The Fundamentals of Software Development Outsourcing
Outsourcing involves hiring an outside firm that can boost your organization’s software development process for creating or improving software products. In recent decades, outsourcing has grown tremendously. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 72% of surveyed companies were outsourcing their IT work, with 31% looking to scale up outsourcing in the future.
What is outsourcing?
Companies outsource everything, including their software development projects, e.g. mobile app development, to third-party service providers. With the right partner, your organization can receive the custom software development they are looking for. Software outsourcing provides access to skills, knowledge and expertise that can drive your organization’s growth.
Software outsourcing allows your organization to use its internal resources more effectively. Your outsourcing team will be an extension of your in-house team and you can access a talented and experienced pool of developers to help get your projects off the ground.
Your internal team can then focus on your core business. As you work with experienced professionals familiar with the latest software development practices and trends, software outsourcing can improve the quality of your software products.
By outsourcing software development services, your internal IT team can focus on growth and innovation.
Here are a few software development services you can outsource:
- Software testing
Why consider software development outsourcing?
Outsourcing helps IT firms scale without interruption. Tech executives know that off-the-shelf software cannot provide the customization they need and software outsourcing enables them to find a tailored solution quite quickly. Many companies cannot afford, or lack the capacity, to hire top software developers locally.
This is why tech leaders gravitate towards software outsourcing to find software solutions and services at a reasonable cost. Before partnering with an outsourcing development team overseas, research and understand the risks involved in outsourcing.
Software development can be outsourced in a few ways, each with advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, hiring in-house to develop custom software may be more cost-effective and efficient than hiring external ones.
Outsourcing models that help you achieve growth are as follows:
Dealing with a company remotely or in person in your country. Outsourcing locally may be convenient, but it can be expensive as well.
Hiring a freelancer or company in a foreign country. Unfortunately, your core business can be affected by different time zones, language barriers, long transport times, and customs issues.
Obtaining services from a nearby country is one of the most popular methods. Nearshoring offers the most benefits regarding skill sets, prices, similar cultures, time zones, language, and currency.
Think carefully about your company’s specific needs and how outsourcing can impact your business and its growth. By staying alert and focusing on avoiding risks associated with outsourcing, organizations can avoid wasting time and money on the wrong kind of outsourcing model.
Key benefits of software outsourcing
Outsourcing teams deliver the following benefits:
Outsourcing helps companies avoid the high internal costs of developing in-house software.
Leverage skilled labor
Access to technology and a global talent pool
As a result of working with a wide range of clients, most outsource partners can access top-of-the-line tools to manage clients and projects, allowing them to adapt quickly to your business requirements.
Improve the quality of services
Outsourced software development teams often produce better products than their in-house counterparts to reduce defects in the final product.
Reduce your workload
Outsourcing projects can reduce the workload of your internal tech team by transferring time-consuming software development tasks.
Greater focus on core business
Outsource your projects – don’t force your in-house development team to manage tasks they are not equipped to handle.
Scale more quickly
Software development teams scale up or down relatively quickly, allowing for rapid growth and increased efficiency.
Become more flexible
Outsourcing software development givescompanies more flexibility in their recruitment policies. Many industries have fluctuating demands, and meeting these demands can be challenging.
Challenges of software development outsourcing
You may face several challenges when engaging in outsourcing. Among these challenges are the following:
- Communication Barriers
Whether you are in a different time zone, facing language barriers, or following cultural conventions, there may be outsourcing challenges to overcome.
To resolve these issues, you may have to:
- Be transparent with your remote team
- Maintain regular communication with the team
- Make sure your partner recruits fluent English speakers
- Risks to data security and privacy
Working with an outsourced team can come with some security challenges. Putting confidential company data into the hands of a third party and trusting them to use it appropriately is risky.
To reduce these challenges, take proactive measures:
- Check whether your partner has a strong QA process that incorporates software testing
- Make sure your partner’s security includes safeguarding all physical access points
- Secure all servers and points where data is vulnerable
- Cultural differences
Cultural misunderstandings cause conflicts in beliefs, norms, and behaviours.
That’s why, before your organization outsources anything, you must ensure cultural compatibility between you and the team:
- Find a partner that has shared values
- Invest in a country that has cultural similarities
Best models for outsourcing
You can outsource software development, maintenance, and testing depending on your growth plan and evolving business needs.
There are several engagement models you can use to manage your team, such as:
Project-based software outsourcing contracts are very popular. It is possible to use a project-based software outsourcing model to brief a software team and let them handle the details independently.
This model involves a host company’s in-house team and their outsourcing company sharing responsibilities. It is also essential for clients to have a say over the team so that they get what they want.
The outsourcing company you work with can create a team dedicated to your project to oversee it from end to end over its entire software development life cycle. In this situation, a provider will generally retain control over all team management aspects.
Staff augmentation usually means your development team is hired on a time and materials contract basis. They are built exclusively for your brand, with a specific software project goal in mind.
There are also different pricing models to consider:
Time and Material
Defining the end goals for a time and material model (T&M) is essential. This software outsourcing model calculates the hours of effort a person puts in, and the client pays solely for development time.
Fixed-Price models do not have external dependencies and are clearly defined in scope and requirements.
Many service providers leverage dynamic pricing models that have a pay-as-you-go payment method.
Best locations for software development outsourcing
What is the best global location for outsourcing?
Where should your organization outsource software development? It’s not always easy to determine which region has the highest concentration of software engineers capable of building a dynamic development team that meets all your requirements.
Locations worldwide vary in terms of technical skill sets, English education and cultural compatibility:
Africa is an attractive outsourcing destination primarily because it has cheap labor. According to Business Insider, however, only 130 million of the approximately 1 billion people in Africa speak English.
Asia is well known in the West for its continuous adaptation, low salary costs, English proficiency, and quality results.
Australia is an English-speaking and highly developed nation. It stands out as a desirable outsourcing location, but the extremely high cost of employing personnel limits its growth potential.
With two of the world’s most advanced and cutting-edge economies, outsourcing here makes sense. However, high salaries have forced them to look overseas for outsourced developers.
Geographic promimity that ensures time zone compatability, along with excellent engineering skills, means companies are looking to South America for nearshoring partnerships.
Europe’s Western countries are exceptional regions for outsourcing because of high-level technical education and English-language skills.
If you want to find a dynamic software development outsourcing company to partner with, look no further than Eastern and Central Europe. Poland, for instance, has an astonishing number of well-educated developers and most speak English well.
Poland has become one of the most attractive locations for outsourcing, which makes sense when considering the country’s generally low cost of living and the high caliber of its programmers.
Best practices for choosing a software development partner
There are many software development companies, but choosing the best partner is not always easy. The outsourcing company you partner with dramatically affects the quality of your software and your growth potential. So, remember to choose wisely. High-quality outsourcing companies can help you during the entire development process to boost your company’s productivity by creating evolutive software.
The right software development company can mitigate any risks. For instance, through an established quality assurance process, they can ensure your product consistently improves. But how can you know if a software outsourcing services company is right for you?
To determine the best software outsourcing companies:
- Do your research
When examining an outsourcing company’s track record, you should closely look at its completed projects. Doing your homework on your future outsourced team, setting clear expectations, and maintaining open communication are all key to ensuring a successful outcome.
Also, look into the capabilities of your future partner, especially the ones most relevant to your project.
Check if they meet your specific requirements:
- A record of ensuring that a final software product is stable
- The quality of their work is high and user-friendly
- A willingness to take the time to get to know your business.
- Ensure that they know your business
A partner specializing in software development services should have project managers who know well the strengths of your outsourced team. A software development company should be able to leverage these insights to tailor its software development services to you.
You should ensure that an outsourcing software development vendor your work with can communicate effectively with you.
To scale your company, you need to:
- Learn how they can help your company
- Identify areas where they can add value
- Ask them for ways they can improve your existing processes
- Check technical capabilities
Make sure a software outsourcing company has the necessary technical capabilities. A company’s work is a reflection of its quality and competences.
Testing their developers ability to develop software for your organization with a short coding test is a good idea before hiring them.
Assess their technical abilities by:
- Looking at the apps, websites and other software they have developed
- Building a dedicated team of software engineers, designers and UX experts
- Evaluating their project management and quality control strengths
- Try a proof of concept first
Make sure your future software development partner has fresh ideas for improving your custom-built software solution, to encourage more innovation. Based on their performance on this project, you can decide whether or not to work with them in the future.
Investing time and resources into a test project may be necessary. While you likely won’t face any significant issues in the future, it is good to see how well they might respond.
- Ask their team to work on a trial software development project
- Get them to suggest ways to solve existing business problems
- Obtain work samples from completed projects or marketing prototypes
- Define goals
It is crucial to write down the goals you hope your outsourced project will achieve. However, they should be realistic, well-balanced, and attainable.
As your project progresses, you should conduct a timely evaluation. By doing so, you can make the necessary changes before investing too much time and money.
- Start with clear expectations
- Measure the success of your outsourcing partner
- Analyze whether their vision aligns with yours
- Monitor performance
Even though monitoring your software development team is essential, especially if your team is in a different country, remember that it is vital that your IT partner be trusted.
It’s challenging to monitor the performance of a remote outsourcing tech team. Fortunately, the right software development outsourcing partner can help.
- Use performance monitoring tools
- Take consistent measurements
- Establish appropriate milestones
Signing a contract with a software development outsourcing company
Working with the right developers with significant coding expertise, outsourcing can be a great way to save money and resources while still getting high-quality results.
Before partnering with an outsourcing vendor, ensure you do the following:
Sign an NDA
Shortlist outsourcing companies based on their responses to your request for information or proposal, then ask them to review and sign a non-disclosure agreement as soon as possible.
Narrow down your list
Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist of outsourcing partners, you may want to give them a test project to see how they perform. By the end of this stage, you should know which software development company is the best fit for the job.
How a trusted partner can help you with software development outsourcing
Now all that’s left is to meet with your new partner to ensure you’re on the same page regarding cost, timing, and expectations.
Decide on beneficial terms
Make the goals for your software development processes clear to your software development vendor. Define your ideal software development team and put it in writing. The importance of a legally binding contract with your partner cannot be overstated.
As well as reinforcing the agreed project details, it protects both parties in the event of a dispute.
Outsourcing developers can have significant benefits for your business. It’s an easy way to save money and speed up software development. Choosing the right outsourcing provider involves asking yourself whether distance is a determining factor. If you are looking for a geopolitically aligned, culturally similar, and time zone-compatible partner, nearshore software development makes logical sense.
It is imperative to remember, however, that outsourcing success is entirely dependent on finding the right partner. This means that they must be competent, experienced and capable of building you the most qualified team of software engineers possible. Leveraging nearshore outsourcing can grow your business model by scaling your IT departments in a rapid and cost-effective way.