It’s agreed, outsourcing development has burned a lot of people and businesses whether onshore, near shore or offshore.

Some have questioned the quality, some the experience and some even the work ethic (but, of course, the same questions have been raised about development done either in-house or by local businesses).

So, can it work?

Having a partner who understands your goals, ambitions, dreams and aspirations will allow them to align themselves with you and deliver.  Clear expectations and communication is a good place to start.

Remain realistic on time and costs

If you’re trying to create the next big thing with a high level of complexity and scalability and deliver it to millions of users, this is not going to be done on a £10k budget.

So, allow your partner’s experience to bring you back to reality and use the partnership as a way of setting join, deliverable goals.  Work closely with your development partner to create a set of high-level requirements based on the discussions you’ve had; being as detailed and clear as possible will help stop both sides getting frustrated with each other – and give you better insight into what this is going to cost.

Transparency and partnership

The key to producing a great development project is transparency and partnership.

A lot of companies I speak to think still the only reason for outsourcing development is for the ‘cost savings’. While this is still true, and rates can be a lot lower than having your own developers, this shouldn’t be the main reason.

The benefits of outsourcing development

There are lots of other benefits that can be gained from outsourcing some or all of your development.

1. Recruitment

Recruiting developers is getting harder and keeping the best talent equally as hard. Additionally, ensuring your team are up to speed on the latest technologies and languages takes time. And people leave, unexpectedly.  So delays can inevitably occur.

This is where outsourcing can help to support your development program, even running in parallel with your in-house recruitment plan.

2. Fantastic Skills

Outsourcing can give access to expertise:

  • Complex skill sets
  • Industry knowledge
  • Technical know-how

when developing these capabilities in-house is simply not feasible.

By teaming up with an external partner who has a proven track record of excellence means you can build cutting edge solutions in the latest technologies, without having to master them yourself. Leveraging the services offered by the right outsourcing provider is a great way of getting fast access to engineers at a level of quality that would be extremely hard to find in job markets.

My advice here is to test the skills of any prospective outsourcing company and ensure that you are accessing the best talent. Improving your in-house skills and processes can be done by outsourcing, which may seem like a crazy thought but, by having access to the latest methodologies, best practices and design patterns, your in-house team will have exposure to these practices and a chance to learn.

The outsourcing team are your resource and should offer valuable advice on these and improve your overall development skillset.

3. A fresh view and perspective

Writing great software often requires trying new approaches and ‘left field’ thinking. Having external members as part of your team will allow you to hear about new ideas and fresh perspectives to improve your product or project.

An outsourcing team from the right partner should have everything provided;

  • Skills
  • Support equipment
  • Power
  • Desk space and even
  • High-speed Internet!

4. Speed

With industries moving at such a fast pace and an increasing number of businesses following a mobile first strategy, having the ability to stay ahead can be crucial for your business. Whether it is being first to market or ensuring your product is continually developing, outsourcing can be a great solution to gain control over the speed of your software delivery.

Quickly scaling your remote team when an extra push is needed and spreading tasks across a virtual team can allow you to move forward much faster and reduce your delivery timelines.

5. Quality

Finding better resources will improve your software and improved code quality will ultimately mean you can deliver an even better user experience. Having better code can generate enormous value across the company and ultimately make the business or product even more valuable.

6. Choice

I am not saying that outsourcing is right in every aspect; sometimes having your developers close at hand can be a good thing. Having a project team in the same office can be valuable but more and more people want flexible working these days. Opening up your location and operating options will give you a wider choice of resources.

Outsourcing doesn’t have to be an either-or choice; you can use a blended model to get you where you need to quickly and with less effort than you once thought.

Choose a partner who can show you high-quality examples of their work, backed up with project management and robust processes, then work with them in a collaborative, transparent way. The best chance of success comes from having all of these elements in place.

Good luck in all your development ventures!

Paul Lawrence

CEO, Salpo Technologies