Outsourcing has been an integral part of software development for decades. There are both positives and negatives associated with software development outsourcing. In the current business climate some businesses are hesitant to send their work to outside teams, both onshore and offshore.
While there are risks associated with outsourcing, it still offers many benefits. Small-to-medium-sized companies, in particular, don’t have the luxury of large teams of experts on staff at all times. Software development outsourcing has been getting a bad rap, but with careful implementation, it can be an effective way to:
- Free up your talent to focus on critical business operations.
- Do things you wouldn’t have the knowledge or ability to do in-house.
- Save time and resources.
- Expand your business model.
I’ll discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing, both onshore and offshore, and what you can do to avoid the problems associated with outsourcing. I’ll also talk about the ways you can get the most out of outsourcing and the best practices for finding the right team that meets your business needs.
Advantages of Software Development Outsourcing
Let’s start on a positive note. Outsourcing labor has many benefits. Outsourcing is an integral part of the software industry, so it’s easy to underestimate or forget how much outsourced teams are benefiting their business. Here’s a quick refresher.
Free up your talent to focus on critical business operations
Even if your team has the skills to perform certain functions, it doesn’t mean they have the time to do everything while still remaining focused and doing their best work. If you give some of the workload to outside teams, they can spend time working on what’s important. This lessened workload will also increase morale and give your employees room to work more efficiently.
Do things you wouldn’t have the knowledge or ability to do in-house
Even if your team has multi-talented super-people, chances are there will be some stuff they don’t know how to do. That’s also a good time to outsource – sometimes you will need stuff done that you don’t have in-house capabilities to handle. There’s no shame is collaborating with outside specialists. Consulting with experts is simply a smart business choice that can save your team time and your company money.
Save Time and Resources
You can try to do it yourself, but chances are you’ll actually save resources by offloading to experts. These people have already figured out how to do it cost effectively and efficiently. Your team can focus on what’s important, and you’ve outsourced to a company that can do stuff you don’t have the time or capability to do well. This will save your team’s valuable time and stop your company from wasting time on efforts you aren’t equipped to handle in-house.
Expand Your Opportunities
With your team’s time, money, and talent freed up and a new pool of talent available from the team you’re outsourcing to, you can think about expanding your business in ways and into areas you wouldn’t have thought possible.
Disadvantages of Software Development Outsourcing
There are of course negatives associated with outsourcing, particularly offshore. These problems are generally caused by the ineffectual use of outsourcing, but you can avoid them if you choose the right team for the job. We’ll go over some of the common complaints below.
Coordinating and communicating are complicated by any outsourcing, particularly offshore outsourcing. You have to choose a team that makes customer service and involvement their priority, and that is willing to go above and beyond to schedule regular meetings either face-to-face or remotely.
Lack of control
Difficulty communicating can also lead to a lack of control over the project. No one wants to lose control over their own project due to poor communication or lack of understanding between teams. That’s why it’s so important to choose a team that values the customer’s vision over their own ideas.
Sometimes it can take longer to get things done due to lack of communication or different time zones. If you choose the right company this won’t be an issue. Software development outsourcing should save you time and money, not the opposite. If your outsourced team is not saving you time and resources, you should look elsewhere.
Loss of jobs
Outsourcing, and particularly offshoring, can be a prickly subject, as sometimes it can take away existing jobs. The simple answer? Don’t do that. Don’t eliminate positions; eliminate excess workload to allow existing employees to focus on their jobs. Outsourcing can also be a way to preserve jobs, as you can outsource temporary labor, making sure your full-time positions are secure. When done right, outsourcing can boost company morale, improve performance, and help your bottom line.
As you can see, you can easily avoid these problems by choosing an attentive and dedicated team to handle your software development outsourcing needs.
How Do I Choose the Right Provider?
Find the right provider, one that makes your needs their priority. This way you can avoid the disadvantages of software development outsourcing. The right team will help you make the most of the advantages it can bring. Choose someone that involves you in every aspect of planning, and gets your approval at every step of the way.
The right company will take the time to communicate with you and listen to your concerns. They will always be available to discuss the specifics of the project, and they will involve you in every stage of planning and development. They will meet with you regularly. Ideally these meetings will be face-to-face, but in the case of offshoring, they should hold remote meetings regularly to keep you informed and share progress.
They’ll also understand that to get it right, they need to have a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs and vision. They will be as invested in your business as you are, because your success is their success. You will truly be a team.
They will also have a track record of getting projects completed on-time and for minimal cost. They should save you time and money, not waste it. They should focus on helping you improve your bottom line, not charging you as much as possible.
Here at Bridgera, we take the time to listen to our clients. We implement their feedback using our Agile process, so customers get a product that matches their vision. If you have a problem you need help with, we’d love to hear from you and help you with your outsourcing needs. We’ll save you time, money, and free up your talent to focus on your core business needs. You can focus on growing your business into new areas.
About the Author:
Sophia Davies is on the marketing team at Bridgera LLC. She is responsible for media communications and enjoys helping people understand the importance of IoT and Big Data.