How will Dallas technology execs outrun the digital tsunami?
As published in the Dallas Business Journal | bizjournals.com
By Jim Steeb
Local executives in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex know that new technologies can often level the playing field in an instant, enabling competitors (from startup to long-time players) to quickly become the new industry darling or customer hero. Technologies such as AI and machine learning empower faster decision-making and innovation cycles. Executive management is realizing that getting the right engineering teams in place is the mission-critical priority to address the “digital tsunami” of innovation.
But here’s the rub: due to the incredible business growth in the DFW region, we’re left with an all-time-low unemployment rate for IT engineers. This makes it exceptionally difficult for executive leadership to assemble the IT engineering teams required to develop and deploy game-changing technologies. Hiring key engineering talent in our low unemployment environment is expensive, is time-consuming, and is the Achilles heel for rapid innovation.
For many companies going offshore has seemingly been the answer. But it’s not for the faint of heart. Potential landmines include poor productivity, poor quality, higher-than-expected billable hours (offsetting anticipated savings), and often other hidden costs. Add in cultural differences, misalignment of development processes, and the lack of local market knowledge, and it’s not hard to see why offshore solutions keep exec leadership up at night and often fall far short of intended results. So how does the accountable tech exec find IT engineers in today’s environment?
An innovative approach to overcoming the challenges of the traditional offshore approach is to build digital engineering teams using a global “insourcing” center approach, or GIC. Those seeing success through this solution are actually calling it “right-sourcing.” Here’s why.
The reason offshoring in India has gotten a bad name isn’t because of the skill base or people. It’s the business model. However, by building engineering teams within a GIC model, which comes with a heavy dose of U.S.-based management oversight, companies realize productivity and quality skills on par with (or exceeding) their U.S.-based counterparts, and higher employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, they still have the added benefit of obtaining “true India” costs which are substantially less than U.S. And because GICs operate in an employee-like model in close partnership with their HQ teams, they are focused on “quality throughput” rather than billable hours and overtime.
It’s clear that in order to outpace the digital tsunami, you’re going to need to find a talented engineering team in this tight employment market before your competition does.
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 the scope.
Why are companies still sourcing talent from a bench? In the race for talent, there seems to be a huge frustration to find team members that even vaguely meet the requirements. That doesn’t even begin to consider company culture, soft skills, and retention.
Last month, Ecolab Digital Center and SMC Squared joined together to raise funds to support our community in India. On April 25, the country crossed the 350,000 mark of new single-day Covid-19 cases, the highest number of daily cases in the world since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result of the significant increase of daily cases, India is experiencing a shortage of equipment to help Covid-19 patients breathe.
We’re proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural Marcella A Connolly Scholarship Award or “MAC” Scholarship, for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Each year, the MAC Scholarship Award, established by SMC Squared and the Connolly family, will recognize remarkable young women who are working to achieve an education in a STEM-related program.
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