Outsourcing Software Development: What You Need To Know
Software development outsourcing is increasingly prevalent today for a variety of reasons. If you’re looking to develop a new software product, you may be wondering about the benefits of outsourcing to a consulting firm.
By outsourcing, you can leverage specialized technical, experienced development teams that work well together and have a proven software development process. This results in improved speed to market and a reduction in budget risk, among other benefits.
In this blog, we’ll cover what you need to do if you’re considering outsourcing software development, so you can continue focusing on your core competencies.
What is Software Development Outsourcing?
Software development outsourcing is the process of working with a third-party vendor or an independent developer to develop software, rather than utilizing in-house teams which, depending on the size of your company and IT department, you may or may not have.
Why Do Companies Outsource Software Development?
Here are the main reasons why a company might choose to outsource software development:
- It’s Cost-Effective
When you choose to start a software development project in-house, a number of costs are involved, including onboarding, employee salaries and benefits, training, hardware, etc. Outsourcing eliminates many of these costs and can help your company achieve greater economies of scale. Then, you can reinvest the funds you’ve saved into other areas of the business, so everyone wins.
- It Decreases Project Risks
Developing and launching a new product always involves an inherent level of risk. For startups and small businesses, taking significant risks without a proven process or methodology in place can have a lasting impact—that’s not always favorable.
Outsourcing is a welcome alternative if you want to avoid the effort and expense of developing and launching a product with no guarantee it will be successful. Outsourcing software development to another company allows you to mitigate risks and work with a team with an established workflow, process, and success rate.
- Access Specialized Skill Sets
We’ve all seen the impact technology can have on a business when it comes to finding exceptional talent. Being open to partnering with a company or an independent developer gives you unique access to specialized skill sets. Whether you’re working on a product for a niche audience or are hoping to develop something as widely used a Zoom or Slack, outsourcing your project can help you find the talent you need, no matter how many miles away it may be.
Working with software development professionals also makes it easier to identify opportunities to take the product even further and make it the best it can be. The right developer (or team) won’t shy away from making suggestions that can benefit your project.
- Increase Speed to Market
Outsourcing can increase your ability to get your project to market because you don’t need to rely on in-house resources to launch the product. Depending on your schedule, you can set the timelines and rest easy knowing that dedicated developers will be there when you need them most.
How Do You Outsource Software Development Effectively?
The first step in outsourcing software development effectively is to be sure that you’re outsourcing to the right partner for your project. Are you confident that the company has a clear picture of what you’re looking for and want to achieve?
One of the best ways to ensure you’re working with a reputable company is to get a referral. Do you or your team know of any software developers who could refer you to a partner you can trust? It’s also important to find a company that understands the value of human-centered design and UI/UX, knows how to architect software, and can work within your budget and project scope.
If you’re not sure what to look for, be sure to:
- Review the Company’s Portfolio
Companies that have worked on a wide range of projects will have a dedicated methodology to ensure the successful completion of all projects. If there are only a few projects, the company may still be young and in the midst of developing methodologies, making them unreliable.
- Develop an Understanding of the Technology They Use
Don’t settle for old tech that’s incapable of delivering the robust end product you’re after. Before starting the project, get a feel for the software development company’s technology preferences and expertise and confirm that everyone on board is aligned.
- Pay Attention to User Experience
A bad user experience can frustrate your target audience and make them feel like they’re wasting their time. An exceptional user experience, on the other hand, can impress users and ensure their long-term happiness. Be sure to outsource your software development project to a company with the expertise, experience, and resources needed to guarantee a great user experience.
- Prioritize Your Timeline for Delivery
Even though you’re outsourcing to a third party, they should complete your project within the timeline you’ve laid out. Choose a custom software development company that has a reputation for delivering projects on time and on budget. This will guarantee that your employees will have adequate training time and develop a thorough understanding of the product.
How Do You Manage Outsourcing Development?
There are three critical steps to successfully manage outsourcing a development project: testing, tracking, and asking questions.
With each new build or release, it’s crucial to test the functionality of all components to confirm that everything is working correctly and that there are no bugs. It might seem arduous to test every element throughout the development process, but it’s critical if you want to deliver an end product you can be proud of.
Track the Project
Your outsourcing partner likely has a project management system in place for keeping track of your project’s status, but it never hurts to keep track of things on your own. Are you hitting your goals on schedule? If not, don’t hesitate to voice any concerns or issues you may have to your vendor.
Whenever you’re working with a third-party vendor, don’t be afraid to ask questions—whatever they may be. The more you communicate and understand their process, the better your partnership (and relationship) will be.
Getting Started Outsourcing Software Development
Now that we’ve covered all you need to know about outsourcing your next software development project, getting started will be easy. You know the big benefits outsourcing can bring to your company, and you have a clear picture of what to look for in a software development company and how to manage your project.
Ready to outsource your project and make something great with the OpenArc team? Explore our software development services and see how we can work together.