News#CoronaVirus
15 April 2020

Adapting to the new normal and moving forward

Richard Leslie of The Sourcing Hub looks at the fundamental changes that are taking place in management, communication and talent management as we live in lockdown. Changes he argues that can be drastically beneficial to the tech industry, and changes that COVID-19 has proven that we are capable to make.

Despite the lockdown. Despite the pressure on government to release more funding for UK businesses. Despite the alarming daily statistics from around the world. Despite the general social, economic and political unrest. Despite the working from home, the furloughing, the home-schooling, the hand-clapping and the hand-washing. Despite Joe Wicks. Despite all this… what do we see?

Speaking to startups, scaleups, tech vendors, industry commentators, broadcasters and LinkedIn’ers and enterprises, I get a feeling of optimism that a new wave of technology growth is on the way. Gone are the ‘working-from-home’ frustrations and the early anxieties of never being able to meet face-to-face again. I am hearing fewer friends or colleagues talk about “when it gets back to normal”. We are all used to remote working and video conferencing so why not now??

“What we have is a realisation that we can work very well in these conditions. This is the new normal.”

As Jules Verne so succinctly put it: “Movement is Life”. How true. Innovation is our industry, technology is almost the definition of movement, and now is no different. In fact, now is the time for even more innovation, more new concepts, more investment and even more positivity. Individuals who embrace this new normal (working from home in t-shirts, books and family photos behind them… who cares?) and companies who do all they can to maintain maximum velocity are going to be firmly positioned in the fast lane when recovery starts. 

We are seeing it all over the sector, especially in resourcing – smart companies are using the crisis to re-evaluate their current models of staffing: remote vs onsite, offshore vs onshore, full-time vs part-time. The result? More dynamic and fast-moving resource pools that can be flexed up or down depending on the market demands.

Of course, flexible resourcing is not a new concept, but we are seeing the emergence in the UK of established nearshore IT services companies, all providing deep pools of technology talent across a diverse range of industry sectors. And since the universal acceptance of WFH, people have in general become more familiar with the remote communications tools available: Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, Skype have all become the norm for daily ‘stand-ups’ and weekly Scrum meetings. Management is seeing an improved output from their teams as a result.

“There could not be a better time to put a nearshore resourcing model in place. The speed of scaling is undoubted, and the cost savings are huge. Any company can have a nearshore Agile team in place within 2 weeks.” – Richard Leslie, CEO at The Sourcing Hub

The Sourcing Hub helps UK firms to scale their tech teams through their portfolio of nearshore partners. But Leslie warned that companies must not rush to find a partner: “If you are looking for some support, do not simply Google ‘nearshore software dev partner’ because you will receive a tonne of irrelevant feedback from companies who will simply not match your requirements. This mismatching of firms to partners has given outsourcing a bad name over the last few years, so through our portfolio of nearshore partners who we know very well, we provide a service that ensures the right fit and is sustainable for the long term based on tech stack, industry focus, location, cultural fit and of course budget 

Will we soon see a shift towards a blended workforce of nearshore and onshore that is perfectly optimised to ensure speed to market, productivity and maximum profitability? 

Richard Leslie is CEO of The Sourcing Hub specialists in the IT offshore outsourcing marketplace.