Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your software development
All businesses that work closely with software will need to invest time and money in making sure that this software is set up and managed correctly, without technical glitches, bugs or poor user experiences. Maybe you need to upgrade and expand the functionality of the existing system. In a nutshell, they will need to find themselves a software development resource that helps everything to run smoothly.
There are two main options for how they acquire the software development help they need: either bringing in developers in-house, or outsource their development to a software development company.
Many companies opt for the second option, and choose to outsource their development externally. There are plenty of pros and cons for outsourcing, and if you are looking to upgrade your software, or create a new product from scratch, you should be aware of these before you start. This will help you choose whether outsourcing is right for you.
Here are the advantages of outsourcing your software development:
- Lower operational costs
If you choose to go with an outsourced developer, you won’t have to pay for the start-up costs of creating that separate division of your business, which can turn out to be very costly. By outsourcing, you can avoid having to pay full salaries to your new in-house developers and acquiring the advanced hardware to get the job done.
By outsourcing, you are only paying for the expertise and time that you need for one specific project, and once the project is over these costs will end rather than continue into the future. What’s more, the external developers will have all of the tools they need, and will provide their own hardware for the duration of the project. For companies that are looking to cut costs and keep their overheads low, outsourcing can be essential for this reason. Start-ups, in particular, may not be able to afford large workforces or overly expensive in-house tech, and so outsourcing is perfect for them.
2. Avoid the hiring process and save time
Hiring a developer to join your business is a lengthy process. You may need to use an external recruitment agency, which can be very costly, and it might take months before you find the right person to become a member of your team. By outsourcing the development of your software, you can completely remove this whole stressful process, and get started with your project sooner..
External software development agencies are faster and more nimble when it comes to reacting to projects. This means that they can provide you with the precise skills you need for your project in a much faster time than if you are waiting around to hire developers internally. This can speed up your time to market, and help your business to turn a profit in a much quicker time.
3. Expertise in specific areas
If you hire a software development agency to help you out, you can be sure that they have industry proven expertise and experience, which will help them to do a fantastic job for your business. They will have worked on a vast number of similar projects to yours in the past, and so will be able to draw on various situational circumstances to guide you through the project, and ensure that you end up with a fantastic product.
This will happen all the way through the process. From estimating an accurate time scale, to choosing the right technology stack, to performing maintenance once the software has been developed, it’s vital to have someone at hand who knows their stuff. By hiring someone in-house, you may not have the full breadth and depth of knowledge that you’ll get if you outsource the development.
4. Harmony in the development process
One of the most useful aspects of using an external development agency is that they’re a well oiled machine who have, most likely, been working with each other for years. They will have the necessary skills that complement each other, and will know each other’s expertise and capabilities. This means that the whole process will be quick and efficient, and there is a much smaller chance of problems arising during the project.
Of course, you also need to think about any potential downsides to outsourcing your development. Here are a few to think about:
Disadvantages of outsourcing your software development
- Bringing the team up to speed with the rest of your company
For any business, creating the right company culture is essential. You need to have all members of your team pulling in the same direction in order to successfully complete a project. If you don’t there will be friction points and disagreements, and the project will slow down and possibly head towards failure.
When you take on an external software development team, they may not immediately share the same culture as the rest of your employees, or share the same product vision. This means that you will need to take the time to bring them up to your speed with your plans, vision and goals for the product. If you don’t do this then there is a risk that the project will turn out differently than you expect.
2. The costs can be higher for longer projects
Although hiring an external provider for your software development can be more cost-effective for a shorter project with a defined timescale, the costs may turn out to be too expensive if you have a longer project. This is because you are paying for developers who are in-demand, and who have highly specific and effective skill sets. Naturally, paying for this level of expertise will be costly because you are getting lots of value from the developers.
However, if your time to market becomes too long, you will begin to rack up high bills for your external developers, and so you may want to simply hire someone to work on an in-house basis. If you do this, you will have more of their time for less money, since you are paying their entire salary.
3. The work may sometimes not meet your expectations
As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, it can sometimes be difficult to make sure the external developers share the same product vision as you do. If this is the case, they may create something that’s not quite up to the standard that you were expecting at the beginning. What’s more, when you are selecting an external team of developers, you can only judge them on their previous work, and they may not have done anything similar to your project before.
On top of this, the external software developers might not approach the project with the same level of passion than if you brought someone into the company who would become part of the framework of your organization. They may see the project as simply another job to complete and move on to the next one, so won’t go the extra mile to make the final product as good as it can possibly be.
4. You may lose control over parts of the project
For many companies, they will want to have complete control over the project from start to finish, so that the final product is exactly how they envisioned it at the beginning. However, by taking on an external team, the client will lose a certain degree of control, as the developers will bring with them their own ideas and experience. This can be both an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the perspective of the client.
If you’re wanting to maintain a strong grip on all aspects of the final product, then hiring internally will probably be the best path for you to take. This means that you avoid losing control of any parts of the project, and you can closely monitor what your team members are doing at all times.
All things considered, there is a simple solution for all of these disadvantages to outsourcing your software development — choosing the right service provider.
By taking on board a software development company with the right experience, and who takes the time to understand your product vision entirely, you will be able to avoid any of the potential pitfalls of outsourcing. The best thing to do if you are thinking about outsourcing your software development is choosing a software company with a proven track record of similar projects to yours, and sitting down with them to explain your visions and goals, setting a timeframe, and deciding which skills and programming tools you will need. If you do this, you can be sure that your project will head in the right direction. And most importantly, this will allow you to find a reliable business partner for your next projects.
OmegaLab takes control of the whole development process — whether it’s defining strategy and product vision, providing the essential skills for the project, or helping you to fix bugs and create new versions of your product.
To get started and book a free consultation, get in touch with our team today.