When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many companies were in a unique situation. Workforce logistics were turned upside down, and teams refrained from hiring new talent to help with critical projects. Technology professionals in particular had to be creative with their team effort and strategies.
Companies needed a partner, but without the cumbersome restrictions of hiring an entire in-house team. At the same time, offshoring functions in distant countries became questionable as the supply chains were interrupted on a broad front. Gorilla Logic, a Denver-based provider of custom software that offers web applications and mobile development, DevOps, UX / UI design, and more, has long been an advocate of nearshoring. With the advent of COVID-19, they were well positioned to jump in and help.
What is nearshoring?
In contrast to offshoring, companies with “nearshoring” can outsource business and software development processes to resources in a nearby country, worldwide.
Many companies found it easy to work with their “nearshore” TV teams because they are highly skilled, speak the same language and work the same day. Traditional offshoring involves working with teams in India and China, where time zones vary and there may be significant language barriers. Nearshoring centers in Costa Rica and Columbia have professionals who are fluent in English and who work in the time zone of most US-based companies. These individuals are educated, cooperative and act as integral team members rather than faceless units.
What do the most effective companies have in common?
To be most effective, Gartner recommends that companies share at least four hours of overlap between teams, which enables nearshoring. The most successful companies also implemented a “value algorithm,” a calculation that takes budgeted dollars per hour into account and weighs it against team workflow, efficiency, and potential financial constraints.
Aside from their nearshoring success, one of the key observations Gorilla Logic has made this year is how increased prioritization of quality and customization has become a driving force in software development – something they expect to see well into the Year 2021. The pandemic has primarily driven this renewed focus on a superior digital customer experience shaped by Behavior Driven Development (BDD).
The Rise of Behavior Driven Development.
In 2020, software development teams mainly used BDD to create simple scenarios that describe how an application or product should behave from a customer perspective. BDD encourages collaboration between technical and business stakeholders, ensuring that everyone has a clear, shared understanding of the intended user experience of the final product.
Outside of the tech industry, “customer-centric creation” functions as a similar concept used to develop branded products and services that resonate with their audiences. In 2020, consumers were spending more time at home and online, which opened up more opportunities for product and brand review. Companies like Gorilla Logic that thought of the consumer first were most profitable.
The agile methodology, where solutions evolve through collaboration between cross-functional teams, also played an important role in determining the effectiveness of software development partners in 2020. With the agile methodology, transparency and flexibility are paramount, and teams are coming together to perform “sprints” multi-level tasks. Instead of being bogged down or distracted by project obstacles, an assigned team member mitigates potential threats and manages the timeline. The teams continuously evaluate the results, building a natural mechanism for change.
At the start of a new year, executives face the unique challenge of deciding whether to implement what worked in 2020. Applying strategic tactics like employing nearshoring talent and behavioral development, both of which are based on agile methods, will drive brands to evolve and face new challenges in 2021.