Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Demystifying Engineering VP’s Dilemma of What to Outsource: Core Vs Context

Posted on: 13 April '17

I had an interesting line of conversations with the Vice President (VP, Engineering) of a client firm, an enterprise software product company. He had just joined and was heading an existing product line and heard good things about Mindtree. He said, “I keep hearing from my peers about leveraging offshore and the work you do for them. However, I do not know if I could use your services as I am responsible for core IP development and that should be done in-house!”

Being in the outsourced product development space for nearly two decades, I was bit puzzled by his talk. I thought about it and realized that IP is core to a product company and there are certain parts of the work that has to absolutely remain and be managed by the in-house team. Is it possible to do everything in-house today? And is it necessary? The key focus for a VP will always be to:

  • Build smarter, leaner and better software
  • Bring the product to market much ahead of competition
  • Build the product cost effectively (Who has an unlimited budget?)

The above goals can be easily and efficiently achieved by leveraging a capable partner ecosystem. Identifying what is “core” and what is “context” to product development could be an approach that can help resolve the challenge of categorizing the areas that can be outsourced.

Core Vs Context

Core is something that delivers competitive advantage by leveraging relative internal capability that the team brings. Everything else could be considered as context; some may even be important and highly valued but could be considered context if it does not create differentiation or competitive advantage. The above model can help determine if a track, work stream or project is core or context. By identifying the Business Criticality and Internal capability, one can determine if the work has to be performed in-house or outsourced.

Some examples (not exhaustive) that could be considered context and better delivered by leveraging a partner – Interoperability/ platform proliferation, performance engineering, penetration and security testing, test automation, tools and utilities built around the product, tech debt, legacy product sustenance/ EOL management, specific product features, user experience design and validation.

What is core to one company could be context for others. By smartly leveraging partner ecosystems, we can bring great products to the market on time, every time!

  • Nagesh Rangappan

    Hi Ram,

    Good one. I would like to view this from a Startup angle, where IP is everything and Outsourcing is not heard off and not feasible ( Unless you are JIO)
    I found a good model of Multiple SMEs and integration happens at the startup. Times are tough and new ways of doing business is the need.

    Nagesh