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Ovunc, Sezer, CEO, Heimatlas

One of the most significant challenges media companies struggle with today is getting the best tech talent. Finding good engineers was already difficult, but competing with well-funded startups and big tech companies now makes finding talent that much harder. 

While many companies go the traditional route of hiring full-time staff, amid this increasing competition for securing talent, media companies are also working with software consulting firms. These firms can work as an extension of a company’s team or deliver an end-to-end project, providing successful tech resources to a business. However, working with a software development partner takes some preparation, and the following steps can help media companies create partnerships that work.

Align calendars and working hours for clear remote collaboration

When people think about collaborating with teams to develop software, many imagine that they will work with engineers in a completely different time zone and face all the logistical challenges that come with distance. They expect the entire communication to be over email, and while this might have been the way most companies used software contractors in the past, it is no longer the baseline for many teams. 

With the boom of remote working and teleconferencing during the pandemic, software partners can be as easy to collaborate with as full-time employees. This is not only a possibility but also a necessity of the contemporary world. 

To achieve this, it is important to understand what the company’s priorities should be. First, when working with a software company, they need to work during the media company’s hours and time zone. This is crucial for having a quick turn around on requests, diminishing the impact of physical distance as much as possible.

Proactive resource management

In addition to aligning calendars, another important point is to have robust management from the partner side — the software consultant. They need to be directly involved in the work delivered to the company so that there is a good flow of information between the project and the management side. 

Oftentimes partners will need to change team members, and this is best done before they are even asked to do so by the client. Not every engineer will be a great match for every project, and the partner needs to have a good pool of engineers that they can easily replace if there is a mismatch. 

To achieve all of this, senior members of the partner team need to be looped in on the project, actively monitoring their team while also keeping tabs on the project’s needs. That way, they are able to proactively reassign engineers. 

Media expertise

Another crucial note is to find a software consulting company with prior expertise in media. Many companies within the media industry share similarities when it comes to how they use software. As a result, software companies who have previously worked with companies in the media ecosystem also end up developing in-house expertise. 

Across the media industry, companies usually work with specific sets of third-party software and functionalities that tend to be shared. Software consultants that already understand ad tech, know how to develop high performance front ends with low page load speeds, can create a tight integration with online video platforms and video players, have a grasp of inbound and outbound content syndication, identity management and data engineering will benefit media companies with this shared industry knowledge. 

Establish solid communication even when working with hybrid teams

Finally, another key pillar of success is communication between the software consultants and the media company. No matter how good the connection is and no matter how much the software improves, virtual connections are never a complete replacement for in-person interactions. 

After facing this issue for a while, some software consulting firms started developing hybrid teams. This setup kept mid-level to junior team members working remotely while the tech lead or a senior member of the team worked onsite. When it comes to performance and efficiency, hybrid teams make a huge difference. 

With this approach, 80% of the team works remotely — translating into cost savings — while 20% of the team, who are key members interfacing with the stakeholders, are onsite. Onsite leads are responsible for deliverables, managing the team and ensuring smooth communication while remote members can fully focus on what they do best — delivering. 

At a time when competition for tech talent is at an all time high, media companies are making smart moves by investing in software consultant partnerships rather than working to hire full-time tech staff. Consultancy resources can provide more benefits than a traditional staff can as well. 

Along with software best practices, a flexible attitude and a mindset that puts the clients’ needs first, a great software development partner is a source of media expertise, has solid communication and clear collaboration skills, and is proactive when it comes to resource management. 

Sponsored By: Heimatlas

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