The IT industry has leveraged distributed teams around the world for decades now to varying degrees of efficiency. However, even those that have truly maximized these models have found a few key challenges that just can’t go away:
- Inability to provide real innovation and thought leadership on projects
- Differences in time zones promote a lack of collaboration
- Agile SDLCs challenge the inability to communicate across a full business day
- Burning the candle at both ends for employees with early morning and late night conference calls
- Hours lost due to misunderstandings
- The cost to collocate in critical points of a project are prohibitive
While we began to assess where to best build a lower cost delivery center for Intersys, we thought about these challenges. Our initial mission statement was “we want to build a lower cost delivery center the “Intersys way”. Truth be told, we couldn’t completely identify what the “Intersys way” truly meant, but what we were clear about was that we didn’t want to deal with those same inefficiencies in our model. There had to be a better way.
Our investigation took us through many countries and continents each offering key opportunities, but not able to solve these core delivery issues that cause problems on technology projects. What became very clear was we needed to look south of the USA and we quickly found an amazing opportunity in Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Building Innovation
Guadalajara has been a technology hub for well over 35 years hosting large populations of technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Oracle and many others creating an IT outsourcing industry upwards of $12B per year (com). As the city and the state of Jalisco have grown, the universities have as well, producing large amounts of highly trained technology engineers each year. Guadalajara has over 300 startups today and has drawn a lot of attention from Silicon Valley as a place to drive innovation. Most recently Amazon has started to identify areas to enter the market as a way to find the next pool of top tier talent thanks to up to 40% of its population being linked to High Tech (tropicasa.com).
- Collaborate for Success
People work better as a team when they actually know each other. But with team members half way around the world it becomes logistically and financially challenging to bring a team together. Whether as part of an initial project kick off to start the team culture and knowledge transfer off right or to collaborate and solve a critical project challenge, being able to get teams face to face is still an asset leaders want to have. Flying half way around the world is expensive and takes a toll on employees both professionally and personally. In, leveraging Guadalajara, we are able to get our teams together more frequently, while enabling them to be home for their families within a few days.
- Central Standard Time
Guadalajara is on CST which allows for our business to run in standard USA time zones creating a full coverage with our US customers. Almost 100% of enterprises today are leveraging some if not all aspects of iterative software delivery and working to drive efficiencies into the process. The ability to connect with our teams, both customer and Intersys, throughout the day alleviates days of downtime from the typical 1-3 hours of overlap with typical models in the Eastern Hemisphere, while bringing a great cultural connection between teammates.
- Better Quality of Life
Both for our customers and our employees, being in similar time zones enables project teams to reduce the number of hours they work. For anyone that has delivered complex solutions with teams both in North America as well as the eastern hemisphere, the concept of 5 AM and 10 PM conference calls is fairly standard. While it may be standard, it isn’t something anyone enjoys, on either side of the conference line. And for projects that sustain long durations it can severely impact productivity.
Leveraging talent pools and innovation from across the world is a great thing, no matter where or how we do it. But finding a way to maintain globally distributed teams while maintaining a high quality of life for employees and customers is the hard part…. But there is a solution!