Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Software Development
Outsourcing is handing some specific business processes over to a specialized external service provider. It usually happens when a company can't handle all business tasks by itself due to their complexity or temporary nature. According to recent statistics, the most frequently outsourced sphere of business is IT.
And I am not surprised! If you take a look at the modern world of business, you will realize that it is simply unimaginable nowadays to sell something without the help of the global net. Thus, we need experts who will help us to become successful and ensure recognition on the web. However, why is this particular branch so often outsourced? Let's take a closer look at why it has become such a mainstream among businessmen. What are the real advantages of outsourcing software development? Or perhaps it is better to have your own loyal in-house development team.
People say that the pitfalls of software outsourcing overshadow its benefits. Let's not jump to conclusions and study both pros and cons of outsourcing overseas.
The Silver Lining
- Lower costs
One of the most significant benefits of outsourcing development is related to money. What else is as important to any business as its revenue and ways of minimizing expenses? Well, the good news is that you can really lower your expenses thanks to outsourcing. An average software engineer in India or China is more likely to cost you less than an American or German one. By the way, such countries as Armenia, Africa, Belarus and Ukraine are also gaining popularity for their quality programmers.
The main idea here is to find not the cheapest but the best developer for the price. Otherwise, you will pay a bad IT engineer less but for a longer period and it would cost you more, had it been a good specialist within a shorter period! We all know that inexpensive does not mean good, so if you decide to turn to a cheaper option, remember it should not be THE cheapest one.
- Saving time
Outsourcing can be of real help when it comes to meeting deadlines. If you need more hands and skills on your project, you can temporarily hire specialists of the required standard and specialization. As a result, the project will be finished faster and with better quality output.
In our fast developing world of modern technologies it is vital to keep your software team up to date with the latest innovations. Leaving this question of technical expertise and skill to the outsourcing company can also help to save money without losing in quality.
In addition, you will release more time for focusing on your company's core competencies. Isn't that nice?
It means that you can hire an outsourcing company for certain periods. It works best when you have one-time software engineering project or when your business hits slow periods during the year. In this case, it is cheaper and more rational than keeping a full time in-house programmer. Having to hire and then fire staff all year round will not create a good image of your company either. Also, it is friendlier, you know.
- Low quality
Among the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing, low professionality is something that can really change the balance. There is always a chance of getting poor performance, especially when you are paying less and know nothing about programming. Delegate the choice to the person who you trust in such matters. In case you don't have any software developers on staff, try to rely on the references and past experiences of the outsourcing company, run some short tests or assign small projects. Don't rush. Make sure that the engineers meet the necessary criteria. Low quality can result in additional expenses.
The differences in time, culture and language can become a real challenge for both sides. All this can lead to frustration and low performance. Misunderstandings have never helped to produce a successful product. To minimize the damage, try to schedule weekly meetings, have language courses (even an intro to another culture, if necessary) - all this could help to release the pressure and facilitate communication.
- Constant management
It is precisely what you need if you don't want to get a pig in a poke! You will want to have a good manager who will be able to describe your requirements (and make sure you have clear ones!) and be in constant communication with the developing side. It should be an experienced and hard-working employee who will schedule constant meetings, control the project at different stages and be open for discussion. All this demands effort and skill as well. It's highly probable that without good quality management your project will get out of control, sometimes simply because the requirements were not clearly explained. Make sure to avoid that. Without the right management outsourcing is likely to create more headaches than it solves.
Unfortunately, there are always some risks involved. Mainly, because you expose confidential company information to a third-party. On the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have to trust and sometimes take risks if you want to succeed. Otherwise, I suppose, you are just not cut out to be an entrepreneur.
Nearly every business - big or small - has software development needs nowadays. And it's a given. Outsourcing allows you to easily access qualified help in this exact sphere without the need to hire additional full-time employees. It helps you to focus on the core processes of your business. Nevertheless, do your utmost to approach it properly and avoid its pitfalls. Then outsourcing can (and will) become a fine solution to your company's needs.