The Dangers of Outsourcing
The media has increasingly been focusing of late on stories of web entrepreneurs with startups offering cheap labour or as it's better known as 'outsourcing'.
All sorts of things can be outsourced, but particularly tasks like programming and design.
While this is coming to the public's attention it has been well known by many web companies for a long, long time.
The benefits to outsourcing would be utilising a skilled but cheap labour market - think India, SE Asia and China. However those savings are never passed onto the client by these web companies, they help pad out profits on web projects.
So what are the dangers of your website being outsourced overseas?
Majority of these programmers have self-taught themselves the bare basics of programming. This leaves a lot to be desired for a quality project. Especially worrisome are the myriad of security issues that are caused by careless programmers who work on a job basis - not hourly - so it becomes a case of churn it our quickly as possible.
We have time and again evaluated code for clients who thought they were getting a great deal by a local company who have outsourced, only to find holes in the code that make it easy to break in to sensitive systems.
Related to the above, because jobs are not hourly but rather by the job, it is clear that the mantra is close enough is good enough.
But if you wish to portray quality in service or products or whatever, you cannot afford your website to be of poor design. Bugs can stop processes, frustrate users, lose you business.
Once the project is complete, what's to stop the outsourcer from copying the work and code completed for you and using it again elsewhere, potentially against you with a competitor?
The web company will likely have little - to no control over this... A very valid concern, especially if you've dreamt up a unique system or process...
- Accessibility Once the Project is Completed
How do you know that your secure backend system, that has been programmed overseas, is not still available to the developer once the project is complete? Likewise the server details and access passwords, maybe even to emails? A myriad of security concerns from rogue employees or outsourcers awaits...
How Can You Ensure A Web Company Isn't Outsourcing?
- Do your due-diligence...
- Point blank ask them, before you sign.
- Ask if they outsource any work overseas.
- Ask if they have any teams overseas.
- Ensure that these assurances are put in writing in a web contract, with penalties enforced if they do outsource.
If, at the end of the day you wish to proceed despite knowing or suspecting a company outsources work overseas, then ask what security guarantees and arrangements they have in place to PROVE that they will deliver secure, bug free work. And the job had certainly better be half what professional in-house web companies are charging.
There are internet tools out there to provide this proof.
At Aftershock we absolutely do not outsource work overseas. In the early days we had a couple of attempts but it was proven so many times and by so many different outsourcers, that you do not get a quality job.
The only thing we could prove is the old saying: If you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys... Yes, a cheap price, a cheap job.
If you're concerned about a completed project, feel free to contact us today for advice, particularly on securing against any potential risks.