new functionalities and products to markets faster. And that, in turn, translates into a competitive advantage for your business.
To give you a real-life example, one of Seargin’s clients opened two more delivery centers as they proved to company headquarters that they are able to keep up with new upcoming projects. In their own words,
“Company headquarters chooses us before branches in other countries, and Seargin played an important role in this. Because our site manages to access the IT talent when other locations can’t build a team for a project.” And more projects mean new opportunities for their external teams as well.
Another business challenge that companies overcome thanks to sourcing external teams is having to deal with a talent shortage.
Not to mention managers achieve peace of mind as they delegate full responsibility for composing a functioning team of IT specialists. Also, at Seargin, for example, it takes us less than 72 hours to introduce you to qualified candidates, who are interested in the opportunity. Plus, hiring a dedicated software development team is much cheaper than searching for each professional independently with the internal HR team.
To sum up, businesses big and small choose to hire external IT teams to complete a specific project as they:
- Drive cost optimisation thanks to working with teams overseas.
- Benefit from external talent pool’s knowledge and skills.
- Achieve business guarantees from the vendor’s team.
- Get a competitive advantage thanks to faster delivery times.
Dedicated teams offer flexibility
When hiring dedicated teams, you can decide on the billing model of the cooperation with the vendor. You can choose between an option called Time & Material or settle for a Fixed Price Model. What we recommend doing is taking the time to talk to your potential vendor with the expectation for them to recommend you the best model of cooperation for your particular project. (On a side note, their answers and approach will help you understand how invested and how experienced they are.)
In most cases, Time and Material model – when you pay for the actual time and effort spent on your project – works best when there’s a lot of uncertainty involved. For instance, project requirements can potentially change or you don’t yet have a clear solution-market fit and would like the dedicated team to support the research.
Fixed Price, on the other hand, is best suitable for short-term projects, where the scope of work and deliverables are clearly defined.
When should you hire a dedicated development team?
As amazing as the benefits sound, we’d like to emphasise that hiring a dedicated development team shouldn’t be your first or immediate choice every time. Together with other colleagues at Seargin, we tried to summarise the business cases in which sourcing external development teams makes the most sense. On another note, this is a good moment to remind you that you can extend your teams with individual tech specialists only.
Here’s our take on when to look into hiring external software development teams:
- When you foresee dealing with a complex and long-term project, especially where requirements might be changing quickly. Just like you’d like to delegate doing your chores like washing dishes to someone else, who’d also guarantee the job would be done and results guaranteed, you’d perhaps like to consider delegating the project to external teams.
- Once again, when you need to expand your resources or you lack some knowledge or expertise. Here we recommend talking to some proven vendors to get their take on your situation. The reason is that after some investigation, they might suggest it’s best you augment individuals rather than the whole team.
- If you want to speed up the development cycle, external teams will focus solely on your project. Plus, such teams are tuned to completing full life-cycle projects from start to finish.
If you need further help in deciding if sourcing external teams is the right decision for your project, our teams will be happy to discuss your case. Contact us today.
How do I hire a dedicated development team?
Hiring dedicated teams remains a new concept for many IT leaders and HR professionals even in 2022.
We see it first-hand when businesses get in touch with us. The questions concern both the related terminology and process on how to go about sourcing and managing a dedicated team.
In this article, we’re not going to focus on how to go about shortlisting the vendors to chat with or to send the requirements to. This process is pretty much like any purchasing process, and chances are your company already has guidelines for that.
Do your homework
There’s, however, a pool of important questions you might want to find out in the initial stage of your research on the vendors. Here’s what to consider when hiring a dedicated development team:
- What markets is the vendor present in or where their teams are located? But truth is, in the remote work era, a better question to ask might be, “will you support us in our time zone?” To give you an example, Seargin teams in Europe support our clients located in the USA: and this is nothing unusual for teams to be available in a client’s time zone. Besides, our internet networks are stable so there’s no interruption to the services we provide.
- How does the vendor stay compliant with relevant market regulations and privacy laws such as, for example, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Canadian Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA), or others?
- Is the vendor an ISO-certified company? This is a big one, because if a company has an ISO certificate it essentially means that they have implemented a quality management system, and from now on and into the future you as a client can be sure you’ll get a consistent level of service.
Another helpful tip on a step to include in your search for an ideal partner is to ask the vendors for client references and reviews. Besides, there are a few well-trusted industry portals where you can see what their clients are saying about business collaboration, take, for example, Clutch.co, GoodFirms, or Gartner Peer Insights.
Define tech requirements
The next step after initial research is having conversations with selected vendors as well as defining and narrowing down tech requirements. You might have a pretty good idea in terms of who and what you need for your IT project, but then, on the other hand, you should absolutely be able to rely on the vendor to help you find the answers to all-things your project.
Present your business idea to the partner and receive the requirements and tech stack for the solution. And here you already have a chance to test your potential partner and their approach to providing services to clients. The level of their engagement, the way they communicate, the stories they tell – all the little nuggets of information will help you understand if they are the right business partner to choose.
Receive the profile of the dedicated IT team
After that, the vendor will be able to present you with their vision for the skills, tech stack, and experiences of the team required to complete your business project. Once you align on the vision, they can introduce you to the profiles of real candidates. Usually, the client can interview each potential member of the team and make the decision.
Hiring a dedicated development team: real-life examples
A dedicated team to support Digital Transformation efforts
As one of Seargin’s long-term clients was undergoing yet another phase of Digital Transformation – particularly in the Finance function – they needed to source a dedicated team for that project. They didn’t want to allocate their internal resources to that task, and on top of that, they, in fact, lacked tech experts that were able to support that kind of project.
All pointed them towards choosing to work with a dedicated development team at Seargin. After the discovery phase, Seargin teams introduced a vision of an optimal team structure and the necessary experience and skills required for this project. The vision was to onboard six Consultants (SAP Finance and Controlling experts) working for the Global IT Organization, and one Consultant to support the Regional IT.
A dedicated team to migrate an Android-based application to an iOS environment
Here again, after following the same steps – such as finding out the project requirements or introducing qualified team members for a client’s approval – a team of three iOS Developers and Engineers was assembled. Yet another client benefitted from a cost-effective solution which is utilising a dedicated development team model of collaboration and they had completed a business project without draining their internal resources. Contact us to find out how your business can benefit.
With offices located in European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Poland, and Hungary, Seargin supports clients spread all around the world.
We specialise in IT Staff Augmentation, IT Managed Services, and building and managing Dedicated IT Competence Centers. We are able to build teams on-site, fully remote, on our premises as well as source teams spread around the world.
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