How To Successfully Outsource App/Software Development

Every year in the United States, businesses outsource approximately 300,000 positions. This includes a variety of positions related to app development and software development. 

Have you been thinking about outsourcing app development or software development for your business? If so, keep reading.

Everything you need to know about sourcing (and how to do it successfully) is explained below.

What Is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is a business practice that involves hiring an outside party or company to perform a service or create a specific product. The alternative would be assigning those tasks to an in-house employee or team of employees.

As outsourcing becomes more popular and more widely accepted, there’s been an increase in the types of jobs that businesses choose to outsource instead of handle in-house, including customer service, manufacturing, and, of course, app and software development.

Outsourcing has grown in popularity in the last few years, but it’s been around for quite some time. It was first recognized as a business practice in the late 1980s and became more integral to businesses throughout the country (and the world) during the 1990s.

As is the case with any business practice, outsourcing is not without its critics. At the same time, though, many business owners have found outsourcing to have a positive impact on their companies’ productivity and success.

Insourcing vs Outsourcing

Throughout the business world, partly in response to the growing popularity of outsourcing, there’s been a lot of talk recently about the pros and cons of outsourcing vs insourcing.

Insourcing involves assigning a project or task to a specific person or department within the company. Rather than hiring an outside individual or agency to take over the job, insourcing utilizes the company’s resources to perform various tasks and achieve certain goals.

An example of insourcing might be a business asking the technical support team to take over the development of a new product. Outsourcing, on the other hand, would involve hiring an outside agency to carry out the production process.

Insourcing Pros And Cons

At first, insourcing might seem like a better option than outsourcing. After all, it relies on familiar employees and uses a business’s existing resources instead of requiring them to hire out and find a new person or team to handle a project.

In reality, though, there are some pretty significant drawbacks to insourcing.

For example, insourcing stretches employers thinner than they would be otherwise. This can lead to productivity and quality issues (not to mention the fact that it can interfere with their sense of work-life balance).

Insourcing can sometimes be more expensive than outsourcing, too. This is because it often requires them to spend time and money to implement new processes and start new divisions.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Some business owners may be hesitant about outsourcing app development and may be leaning toward an insourcing approach instead.

If this is the case for you, be sure to consider the following benefits that you can enjoy when you take some work off your plate and outsource the creation of your latest app or software program to someone else:

Save Money

When you outsource app or software development to a professional developer or third-party agency, you’re typically able to save a lot of money.

Think about how much you’d spend if you were to hire a full-time developer or development team to create your latest app or software program. Not only do you have to budget for an extra salary (remember, the average app developer in the U.S. earns $70,766 per year), but you also have to think about additional expenses like benefits (health insurance, PTO, etc.), equipment, and office space. 

Now compare that amount of money to the flat fee you’d spend to outsource app development or software development. It ends up being quite a bit less, doesn’t it?

Even if you pay $30-50,000 for a custom app with complex features, you’re still spending less than you would if you were to hire a full-time employee (and far less than if you hired an entire team of full-time developers).

Save Time

Not only is it generally more cost-effective to outsource app or software development, but it also allows you to get the job done more efficiently.

Time is of the essence when it comes to creating a new app or software program. If you don’t get your product on the market as quickly as possible, someone else is going to beat you to the punch.

Remember, the team you hire has only one job to do: Develop your app or software program. 

Their primary focus from the time they arrive at the office to the time they leave is creating the best-finished product for your business. They don’t have to worry about splitting their time between multiple tasks and meetings, which means they’re able to focus on your app or software and get it done faster. 

Get a High-Quality Product

Outsourcing app development and software development saves you money and time, and you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality in the process.

In fact, you may end up with a higher quality product by outsourcing your project because the team working on it is only focused on creating your app. This is because your developers are not juggling other issues related to running a business, nor are they trying to split the responsibilities of app development with their other duties (which can happen when you take an insourcing approach).  

Access the Latest App Development Technology

The best app and software development agencies have access to the latest and greatest technologies and design programs. They’ve invested in top-of-the-line equipment and know how to use it to help you get the best programs possible.

If you don’t want to spend money on app development or software development equipment, outsourcing is one of the best options to consider. It allows you to benefit from the best tech in the business without having to spend a fortune on it (not to mention spending hours and hours learning how to use it).

Increase Productivity

Every business owner wants their employees to be as productive as possible, right? By outsourcing app and software development to someone else, you free your team up to focus on other important aspects of their job.

When workers are not pulled in a dozen different directions, it’s easier for them to keep their attention on the tasks that matter most and help to move the company in the right direction. Furthermore, you reduce the chances of them experiencing burnout, which can seriously hinder your company’s productivity and profitability (and, of course, your employee retention ratings).

Let’s not forget that your productivity as a business owner or manager will improve, too.

By outsourcing app development or software development, you take a major project off your own plate and have one less thing to stress over. This improves your ability to focus on the tasks that only you can handle and makes it easier for you to enjoy a greater sense of work-life balance.

Enjoy Ongoing Support

Many agencies that handle app and software development for clients like you offer ongoing support and updates.

This means that if something goes wrong with your app, or if you want to improve certain aspects of your software to make it more user-friendly, you’ll have immediate access to a team of professionals who already understand how the product works and know how to make it better.

Having access to ongoing support can give you peace of mind and serve as a major stress reliever. This is especially true when you’re dealing with something as powerful as an app or software program.

Types of Outsourcing

Some people who are on the fence about outsourcing also don’t realize that there are different types available. The following are three of the most popular types of outsourcing that you might want to consider using:

Nearshore Outsourcing

Nearshore outsourcing is a type of outsourcing that describes hiring an individual or agency from a nearby location to handle a specific project or provide certain services.

The term “nearshore outsourcing” was originally coined in 1997 by the company Softtek (a Mexico-based business solutions company) when it started working with clients in the United States.

These days, it can be used to describe outsourcing to an individual or company in the same city or state or outsourcing to an individual or company in a nearby city, state, or even country.

Benefits Of Nearshore Outsourcing

There are lots of reasons why businesses might prefer nearshore outsourcing over other types, including the following:

  • Close Proximity and Shared Time Zone: Working with an individual or agency in or around your same location means fewer time zone issues to grapple with; this means you don’t have to worry about messing up time conversions when scheduling meetings.
  • Cultural Affinity and Easier Business Processes: Nearshore outsourcing can make business dealings easier, in part, because there are fewer cultural differences to overcome.
  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing, in general, is cost-effective, but it can be even more cost-effective when businesses choose to work with others in the same general area.
  • Fewer Language Barriers: Often, choosing nearshore outsourcing means having to deal with fewer (if any) language barriers; this can be a major source of stress relief for a lot of business owners.

Onshore Outsourcing

Onshore outsourcing involves outsourcing services to an individual or agency that is located in the same country as your business. It’s similar to nearshore outsourcing, but it doesn’t involve crossing country lines (such as working with a business in Mexico when you operate your business in the United States).

Benefits Of Onshore Outsourcing

Like nearshore outsourcing, onshore outsourcing also has its own unique benefits, including these:

  • Easier Communication: Both from a timezone perspective and a language perspective, it’s often easier to communicate when you use onshore outsourcing. 
  • More Responsiveness and Reliability: Using onshore outsourcing typically results in more responsiveness from companies and individuals, in part because of a lack of time zone differences.
  • Fewer Cultural Differences: There are fewer cultural differences to navigate when you work with an individual or agency located in your same country.
  • Locally Appropriate Skill Sets: Individuals and agencies that are hired using onshore outsourcing techniques often have more locally appropriate skill sets and are better equipped to help with the specific projects you’re planning.
  • Knowledge of Your Market: Onshore outsourcing typically results in hiring an individual or agency that has a greater understanding of your business’s specific market.

Offshore Outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing involves hiring an outside individual or organization located in a different country to carry out specific business functions.

Unlike nearshore outsourcing, which typically involves hiring an individual or agency in a close country, businesses that utilize offshore outsourcing usually hire agencies or individuals located on different continents. An example might be hiring a company based in India when you run your business out of the United States.

Benefits Of Offshore Outsourcing

To some business owners, the concept of offshore outsourcing might be the hardest to wrap their heads around. There are perks to using this type of outsourcing, though, including the following:

  • Cost Savings: Offshore outsourcing can often be the most cost-effective option, which is good for businesses that are working with tight budgets.
  • Access to Specialized Expertise: Offshore outsourcing provides access to specialized expertise, which might not always be readily available depending on where your business is located.
  • Round-the-Clock Work: Offshore outsourcing can also improve productivity because agents are often working on your project even when you and your team are off the clock.

How to Successfully Outsource App Development

Now, let’s get into the actual process of outsourcing app or software development. If you’re interested in taking the plunge and working with an app or software development agency, here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure you have a positive experience: 

Set Clear Goals

The first step to successful app or software development outsourcing is identifying your goals. 

What kind of app or software do you want to create? What do you want it to do? Who is your target audience? Will it be available for iOS devices, Android devices, or both?

Taking the time to set clear goals makes it easier for you to find a development agency that can deliver what you and your business need. The more specific you can be upfront with what you want, the more likely you are to get the end result you and your team are envisioning.

Choose Your Preferred Outsourcing Type

Remember, as we mentioned above, there are multiple types of outsourcing. Of the three — nearshore outsourcing, onshore outsourcing, and offshore outsourcing — which one seemed the most appealing to you?

If you like the idea of a fast turnaround time and a very inexpensive product, offshore outsourcing may be enticing. If you’re looking to work with someone who understands your market and speaks the same language as you and your team, though, an onshore outsourcing approach may be a better fit.

Once you’ve decided on the type of outsourcing that appeals to you, you can start researching companies that offer the services you need and narrow down your selection to avoid any options that don’t align with your goals and preferences.   

Make a Shortlist of Candidates

Next, make a shortlist of potential agencies or individual developers that you can hire to develop your app or software.

When considering whether or not a person or team is a good candidate, be sure to look at their services page and make sure they offer the specific services you and your team need.

Consider reaching out to learn about their availability, too. That way, you don’t get excited about working with someone who doesn’t have room in their calendar for you.

Review Portfolios

Always review a person or agency’s portfolio before you agree to work with them, too. This helps you get a sense of the type of work they do and helps you to see if they’re a good fit for you.

If possible, work with an agency or individual developer who has worked with businesses like yours, too, and created apps or software programs like the one you want.

This increases the likelihood that the team will know what you need. They will also, in most cases, have an easier time helping you to achieve your goals and get the outcomes you desire.

Contact Previous Clients

Ask for references from previous clients as well. Any agency or individual worth hiring will be happy to connect you with past clients who can verify their work.

If someone is hesitant about doing so or doesn’t provide references after you ask, that’s a huge red flag. It could be a sign that they might not be a good person or company for you to outsource to.

Ask About Their Process

It’s a good idea to ask about an agency or individual developer’s process, too.

What steps do they go through when working on a new app or software? How long, on average, does it take to complete a project like the one you want?

The best developers will be happy to walk you through their process and answer all your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for lots of details, especially if you’re feeling nervous about outsourcing and need some extra assurance.

Ask About Pricing

Of course, you’ll need to take finances into account before outsourcing app development or software development.

To get the most accurate numbers possible, set up a consultation to discuss your project and get a quote. This will make it easier for you to budget and compare pricing when looking into different developers.

Remember, price is important. However, it’s generally not a good idea to go with the cheapest agency or individual developer.

As with anything in life, when it comes to app and software development, you get what you pay for. Trying to cut costs now could come back to haunt you later.

Read Contracts with Care

Always review contracts with care before signing anything. Look at the fine print and avoid agreeing to work with someone until you know exactly what they’re offering, what they charge, and what their terms of service are.

Start Outsourcing App Development Today

Are you ready to outsource your business’s app development efforts? If so, keep the tips listed above in mind so you can outsource to the right professionals and see the best results.

Feel free to reach out to us today at Digital Engage, too, to book a consultation or get a quote.

We’re happy to answer all of your outsourcing-related questions and work with you to get the best app or software possible.  

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