When considering software development projects, companies have a critical decision to make. While knowing what you’re trying to build and the customers you’re targeting matters, just as important is whether to build it yourself or use an outsourced partner. The choice between using in-house resources or outsourcing is not an easy one to make. While there are some benefits to using internal resources from the point of view of control and communication, there are many more benefits to be realized through outsourcing.
When outsourcing a project, one of the most obvious benefits available to businesses is that of skills. While it’s possible to have an in-house team with all the different skills for one project, what happens when requirements change, and new skills are needed? Outsourcers remove this requirement from the table giving you flexibility to find the skills and expertise that you need, while avoiding endless recruitment processes.
Another well-known benefit of outsourcing is reducing costs. Hiring an outsourced partner helps your company reduce fixed costs and gives you more flexibility in terms of budget management.
Choosing the Right Team
When outsourcing it’s important to understand that all companies are not created equal. Another important benefit of outsourcing is cost. With development companies distributed around the world, it’s easy to find an organization in a country with reduced labor costs. However, while cost can be a factor, it should not outweigh the question of ability.
Know Your Outsourcer
When selecting your development partner do some basic research online. This could be through their website or a personal reference. Try to get an understanding through this method or a 1on1 conversation about the projects the company has done in the past. Do they know your industry, and most importantly can they understand what it is you are trying to accomplish?
When talking to your potential outsourcer get a detailed understanding of the skills and languages they have experience with. Make sure they understand the framework you want to use and that you both agree it is the best option for your project. If they claim to know every framework, they might be subcontracting work to others and in this case, you will want to keep a closer eye on the overall quality of the work they deliver.
If you have no preference in language or technology now, you may be willing to follow your partner’s guidance and preferences. However, it’s important to remember that whatever language and technology you choose will stay with you for the life of this project and into the future.
Another point to consider when picking a development partner are the resources they have on staff. Just like the underlying technology and language, the people they have working for the company make a big difference. In this case, you would not be concerned about titles, but more importantly tenure as that would demonstrate experience. In addition to the development team you also need to look at the supporting resources like architects and projects managers.
Without these resources your product will not be designed efficiently, and the project could take significantly longer than needed. You might also want to consider other resources like graphic designers and UX/UI specialists as they are instrumental in ensuring the finished product meets your requirements.
When considering a partnership, you should make sure the agency you're partnering with uses a well defined methodology for their projects. Do they follow an agile or kanban methodology? Or are they just all over the place?
Aside from the technology considerations already discussed, another key advantage to utilizing an outsourcer is speed. With a team of resources dedicated only to development tasks, they can turn around projects faster. This lets you stay focused on your core business while remaining nimble enough to react to changing circumstances.
Ongoing Support Matters
Ensuring your project is completed on time and with the right language and technology matters. However, it’s also important to ensure that your chosen partner offers ongoing support for a period after the development is completed. This phase is critical as it’s only when a product is “in the wild” and accessible to customers that many unplanned and unforeseen bugs and issues come to light. If your partner has already moved onto another project, you could be left struggling to find a solution in a timely manner.
When pricing out development work, there are two basic types of contracts that are generally used. The fixed price contract basically provides a specific fee to complete the project as scoped regardless of the resources used by the outsourcer. Contrasting this is a time and materials contract. Here, the agency bills for the time spent and the resources used. Fixed price contracts at first glance seem to be a better choice for many smaller companies. However, going this route requires that both parties have a truly clear understanding of the product. If the scope of the project changes during work, costs on fixed price contracts could quickly balloon out of control. As products and projects change frequently, it is generally accepted that time and materials is the best option for development projects.
Outsourcing makes sense for many reasons. When picking the right partner, you need to make sure that it is a company you can work with and one that shares your goals and visions. Hattrick IT has the skills you are looking for. Contact us to find out how we can help you transform your vision from paper into reality. Our dedicated team of project experts will work with you from start to finish to ensure that we select the right technology and framework for your needs and requirements.