As the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources continue to tighten during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are my thoughts on what to consider as you source IT talent and how to drive the “true India costs” that so many US firms are looking to take advantage of now.
Impact of Uncertainty
Many companies experienced an unanticipated disruption due to the Covid-19 crisis. Project timelines had to be extended, delivery negatively impacted and enterprise control compromised. While there’s no doubt that the pandemic has had an impact in some shape or form on all businesses, we have not seen a significant disruption with our clients at SMC Squared, in part due to the business continuity plans that were already set in place.
Continuity plans are a basic deliverable from the time of initial setup with SMC Squared and are essential for every global office. All SMC Squared global employees are provided with secure laptops and remote connectivity as part of our continuity plan if the office is not accessible. This was tested for our clients prior to COVID, so when Prime Minister Modi announced the shutdown with short notice, all of our employees had their laptops with them, including those who may have traveled home to their native places over the weekend. Therefore, despite the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, the change has had a minimal impact on work capacity.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services & Co-Founder of SMC Squared
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources have tightened in a post-COVID-19 world. But as the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
Procurement commonly compares hourly rates because it’s an easy comparison. Well, not exactly. But the issue is that the invoice at the end of the month for a committed amount of work is what matters, not what the hourly rate states. Overtime, 45-hour billing weeks, etc. are ways offshore vendors distort billings and make your hourly rate look lower to win deals. So, how can you avoid additional costs associated with services provided by your outsourcing partner?
At SMC2 we find that many Global Insourcing Center RFPs ask for hourly rates as a selection criterion to support cost control or optimization. Hourly rates themselves are easy to compare but do not accurately reflect the actual costs to deliver services or projects. Fixed bids make an attempt at solving this issue, but are often laced with caveats and take a significant effort to understand scope.
Also, many people believe that although the rates in India are lower, it takes more resources to deliver the same value as a US resource. Ratios such as 3:1 or 2:1 are often cited, demonstrating a lack of understanding of India’s technical capabilities and, more so, the opportunity to optimize under a global team structure.
SMC2 has solved this issue by focusing on value generation instead of billable hours. Our teams are measured at the same level as their US counterparts in terms of productivity. This is expressed as 1:1 productivity. We provide the necessary time each week to guarantee a US-full time equivalent of contribution.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services and Co-Founder, SMC Squared