The Era of Freelance Is Coming

The outsourcing in combination with low-cost offshoring was a major trend in the software industry twenty years ago. Since then small groups of enthusiasts grew into large companies with thousands of employees and dozens of offices all over the world, like Wipro, EPAM, Luxoft, and others. Despite the obvious success, the future of software development may need a different business model, since clients’ requirements are rapidly changing. The market is quickly shifting towards more flexible work models, which compete with full-time office employment and time&material contracts.

The umbrella term for this new trend is “freelance.” The recent IPO of Upwork, with a valuation of over $1.5B, demonstrates that the demand is high and will only grow. There is a lot of space for it, since Upwork only works with just 400,000 freelancers, while the entire population of programmers is over 20 million.

In order to survive, smart software houses must realize that the future, in its 10-15 years horizon, will make it mandatory for software projects to work with freelancers or build teams entirely of people working remotely and part-time. Gallup recently found out that the number of American employees working remotely rose to 43 percent in 2016 from 39 percent in 2012.

This growing army of telecommuters will need completely new methods of management, which have to be developed, tested, and yet prove their effectiveness. Traditional co-located teams, which are the core element of any large outsourcing company, may find it difficult or even impossible to invent them. This may become a major problem for large outsources, unless they adapt to the rapidly changing market landscape.

The founding team of Zerocracy has spent over eight years to understand this new emerging world of freelance, investigate its laws and rules, and invent instruments to make distributed projects even more successful than co-located ones. For a smart software house Zerocracy is an ideal transition to the new territory, without losing time of their projects and the quality of their products.