What Outsourcing Software Development Is?

In the software field, outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third-party service provider to carry on your software development tasks which could be done by your in-house IT team. In another word, outsourcing describes the act of delegating the control of essential business processes to a qualified, external agency that has resources, talent, and time to handle the required tasks. According to Statista survey software application development is “the most commonly outsourced function in 2017 with 64% of respondents”.

So, Why Do Companies Outsource Software Development?

The very first reason is that, by handling the tasks to a trustful service provider, your internal IT team can have time to focus on the core capability such as innovation or growth.
Besides, there are 4 main benefits of outsourcing software app development that we have analyzed in the article 4 Benefits of Outsourcing a Mobile App Development Company:

  1. Outsourcing Mobile App Development Is a Low-Cost Option
  2. Outsourcing Reduces Risk Factors
  3. Outsourcing Provides On-going Support
  4. Outsourced Agencies Provide High Quality and Professionalism.

What Are the Challenges of Outsourcing Your Software App Project?

While working with third-party vendors might offer a wide range of benefits, there are also a few potential issues you might face when outsourcing a software project:

1. Risks of Not Meeting the Quality Standards

There is an inherent risk of experiencing the not-that-good service or service from the third-party service provider, especially when the labor cost is cheaper than the existing market prices. What is more, when you don’t have full control of the development team, it’s hard to have a full view of the development process as well as pointing out the problem or providing feedback.

2. Communication Barriers

When working with a remote development team in other countries, you might need to prepare for the upcoming problems like communication and culture barrier. The possibility of developer teams misunderstanding your requests is quite high. Also, time zone differences might also prevent you from scheduling meetings or providing feedback in real-time, which increases the chance of missing deadlines.

3. Privacy Risks

Data is an asset, regardless of fields and business. Thus, giving your business confidential information to a third-party is also a risky decision. You might suffer a leak in your client’s credentials, sensitive information, or your company algorithm.

3 Essentials Tips for Outsourcing Software Development Effectively

Is there a way to reduce these risks? The answer is Yes. Here are the 3 key things to keep in mind when it comes to outsourcing your software app development:

1. Understand Your Requirements

Before finding a partner to help with your software development tasks, you must know what you want from your app. Ask yourself these questions to identify your goal:

  • What problem will your app solve?
  • Who is your customer?
  • What factors will your app have?
  • What factors make your app stand-out from other competitors’ apps?
  • Do you need a native or hybrid app?
  • etc.

You will have a clearer picture of your app in mind once you finish these questions. Now we come to the next step.

2. Collect and Filter to Have a List of Potential Candidates

Research and collect at least 5 outsourcing companies with these statistics listed out in a spreadsheet:

  • Company name
  • Their quotation/pricing info
  • Company’s reputation (by looking at reviews, their information on social media, chat forum, etc)
  • Their finance status
  • Their past products (reviews, functions, UX – UI, etc.)

From that, by scanning through the list, you might be able to filter out the unsuitable candidates and you will have a list of the good ones. We will talk about tips to find good candidates for an outsourced software app development vacancy in the upcoming article.

3. Start with a Trial Project

Requiring your potential partner to work on a trial project is also a good way to understand their competencies. You can consider working with them or not by looking at these factors:

  • Communication skill: Does the outsourced team communicate about any challenges or confusion they face properly and in a timely manner? Are they able to follow the instructions properly? Communication is key. Both parties should be on the same page to avoid any confusion, mistakes, revisions, which leads to extra costs and possible conflicts.
  • Time management: Does the outsourcing partner manage the tasks properly by arranging internal tasks and deadlines? Are they able to submit their work on time? A good outsourced team will have a clear project plan, divide the big task into small ones with phases and priorities so that they won’t miss any tasks and be able to minimize the errors.
  • Trustworthiness: Are they honest about their process? Are they able to deliver high quality and on-time results the same as their promise?

Though, a testing project might cost a certain amount of time and budget so it should be thoroughly put into consideration before proceeding.

Outsourcing Software Development: The What, Why, When and How | DU

4. Pick Your Outsourcing Model Option

Here we mean the models based on the relationship between you – the client and the outsourced team. There are 3 mains models:

  • Staff Augmentation: the majority of responsibility will be on your shoulder. This model means you’re leasing the staff of an outsourcing company, you have all control of the working process, project management, salary payment or team motivation, and so on.
  • Dedicated Team: in this model, the vendors will be responsible for managing the team: tasks assigning, task assigning, project status updating, etc. You will receive a full team, including leaders like PMs and BAs. You can also have control of the project progress or can pass it to the provider and manager the project at a higher level.
  • Project-base: Here at Digital Unicorn, we provide the project-based model, including a fixed-size team, fixed budget, and fixed period. You as a client only need to care about the result, not the technology, means, or tools used for the project. This model is a good fit for start-ups who yet to have a development team or have experience in project management.

We will talk about the model of outsourcing software development models in more detail in another article.

Final Word

Outsourcing your software app development will bring you a lot of benefits if you choose your partner to work with carefully. Read this article carefully and apply it to your case so that you can pick the best option for your company.

Contact us to get a free quotation and consultancy!