Secret software product development

Secret software product development

January 11, 2016

Legislation to protect intellectual property differs in Russia and Europe. As a rule, European software companies cannot even display a product in their portfolio or mention its development without the written agreement of the client. Even discussion of the project idea is possible only with the signing of an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). This is of special concern to start-ups and companies developing “from scratch”. The corresponding regulation in Russia is far more lenient.

“You might hear something like the following: “We are completely happy to work with you as a contractor but we don't want you to mention your role in the development anywhere.”

EDISON Software Development Centre Project Manager

We are happy to cooperate under these terms, but the price will be increased. If a client pays for complete confidentiality we take special measures to observe it.

Ways of providing confidentiality

01 Man and check mark Only trusted specialists with high rates and who realise that absolute confidentiality is the principal condition of cooperation are invited to take part in the development. The assigned programmers sign a special agreement, accepting liability for a fine in case of disclosure.
02 Document protected In case of data leakage, the managers should take certain measures, conducting an internal investigation including checks on the employees. Case history: for 13 years, there have been no serious cases of information disclosure in EDISON.
03 Spy in window The project management system and the source code repository are isolated from the main company resources. The materials are available only to specialists assigned to the task and are never transferred openly online. Anti-virus and anti-malware software is installed on the programmers' computers which protects the information from being stolen.

Compensation for advertising expenses

The question of confidentiality doesn't arise when coding a standard website. This is perfectly logical. One more link to the site won't hurt – on the contrary, it will attract additional traffic.

For more serious projects customers usually require strict confidentiality. Thus, a software company invests a lot of time, effort, knowledge and labour into the creation of a complex and unique product. Such valuable experience should in theory increase sales, since a contractor is usually chosen for its specific competence. Strict observance of NDA, however, prevents this and requires additional marketing expenses.

That is why confidentiality costs money – you can't demonstrate experience to attract new clients. When making a product development order, all the pros and cons should be considered before deciding if you require absolute secrecy and whether it will benefit both sides.