For tech businesses, outsourcing is a double-edged sword. 70 percent of entrepreneurs swear by its power to dramatically lower costs while adding resources, especially in the Covid-19 era. Yet we also fear security leaks and loss of control, with every second company citing "quality of service" as the biggest obstacle to productive outsourcing.

Depending on how the outsourcing relationship is established, it can either accelerate company growth or become a chase-and-run after desired results. As a SaaS company leader, I've worked with both regular and hybrid outsourcing and discovered insights that can help all sides. Here's how entrepreneurs can raise the quality of service on delegated projects, avoid security risks, and ensure better control.

1.     Reinvest into workplace culture

Businesses often draw a line between their outsourcing providers and in-house culture. However, it's virtually impossible to view outsourcing outside of the company's existing values and workplace culture. Outsourcing comes with an extra level of volatility. So, the more ordered and synchronized the company's underlying organization, the smoother the outsourcing experience.

Before beginning an outsourcing relationship, I like to do an audit of workplace culture and see what we can improve. This means reevaluating practices around dividing responsibilities, working standards, and communication, as well as understanding where responsibilities may overlap and how our in-house team will handle unpredictable issues. We also make it a rule to communicate our processes to outsourcing providers and ensure that standards align.

2.     Establish an outsourcing curator

For tech entrepreneurs who deal with hybrid outsourcing (a method blending in-house and outsourced team members), control issues often occur on hybrid projects. This is usually due to a single project manager responsible for managing both teams when working on a collaborative task.

On hybrid projects, a useful solution is an "outsourcing curator." That's a term I use to describe someone who's a mediator between the team, project manager, and outsourcing provider(s). An outsourcing curator measures, organizes, and presents information from the company side, enforces privacy regulations, facilitates communication, resolves challenges, and ensures the quality of work.

Unlike a project manager who deals with internal tasks, the outsourcing curator acts as the "bridge" between the company's internal and external operations. Instead of violently enforcing control when things are on the brink of catastrophe, this practice allows gentle yet constant supervision.

3.     Be meticulous about your needs

If offshore outsourcing is on your agenda, the biggest challenge isn't language barriers. It's mentality barriers. Offshore developers are used to the mentality peculiar to their geography. They frequently make misassumptions about the target audience of a foreign product/service and can unintentionally ruin its usability unless precisely instructed.

To avoid this scenario, the Scope of Work Agreement should be written in painstaking detail, including the Problem Statement, Project Goals, Objective, Administration, and Timeline. You can also work in stages and agree on milestone payments. These safeguard the company against fraud and allow you to review each stage of work before going on to the next part.

4.     Don't treat privacy as a contractual agreement

As a rule, tech companies deal with Intellectual Property (IP). This makes them extra vulnerable to outsourcing scams. Most of us protect our interests with a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and Non-Compete Agreement (NCA). However, legal contracts are only a supplement, not the main shield of privacy. I would never have my company rely solely on the NDA to protect IP. If fraud is involved, winning your case will be a nerve-wracking experience and will not rectify existing damage from security leaks.

As a tech entrepreneur, I rely on a multi-level privacy strategy. This includes strictly limiting third-party access to company resources, working with outsourcing in stages instead of handing access to the whole project, instructing our entire team on IP regulations to avoid accidental slips, and regularly updating the outsourcing privacy policy.