What German IT decision Makers
think about Offshoring to India
We spoke with 3 German CIOs (Chief Information Officer),
each being responsible for a huge IT department in a German bank, a
German leasing bank and a German insurance. They all made their
experience with outsourcing to India and decided for big partners in
India. Here is what they said:
"When we decided about the partner we were impressed by
one company, who was able to prrof that tehy really understood what we
need. Along with their proposal they provided a complete prototype of
the software - and this was the matchball for them."
"We are using outsourcing since 2001 - both onshoring
and offshoring. The offshoring projects bear a bigger risk to fail and
we have much less problems with onshoring providers. Due to the demand
of ITIL we describe each process step in every detail. This is a
prerequisite for outsourcing in both cases: nearshoring and farshoring.
But with offshoring to India, we have to cover the differences in
mentality, the communication problems and other related issues and
usually calculate an additional 17% of the project costs for German
resources used to bridge that gap."
"In India the understanding of hierarchie is completely
different. They also tend to hide bad news. In one project they came
every week with the message: 'only 5 more days and we will be ready'.
Indian employees tend to fetch their superior's agreement even for
small decisions and often do not give an opinion - especially not when
the superior is around. Also it is difficult for them to say no - even
if it would be necessary. To admit a problem is a loss of face for
"Our biggest problem in the projects was that the
turnover rate at the service provider was too high. Some roles had to be
changed twice during the project as the employee changed to a
competitor. We learned that some key positions have to be covered at
least twice to be successful."
They all had successful projects and complete misses.
And they identified a good communication as the factor which makes the
difference. This is improtant for both sides. One CIO reported that
they once had to recognize that a German project manager in their
Saxony department was using a web tool (babelfish) to translate his
German text to English. It was nearly impossible for the partner in
India to understand what he wanted - and so were the results. Once this
German project manager was replaced the project improved a lot.