As businesses across the globe are adjusting to our new normal, many are experiencing an unprecedented growth phase, forcing them to ramp up digital initiatives to meet the demands of an increasingly remote society. Businesses in the entertainment, e-commerce, health tech, and fitness industries have been amongst the hardest hit, confronting waves of customer questions, online orders, subscriptions to digital channels, and an overall rise in platform users.
With this increase, however, comes scalability challenges for existing software infrastructures that struggle to handle such rapid growth. Often resulting in usability, performance, and technical problems that can potentially harm brand reputations, lead to loss of customers, and further perpetuate loss of revenue.
Businesses must ensure the quality of their digital platforms and services by continually updating and improving their infrastructure. Unfortunately, however, due to our current circumstances, many businesses are struggling to scale quickly enough and are experiencing significant backlogs in features and necessary improvements.
For businesses that fit into that description and are looking for a means to effortlessly ramp up their development capacity, receiving necessary technical support, and address development challenges, a remote team extension may be the answer.
In this article, we will discuss the business value behind the extended team model and the advantages that come with using this model.
Team extensions are a form of outsourcing that allows businesses to augment their in-house staff with the necessary and required skills on a per-project basis without having to rearrange internal resources, hire more staff, or slow down other initiatives. It is important to remember that the purpose of staff augmentation is not to replace your own, but rather to fill the skill and experience gaps in areas your team may be lacking.
For businesses already following an agile framework, integration is extremely simple as these extensions are typically self-sufficient and self-organizing scrum teams that work on the whole or part of your project without requiring significant help from others.
Unlike staffing agencies, members of team extensions are solely managed by existing department management within your company. At Clearbridge Mobile, our team extensions are entirely custom-built to your specific requirements, completely remote, flexible, and adaptable. Our team of vetted engineers work and collaborate alongside your developers as full-time members of your project, rapidly expanding your team, and delivering real business value from the very first sprint.
Data from Rakuten Intelligence indicates that online order volume from full-assortment grocery merchants rose substantially from March 12 through March 15, compared to the same period a year earlier. What happened; however, was widespread unpreparedness for this sharp increase in demand resulted in technology complications from the sheer volume of users trying to access these digital platforms, leaving many without access to the functionality they require.
Ocado, a popular online-only grocer that launched in 2002, has seen the volume of traffic on its website increase almost fourfold since the beginning of March. David Shriver, Ocado’s group head of communications says “It’s the highest peak we’ve ever experienced in the history of the business.”
At one point Ocado had so many digital orders that it had to stop taking registrations from new customers and take its mobile app out of service completely, forcing customers to wait in a “virtual queue” to access the service. While these actions were entirely necessary to keep Ocado’s digital platforms running as securely as possible, their inability to update their software promptly to meet this demand is also a terrible disservice to user experience and customer satisfaction.
Ocado is a prime example of a business that would have been able to address this issue had they invested in the resources necessary to augment their internal staff to help address these technical issues at the right time.
Unlike traditional outsourcing models, the extended team model integrates the remote team into your business. The team extension’s work and efforts are aligned to the same values, and guidelines your in-house team has to follow. For business leaders this will result in increased productivity, an ability to make quicker decisions, help your business scale for future growth, and drastically reduce wasted time as the communication between the team members is streamlined by the ability to communicate with each other directly over a shared understanding of a common goal.
When you outsource a project to an outsourcing firm, they will be working on several other projects simultaneously and may not be able to give your project the undivided attention it requires, slowing production, increasing delays, and ultimately affecting your time to market. With the extended team model, your project will be prioritized as the assembled team was specifically built to only work with your business, to meet your specific needs. In today’s post-COVID-19 market, delays in any software release can be detrimental. With 100 percent focus on the task at hand, your project receives the attention, effort, and expertise required to meet the demands of your customer quicker.
Transparency plays a vital role in helping you maintain healthy team dynamics and proficient workflows. Team extensions enable this to occur due to greater access to information about the project’s development. In the extended team model, teams have unified repositories which enable more frequent iteration cycles. This means there is much more trust in the extended team and much less second-guessing, which sometimes happens in outsourced projects. Ultimately, when transparency is added to the corporate culture, employees will be more engaged and committed to the vision of the company
A project or business need requires a specialized skill set, but not necessarily for any further business needs. Staff augmentation provides a way to shop for a specific skill set without requiring a commitment to utilizing that skill set again in the future. Saving your company from an intensive recruitment search and making it possible for you to get the help you need temporarily at a lower cost.
Companies need to invest in mobile as a part of their push for omnichannel distribution to keep alternative lines of business open for as long as possible. This includes ensuring the quality and performance of the digital platforms customers are accessing. As we navigate the new normal, it’s important to reach out for consulting support. Our accredited and vetted mobile experts are available to work with you and answer any of your questions.