All posts by Mindfire Solutions

Distributed IT Team

Overcoming the Obstacles of Running Geographically Distributed IT Teams

What it means to operate an IT team has evolved in recent years. Today’s teams are more efficient, flexible, and streamlined than the ones of the past, and much of this is because of a constant desire amongst people in business to enhance their capabilities and to harness the power of the latest technologies. Earlier, it was a given that the key players in a team would have to operate together in one building, or in close proximity. But this way of doing business had its drawbacks, which became evident over the years. There wasn’t room for personal flexibility for one. Also, sticking to this approach had a financial bearing as well.

Over time, technology opened up possibilities to revolutionize the way teams could function, and IT industry was amongst the frontrunners to seize the opportunity. From using video conferencing and Skype to deploying apps like Slack or GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar, teams can leverage technology to have virtual meetings anywhere – which essentially means that the members can work from anywhere too! However, there are challenges of operating a geographically dispersed team. Let’s examine what they are, the impact, and how seasoned business leaders overcome them and manage to get the most out of their teams.

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Perceived power imbalance

According to an article in HBR if more team members are consolidated in one location or they are in the locations that are geographically close to that of the team leader, then there’s a perception that these people have more power or access to power. This can lead to a feeling of isolation for the other team members or for that matter a feeling of complacency amongst the ones closer. Either way, it negatively affects the overall team morale. Since it is not possible to change the geographic locations of members, team leaders can implement creative strategies to diffuse false perceptions. For e.g., a team leader may need to give particular “power” assignments to those who are farther away from the headquarters or who are working in smaller groups.

Cultural insensitivity

Global teams will naturally contain people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Most people will not know everything there is to know about every other team member’s culture. This can lead to some awkward situations, to say the least. It could even lead to some people responding in culturally insensitive ways. One of the ways to nip in the bud is to raise the topic up in common meetings and suggesting that more often than not these problems are due to errors of judgment, ignorance and not malice. That they can be addressed by increasing one’s awareness of other’s cultures.

Language barriers

Usually, the prominent language in IT global teams is English. However, this is unlikely to be the native tongue for many of the team members. Those whose native language is English are likely to have an advantage in meetings with their peers. The less fluent speakers may feel shy about speaking up even if their ideas are good. Leaders can help overcome this impediment by setting forth guiding principles for discussions. An e.g. could be to suggest that the more fluent speakers slow down their speech and refrain from using difficult phrases. In addition, they might limit the amount of time they are given to talk and urge the less fluent speakers to speak more.

Lack of proper technology

The technology for high-level collaboration and remote communication is out there in the market. It is just that many businesses do not use them correctly. For any organization, there has to be some research done to correctly identify the optimal technological solutions they need to operate efficiently. There are multiple products options available in the market for each type of functions that facilitate collaboration for geographically dispersed teams. Getting the right ones is the key and can make the difference between building synergy and causing disruption.

Lack of good leadership

Diversified teams must have exemplary leadership at the helm. Without it, the teams will quickly fall apart. Besides having the required technical expertise the person in charge of leading such teams must have a global mindset, possess high emotional intelligence, and know the art of mending fissures when they appear.

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Conclusion

In a connected world, as businesses look to the future, geographically dispersed IT teams is a reality that has to be dealt with. For companies with a global outlook, not only is this approach a practical step forward but also one which can be harnessed to their advantage. The key is to recognize that the obstacles that exist are perpetual in nature and have to be dealt with on an ongoing basis.

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If you have any queries in this field, talk to Mindfire Solutions. For over 19+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

 

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Software Development Partner for SMEs

The Importance of a Software Development Partner for SMEs?

Small and medium enterprises that been highly successful are found to have at least two things in common – relentless focus on the fundamentals of their businesses and the uncanny knack of identifying and riding on a market/technological wave. There is also another common thread that connects them all, one witnessing an exponentially rise in its relevance– ‘Information Technology’ as an enabler. Not surprisingly, the one question that gets discussed in any SME nowadays is: “How do we meet our software development needs?”

Developing software in-house is definitely an option. But it can only be pursued by trading off against investing the resources in the core business activities. The alternative course lies in outsourcing all the work to a partner who has the required expertise. Software development is a specialized field. It requires focused and continuous effort to build capabilities to deliver, and upgrade to avoid the risk of oblivion. Thus, a reliable software development partner is priceless. Here’s why

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Quality vis-a-vis Tenure?

The length of time a software partner has been in operation indicates how well it can adapt to the shifting demands of the industry and its clientele. A longish tenure essentially means that their investment in software engineering processes and related measures are robust and that the company can ascertain the benefits of expertise and flexibility in their engagement. Their deliverables, thus, are expected to be of a certain distinct level.

Technical Knowledge

It being its core area of work, a capable partner can provide quick access to technical skillsets with both depth and breadth of expertise. Building such capabilities in-house requires a continuous expenditure of time and money. The same if accessed through a partner relives an SME of a lot of headache. Infact, the services of multiple outsourcing providers can also be availed if the needs are varied, thus enabling the SMEs to be nimble-footed in responding to market opportunities.

Expense

The overall cost of establishing and maintaining a software team is quite high. It involves cost attached to hardware, software and most importantly acquiring and retaining relevant talent. Outsourcing offers the privilege of flexibility, for ramping up and down of resources, and of getting access to the exact type of technological expertise to handle exact needs and fluctuations in work generation.

Domain Knowledge

Seasoned developers with a track history of successful project execution in a certain domain can recommend the best of the industry practices while offering solutions. Domain knowledge translates to better and faster identifications of gaps, precision in technological solutions and identifying opportunities for improvisation.

Crisis Management

The true test of the character of a software partner arises during instances of crises. Software companies, which have served multiple clients over many years, end up facing multiple types & instances of crises during the tenure. The experience equips them to respond to such situations better in the future. The more diverse the experience of the partner the better the response expected.

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If the benefits of outsourcing to a partner seem businesswise prudent, then caution needs to be exercised in its execution. Just identifying a player is not good enough for the purpose. One runs the risk of being limited by the capabilities of the services provider in the long run. It needs to be ascertained that the partner is doing enough to keep pace with the rapids changes in the field of Information Technology. Besides that, exploring various models of engagement is also an important aspect of any partnership.

How much an SME truly gains out a partnership with a software development company is directly proportional to these factors mentioned above.

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If you have any queries in this field, talk to Mindfire Solutions. For over 19+ years now, we have been the preferred Software Development Partner of over 1000+ Small and Medium-sized enterprises across the globe.

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Best PHP Development Tools for Developers in 2018

10 Best PHP Development Tools for Developers in 2018Unlike other programming languages, PHP was designed with features to simplify web application development. In addition to being a mature web programming language, PHP has been evolving consistently. The new language features provided by PHP 7 enables programmers to improve performance of web applications without increasing memory consumption. The developers can further accelerate custom website and web application development by leveraging a number of full-stack and lightweight PHP web frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Zend, Yii and Slim. Likewise, they can take advantage of a number of robust PHP development tools to write web applications rapidly according to varied business requirements. They can even use these PHP development tools to extend various web frameworks. Continue reading Best PHP Development Tools for Developers in 2018

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10 Best Ruby Web Frameworks in 2018

10 Best Ruby Web Frameworks in 2018In addition to being a general purpose programming language, Ruby supports object-oriented, functional, and imperative programming paradigms. The programming language further focuses on simplicity and productivity. Its expressive syntax rules enable programmers to build web applications by writing natural-to-read code. Many developers even opt for Ruby to create prototypes without putting extra time and effort.
. Continue reading 10 Best Ruby Web Frameworks in 2018

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Mobile Wallets: Safety vs Convenience

Mobile Wallets: Safety vs ConvenienceAccording to recent study from Juniper Research, “Nearly 2.1 billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by nearly 30% on the 1.6 billion recorded at the end of 2017.” Within a short span of time, mobile wallets have emerged as a popular alternative to debit and credit cards. Also, the mobile wallets have emerged as the most preferred eCommerce payment tool in many countries. Consumers nowadays use mobile wallets on a regular basis for both online and offline transactions. Continue reading Mobile Wallets: Safety vs Convenience

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Java vs PHP for Enterprise Application Development

Java vs PHP for Enterprise Application DevelopmentLike consumer applications, enterprise applications also need to deliver optimal user experience. But enterprise applications are developed with the aim to make employees productive and processes efficient. Hence, enterprises want to develop the custom software applications in the best programming language. The programmers have option to write enterprise software applications in a number of programming languages including Java and PHP.  Java is a general purpose programming language, whereas PHP is used widely as a server-side scripting language. Java is a compiled programming language, whereas PHP is an interpreted programming language. Continue reading Java vs PHP for Enterprise Application Development

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Selenium vs Appium

Both Selenium and Appium are open source test automation tools. Selenium simplifies automated web application testing by supporting many browsers, operating systems, and programming languages. Appium comes with features to simplify automated testing of native, mobile web, and hybrid apps.

The testers can use Selenium to evaluate various websites and web applications running on desktop browsers. They can use Appium to test different types of mobile apps running on iOS and Android platforms. But Appium drives the iOS, Android, and Windows apps through Selenium WebDriver. Continue reading Selenium vs Appium

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Migrating Flash to HTML5

Migrating Flash to HTML5In 2015, YouTube replaced Adobe Flash Player with HTML5 as its default web video player. Facebook also announced its plan to switch from Flash to HTML5 for all its web video interfaces.  With large online video sharing platforms moving migrating from Flash to HTML5, many analysts considered Flash was on a ventilator. In 2017, Adobe announced its plan to stop supporting and updating Flash Player after 2020. Major web browsers will stop supporting Flash Player in phases. Continue reading Migrating Flash to HTML5

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Symfony vs Zend

Symfony vs ZendNowadays, enterprises require programmers to write custom web applications in PHP based on complex business requirements. The programmers need robust PHP frameworks to simplify and accelerate development of complex web applications. The features, tools, and utility modules provided by various PHP frameworks help developers to add functionality to a web application and perform common web development tasks without writing longer lines of code. The web developers even have option to choose from several web frameworks for PHP. Continue reading Symfony vs Zend

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Healthcare IT Trends in 2018

Healthcare IT Trends in 2018In 2017, worldwide healthcare IT market grew steadily despite cost pressure and political uncertainty. Many enterprises leveraged latest digital technologies to provide remote and mobile healthcare services in an efficient and timely way. At the same time, the new healthcare applications and solutions introduced by various startups even made it easier for medical practitioners to provide mhealth and telehealth services to patients regardless of their current geographic locations. But the rapid advancement in digital technologies has made some of the hottest healthcare IT trends of 2017 obsolete. The healthcare service providers must adopt new healthcare IT trends in 2018 to stay relevant and competitive in the short run. Continue reading Healthcare IT Trends in 2018

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