Interview with Paulo Faria, Business Development Director for Managed Services at CRITICAL Software.

What is the company’s background?

CRITICAL Software provides systems and software services for safety, mission and business-critical applications, helping to ensure that clients meet the most demanding quality standards for performance and reliability.

Our very first client was NASA, nearly 20 years ago, and we’ve now expanded into many different industries that demand high-quality software and systems support. For example, our Managed Services division provides clients with the ability to outsource their software development and digital transformation requirements using development practices that are CMMI Level 5 certified – for both agile and waterfall methodologies.

Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?

Absolutely. The glue behind all of our services is performance, reliability and quality. Naturally, the software in a passenger aircraft has to be as reliable as possible, as it serves a safety-critical function. So, our background working in demanding industries like aerospace has given us the expertise and know-how to bring the same standards to other areas, including for enterprise solutions and nearshore services.

With the commercial advantages available to businesses who use technology in the right way, more and more organisations are seeing the software systems they use as ‘business-critical.’ This means they cannot afford to settle for anything other than the very best, high-performing software solutions and our pedigree working in the most demanding industries means we are well positioned to meet these requirements.

Give us a short overview of what you are doing now?

CRITICAL Software currently operates in industries as diverse as aerospace, defense, maritime, automotive, rail, energy, telecoms and finance, providing cutting-edge software solutions to a number of the world’s leading companies.

We’re also a beacon for nearshore services, serving clients who outsource their IT and software requirements to our team of experts. In this area, our work is very diverse; we have projects where we provide app and product development centres for clients, and others where we provide automated software testing and quality assurance services.

What is the difference between nearshoring and offshoring and why is it important to be aware of both? When should you chose one or the other?

At their core, nearshoring and offshoring are similar. Whether it is developing a new app or testing it meets industry standards, both typically involve a company outsourcing the support they need to another company located elsewhere.

However, the nearshore model has some unique advantages and provides an additional layer of trust and assurance. Whilst offshoring usually sees software support being shipped off to another continent, nearshoring outsources software support in a way that is geographically close by and culturally compatible. This means that a client’s software support partner is located in the same time zone, with similar cultural expectations, both of which feed into providing a better level of service.

Of course, even with global offices in Portugal, Germany and the UK, clients choosing to nearshore their software support requirements to CRITICAL Software do so for more than just our proximity to them. Equally important is our CMMI Level 5 rated delivery unit and agile methodologies, for example.

What should customers look for when outsourcing their software and IT requirements?

When it comes to outsourcing software and IT requirements, customer goals vary. Some are simply looking to cut costs and to make their operations more efficient than their current in-house solutions allow. Others are looking for a way to better scale their software development operations. Of course, many simply do not have the in-house expertise required to deliver their goals.

In terms of what customers should look for when outsourcing their IT and software requirements, a proven-track record and demonstrable ability to meet Service Level Agreements is a must, as is flexibility and scalability. Outsourcing partners should also be able to independently demonstrate the quality of their development processes and their ability to adjust their methods to their clients’ demands because – if they can’t – it is likely to impact what is eventually delivered. Finally, as important as first-class software development practices are, it is also important to demonstrate a deep knowledge of client and industry standards and expectations, because software is never developed in a vacuum.

What future drivers are going to shape the way companies outsource their software development processes?

Software is increasingly at the heart of almost every business. Words like ‘AI’, ‘software security’, ‘machine learning’ and ‘digital transformation’ are no longer the preserve of software companies but businesses more generally.

The massive growth of business start-ups and scale-ups will put increasing competitive pressure on more established companies, which is already creating an environment where ‘change’, ‘agility’, ‘speed’ and ‘leanness’ are crucial. In this environment, the capacity to continuously adapt can make or break a business. This means that many companies are going to depend on reliable partners that they can trust to deliver their software and IT requirements in a rapid way. Agile practices are key in meeting the fast-pace of this competitive climate. Practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery are going to change the way solutions are built and delivered.

Find out more about CRITICAL Software’s Managed Services.

Business Showcase : CRITICAL Software

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