5 Secrets About Intellectual Property Protection in IT Outsourcing

February 12, 2020
intellectual property protection in IT Outsourcing

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Preserving your Intellectual Property, idea and rights is crucial when it comes to IT outsourcing. Below, you’ll find a guide about carefully-crafted outsourcing contracts: 5 secrets about intellectual property protection you can learn from IT outsourcing provider.

Although, we need to emphasize, that protecting your IP rights won’t assure you that the final product will meet your vision. To help achieve that, our specialists also prepared 4 ingredients of a successful project. Make sure everything will end up as you want it to!

In this article, we will explore:

  • Introduction: How to protect your idea in IT outsourcing?
  • 5 secrets of Intellectual Property protection
  • 4 ingredients that lead a project to success (from our experience)
  • Summary: Find a software development company you can trust

How to Protect Your Idea in IT Outsourcing?

When they look for a company to outsource software development, many business owners share a few concerns. How to be sure they won’t use my idea? Is it possible to learn in advance that our cooperation will be flawless? Can you relate?

History knows a few outsourcing projects that ended up as a disaster, and no-one wants to repeat these scenarios. Although, in most cases, these disasters were caused by choosing the wrong IT outsourcing provider.

Business owners’ concerns in some ways come down to trust. But trust needs to be built on a solid basis. In outsourcing, this basis consists of a secure contract, flawless project management with previously established rules, and being honest and responsible.

We understand that as a business owner, you want to be absolutely sure that your business and idea are safe in the hands of an IT outsourcing provider. That is why we established a set of practices to guarantee safety and intellectual property protection to our clients. To clarify, we always add 5 supplements to the contracts to protect clients’ rights and ideas.

5 Secrets of Intellectual Property Protection

An outsourcing contract should include a few supplements to ensure your business security. Below, we’ve gathered 5 special ingredients of a contract we sign with our clients. Let us reveal these 5 secrets to you and analyze what should appear in your agreement.

1. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

NDA is a basic measure that protects your idea from disclosing it to a third-party. We sign it with our clients before the project kicks off. Although it can also be signed before a client reveals anything about his idea. An NDA protects your vision also after the project ends. If you want to protect your idea well, ask a chosen software development company to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with you.

2. IP Rights

In every software development project, Intellectual Property rights should be transferred to you. For example, our agreements clearly state that clients own the code, product and all the assets (like documentation, mockups, designs). When IP rights are transferred to you, you have a right to use and modify the code according to your needs.

3. Contractual Penalties

If you worry that a chosen software house won’t meet the deadlines and there will be delays, ask them to include contractual penalties. In our agreement, we include penalties that are triggered when we exceed the deadline. What is more, we double-protect our clients. We put into the deal, that if it’s them who experience any problems, we simply exceed the deadline without any consequences. That kind of add-ons in a contract motivate a team and keep you as a client calm about the final deadline.

4. Non-employment Agreement

A non-employment agreement is a protection for both sides. On the one hand, a company won’t recruit or hire any of your employees. On the other hand, you won’t do the same for them. We sign a non-employment agreement with our clients for mutual protection – it is valid for another 3 years after we finish the project.

5. Data Privacy

Many clients worry about data protection. In Poland, as we are a member of the European Union, we have to comply with European data protection rules. GDPR regulates them. In our company, all our activities are obviously GDPR-compliant. We also sign the Data Protection provisions with our clients. This add-on carefully protects the data of our clients and any other people connected to the project (no matter if these are employees, collaborators or anyone else). That measure allows clients to be completely sure their fragile data is safe. All this information should appear in the documents you sign with a software house. But there is one more thing you need to pay attention to:

Costs Transparency

Before signing an agreement, firstly, you need to choose between a Fixed Price and a Time and Material deal. If you wonder which one to select, read this guide. These agreements fit different kinds of projects. Although, in both cases, a software development company should be transparent in terms of costs. This is how we maintain costs transparency with both agreements:

  • Fixed Price. Firstly, we specify the time and price of creating each functionality. Then, we settle all phases and deadlines of the project. This information goes into the agreement. That way, clients precisely know all the costs.
  • Time and Material. At the beginning of each month, we give our clients a timesheet with tasks and deadlines. Then, we connect it with our established ManDay rate. If a client approves the timesheet, we provide him with an invoice.

You should aim for similar practices in case of your project.

4 Ingredients That Lead a Project to Success (from Our Experience)

Even the best and the safest agreement won’t assure you that the final product will meet your vision. A contract protects you in case of any delays, problems, and sets up the time and budget frames of your project. But what about fulfilling your vision? We have an answer for that. The key lies in organizing cooperation and managing the project in the best way possible.

Process Designed to Fulfill Your Vision

Our experience shows that success comes from transparent communication, high engagement and comprehensive management. How do we make sure we’re all on the same page, and the final product will meet our clients’ needs? The path to success is built with 4 practices. 

Workshops and research to develop a common point

In our company, we start every project with detailed research of our client’s idea, business, market and audience. That allows our team to understand vision and goals and set up a common point. This is the part when our clients can derive from the knowledge and experience of our technical and business growth specialists the most. If they want to, we organize special Product Workshops, when we create a prototype and show it to real users.

Organizing the project with Agile methodology and Scrum framework

Agile methodology and Scrum framework allow organizing the project in the most efficient way. That provides a flawless work organization and enable us to meet all the deadlines conveniently. At first, we gather all the features that should be created and divide the work into two-week long sprints. After each sprint, there’s a demo day when we present the effects of our work and gather the client’s feedback. Clients’ input is essential to us and thanks to the fact that we keep them in the loop they stay on guard of the project the whole time.

Convenient tools to make everything easy and transparent

There are various tools that facilitate project management and allow clients to follow progress efficiently. At Appstronauts, we use Jira, Confluence and Bitbucket. We give our clients access to these tools, although, if they want to own them, they can buy them and grant access to us. To stay in touch with our clients, we use Slack, an easy-to-use communication tool. It allows organizing a video call. Thanks to these tools, our clients always know the status of the project and can ask questions easily.

Open communication and consulting crucial decisions

We don’t use any ready-made code elements or libraries without consulting it with our clients. Our team reaches them before choosing any technology, framework or plugin. Open communication means consulting every important aspect of a project with a client and being transparent with progress.

Perfect product management, transparent communication, and knowing your business and idea inside-out are the key ingredients that allow us to meet your vision with 100% accuracy.

Find a Software Development Company You Can Trust

Many business owners commit a few mistakes while choosing a software development company for their project and don’t protect their businesses carefully enough. The key is to find a company that is responsible for assessing their own capabilities and offers you a contract that protects your rights. And, of course, fits your particular project. That is why it is so important to conduct careful research.

Why may you want to work with us? Our clients say that we don’t act like vendors but like members of their team. That’s because we always treat our clients like partners, want to not only deliver the best technical solutions but also advise them on the business side. Our specialists are experienced in app development and design. After hours, our team is just a bunch of friends and technology geeks. We offer you a secure contract and carefully-organized project management. So, what do you think? Do we fit your project? If you want to work with us, kindly complete this short form, and we will reach you with no strings attached. We care about your security and Intellectual Property protection. Before you reveal your idea, we can, of course, sign an NDA.

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