Why Elastic Teams and enterprises are a natural fit
15 Nov 2022
Elastic teams are an ideal solution for large enterprises that need talent for IT projects. Here’s why.
Software projects are increasingly business-critical but finding talent to make them go smoothly is tougher than ever. It’s getting harder to recruit the right people and incredibly difficult to hold onto them. While businesses are trying to convince top talent to work for them, those talented developers are simultaneously gravitating towards working for themselves.
It makes sense for the developers: they can work flexibly and remotely, and pick the projects that suit them best. Bringing them in on a freelance basis is not that efficient for businesses, however, because freelance staff need managing, onboarding, and so on, for every project. That’s why private talent clouds, or elastic teams, are growing. A talent cloud can supply the expertise to get the company’s project done right, without taking on massive overheads.
It’s a model that particularly fits large enterprises, for several reasons.
Working with an elastic team is a significant investment, which means that it’s best suited to enterprise-scale organisations. SMEs will need development teams from time to time, but they are unlikely to need them on the scale that would make an elastic team necessary. A startup might add a couple of freelancers on a fixed-term contract to build an app and then not need them again.
Enterprise businesses, on the other hand, will have repeatable needs. They are likely to have a regular need for new apps, for example, have services that need to be replicated across the entire business, or have legacy systems that need to be updated, and so on.
Elastic teams provide a broad range of skills and the ability to scale up or scale down the team size at short notice, which is ideal for enterprise needs. That flexibility allows a team to be deployed within three days, in stages if necessary. But there are plenty of other benefits, too.
Large companies tend to have standardised recruiting processes and elastic teams can fit into those. Every member of an elastic team is screened and vetted before they are put to work to ensure not only that their skills are up to scratch but also that they are a fit for the relevant corporate culture.
These are also high calibre people. Changing circumstances in the world of IT employment have led many top talents to the world of elastic teams because they can work remotely, flexibly, and on the challenging projects on which they thrive. Elastic teams are often the only way to work with these people.
Companies like Distributed, which manage Elastic Teams, know that the quality of the talent available is a major draw, which is why we focus so much on maintaining quality. The performance of Elastic Team members is constantly checked, and non-performers are quickly replaced.
This is seldom a problem because every elastic team member opts in to each project they work on. This isn’t like a temping agency, where someone may be sent along for a week simply because they are good at Excel. Team members will have chosen a project because it excites them or fits their skill set, so they will be engaged and motivated from the outset.
But the management aspect of an Elastic Team goes further than that. Distributed handles all the admin and Human Resources elements of looking after the team, such as payment schedules, benefits, and career development. They can also offer a full or partial project management office to provide lift and meet the enterprise’s delivery standards.
This kind of flexibility is typically very valuable for enterprise customers, some of whom will want to have a lot of control of the process while others will prefer to have everything handled for them. Whatever the approach, everything is backed by enterprise-grade security and control measures, on a per-project basis. It’s a bespoke service, with the make-up of the team put together precisely to meet the needs of the customer.
This contrasts with the ‘pyramid’ approach of professional services firms, where the bulk of the team is drawn from the most junior members, with a handful of more expert developers and one very experienced person to oversee them. Elastic team members know they will be getting their teeth into real work, rather than managing junior staff, which is part of what they find satisfying.
All of this is more cost-effective than hiring a Big Four consulting firm, with the quality on par or better. It’s little wonder that Elastic Teams are becoming such a popular option for solving the IT talent problem.