Outsourcing to Central Europe is increasingly common, and it can be good for your business, but it’s not without drawbacks.
Central Europe is one of the fastest-developing tech hotspots in the world. Countries like Poland (where we're based), Romania, and the Czech Republic are experiencing rapid growth combined with significant investment in education. This has made the region a steady service provider for remote software development needs.
In this article, I’ll explain how to choose a suitable outsourcing provider in Central Europe, which is currently an attractive outsourcing destination because of the education level of its workforce and the low cost of labor.
Why Central Europe is a Good Fit for Outsourcing
Central Europe provides low rates for software development and a high degree of English fluency.
These things make it a natural choice for English-speaking companies looking for software development.
The first factor to consider when choosing a service provider is the hourly rate.
Eastern Europe consistently provides low-cost labor for all kinds of project talent, according to Prostir.
Price isn’t everything. Other locations may offer lower costs, but those low rates can still add up if you’re not communicating efficiently with your outsourced team.
English Language Ability
Central Europe, the Softwarehouse of Europe, provides competitive services without the worry of anything lost in translation for American or UK companies. The percentage of English-speaking students is high, and many students speak more than one foreign language.
“Poland educates about 400,000 graduates annually, half of whom are engineers,” says Paweł Borys, CEO of Polish Development Fund, in a Polish Startups 2017 Report. “That is a solid foundation for educated staff, translating into numerous foreign companies picking Poland as a location for their research and development centers.”
How to Choose the Right Outsourced Team
Clear communication and a history of outstanding work are key traits to look for in any outsourcing partner, not just one in Central Europe.
Excellent Communication Skills
The best outsourced teams demonstrate empathy, organization, and a shared plan.
It’s good to start with video chats instead of phone calls so that you'll be able to learn more about your subcontractors. Try to meet everyone on the team – you want to know whose work you’re paying for.
If you notice serious communication errors, look for another partner. Your service provider should offer you an easy exit option if something goes wrong during the early stage.
You should be able to find equally competent teams elsewhere. I recommend interviewing at least three to five teams before signing an agreement.
Specialized Software Development Experience
Expansive portfolios and battle-tested skills are what you should look for.
University credentials don’t matter much, so look at the projects a company has previously worked on. Plenty of experienced software developers don't possess any diploma at all.
Make sure you’re considering a team’s skillset. If a team pitches itself as competent at a long list of skills, don’t assume that they’re equally good at all of them. It’s better to hire a team that specializes in one thing rather than a company advertising itself as an expert in everything.
Check out each company’s references, and don't hesitate to ask a team's previous customers about their experiences. Their feedback is the most helpful decision-making factor.
Seek similarities between a service provider's portfolio and your industry. If a company has successfully developed several educational apps or financial technology apps, they’ll be better at working in that niche. Also, ask about the background and additional experience and fields of interest of the team members.
While interviewing, ask about hourly rates. Use Google Maps to see what the office looks like, and review a few employee LinkedIn profiles. One of the benefits of the Time & Material contract is its simple and transparent structure.
Performing meetups at least once a sprint (average sprint is 2 weeks long) is a good practice, as per Agile development guidelines.
A good project manager should make you feel that you and your outsourced team work in the same building. Ask about the tools your service provider uses on daily basis.
How to Get Started
Here are some tips on finding an outsourced team in Central Europe.
1. Do your research
Most European software houses don't have a US-based sales teams and representatives. On one hand, that provides savings, which result in a lower hourly rate. On the other hand, it means that companies have to do more homework.
Many American businesses begin successful relationships with Central European houses thanks to Clutch, which lists the most reliable service providers.
2. Consider your estimates
As you’re choosing between your top teams, they’ll have the opportunity to present you with a cost and time estimate.
A proper estimate contains a margin of error. The more projects a development team has worked on, the better their margin of error will be.
Outsourcing Means Time and Money Saved
Proper preparation can save you money and time. The best way to save your money during the project is to conduct precise research into service providers.
Many of them come from Central Europe, a region which combines high-quality service and business-friendly conditions with low hourly rates.
That’s why you should look to Central Europe as you search for a service provider.
About the Author
Michal Lisewski works on business operations at Merixstudio, a Top Quality Outsourcing Company according to Clutch.co. He enjoys literature, the social sciences, and soccer.