Enhancing Security and Efficiency in Outsourced Development

Written By Alla Levin
February 13, 2024

Vendor Management: Enhancing Security and Efficiency in Outsourced Development

In the current software development landscape, employing outsourced teams is increasingly common. Startups engage these teams to lower upfront investment expenses.

At the same time, larger companies use them to allow their internal developers to concentrate on tasks of greater value, cut down on development expenses, or bring in specialized skills that are not available internally.

Nonetheless, overseeing the right outsourced development team can introduce specific challenges. Uncover strategies to improve your workflow, reduce risks, and increase productivity with the right outsourced team.

right outsourced team

Initiating and Managing Outsourced Projects

The demand for IT outsourcing has surged notably due to the pandemic, with projections indicating it will reach $486.16 billion by 2024, growing at an annual rate of 5%. Businesses are eager to harness the benefits of outsourcing development, such as accelerated time-to-market, enhanced efficiency, and reduced expenses, while avoiding the associated challenges.

Without proper planning and the appropriate tools, teams may face several issues, including premature release code, untraceable changes, and potential intellectual property leaks.

Navigating the Challenges of Outsourced Teams

Managing outsourced teams comes with a unique set of challenges. How can these be effectively addressed?

Understanding the Codebase

For any new developer, familiarizing themselves with the codebase takes time. Consider whether your company adequately documents its codebase structure, branching strategy, and change management processes. This documentation must be current, accessible, and understandable to all team members, regardless of their location or the team they belong to.

To avoid inefficiencies or errors from outsourced teams due to a lack of information, ensure your development environment and all standard procedures are well-documented and automated. Maintaining and updating this documentation is vital as the project evolves.

Streamlining the Review ProcessStreamlining the Review Process

Integrating changes from outsourced teams, particularly in complex architectures like monoliths, microservices, or component-based systems, can be challenging. Establishing clear code review processes is essential to maintaining quality, requiring a balance between thoroughness and speed.

Automating the review process as much as possible can enhance speed and maintain quality. Implementing a comprehensive quality assurance process with frequent testing across and between teams can help maintain pace and ensure code integrity.

Adapting to Version Control Systems

Most outsourced teams are familiar with Git, the free and widely used version control system. However, managing complex projects and large teams often requires more than Git alone. The goal should be to avoid spending excessive time training teams on new version control systems for every project.

If your project necessitates multiple version control systems, ensure you have the right tools and processes to manage the complexity. Communicating the project’s scope clearly to all involved parties before coding begins is essential to minimize disruptions and maintain a smooth development pipeline.

Intellectual Property Protection in Outsourced Development

Outsourcing your development work introduces the risk of exposing sensitive information and trade secrets. The limitations of your version control system may prevent you from fully restricting outsourced developers’ access to your entire codebase. A practical solution is to segment your project, granting access only to the necessary parts through a dedicated repository for external developers.

Similar to managing multiple version control systems, this approach can complicate your build process and lead to repository sprawl and quickly unmanageable code. It’s essential to plan not only the construction of the code but also its storage, update frequency, and change tracking for audit purposes.

Regardless of whether you operate in a regulated sector, maintaining a record of how your code develops and ensuring its security is crucial for leveraging the value of outsourced development teams. Continually updating and securing your project is key to its success.

Mastering Outsourced Development Challenges with the Proper Tools

Addressing the issues discussed necessitates thorough documentation. Effective communication across in-house and outsourced teams is vital for project success.

Imagine a version control system that not only facilitates rapid onboarding of new developers but also automatically generates a current visual guide for code flow (including branch and merge strategies), secures critical assets, and streamlines your build process.

Helix Core represents such a version control system, setting the industry benchmark for securely managing all aspects of development — from code to large binaries — with the efficiency needed for worldwide collaboration.

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