The borders, walls, and silos of the world are quickly disappearing in favor of connected, “flat” global markets. This is incredibly apparent in the software services sector. Recently, we worked on a project where the client was in Geneva, the project consultant in California, the graphic designer in Mexico, the project manager in the UK, and the development team in Amman. What made this so amazing was how seamless everything went. This is the way the world is moving.
Technology is the driving force behind this connectivity, though despite this we’re still inherently separated by differences in language and culture. The big winners in today's connected global economy are those that understand both the advantages and disadvantages of a connected world. They’re able to build bridges between cultural discrepancies and act as a translator.
Tanasuk’s success at redefining the outsourcing experience has become contingent upon identifying the need for bridges and incorporating them into our service delivery model. There are two types of bridges in our company. The first is someone who is returning to their native culture after living abroad, while the second is an individual from our client’s culture and is living in the country where the service is performed (Amman, in our case). By immersing themselves in the local culture, they essentially act as a buffer for our overseas clients.
Outsourcing software development fails most often from a mismatch in expectations, a failure that is fundamentally rooted in cultural misunderstanding. A bridge is able to understand the needs of the clients, specifically the subtle unspoken assumptions, and appropriately translate them to the service delivery team. The power of bridges extends beyond a software firm like ours; it is inherent to any global business. I recommend that everyone spend some time outside of his or her home country. Even a short time spent abroad, especially in a work environment, can provide someone with the ability to evaluate ones own culture critically.
Having a foot in two worlds is essential for success on the global stage. It is the key to navigating and succeeding in the new world economy.