Many companies in the digital transformation space tout their ability to work in a distributed manner—working from multiple offices, from employees’ homes, from other countries—as a response to any number of possible issues: war, pandemic disease, etc. But how successful is your vendor, really, in doing distributed software development? Are they truly distributed or just “distributed from you”? Can their employees work from home effectively? How do your policies interact with their capabilities?

At Exadel we pride ourselves on not only providing distributed development for our clients, but on being truly distributed as a company, this includes:

  1. Geographic Distribution
    We are set up to do development in multiple continents including North America, Europe, and Asia.
  2. Team Distribution
    Exadel’s development teams very often have team members spread across multiple locations across all the geographic areas that we work in. We have always highlighted this aspect of Exadel as it allows us to bring projects online more quickly and tap into local markets to address their specific needs.
  3. Work from Home
    Almost all Exadel employees have the ability to work from home. (Customer policy on a specific project may preclude this.)

As it relates to number two above, distributed software development is baked into the core of our business. Our employees are excited to work with co-workers in other locations. At both the corporate and product-team level, our processes work to make this possible. Here are a few of the ways that we enable true distributed software development.

  1. ISO 27001 Certification
    As an ISO 27001 certified company, we execute IT and information security practices from a central location and these policies are the same every time, in every location. This makes it easier to spin up projects by making the details clear-cut and simple to implement. Project managers do not need to worry about how infrastructure will be provisioned; it happens in a clear and transparent manner on every project. Clients do not need to worry about their information security because these practices are clearly outlined in the process as well. The way that Exadel manages code, data, and other client assets is overseen and audited by an outside party on a yearly basis.
  2. Mature Development Processes
    Exadel received the “highest current offering” score in a recent Forrester Wave Report comparing mid-size agile software vendors. We have been doing agile software development for more than 20 years and have the mature development processes to back it up, as recognized by Forrester.
  3. Mature Cloud-Based DevOps
    We utilize cloud development and cloud-based infrastructure for much of our work, including DevOps best practices. This means that systems and source code can easily be protected, mirrored, and backed-up across the world.
  4. Mature Tool-Based Development
    We predominantly use Jira and have standards and workflows created that ensure that work progress is closely tracked. This ensures that scrum masters have clear visibility into the health of development at all times. By ensuring that requirements, designs, work processes, and task assignments are the same on every project and that none of these things rely on physical co-location of teams, we are equipped to meet all distributed development challenges.
  5. Video and Real-Time Communication Comes Standard
    Every team in Exadel uses these tools to communicate among themselves and with the client. We do not miss a beat. We know how to make these meetings feel more like face-to-face meetings.

Originally, Exadel structured itself in a distributed development manner in order to meet customer needs for team scale, technical skills, and quick project starts. But, in the current environment, it also provides solid protection against the threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If a team is typically located in one location and relies on physical location and geographic proximity to ensure that it communicates and executes efficiently, then what will happen to it when it is suddenly dispersed? Will it be resilient enough to continue to execute effectively? (Even a service provider with multiple locations may choose to locate all of your resources in one location because they lack the ability or process discipline to distribute the team.)

If you are looking for a digital transformation partner, look for one that has resilience built into its work processes and culture. Every Exadel team—even those that are physically located in the same place—must adhere to the processes outlined above. Because of this, suddenly working from home and being physically isolated does not negatively impact performance or communication.

If you are on a digital transformation journey, or find yourself needing to transform rapidly during these times, please reach out to our team for support.

A version of this article was originally published on HackerNoon.

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