Comment: Building high-security technology teams without compromising on innovation

Some businesses that require security vetted teams often stick to existing systems which just need maintaining and updating, rather than opting to introduce new innovations, says Matt Lee, chief delivery officer at Amdaris.


If there’s one thing technology has taught us over the past few years, it’s that exciting innovations are always just around the corner. However, adopting new technologies – especially in the defence, aerospace and government sectors – requires a high level of security.

Your data needs to be secure, cybersecurity needs to be tight, and the people working on these projects need to be trusted. Only when all of these elements are aligned can innovation take centre stage.

This is where security vetted teams come in. A security vetted team refers to a group of individuals who have undergone thorough background checks, security clearances, and vetting processes to ensure they meet specific security requirements.

To introduce new technology, you need teams who can do the job well but who can also give you the peace of mind that they’re security cleared.

But why are security vetted teams so central to achieving innovation?

The software development sweet spot

“Closed-door” organisations – such as government bodies – will have highly sensitive data that could be exposed when developing new software. Any data breach or leak could have damaging consequences. As such, these companies need vetted teams who can build and design new technology without compromising security.

However, at the same time, software talent can be harder to attract. Many software developers have become accustomed to working remotely. But when sensitive information is at play, it becomes trickier to protect information and onboard remote teams.

This is why these organisations face the task of finding the software development sweet spot: offering enough flexibility and benefits that can attract software talent and facilitate the adoption of innovative technology while simultaneously ensuring these employees are vetted and sensitive information remains secure.

Because of these factors, the industries that require security vetted teams are already placed at an inherent disadvantage when entering the recruitment market – where software talent is already at a premium. The pace of technological change is outpacing available skills, and this is creating a well-publicised skills gap.

So, how can these companies create a skilled and vetted team in a market light on talent?

How to build – or find – a strong, vetted team

Taking on a software outsourcing partner can allow you to leverage on-shore security vetted developers without having to go through extensive hiring and recruitment processes. You can access a pool of highly-skilled talent that would otherwise be tricky to attract as full-time employees. Your partner also takes on responsibility for vetting developers and ensuring they pass all of the relevant checks.

With this partnership established, you have an extensive team of security vetted developers who also profit from skills transfer: the developers working on your project can reap the benefits of learning from colleagues working on completely different endeavours, without sharing project details. They can pick the brains of their peers, bringing new approaches from the tech sector into your operations.

In this position, it’s then possible to match skillsets with employees who have security clearance to form a team best suited to the technology. By having a flexible outsourcing arrangement, you can pivot on the set of skills and capabilities on offer, dipping into the talent pool when it suits your needs. Crucially, this helps avoid the costs of recruitment and replacement and allows you to allocate more of your budget on innovation.

Why it isn’t just new technology that needs security vetted teams

Some businesses that require security vetted teams often stick to existing systems which just need maintaining and updating, rather than opting to introduce new innovations. They use sturdy and reliable governance software and, as such, are in need of developers who can ensure this robustness. Of course, this also means handing over access to highly-secure systems and data.

If you are using an outsourcer, this partner can ensure a seamless transfer of knowledge of existing systems to any new – and vetted – developers required to work on your project. And while working with existing systems over new technology may not seem as glamorous to a developer, working with an outsourcer means you can still access talent that is the cream of the crop. This also accentuates the importance of choosing an outsourcer that places a strong emphasis on knowledge transfer, so that if team members leave, you can mitigate the impact of ‘knowledge loss’.

That being said, if you can recruit in-house talent, this of course has its bonuses. It allows you to keep sensitive information under one roof, foster a deep understanding of your technology, business and culture, build trust, and directly communicate with your team. It really depends on what your current business capabilities are and your software needs.

The need to adapt and evolve

Businesses who require security vetted teams are often at the forefront of societal and technological change, yet can also be the most closed off to digital evolution due to the nature of their work. But as technology continues to advance, these organisations can seldom afford to remain standing still.

The market for software developers – let alone security vetted ones – is running thin. Closed-door companies need to discover new processes for finding and building skilled security vetted teams. Outsourcing offers a route to accessing a stacked bench of these developers who can flexibly support your software needs as and when required.

The concepts of security vetting and outsourcing may not seem to go hand in hand, but with the right, trusted partner, these security vetted teams could place you at the forefront of tech advancement in your sector.

Matt Lee, chief delivery officer at Amdaris, An Insight Company