Outsourced software development has become popular for businesses looking to streamline their operations and tap into specialized expertise. In a world driven by digital innovation, staying ahead of the curve is vital for those aiming to succeed in the B2B realm. On an episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, host Vinay Koshy dives into the topic of outsourcing with special guest Ben Johnson. As the founder of a prominent software development company, Ben shares his wealth of knowledge and sheds light on the dos and don’ts of outsourced software development.
Throughout the episode, Ben reveals the secrets behind creating a flawless lesson experience through his platform, Forte Lessons. He recounts the challenges he faced while developing a video conferencing platform that boasts superior audio quality for playing music notes. The conversation then delves into how Ben’s company upgraded a client’s GPS system for more accurate bus tracking and arrival time estimates, emphasizing the importance of stability and overall software deployment.
But is outsourcing the best approach for technology development? Ben poses this thought-provoking question, sharing his concerns about sustainability and customer experience. With the outsourcing market predicted to reach a staggering $1.06 trillion by 2030, understanding the pros and cons becomes crucial for CEOs aiming to stay competitive.
Join us as we uncover the intricacies of outsourced software development and discover why it may be the game-changer your business needs. Let’s delve into the world of digital transformation, address common concerns, and find out how to achieve predictable success in the B2B landscape.
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About Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson is a dedicated entrepreneur who has been working hand-in-hand with his business partner for two decades. Throughout their successful partnership, they have complemented each other’s skills, with Ben taking charge of onshore operations while his partner handled offshore duties.
Together, they founded Particle 41 with the goal of building exceptional teams that excel in their efficiency. Ben’s extensive network, coupled with his experience as a technical co-founder of various businesses, led them to recognize the growing demand for high-velocity teams capable of tackling large volumes of work in a transparent and collaborative manner. This vision continues to drive Ben’s passion and commitment in his entrepreneurial journey.
Unveiling Predictable B2B Success: Insights from Ben Johnson
In this episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, host Vinay Koshy interviews guest Ben Johnson, an expert in software development and CEO of his own company. Ben shares his experiences and provides valuable insights into various aspects of the B2B industry. From software outsourcing to AI implementation, project management, and boutique service firms, he dives deep into each topic, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities businesses face.
1. The Launch of Forte Lessons: Enhancing the Lesson Experience
Ben begins by discussing the recent launch of a client platform, Forte Lessons, which aims to provide a superior learning experience for online music lessons. With their video conferencing platform designed for music notes, they have addressed the need for better audio quality than what traditional video conferencing tools offer.
2. Upgrading GPS Systems: Enhancing Public Transport Efficiency
Another success story Ben recounts is helping a client upgrade their GPS system in buses, resulting in accurate arrival estimates and the ability for end users to track bus locations. He highlights the importance of integrating the new GPS and focusing on software deployment and system stability to ensure the best results.
3. The Role of Software Development in Marketing-focused Page Design
As the conversation progresses, Ben explains how his company specializes in marketing-focused page design, offering DevOps, infrastructure, and cloud management services. He emphasizes that their solutions are designed to complement existing teams rather than replace or compete with them.
4. The CEO’s Digital Dilemma: Falling Behind and Expanding Initiatives
One of the main concerns CEOs face today is falling behind in the digital landscape and needing help to stay ahead of their competitors. Ben addresses this issue by highlighting that many CEOs have great initiatives but are reluctant to burden their existing teams with additional work. He also acknowledges that CEOs often need more bandwidth to address all their concerns effectively.
5. Software Outsourcing: Market Trends and Considerations
To shed light on the outsourcing industry, Ben reveals some interesting statistics. The global IT and software outsourcing market is projected to reach $1.06 trillion by 2030, with an annual growth rate of 7.54%. However, he also notes that 40% of outsourcing customers experience higher costs than in-house development, while 31% enjoy lower costs. It becomes a question of sustainability and long-term growth.
6. The Era of AI: Policies and Server Solutions
Ben shares his thoughts on the rise of AI, the importance of privacy, and minimizing the risk of data leaks. His company has created an AI policy document to ensure a standard approach to AI implementation. Additionally, they offer services to set up private AI servers in the cloud, which can host various AI chatbots and solutions to enhance customer experiences.
7. Managing Remote Workforces: Tools and Effective Communication
Effective project management and communication tools have become more important with the recent shift to remote work. Ben recommends utilizing platforms like Trello and emphasizes the need for attention to detail, effective communication, and collaboration. He highlights the need for daily touchpoints through virtual channels such as Slack or Teams to keep teams aligned.
8. Improving Software Development Processes for Human Teams
Ben stresses the significance of improving software development processes to add value and make them more compatible for human teams. He shares examples of successful implementations, including the elimination of late nights and worries associated with releases. His company helps teams achieve greater predictability, accuracy, and overall success by focusing on the little things and implementing best practices.
9. Estimation Methods and Decision-making Support
In the realm of software development, accurate estimation plays a crucial role. Ben suggests estimating work in points using a Fibonacci sequence or comparative ranking provides better results than traditional time-based estimates. He discusses how personal biases and external commitments can impact estimation accuracy and highlights the importance of factoring in these details.
10. Delighting Clients: Providing Value and Support
Ben emphasizes the importance of enthusiasm, learning from mistakes, and ensuring clients get what they want. He assists clients with decision-making processes, helping them determine if ideas are worth pursuing, conducting SWOT analyses, and evaluating build versus buy decisions. He also highlights the value of providing exceptional service to clients and recognizing good behavior within the team.
11. Boutique Service Firms: Leveraging Expertise and Talent Retention
Ben shares insights into boutique service firms, which offer expertise behind the generalist approach. These firms can connect with clients more effectively by focusing on strategy and guidance. He discusses how these firms provide training programs, invest in the latest technology, and offer talented engineers a more appealing career path. This approach can address the high attrition rate often seen in other businesses that employ engineers.
Achieving Predictable B2B Success with Outsourced Software Development: Key Insights and Actionable Takeaways
Let’s dive deeper into the episode’s main theme and provide actionable takeaways for businesses looking to achieve predictable B2B success.
1. Embrace Existing Teams and Complement Their Efforts:
Ben Johnson emphasized the importance of complementing existing teams rather than replacing or competing with them. This approach allows for a smoother transition, minimizes resistance to change, and fosters collaboration. By leveraging the expertise and knowledge of your team members, you can make better-informed decisions and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Remember, success in the B2B space is a collective effort.
Actionable Takeaway: When implementing new initiatives, involve your existing team members and empower them to contribute their ideas. This collaborative approach helps build trust, encourages ownership, and fosters a positive work environment.
2. Software Outsourcing: Weighing the Pros and Cons:
While software outsourcing offers various benefits, such as cost savings and access to specialized expertise, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks carefully. Ben Johnson raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of outsourcing technology development and highlighted the importance of maintaining control over core business functions.
Actionable Takeaway: Before outsourcing software development, conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the potential risks, assess the impact on your core business functions, and ensure alignment with your long-term growth plans. When deciding, consider factors like data security, communication challenges, and cultural differences.
3. AI Implementation and Building AI Policies:
Ben Johnson shared insights into AI implementation and the importance of developing AI policies to ensure a standardized and intelligent approach. By leveraging AI, businesses can enhance their code manufacturing process and automate certain tasks. However, balancing AI capabilities and human decision-making is crucial to avoid potential pitfalls.
Actionable Takeaway: Implementing AI requires a well-defined policy framework. Develop an AI policy document that addresses the standard approach, ethical considerations, and guidelines for AI implementation within your business. Additionally, consider utilizing AI to automate repetitive tasks, but always keep human decision-making at the forefront to maintain control and minimize risks.
4. Effective Remote Work Management:
With remote work becoming more prevalent, Ben Johnson highlighted the significance of effective communication, collaboration, and attention to detail in managing remote workforces. He emphasized the importance of daily touchpoints, clear channels for communication, and virtual project management tools like Trello.
Actionable Takeaway: Establish a strong communication plan that includes daily check-ins, regular progress updates, and accessible virtual channels for collaboration. Leverage project management tools to ensure clear task assignments, visibility into progress, and seamless coordination among remote team members.
5. Focusing on the Little Things in Software Development:
Ben Johnson stressed the importance of paying attention to the more minor details in software development. Every aspect, from the DevOps process to efficient code creation, contributes to overall success. Estimating work in points rather than hours, emphasizing effective communication, and leveraging best practices play vital roles in achieving predictability and accuracy.
Actionable Takeaway: Implement the DevOps process and incorporate efficient code creation practices within your development teams. Encourage communication and collaboration through various channels and consider adopting estimation methods like the Fibonacci sequence or comparative ranking to enhance predictability and accuracy.
Ben Johnson’s insights on achieving predictable B2B success encompassed various aspects of business operations, including software outsourcing, AI implementation, remote work management, and outsourced software development practices. By embracing existing teams, carefully assessing the pros and cons of outsourcing, developing AI policies, prioritizing effective remote work management, and focusing on the little things in software development, businesses can succeed in the ever-evolving B2B landscape. Remember, predictable B2B success is not achieved overnight but through continuous learning, adaptation, and a commitment to excellence in all aspects of your business.
Some areas we explore in this episode include:
- Why and how to add value and revenue with outsourced software development
- Creating a video conferencing platform with better audio quality for playing music notes.
- Upgrading GPS systems in buses for accurate arrival time estimates.
- Specialization in marketing-focused page design and services in DevOps, infrastructure, and cloud management.
- CEOs often have concerns about falling behind digitally and needing help to stay ahead of competitors.
- The forecasted growth of the global IT and software outsourcing market.
- The speaker’s thoughts on the sustainability of outsourcing technology development.
- Creating an AI policy and helping clients develop their own AI policies.
- The importance of effective communication and project management tools for remote workforces.
- How to improve the software development process and the value of attention to detail.
- And much, much more.
Listen to the episode
Related links and resources
- Check out Particle 41
- Learn more from Ian Robinson – Custom Software Development Process: How to Fuel Success And Growth
- Learn from Karthik Suresh – How to Successfully Manage Your Product Development Process to Drive Growth With Insider Secrets
- Learn from Robert Hartline – 11 Sales Development Skills And Strategies Needed For High Growth Companies
- Learn from Douglas Squirrel – How to Use Agile Conversations And Collaboration as Drivers of Growth And as Catalysts For Breakthroughs
- Learn from Paul McCarthy – Revolutionizing Facility Management Operations With Paul McCarthy: How to Use a Social Media Inspired Solution to Drive Growth
- Check out the article – Rob Walling on How to Create Your First Software Product (Even if You Can’t Code!)
Connect with Ben Johnson
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