Protecting Yourself in an Offshoring Situation
 
Protecting Yourself in an Offshoring Situation

Offshoring software development is a tricky process in any situation. You are essentially entering into a partnership with another company to take ownership over a mission critical part of your organization and entrusting not only your IT infrastructure to them but many times significant intellectual property that must be protected to assure your survival as a business.

Even within a company, there are some levels of security that are kept in place to protect highly sensitive intellectual property even from your own employees. So to turn over that crucial information to an external agency is not only risky, it must be done with extreme care to protect your IP and to assure that it's security is not compromised at all costs.

It is essential before you put out the RFP for offshoring that the issue of the protection of intellectual property become part of the initial requirements definition that is central to the selection of the offshoring agency. Whether the project to be offshored is a single software project or management of your entire IT infrastructure, there will be a level of trust and disclosure that goes on between your company and the companying taking over this function from you. Not only must IP security be observed in all formal communications, it should become a priority even at the employee level as your staff interacts with the offshoring company's staff during the project development life cycle.

This is where the due diligence process must be executed at the highest level of intensity to assure that the company you chose to take over this part of your IT development passes all security background checks. Depending on the level of sensitivity of your intellectual property, the security of your competitive intelligence may justify paying a higher cost for a reliable offshoring partner rather than putting cost savings too high in the selection criteria which may result in you partnering with an offshoring company who is not as reliable in this area as they ought to be.

The intellectual property issue becomes even more of a priority if you are considering offshoring your software development offshore. In the last decade offshoring these functions to companies in India and other countries in that region has become popular. The cost savings of handling software development are considerable and can give your company a competitive advantage because it enables you to come to the marketplace with a viable product at a lower cost.

Keep in mind, however, that from a cultural point of view, many countries in the Middle East, and the Far East do not have the same laws or cultural sensitivities to intellectual property issues as we do here in the west. To put it bluntly, many companies that may be on your short list for offshoring may have no idea that protecting your trade secrets has any value at all. In these countries, the concept that ideas are property or that plagiarism or outright theft of another company's IP is wrong is not in their thought processes at all. It isn't that they are being deliberately crooked by compromising your security. It just isn't part of their culture.

Therefore take extreme care when selecting any offshoring agency and this is of the highest concern when offshoring overseas. By making protection of your trade secrets a high priority from the project definition level and going forward, you are being prudent to protect that one thing that gives your company the ability to compete in your markets and that is your intellectual property.



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Articles
Appropriate or Inappropriate Offshoring

Backing Into the Project Plan

Cyber Programmers

Finding the Right Offshore Software Developer

Help Staying Cutting Edge

How to Make a Mess of Offshoring

It's All in the Offshoring Contract

Know Your Contractor Inside Out

Living up to the Contract

Make Your Contractors Work for You

Making Sure Your Outsourced Project is on Track

Managing a Diverse Team

Minding the Store

Offshoring Testing

Offshoring Out of the Country

On Sending Your IT Work to India

Protecting Yourself in an Offshoring Situation

Selling Management on Software Development Offshoring

Taking the Teeth Out of Offshoring

Taking Your Web Development Elsewhere

The Contractor's Attitude

When NOT to Outsource

When the Contractors Leave

Who Can- Give You Great SEO?

Why Not Let Writers do Your Technical Writing?

 

Disclaimer: The Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this website, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet.

This site is a common sense guide to Protecting Yourself in an Offshoring Situation. In practical advice websites, like anything else in life, there are no guarantees of income made. Readers are cautioned to reply on their own judgment about their individual circumstances to act accordingly.

This site is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek services of competent professionals in legal, business, accounting, and finance field.

Any perceived slights of specific people or organizations are unintentional.

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