ROI & Risk: 3 Steps to Find Value in App Security

The threat is out there. Every day a new company is brought to its knees by a security breach. It’s enough to make a CIO throw up his hands in disgust and take an early retirement.But it doesn’t have to be. Risk should be managed—not avoided.A large-scale security breach can be costly in more ways than one. Even in the simplest terms of the direct costs to remediate it can ruin the ROI for a major software integration. That’s why it’s necessary to turn a critical eye to your vulnerabilities and proactively address any deficiencies.A proactive approach may require an investment up front, but that is a small price to pay for long-term piece of mind and can serve as a valuable tool to safeguard your ROI.These three simple tips can get you on the right track to manage risk and maximize ROI.Build for your needsYour business has specific needs and you need to meet those needs through custom software, built for you. You need these creative and innovative solutions to meet your customers’ needs and differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace. There is a level of inherent risk with custom software development. That risk can be managed by the quality of development resources. Even “off the shelf” software comes with risks, although it has proved to be an untenable solution. Your business requires (and your customers expect) custom software that is tailored to your specific needs and provides a meaningful advantage.Every company has vulnerabilities and varying levels of security risks, but don’t let that cloud your judgement. Find the business problem and turn it into an opportunity. Custom software can provide an improved experience and be the investment that becomes the major differentiator for customers. You’ll be thankful you did, and so will your customers.Don’t bury your head in the sandLike an ostrich too scared to cope with the dangers surrounding it, companies often feel overwhelmed by the security vulnerabilities in their systems. In many cases, they know there are weak points but choose to ignore them and hope they remain hidden. That’s the equivalent of playing a high-stakes game of roulette with your company’s future.Do you know what your odds are of winning on a single role of the roulette wheel? A hint—they’re not good. It’s 37:1.If you could improve your odds on the roulette wheel, you’d probably do it, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to flip the odds on the house? You may not be able to change the odds at the casino, but you can in software application security.By using a risk-based approach and taking a hard look at your vulnerabilities, you can gain perspective and take the first steps toward safeguarding the business. After all, burying your head in the sand is not a strategy.Find it and fix itOnce you’ve made the decision to be proactive, you have to find the vulnerabilities in your systems. There are three components of the process which are necessary to ensure a comprehensive view of your situation: Software composition analysis (SCA) identifies where reusable components are within applications and detects vulnerabilitiesStatic application security testing (SAST) scans source code of the most commonly-used programming languages, identifying vulnerabilitiesDynamic application security testing (DAST) continually scans websites as they evolve, providing automatic detection and assessment of codes changes and alerting for newly discovered vulnerabilities Once vulnerabilities have been identified, you need to fix them fast. That’s where speed and security are critical.Once vulnerabilities have been identified, you need to fix them fast. That’s where speed and security are critical.Now the conundrum, do you pull existing resources from inflight projects to fix vulnerabilities thus delaying your promised delivery dates or do you look externally? It’s unlikely you have all the experienced resources to handle this type of development in-house. That means bringing in external resources to solve complex problems and execute on the plan. With sensitive projects, U.S. based software teams play a vital role in meeting the needs of corporate application development by delivering quality and speed at a low cost.ROI and risk go hand in hand. By managing risk, you can secure the ROI needed. But success takes a proactive approach that requires an experienced critical eye to software vulnerabilities and then brings the right teams together to solve the problem.Find it. Fix it. Breathe easier.

DevOps: Sea Change to Power Innovation

Traditionally, Development set out to build and deploy the capabilities the business needed, while Operations kept the infrastructure stable and fast. Development teams bundled new functionality and system improvements into periodic updates to appease the Operations teams’ resistance to any change that could disrupt system operations.Operational Overview of IT – Before DigitalDepartment Functional Perspective Responsibility Timeframe Development Silo Build the functionality and capabilities the business needs Quarters to years Operations Silo Keep the infrastructure running smoothly with as little change as possible Ongoing This chart captures the roles and responsibilities of Development and Operations groups in a traditional IT organization.In the digital age, the diametrically opposed goals of Development and Operations are falling away. A united DevOps process and supporting culture, which requires both sides to see beyond their respective functional silos, unites IT staffers behind a single, shared goal: to enable the business to compete and win.Operational Overview of IT – After DigitalDepartment Functional Perspective Responsibility Timeframe Development Blended and collaborative Build the scalable functionality and capabilities the business needs Create, test and produce 50 to 100 microservices simultaneously Rolls out “50 deployments” a day DevOps explained: This chart shows how the newly melded DevOps model unites IT organizations in the digital environment.While definitions of DevOps’ mission and culture vary from organization to organization, Rural Sourcing aligns itself with Gartner Group’s view of DevOps in the digital age:DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture), and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective.IT organizations’ move to a DevOps model and culture refocuses technologists’ view away from technical infrastructure onto the needs of the business. This sea change in the way IT approaches its work requires speed, not for speed’s sake, but for competitive advantage. Through microservices, DevOps organizations can leverage digital tools and technologies to engage IT staffers and compress the speed-to-revenue cycle.To learn more about how microservices-led innovation can improve staff productivity and application quality, click here to download the newest executive white paper from Rural Sourcing, “Microservices: Fast Path to Digitally Required Innovation.”

What is Domestic Outsourcing?

[embed][/embed] Onshore outsourcing, also known as domestic outsourcing, is an increasingly popular business model that uses US-based companies for internal business support as opposed to sending them overseas. IT offshore outsourcing to India, South America, Central America, and Eastern Europe used to be the first choice when businesses were looking to save money. However, many businesses are now choosing to bring their IT, software development, and business intelligence back to the United States to improve speed, quality and convenience while still saving money over in-house or local contractor teams using the domestic sourcing model. Rural Sourcing is a proud leader of domestic outsourcing within the United States and provides solutions for application development, business intelligence and analytics, cloud solutions, enterprise applications, QA and testing. As a cost-effective and convenient alternative to offshore outsourcing, your company will benefit from increased efficiency and productivity. Discover the domestic outsourcing definition, learn about its benefits, and see why Rural Sourcing is the country’s leader in domestic outsourcing. Benefits of Domestic Outsourcing Eliminating Offshore Outsourcing Headaches Many businesses look to external companies for business support but find that offshore outsourcing has a number of unique challenges such as time zone differences, language barriers, context and cultural misunderstandings – all which can cause delays, quality issues, and headaches. Fortunately, domestic outsourcing erases these roadblocks. You’ll benefit from real-time collaboration (as time zones are much closer) and access to a network of US-based professionals available to help ensure your project runs smoothly and you receive the product that meets all of the specifications. Increasing Affordability of IT Projects One of the biggest advantages of domestic outsourcing is that it is the perfect balance between affordability and quality. This is especially true for software development and IT projects as those industries tend to cluster around major US metropolitan areas where prices for services are generally higher due to higher living costs and stiff competition for resources in those areas. This high cost is then passed onto your business in the form of higher project charges that can be a burden and above your available budget. But, that does not mean that your only option is sending the project overseas – not anymore. Instead of outsourcing projects to another country, you can get higher quality and more affordable services within the United States using one of Rural Sourcing’s development centers located in mid-sized cities across the country. For example, if your company is located in a big city, like San Francisco or New York, and needs help with Java application development or DevOps project, it can be very costly to hire a new internal team or outside partner locally. However, if you could have access to a team of the same expertise and quality in a smaller city in New Mexico or Georgia where living costs are more reasonable, the cost of the project would be lower and more affordable for the exact same end result – a great delivered product that is on time and works as expected. Domestic outsourcing is a cost-effective and convenient solution for businesses in need of extra assistance in highly targeted areas such as application and web development, instead of attempting to manage a team thousands of miles and many time zones away. If you need IT support, and want to keep it close to home, domestic outsourcing may be the right solution for your needs. Rural Sourcing: What We Do As the leader in domestic outsourcing in the USA, Rural Sourcing is an expert in Agile Development, Cloud, DevOps, Digital Engagement, and Salesforce Integration to businesses large and small nationwide. When you work with Rural Sourcing for domestic outsourced IT solutions, you’ll support American jobs and accomplish your business goals with enhanced quality, speed and ease when compared to offshore outsourced projects. We have a network of scalable IT solutions across our US development centers, who are focused on your unique business objectives, so you can eliminate bottlenecks and headaches and accomplish your IT goals with confidence. Contact Rural Sourcing to Learn More About our Domestic Outsourcing Capabilities We’re passionate about connecting companies with talented, qualified IT professionals in the United States. With an average of 10 years of development experience, each team member brings something unique to the job. If you’re interested in learning more about our domestic outsourcing capabilities, get in touch with us and tell us more about your project needs.

Digital’s Demand for Innovation Calls for a Microservices Architecture

Being a digital business has changed everything – from how products and services are offered and to whom all the way through delivery. Responding to dynamic customer expectations calls for a new two-pronged approach that consolidates teams under a shared mindset and an organizational culture shift. Against this backdrop of change, the cloud, a key linchpin of digital success, demands that applications be re-architected in record time.Pre-digital, IT’s development initiatives spanned quarters and, in some cases, years. Today’s compressed digital timeframes do not tolerate extended development times. Applications need to be built and rolled out in days and, sometimes, hours. By breaking massive functionality into single units called a microservice, IT can now combine and recombine capabilities in record time, delivering quality applications that can be updated on the fly – while preserving system stability and optimal performance. Up-leveling Agile, IT organizations across all markets are employing this microservices-based approach to create a wholesale containerization of functionality. With microservice integration, IT organizations can push the business forward quickly and efficiently by delivering as many as 50 rollouts a day.This containerization allows IT to combine and recombine functionality at will in an iterative “test drive” environment optimized to accommodate the pace of digital. Small teams work in parallel and use automated tests, continuous integration and deployment and feature flags, as they re-route small percentages of traffic to make the most of the cloud’s expansive capacity.A microservices architecture pays dividends beyond IT’s productivity as well. Its flexible approach to compressed build/develop/deploy cycles incorporates the latest techniques and tools for software development. As a result, leading IT organizations can become “employers of choice.” Being a destination for digital talent, which is now in short supply and is expected to be scarce for years to come, helps IT leaders attract and retain the digital skills they need to help the business win.In addition to productivity gains and becoming a staffing magnet, a microservices landscape allows IT organizations to scale vertically and horizontally. Associating smaller microservices under a heavy shared processing load often eliminates the need to add hardware by allowing the cloud to spin capacity up and down as needed.This introduction explains how progressive IT organizations use microservices to enable the rapid change digital demands as they struggle against constrained availability of digitally skilled IT professionals. Tapping into the power of the cloud and the latest technical tools and strategies helps these organizations attract and retain a full range of digital talent even as staffing needs change and evolve.Because even the largest companies will not be able to find all the digital talent they need, IT organizations are narrowing their community of staff partners. Working with only a hand-selected few allows an IT organization to source “employee-like” digital talent that understands and appreciates the company’s mission, vision and culture. These valuable assets possess the digital skills IT needs along with commanding “soft skills” to facilitate communication and problem solving.To learn more about how microservices integration can improve staff productivity and application quality, download the newest executive white paper from Rural Sourcing, “Microservices: Fast Path to Digitally Required Innovation.”

In Their DNA: Tech in Middle America

When you think of technology innovation, your mind probably jumps to Silicon Valley.Why is that? Is that the only place good ideas come from? Is there something in the soil that breeds digital creativity?Of course not. Because of this mindset that technology in America is available only on the coasts, parts of our country have been neglected. In truth, Middle America is a gold mine for ideas and tech talent that has remained largely untapped up to this point. In fact, tech creativity and innovation are in their DNA.Just look at Bill Gates and Paul Allen. They founded Microsoft out of an Albuquerque garage because that’s where the epicenter of personal computing began with MITS the maker of the Altair. The talent is there. It’s just a matter of cultivating the talent and allowing it to grow in place. Too often people are forced to choose between vocation and location. In essence, they are forced to choose between the place they love and the career they aspire to.That simply is unacceptable and unnecessary.Tech talent should be allowed to grow in Middle America. Like the well documented double helix within DNA, there are two main components to tech success.AvailabilityThere is tech talent in Middle America, but in many cases, the top talent falls victim to one of two scenarios.Pursue a career in a different industry because it allows for a career close to homeMove to the coast in order to work with the latest technologiesMiddle America has fantastic higher educational institutions. We need to make sure our young people understand the opportunities that are available to them in technology post-graduation. That will create a pipeline of talent, but once created, we must foster that talent and build industries that keep this talent close to home.QualityIt’s not just ‘run of the mill’ tech talent in Middle America. There is some of the best talent in the world. In many cases, the software developers who left home to chase the big job in California or Boston ultimately return home to care for an aging parent or because they miss the quality of life and affordability of “home.”Some of the country’s premier technology minds are willing to trade their career for quality of life. Instead of letting them, we must equip this talent with the means to pursue meaningful, challenging and fulfilling work in technology, close to home. This is by and large the thesis of Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest movement to bring capital investment dollars to Middle America.There is available, quality technology talent in Middle America. No longer should the coasts maintain a monopoly on software development and innovative technology. With a historically unrivaled work ethic, Middle America is ripe for a technology boom. Don’t bet against the heartland. Tech and innovation is in their DNA.

Digital Demands Transparent Leaders, Open Communications

This sixth and final blog post explains why IT organizations need a new standard of transparency in communicating and leading their digitally prepared workforce. With the digital economy comes constantly shifting priorities as companies become hyper-responsive to their customers’ needs and wants. The millennials who will staff IT organizations want to be led by executives who openly share not just career path details but the “big picture” of where the company and its markets are headed. Being involved in “more than just the work” is essential if IT organizations are to attract and retain millennials with digital skill sets. Embracing the principles outlined "Partnering with Intent: A new approach to dealing with the shortage of tech talent," Rural Sourcing’s white paper on workforce management in the digital age, shows IT leaders why a collaborative culture and transparency are vital to success.Transparency: Key to Success in the Digital EconomyMaintaining the transparency of a startup – when everyone knew everything – is challenging as a company grows. Successful organizations have employed different methods in order to do so. For example, at one technology company, every employee works to a specific set of OKRs (objectives and key results). Although it’s not mandatory to post OKRs for all to see, 80% of their employees do. In addition, the CEO’s weekly calls to review OKRs with the company’s 150 directors quickly identifies which parts of the company that on track and which are not. This review helps mid-level leaders to look beyond their own departments’ metrics to view performance and results company-wide.In addition to keeping everyone informed about how the company or organization is doing, transparency can improve productivity, boost engagement and help retention.A company with 106 employees reported a lower than average rate of unnecessary meetings. This unexpected, productivity-inducing benefit was directly attributed to the company’s open communications and transparency.Another corporate proponent of transparency said that letting employees know the "why" behind their assignments built trust and engagement. If two teams need to be consolidated, everyone involved knows why the move is necessary which not only helps the consolidated group move forward efficiently, it minimizes the speculation that usually accompanies organizational changes. This transparency takes on expanded importance when partners provide digital talent to composite teams. When realignments combine both internal and partner-provided talent into teams, roles and purposes must be clearly communicated and understood in order to remove suspicion and achieve the additive cultural mix. At a third company, the importance of transparency is underscored with a CEO who shares her online calendar with every employee. Visibility into what the company’s top executive is doing allows employees to see what’s important and put their own roles into context. She pointed out that the company receives good marks from employees posting on Glassdoor, and retention is high as well.For some, empowering a free-flow of information across IT may seem like an unachievable goal. Here are five easy ways to get started in building a transparent culture from the ground up or improving upon the current level of openness:Be honest. A leader’s openness and honesty will set the stage for safely giving and receiving feedback across the organization. Share results. Resist the urge to downplay failures. These missteps often offer a highly effective learning opportunity.Break down silos. A majority of senior executives (80%) participating in a poll by McKinsey said that communication was critical for growth, while only a handful (25%) felt their organizations were doing a good job in sharing information across the company.Hire people who care about transparency. Feature your company’s commitment to transparency in job descriptions and ask candidates to explain what transparency means to them in interviews.Choose tools that support transparency. On average, employees in your organization are wasting 20% of their time every week trying to locate information they need or enlist others’ assistance. Go beyond shared drives to employ open communication platforms and project software designed for collaboration.Digital’s fast pace of change leaves little margin of error for IT organizations to operate inefficiently. The continued scarcity of digital talent demands that leadership transparently communicates how, when and why partner companies’ staff can help accelerate organizational transformation. Working with partners contributes to improved project outcomes and guides the effort to speed revenue to the bottom line. Taking a transparent approach to communicating with employees and leading them through change enables your teams to understand who fits where. By communicating the contribution of all members, including partners, in achieving the company goals leaders can achieve the elusive digital trifecta of being decisive, innovative, and nimble.

Keys to Building an Empowered IT Workforce for Digital

This fifth blog post in the Partnering with Intent series explains why IT organizations seeking to build and maintain a digitally prepared workforce need to abandon their traditional recruiting, retention and partnering strategies. Millennials, the lion’s share of digitally prepared talent, require a new management approach. One that provides technical enablement, context, purpose and flexibility. It also needs to rebuild trust around the use of partner organizations and the role they can play in a company’s digital journey.  Embracing the principles outlined in “Partnering with Intent: A new approach to dealing with the shortage of tech talent,” can help IT organizations become a “destination of choice” for millennials with digital talent.With senior executives’ expectations running high, IT leaders know that delivering on ambitious, technology-driven business imperatives calls for a new culture and leadership style built on trust and open communication. Digitally prepared talent is in short supply, and no company can afford to hire all the digitally skilled staff they need for permanent positions. That shortage, coupled with cost pressures, prompts most IT organizations to work with a selected contingent as well as outsourced labor companies that offer talent experienced with the latest digital technologies and best practices, on an as-needed basis. These partners understand how this new cultural model can be used to secure staff engagement in an almost constantly shifting landscape of projects and priorities. The velocity of change that characterizes digital means that few IT organizations can go it alone.That all-important engagement hinges on staff being able to use the latest technologies, understand the business reasons behind the IT organization’s shifting project priorities and appreciate the clearly spelled out roles of responsibilities of players from partner organizations. IT leaders need to be thoughtful and transparent about how they decide to deploy people and why. Too often, digitally prepared talent is separated from core teams, making it difficult for innovation-led methods and processes to integrate into the organization as a whole. When learning gleaned from digital initiatives is not shared across the organization, only an illusion of change exists. Millennials make up more than half of today’s U.S. workforce. Dissecting what matters to them begins with understanding their career motivation, as well as their expectations for where they work and their need for transparent, authentic leaders.IT organizations with authentic leaders can build and maintain an environment that draws in digitally prepared talent by offering their staffs challenging work with a purpose.  As Partnering with Intent reminds us, few IT organizations can afford to keep on staff all of the digitally prepared talent it needs. The invaluable contribution that  strategic, deeper relationships with fewer, more high-value partners  offers is two-fold: (1) access to exactly the type of digitally prepared talent you need today; and (2) the flexibility to restack the talent deck when the business causes priorities to change.Leaders need to acknowledge that in order to succeed they need to liberate the creative spirit of their people. To do this they must establish a climate of trust in part by sharing the roles that everyone plays, including partner companies, such that staff are not distracted by constant concerns over the job security. This can only be achieved in transparent surroundings, working with innovative partners that understand their role and who provide an encouraging and additive cultural fit

Partnering with Intent Enables Flexibility, Innovation

This fourth post in the Partnering with Intent™ series explains why most IT organizations will partner to access the digital skills they need. Partnering offers IT organization an opportunity to tap into needed digital talent in a fluid, non-restrictive way. This flexibility is extremely important in the digital age when business initiatives and project priorities can shift endlessly.Partnering with Intent (PWI), a new approach to digital workforce creation, follows a business model proven with leading companies in a variety of market segments. PWI answers companies’ needs for the digital talent they don’t have, allowing them to take established products into new market segments, appeal to new groups of customers in a proven market and introduce new products and services. Businesses competing in the digital age require nimble IT organizations that partner to offer the rich, deep proficiencies needed to tap new opportunities with confidence.At its core, PWI allows companies, through their robust digitally prepared IT organizations, to enable innovation unhampered by technical limits. Access to the right digital talent at the right time, bypasses the need to recruit, retrain and manage current staff, gives IT departments the flexibility they need to respond to the shifting needs of the business with precision and speed.For example, when General Electric and Intel partnered to aggregate more than 6.8 million patient data points, they were able to provide healthcare leaders with the insights required to improve care delivery, reduce costs and motivate changes in behavior.In addition to supporting unbridled innovation, PWI delivers the digital talent needed to create human-centered experiences that solve user problems and push the business-user experience to a higher, more strategic relationship. When customers see a company as responsive to their needs, brand loyalty takes hold, making it difficult for competitors to lure satisfied customers away. A leading provider of streaming video devices and channels learned that lesson when it partnered with a consumer electronics manufacturer to build a simplified “smart TV” centered on the user device’s operating system. In this example, the device provider disrupted the “upstream” supply chain to simplify the user experience and create a partnered “win-win” for itself and the electronics manufacturer.Finally, IT leaders need to remember that concentrating on a select group of trusted partners is vitally important to nurturing high-value, high-reward relationships. To keep these business-critical relationships functioning at a high level, astute IT organizations regularly update their software development partners on corporate direction, short-term and long-range business initiatives, and pivoting priorities. Effectively applying PWI principles to these relationships dissolves boundaries and enables the two sides to operate as a blended composite team.IT organizations that use PWI’s operational transparency and open communication to unite previously siloed IT groups create the high-performance composite teams needed to pivot when the digital business environment demands it.This post is part of the Partnering with Intent blog series. Download the white paper that introduced this new way to source and manage digital IT talent.

Partnering with Intent – Flex culture powers collaboration

This third post in the Partnering with Intent™ (PWI) series explains how a new workforce model built on the idea of a flex (or flexible) culture, enables organizations to change course on the fly – as the hyper-digital environment demands.Flex culture, a new approach to workforce management specifically developed for IT organizations competing in the digital age, revolves around an all-encompassing transparency that pervades IT leadership. By communicating freely and openly, not only about the organization’s shared purpose and approach to intentional partnering, IT leaders can assuage the fears of internal staff who worry about job security, while motivating externally provided talent to function tightly within an integrated team environment. This tight alignment across all types of IT talent enables the organization to manage through an almost constant onslaught of change – efficiently and effectively.Painfully aware that they cannot now nor will they ever be able to afford the breadth of talent they need, IT leaders who take five pivotal steps to manage their workforces in times of hyper-change can build the skilled teams they need without breaking the budget:Delineate technology skills sets as either “core” to the business or “non-core.” This distinction gives IT leaders a clear view of the digital talent they are seeking when they begin working with a trusted third party to augment internal staff. Communicate to staff the “big picture” of the technology landscape and how they fit into it, openly sharing, as soon as known, emerging new priorities. Keep remarks focused on how they can prepare for and support coming changes personally and professionally.Form mult-disciplinary teams of IT talent that pair historical knowledge with digital expertise, teaching technologists to understand the customer experience and how the solutions they build and rollout advance the customers’ business goals.Screen internal and external IT candidates for critically needed “soft skills” and “culture fit” needed to navigate the IT organization nimbly and efficiently.Remember to extend digital learning opportunities to internal staff in an effort to keep their skill sets relevant and marketable.At its heart, flex culture rewards full-on collaboration between and among multi-disciplinary teams. When multi-disciplinary teams with a diversity of talent operate in lockstep, creativity and innovation abound, fast-tracking engagement, performance and, ultimately, loyalty to the organization.In the next PWI blog post, we will explore why a flex culture matters so much – not just to employees but to the credibility of IT leadership as well. To access the Partnering with Intent white paper, click here.

Partnering with Intent – The Importance of Cultural Alignment

To advance the latest thinking about workforce management in the digital age, Rural Sourcing authored a breakthrough white paper entitled “Partnering with Intent: A new approach to dealing with the shortage of tech talent.”This second post explains how cultural alignment serves as a foundational element of the Partnering with Intent™ (PWI) approach. While alignment of core values and purpose starts with employees, electing to partner with companies that share this vision sets the stage for success. This same approach can also be applied to customer relationships, which builds company’s revenues and reduce customer churn.As IT leaders acknowledge that a lack of digital talent is the number one obstacle to achieving their business objectives, the role of augmented talent takes on a new criticality. However, many IT executives find when they go to market looking for digital technology assistance that the needed talent is out of reach financially.Ideally, the companies that provide digital talent go beyond looking at current projects and priorities. Partners who stand out from the crowd go the extra mile to proactively learn their customers’ mission, values and cultures. The third part tech providers screen their talent for fit as well as function. This proactive approach can help assure that external talent not only performs as needed but fits into the organization seamlessly. For example, digital talent that “fits” not only understands the company’s mission, they are empowered to contribute to pivotal discussions and share their expertise freely with all levels of the client’s IT organization.However, cultural integration requires time and commitment on both sides of the partnership. One of the first steps to building this partnership-based culture is to recognize that whether the culture has been built intentionally or not, it already exists. Sometimes, it’s an LCD culture (Least Common Denominator), which forms based on the two partners’ attitude, actions and language. These haphazard relationships break easily because they are fragile and, at times, accidental. In most cases, LCD cultures leverage the interests of the dominant partner, often at the expense of the second partner resulting in suboptimal outcomes.Intentional Partnerships, such as those advocated in the PWI model, require that both partners make a daily commitment to ensuring that everyone at the table shares the organization’s values and mission – even as these essential elements change and evolve. In this environment, true partnership becomes part of each IT team’s DNA.Remember that PWI can be applied to more than your relationship with your external digital talent resources. Extend that approach to your customers and you’ll likely see more long-term relationships with them as well as a healthier contract renewal rate. One company that continually focuses on cultural alignment with its customers boasts of an average customer relationship of 17 years and a 100% renewal rate at the end of the first contractual period. If you had those kinds of intentionally built and maintained customer relationships, what would that do to your ability to deliver technology to the business and ultimately your bottom line?In our next post in the Partnering with Intent series, we will explore how a flex culture, the next step of cultural alignment, unifies a workforce made up of in-house and contingent resources.

An Introduction to Partnering with Intent

To advance the latest thinking about workforce management in the digital age, Rural Sourcing authored a breakthrough white paper entitled “Partnering with Intent: An innovation workforce model for the digital age.” A series of blog posts will highlight key takeaways from that white paper, as well as workforce management commentary from leading IT luminaries.This first post introduces the Partnering with Intent™ approach as a springboard to offering solutions to managing through today’s business transformations and the shortage of digitally prepared IT talent. Additional posts will explain how Partnering with Intent explores the importance of culture, encourages cultural alignment, and describes how transparency can help rebuild the trust lost during offshoring and why being a destination employer can offer a sustainable competitive advantage.As changing customer demands hurtle toward businesses at warp speed, companies are counting on new ways of combining people, processes and technology to enable digital adaptation. In the quest to succeed, IT leaders see a lack of digital talent at the number one obstacle to achieving their business objectives. As a result, CIOs are exploring new partnership and workforce models to meet this talent shortage head on.No company can afford to keep on staff all the digitally prepared talent needed to maintain and expand its market position. For that reason, enhancing staff capabilities with contingency labor has become a way of life for IT organizations at companies of all sizes. However, the unintended consequences of offshoring, such as the degradation of trust between IT leaders and those in their employ have soured the relationship between those in staff positions and externally sourced talent. Yet, the heightened demands of customers and the speed at which change occurs in the digitally adapted workplace demand more collaboration – not less. That’s why the three key components digital workforce management are so important:Partnering with Intent A “flex” culture TransparencyPartnering with Intent (PWI), a highly selective approach to sourcing specialized digital talent to enhance the IT staff, uses two radically different criteria to evaluate potential labor resources. Those two qualifiers – the presence of “soft skills” along with digital technology specialization and the ability of talent from partnered resources to support the company’s culture and values – have the power to redefine how IT companies choose their labor partners. “Soft skills” are defined as the ability to collaborate and communicate willingly and effectively, two capabilities that IT organizations competing in the digital age prize as much as technology prowess. Under the PWI model, labor partners earn value by being able to provide digital specialists that share their client’s mission and support the client’s culture. When these specialists from the outside blend seamlessly into the client’s organization and culture, everyone wins.In addition to PWI, today’s IT organizations need to build a “flex” culture to efficiently tackle the rapid rate of change that comes from digital. The “flex” framework enables IT organizations to source technologist specialists armed with the latest digital talents and the necessary soft skills as well. This holistic approach gives IT leaders a degree of workforce management latitude that was previously unattainable in the previous “hard-wired,” project-only orientation. With a flex approach, digital specialists can be combined with staff resources in a free-flowing, initiative-based agile team designed to accommodate shifting priorities and stimulate, not stifle, creativity. At its heart, the digitally optimized IT organization leverages teams’ cultural integration to respond to business-driven change.Transparency, the clear delineation of roles and responsibilities communicated openly, enables IT leaders to begin rebuilding the trust staff lost during offshoring. Composite teams depend on cultural integration and transparent leadership to feel more comfortable with their respective places in the IT organization and clearly understand how third-party labor resources contribute to organizational success. For IT leaders, trust and transparency have become a baseline requirement of the hyper-competitive digital age.In our next post, we will explain how to blur the delineation between internal talent and externally provided digital specialists, build high-functioning composite teams, and achieve the cultural integration necessary to digital adaptation success.

Onshoring with Rural Sourcing – Good for Budgets, Good for the Economy

As the tech industry booms, the demand for developers, IT staff and tech professionals has skyrocketed. For decades, businesses tried to lower costs by offshoring their technology needs to other countries. However, they have realized the unique challenges of offshoring such as time zone difference, language barriers, and cultural misunderstandings. These annoyances can cause delays, quality issues, headaches and higher costs.As businesses’ needs transitioned from lowest cost provider to a focus on quality and the need to develop software fast and “right the first time” (and still within budget!) – more and more businesses chose to not offshore and instead look for a better alternative.Rural Sourcing understood these challenges and developed another choice that not only helped companies achieve their IT goals, but also helped local economies capitalize on and retain their best tech talent. Rural Sourcing: Onshoring Work to Help Businesses & Local Economies Founded with the goal of connecting companies with talented, qualified IT professionals, Rural Sourcing has brought thousands of jobs back to the US in midsize metros across the country as part of its domestic sourcing model.Not only does Rural Sourcing’s model bring tech jobs back to the United States, but also does it in a way that supports small to mid-size local economies and creates opportunities for tech professionals who call them home.Instead of building development centers in large metropolitan areas like Silicon Valley and Boston, Rural Sourcing establishes centers in smaller pockets across the country such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico where the cost of living is less expensive and there is a wealth of tech talent from universities and other businesses in the area. The opportunity to work at a google-esque development center and with Fortune 1000 companies is incredibly enticing for tech professionals who have the skills to work in Silicon Valley or NYC – but prefer to live in a smaller area for a variety of reasons such as economic, family, or even just personal preference!As a result, companies that work with Rural Sourcing benefit from high-quality services at affordable prices and hundreds of jobs are created that can have an enormously positive ripple effect on local economies. It is a win-win-win for tech professionals, companies, and the cities where our development centers are located. Measuring the Economic Impact of Rural Sourcing Inc. on Communities To find the true economic impact of Rural Sourcing in Augusta, we reached out to the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta University. The team at Georgia Regents University measured the economic impact of Rural Sourcing Inc. by using an input-output model using IMPLAN software.This model allowed Augusta University to examine the economic linkages within the economy that exist between businesses and other businesses, and businesses and the final consumers. In short, we wanted to know about how much our development centers helped boost the economies where they are located.As a result, the team was able to provide a comprehensive assessment of the local economic impact of Rural Sourcing Inc., which considers the number of jobs created and sustained as well as the total output, in dollars, that is contributed to the local economy. The Results: Rural Sourcing Inc.'s Positive Economic Impact The impact of Rural Sourcing Inc. on the local community is far more than just the number of jobs created. As the number of jobs increase in a local community, people have more disposable income to spend, which trickles into the economy and supports local businesses. When it comes to measuring Rural Sourcing Inc.’s total economic impact in just one community, the results are astounding.The study found that Rural Sourcing Inc. had a total economic impact multiplier of 3:1. In other words for every dollar put into the community in the form of payroll or capital expansion that dollar gets multiplied by 3 times.If we expand this economic impact to reflect each of the five-development center across the United States, Rural Sourcing Inc. is responsible for contributing $100 to $150 million annually to the surrounding local communities. Typically RSI agrees to ten year commitments for job creation so extrapolating today’s level of investment in these communities across the ten year commitment means that RSI has a $1.0 to $1.5 billion impact on our selected communities. Our Commitment to Bring Jobs Back to the United States Rural Sourcing is taking huge steps to support the American dream and smaller regions that could have the opportunity to compete nationally for tech talent – but only need the opportunity. While other conglomerates have favored larger metro areas, Rural Sourcing has fostered innovation and growth in small cities across the United States. We are directly and indirectly stimulating job growth in America helping local economies grow by more than $100m.As the leader in onshore outsourcing in the USA, Rural Sourcing is an expert in Agile Development, Cloud, DevOps, Digital Engagement, and Salesforce Integration to businesses large and small nationwide. Our strategically placed development centers are supporting productivity, which is infiltrating into the local communities. We’re incredibly proud of the impact we’ve made on areas like Mobile, AL, Jonesboro, AR, Augusta, GA, Oklahoma City, OK and Albuquerque, NM, and we look forward to expanding our efforts more in the future.If you’re interested in learning more about our capabilities and how we may be able to make a difference in your business, get in touch with us today.