Ahead of the Curve: Dispersed Engineering Groups for Company Resilience

According to a survey conducted by Gartner, only 12 percent of organisations were prepared to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. This is understandable given the unprecedented nature of the event, however, it also brings to light the fact that disaster recovery plans generally focus on restoring access to data rather than on helping people.

Unable to Restore Individuals

A staggering 88% of the group that had not taken steps to prepare for remote working found themselves without sufficient resources or without any resources at all. Initially, many companies faced difficulties in recruiting remote workers, as a large portion of their employees lacked access to the internet in their residences.

Organisations have long relied on redundant storage and content delivery networks to ensure that their data is protected from disasters. Unfortunately, having a backup plan is not enough to protect a business from the consequences of disasters; it is also important to protect the employees who would normally be responsible for carrying out such a plan. If workers are unable to come to the workplace, the impact on the organisation could be devastating. Therefore, it is essential that organisations take the necessary steps to protect both their data and their people.

The Need for Remote Teams in Modern Business

In the past, many companies had reservations about allowing their employees to work remotely. However, with the passage of time, these same organisations have come around to the idea, in part due to the fact that their fears about employees taking advantage of the situation have not been realised. As Ernest Hemingway famously observed, “The best way to prove someone’s trustworthiness is to trust them.” Organisations which have been put to the test by allowing staff to telecommute have seen overwhelmingly positive results, providing a strong indication of the value of this approach.

In order to guarantee that regional events do not impede progress, businesses are increasingly forming teams which are distributed across multiple regions and include remote workers. This will be especially beneficial for software development groups, as they must adhere to set timelines and product releases. The use of cloud-based technology to allow for real-time communication and cooperation between engineering teams located across the globe may be a crucial step in the journey towards greater resilience.

Supplementing the Software Engineering Team Distantly

By leveraging distributed staff augmentation, software engineering teams can quickly enhance their resilience. In this approach, a third party organisation locates the most suitable engineers around the world and manages the entire process of recruitment, screening, employment, onboarding, and administration in regions with an abundance of talent but limited job opportunities. These engineers become full-time staff members of the collaborating firms, with no long-term contractual obligations or expenses to the partner company, while avoiding the complications of foreign payroll, taxes, and local regulations.

Most natural disasters typically only have a localised impact, and the COVID-19 virus is no exception. To minimise potential risks and optimise costs in light of the uncertain future of both the virus and the economy, distributed engineering has been proven to be an effective workforce strategy. The scalability of this approach allows teams to quickly adjust their focus, expand or reduce their size as needed, and remain agile in this rapidly changing environment.

Software engineers who are part of dispersed engineering teams have the advantage of having prior experience working remotely, which can be beneficial in many ways. With their expertise, they can provide useful insight into how to improve productivity, accelerate development, and optimise product delivery.

According to Deloitte, business resilience is a concept that includes both IT disaster recovery and business continuity. It is reasonable to assume that the majority of companies were not prepared to maintain their operations during the ongoing crisis, when offices were closed and a swift transition to remote working was necessary. Having and utilising distributed development teams may be a powerful safeguard against these kinds of disruptions, as they are able to collaborate remotely to stay in line with their development goals and roadmaps.

Related Article: Software Development Success in a Hybrid Environment

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