When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many companies found themselves in a unique predicament. Their workforce logistics were upended, leading teams to forgo hiring new talent to assist on critical projects. Technology professionals, in particular, had to be creative with their team deployment and strategies.
Companies needed a partner, but without the cumbersome constraints of hiring an entire internal team. At the same time, offshoring functions to far off countries became questionable as supply chains were disrupted across the board. Gorilla Logic, a Denver-based provider of custom software who provides web application and mobile development, DevOps, UX/UI Design, and more, was already a long time advocate for nearshoring. With the advent of COVID-19, they were well-positioned to swoop in and help.
What is nearshoring?
“Nearshoring,” unlike offshoring, allows companies to outsource business and software development processes to resources in a nearby country versus across the globe.
Many companies found it easy to partner with their “nearshore” remote teams since they are highly trained, share the same language, and operate within the same workday. Traditional offshoring includes working with teams located in India and China, where timezones vary and significant language barriers may exist. Nearshoring centers located in Costa Rica and Columbia include professionals who speak fluent English and operate within the time zone of most U.S.-based companies. These individuals are educated, collaborative, and operate as integral team members rather than a faceless entity.
What do the most effective companies have in common?
To be most effective, Gartner recommends companies share at least four hours of overlap between teams, which nearshoring allows. The most successful companies also implemented a “value algorithm,” a calculation that considers the budgeted dollars per hour and weighs them against team workflows, efficacy, and potential financial constraints.
Beyond their nearshoring success, one of the most significant observations Gorilla Logic made this year is how an increased prioritization on quality and customization has become the driving force in software development – something they expect to last well into 2021. The pandemic primarily drove this renewed focus on a superior digital customer experience informed by Behavior Driven Development (BDD).
The rise of ‘Behavior Driven Development.’
In 2020, Software development teams primarily used BDD to create simple scenarios that describe how an application or product should behave from the customer’s perspective. BDD encourages collaboration between the technical and business stakeholders, ensuring everyone has a clear, shared understanding of the final product’s intended user experience.
Outside of the tech industry, “customer-focused creation” functions as a similar concept brand use to develop products and services that resonate with their audience. In 2020, consumers spent more time at home and online, allowing for more opportunities to vet products and brands. Companies like Gorilla Logic that thought about the consumer first were most profitable.
Agile methodology, where solutions evolve through collaboration between cross-functional teams, also played a significant role in determining software development partners’ efficacy in 2020. Within agile methodology, transparency and flexibility are paramount, and teams band together to execute “sprints” to complete multi-step tasks. Instead of getting bogged down or distracted by project obstacles, an assigned team member mitigates potential threats and manages the timeline. Teams continually evaluate results, thus building a natural mechanism for change.
As a new year begins, business leaders face the unique challenge of deciding whether to implement “what worked” during 2020. Applying strategic tactics such as utilizing nearshoring talent and behavior-driven development, both informed by agile methodologies, will lead brands to evolve further and meet new challenges in 2021.