Software development outsourcing remains an important and popular mode of operation for doing business on a national or international scale. It often paves the way for smart and innovative business solutions and regularly reduces operational costs. Especially highly innovative and specialized IT tasks, like for example app development, are well suited for software development outsourcing.
But a successful approach towards software development outsourcing means more than just outsourcing IT technologies. More often than not, software development outsourcing is the starting point of a long and intimate relationship with a partner that paves the path towards continuous innovation and the improvement of your core business processes.
But how do you shape software development outsourcing to guarantee the professional execution of your business goals? What are the most important advantages of software development outsourcing when compared to in-house development? And which obstacles can stand in the way of a successful cooperation? In this article we’ll show you how to outsource software development in a successful way.
Outsourcing versus in-house
There are several reasons why many companies prefer software development outsourcing over the in-house development of apps and new web solutions. Let’s show you the most important ones.
- Outsourcing gives you the opportunity to scale up and down fast depending on your current development requirements. The hired party has the specialist knowledge that is absent within the company’s own ranks. The IT professionals are always up to date when it comes to new trends and technologies because they also work for other companies and are involved in a multitude of different projects.
- Software development outsourcing makes it possible to spread the risks when you are dealing with very challenging and/or expensive projects.
- Outsourcing can get you a high level of productivity at greatly reduced costs. The specialist focus on the constant renewal and modification of your IT network and infrastructure, whilst your business can fully focus on its core tasks and competences. An extra advantage of IT outsourcing is that you no longer have to invest in expensive equipment and software. Outsourcing to another country often leads to lower labour costs and tax reliefs too.
- Software development outsourcing opens the door for customization. The very nature of this mode of operation makes it easy to hire a specialist to solve a particular, maybe even never recurring problem and make use of his services for as long or short as you want. You pay for the services you need when you need them, without the additional overhead of a salary and benefits. Therefore, outsourcing is a great way to find the ideal balance between supply and demand.
- Outsourcing gives you the opportunity to reach and find IT professionals that are not or hardly available in your own locality.
The most important advantages of building and maintaining an in-house development team are the continuous availability (this can come in very handy in case of an emergency) of the employees and the fact that the unique creations of these people in the field of app and web development remain in-house. This means that they are not available for your competitors. However, not reaping the benefits of IT outsourcing will often seriously hurt the flexibility factor of your company.
The building stones for software development outsourcing
After thoroughly weighing all the options and thinking everything through, you have finally made your decision. Outsourcing is the best way to shape your IT network and to keep the digital infrastructure of your business up to date. There are several key elements you need to consider or key questions that you need to ask before you decide to outsource. What are the most important ones when it comes to finding a partner that meets your expectations?
1. Pay attention to planning and designing
Planning and designing are the first steps towards the fruitful implementation of software development outsourcing. During this stage of the process, both parties explore and discuss the most important bottlenecks, wishes, needs and particularities of the company and its business processes.
Such an approach is extremely important because it helps you to craft a well-designed strategy that optimizes results and minimizes risks. A design document is a helpful blueprint that helps mitigate these problems, especially because it describes in clear terms what is meant to be built and developed.
2. Clarity and open contact
We can’t deny that it is important to properly document and bookmark crucial agreements and important juridical details in a solid contract. However, in the case of software development outsourcing weighty documents are not the holy grail of success. Mutual trust, honest an open contact and good, transparent forms of collaboration are the main ingredients of a solid and long-lasting partnership.
Nourish open contact and short communication lines to generate a click between your business and the outsourcing company. Make sure to also pay attention to the needs and wishes of the supplier (For example by guaranteeing them a decent margin). Remember, software development outsourcing is a double effort!!
3. Ask the right questions
Software development outsourcing is all about asking the right questions.
Does your potential partner have a flexible approach towards developing and troubleshooting?
Are they up to speed when it comes to latest technological opportunities and trends (rapid application development is a good example) in the field of app building and IT development?
Does the outsourcing party possess intricate levels of knowledge and expertise with regard to an ever increasing domain like DevOps?
Is cybersecurity a big issue for your potential partner company?
Which procedures are put in place to safeguard the long-term continuity of your project(s)?
The aforementioned questions are at the heart of the matter if you want to reap the benefits of software development outsourcing.
4. IT development: knowledge equals quality
It’s no secret that competences like IT development and web building are hugely dependent on technical know-how. A broad outlook on their area of activity and the presence of specialized skills are huge assets for an outsourcing company that focuses on the development of sophisticated apps and web solutions.
E-ngineers specialists are trained to work within a structure in which they can actively bring competence, assist in your projects or can even carry out complete projects for you.
You can significantly increase the accumulated knowledge within your organisation by adopting different projects and using the collective knowledge of your employees and partners in a smart and targeted way. The benefits? Solving a broad myriad of different problems and driving innovation forward becomes a lot easier.
Plan regular brainstorming sessions and meetings. That way give everyone gets the opportunity to showcase the projects on which they are working. Professionals can also discuss the challenges that they meet and present the solutions that they use or have used to tackle complicated issues and cases.
5. Check parties on technical expertise
Financial services, telecommunication, e-commerce or logistics: In this modern day and age smart IT solutions like rapid application development and DevOps projects are on the rise in virtually every field. Therefore, the benefits that can be gained from software development outsourcing are largely dependent on the level of technical expertise that a partner brings to the table. Your software development partner must provide you with advanced technology expertise.
Be sure to inform yourself thoroughly about the key and core competencies that the outsourcing company of your choice possesses. Check out their portfolio and previous work. what did their work entail? What technology do they typically utilize? The ideal outsourcing partner knows his way around the development of advanced apps that can be used to streamline a broad range of tasks and business processes. This includes tools for better management processes, inspecting and tracking, independent portals, mobile solutions (very important because we do more and more on smartphones and tablets) and innovative business solutions.
Proper software development outsourcing assures you that all aspects of IT management, from backend to frontend and including the development and implementation of advanced software systems, are in good and capable hands. Outsourcing work to top-notch specialists will lead to an increase in quality against reduced costs.
6. Engage the developer with your team
A developer should not be an alien body in the company. If you simply specify that a product X should be completed in Z days, the result is often devastating. Many bad experiences with outsourcing have their origins in such a lackluster approach. It is great idea to integrate outsource developers into the company’s internal project planning and the project controlling. Treat them as integral members of the team and consult them whenever you make important executive decisions. This is a recipe for success when you are outsourcing parts of your business to an external developer.
Investing in your external team just like you would do in your internal team fosters trust and makes external employees feel appreciated. This will lead to higher levels of involvement, an extra dose of enthusiasm and a better understanding about the ins and outs of your company. External professionals will get inspired and willing to go that extra mile for your company.
7. Keep on measuring and testing
If you decide to outsource, testing and measuring are important parts of the equation. A good testing environment allows you to find and eliminate bugs in the early stages of the development process. Using low-code and no-code platforms for rapid application development is a good and relatively easy way to achieve this. These developing environments make use of visual builders and require little programming work. Additionally, prototypes can be easily adjusted and improved throughout all stages of the design and development process.
The pilot is also an adequate way to establish a good match between business and provider. Pilots help to assess the partnership regarding technics, methods, approach and communication. In the end, practice-based cooperation always offers better insights than a horse load of smooth presentations or numerous references.
Putting software development outsourcing in practice
Is software development outsourcing the best option for your company? Of course the answer on this question largely depends on your personal desires and business goals. But it is quite clear that outsourcing offers considerable benefits when it comes to cost reduction, flexibility and scalability.
There are however a couple of issues that must always be covered. Transparency, unequivocal agreements and well-established communication lines are the prime pillars on which a good partnership should rest. When choosing an outsourcing firm, you should always pay attention to essentials like reputation, technical know-how, specific and specialized skills and the track record of the vendor.
Outsourcing IT, particularly software development, to a partner that offers a wide array of development services is a proven way for firms to boost productivity, decrease development time and stay on top of the competition. It will streamline your business processes, giving internal employees the possibility to devote time and skills to their core tasks.