Like it or not, financial tough times, maybe even a recession, is here. And the software and technology sector feels these times the first and usually the hardest. We see its effects already, in the technology space, with high profile layoffs, paused and delayed product developments, with major software outfits publicly declaring a slow down and plans for tighter budgeting. So there is no way to hide from this fact and software companies have to adapt to this reality. The good news is that there are some tried and tested strategies for survival in such times. These strategies have been field tested and perfected several times during past recessions. Here are some strategies that work really well for software companies that want to survive and even grow during such a financial crisis.
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Financially Savvy Software Development Plan
Software companies cannot just stop their software development. This is one space where if you stop innovating you are guaranteed to go down. Existing products need constant maintenance, bug fixing, and feature improvements. And new product lines have to be worked on. Without innovation your competitors will catch up and leave you behind. The constant experimentation and researching new tools and technologies keep the needle moving in software companies. And this requires constant software development needs. Financially difficult times just means you have to plan your development to be smarter and keep your burn controlled. One tried and tested way of keeping things under control is to use outside engineering support – where you leverage the skills and resources of software consultancy and get them to build out some of your projects. This has some major advantages: you can dial up and dial down your cost as needed, you take out all your hiring costs and if you pick a cost efficient location you will be saving significant costs. New cost effective software development locations are coming up all around the world. Bangladesh, for example, is an often overlooked location. With a fast growing software industry some top software companies in Bangladesh are world class and yet offer significant advantages in costs and delivery in these hard times.
Cut Down on Non-Essential Technology Areas
You’ll have to make some compromises for sure. There are many areas in software development where you can compromise without having a direct immediate impact on the bottom line. Your software team may have been implementing a structured testing infrastructure such as automated testing – this would be an amazing improvement in the long run saving you time and money but in the current situation that’s one thing you could possibly put on hold. If you go over your software team’s projects you’ll probably be able to find a few such projects that can be compromised on. Go over the list of projects with your technical lead and find out which projects have immediate impacts and which are longer term. Use this list to decide places where you can optimize.
Use External Teams on Side Projects
Every software company has some projects and tasks that are necessary to do but are at the end not really the core business activity. These can easily be separated out and an external cost efficient team can be used to do them. For example some quality assurance projects can easily be pushed to external teams. Some graphics and content development projects are easy to send to agencies who specialize in such projects yet are lower cost. Many freelancing sites such as odesk or Fiverr can provide you with resources that can manage some of these tasks. For larger projects that are still side projects that need to be done using a more established software company is a better option. Searching online with phrases like software companies in Bangladesh and other locations that you know are good for software development may get you some really good sources for getting these projects done without increasing HR burn on your company.