Using Overseas Technology Consultants and the Risks

Business Technology Consulting

A small business uses several technologies to compete with other companies. But sometimes, they cannot afford off-the-shelf business solutions or do not have time to build a custom business solution for their business processes. They turn to technology consultants to assist in technology implementation.


Technology Consultants

Technology consultants are individuals or companies who offer their services to help businesses with a wide range of technology solutions and services. And, for the better part of a decade, technology consultants have been increasingly coming from organizations overseas. Mainly because on-shore companies have been relatively expensive, especially in the United States, where the job market in the tech industry has increased significantly in wages in the last decade.

The costs of technology services can be negligible for an organization with deep pockets. Still, small business owners look for more cost-effective means of outsourcing overseas.


Off-Shore Problems

However, small businesses have been taken advantage of more and more when they outsource or move their Information Technology to those organizations in countries like India, South America, and Regions in Eastern Europe.

These are stories about three companies that have experienced the pitfalls of outsourcing through a technology consulting service. Bad actors in these tech services – employees with malicious intent upon their customers – try to get into their clients’ technologies without permission. They do this through back doors in the code. They also delete digital assets or even steal intellectual property – copying the code to other servers they control.


Over-Charged on Technical Debt

Technical debt is the cost of doing things the easy way now instead of the better way that would take longer. Technical debt usually happens in software development when people try to work fast under small budget constraints. However, in the case of a government-record service provider, the budget and timeline were ideal for a very well-architected and designed software technology.

After several years of production and a multi-six-figure payout, the business received many complaints, from slow loading times to missing information. After an assessment of the architecture, code, database design, and documentation, analysts found that the product had over eighty-percent technical debt. The tools used to determine this also noted a year and a half of additional rework to stabilize the product.


Copy Pasta

Some people make copies of other people’s apps. They change a few things so that the app is different, but it does the same thing as the original app. This copying is called app cloning. However, in the case of a funded startup in the social media space, the off-shore firm decided it was so good that it didn’t need any modification.

The social media startup designed technology to solve a problem that the founder experienced. Through research, they sensed its uniqueness and pitched it to investors, providing them the seed funding for the innovation. They hired a technology consultant from China for their services that delivered the final product within three months.

They invited the community to their launch party to celebrate this new technology that will bring people together. But, right after they pushed the button to publish the app, they checked the app store and found another app with the same name and logo sitting alongside the one they launched. And as you can imagine, the other app had a different owner in its description, an organization in China.


Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

Some organizations move their website or web application because of rebranding or through a purchase/consolidation with another company. But,, a business seldom loses its web application and underlying code without the knowledge of someone in the organization. Let alone a business consultant.

Well, it happened! A large business consulting firm that doubles as a technology and innovation expert had a complete off-shore technology consulting company as its partner. After a long relationship spanning over the years, the consulting company decided to part ways with the overseas company. Not knowing the technology and infrastructure, the business consultant went to his website one morning and got the dreaded 404 Not Found error.

He did have access to the hosting provider. After a thorough check, an analyst found that the website, code, and database had vanished from the hosting platform. Since all of the other clients’ applications were still working and intact, it was obvious that the overseas team had a grudge. They used that grudge to perform an excellent disappearing act to remove all of the consultant’s technology.

In each scenario, details were removed to protect the companies that experienced these malicious acts by their overseas business technology consultants. They are not alone, as many stories have happened and will continue to happen as there is no recourse or International Laws that protect against this.


How Can Businesses Protect Themselves

Small businesses can take key measures to protect themselves from third-party technology providers. They can protect from the intent to hack their tech, delete company digital assets, or steal intellectual property:

  • Firstly, do research before selecting a technology partner. See what tech they are working with, ask for referrals from other businesses, and read online reviews.
  • Secondly, ensure to back up all data regularly, and restrict entry to the backup files to only authorized personnel.
  • Finally, regularly monitor the infrastructure technology for unusual activity and contact the provider immediately if foul play is suspected.

Protecting your business from third-party technology providers can be daunting, but taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your business technology and data is essential. Doing the research before selecting a provider, verifying the tech they work on is consistent with yours, backing up your information regularly, and monitoring your systems for unusual activity can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Contact a representative at Grata Software for assistance if you don’t have the knowledge, time, and resources to take these measures and make your technology protected.

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