Responsible Outsourcing!

23. September 2016

We have just celebrated our 10-year anniversary! Ten years ago, we established our first development center in Ukraine along with our first client Spar Nord Bank. During the festivities with our colleagues and clients, we heard entertaining stories from the good old days: How we had the first job interviews in a meeting room at a hotel in Lviv – hired five software developers – and then rented an office for our first IT specialists members. We have come a long way since then, and now we are well-established company with the luxury of receiving many unsolicited applications.

The past decade has matured the sourcing industry from being something exotic and foreign to being a commodity. We work in a global market and we might as well trade with a Danish company as a foreign company. The possibilities are enormous and the decision to outsource is just a click away.

However, the risk is that we overlook the significant difference on who, and under which circumstances you enter an agreement about outsourcing. Local quotes on quick fixes and sourcing where they promise you the moon and you think it sounds too easy and too good to be true – usually it is just that – too good to be true. If you scratch the surface, there is often not proper control with all aspects of the outsourcing. And that can have serious consequences.

Is there a consistency between Danish law and the law in the sourcing country? Which country’s laws are, should or can be prevailing in the cooperation, also in terms of disputes? How are the rules and legal rights for IP and unlicensed software – and what is our position? How is the ownership structure of the local partner, who owns the various things (and I have experienced many “fun” constructions within the past decade!). When your sourced IT-specialists come to Denmark to work on your project for a short period of time, what are the rules regarding visa, working permit and taxes etc. Who can guide you on these aspects – your local partner? I have serious doubts about that.

As we look back at 10 year’s experience with outsourcing, we have many good advice to pass on – both on dos and don’ts. Even though there are many good advice to pass on – they all have one thing in common: We have to do it right.

Cooperation, partnership and a good result with outsourcing can only be accomplished, if all parties do a good job. It is a long-term, strategic decision to outsource, and both parties have to commit to each other and the project, allocate the necessary time and resources – all in all, be thorough and dedicated. It is crucial that both parties are committed, as a business and as individuals. Outsourcing is about people, and it is my firm belief that doing things responsibly is about having the same fundamental views on people and approaches to the projects to ensure that all aspects of outsourcing are handled; both on a number of generic parameters and in context of the countries and cultures you source between.