Whether you are the owner of a business, a responsible top manager or a dedicated employee — you want the business to thrive. Resorting to the services of software outsourcing can seem like a great idea. And it usually is, provided you’re aware of the advantages of outsourcing in general.
When saving outsourcing software development costs (the most obvious and undeniable pro of outsourcing) meets the risk of entrusting an outsider with your business, you feel like you’re wading through muddy waters. But if you’re informed about the process, then you’re prepared for it.
Here are the pros and cons of outsourcing (and the ways to deal with the latter).
Pros of Software Outsourcing
Fulfilling your business goals and reducing financial input at the same time sounds like a dream come true. Software development outsourcing is not necessarily cheap, but it is usually cheaper than buying your own equipment, hiring additional staff, and getting an office for them to work in. Still, try not to fall into the trap of hiring the cheapest vendor.
Targetting what matters
Letting someone else carry the “burden” of developing your software means you can focus on other things — content, marketing, distribution, service, etc. Or you can dedicate yourself entirely to the future, namely, to developing strategic core tasks. Once you try outsourcing, you may decide to downsize your business or reconfigure it, for instance.
One of the main advantages of hiring an outsourcing company is that, unlike most of the in-house teams, it usually meets deadlines. Which makes your business processes easier to handle.
Getting a fresh perspective
The ability to get a fresh pair of eyes is always a great idea — and what about a dozen pairs of fresh eyes? Letting someone from the outside overview your business may expose you to unexpected messages, innovation, and talent. Be open to it and use it.
Reevaluating the in-house staff
Even if the nature of the project in no way correlates with the nature of your in-house employees’ work, the fact that you seek help from the outside usually boosts your staff’s morale. Makes them work better, and giving them the time to dedicate their effort to the things that matter most.
Cons of Software Outsourcing
Issues of risk
The core values and principles, the strategy, the database — there is a lot of information you share with the outsourcing developer. The fact that your control options are in a way limited, and you are never quite sure about the result, may seem like the software outsourcing may put your business in jeopardy. However finding an ISO certified outsourcing team can alleviate nearly all of these concerns.
Issues of communication
Outsourcing lets you hire the developer from any country on the planet. It sounds exciting, and does have lots of benefits of outsourcing, but, if handled incorrectly, can bring along mixed messages, cross-cultural misunderstandings, deadline shifts, and other circumstances you’d rather avoid.
Issues of adaptation
You have to realize that the moment the outsourcing developer starts working on your project, there will be a period of adjustment. This interaction involves a lot of new, unknown things for both of you. There may even be a time when you’d think that going outsourcing was a bad idea and the project is in danger. Be realistic and get yourself ready for the adaptation phase – then there won’t be a reason to panic.
Although the “cons” of software outsourcing may seem like a dealbreaker, there are real ways to avoid the risks and pitfalls. The key here is to find a qualified and customer obsessed outsourcing company.
Choose from many – pick a few
Decided to go outsourcing? Start spreading the news among everybody you know in IT. Get as many recommendations as possible. Take a look at company ratings like Clutch.co, SoftwareWorld, and the Better Business Bureau. What you’re looking for, obviously, are the companies with good reviews, with cases and projects similar to yours. Make a list of companies you liked or companies that at least look like trustworthy and experienced.
Target the one you like
Whatever outsourcing developer you choose, you should get all the information about it you can find. Check its portfolio – usually it’s all presented on the company’s site. If possible – get to know about its current agenda. Also get feedback from its previous clients.
- Make sure that the company has a good reputation on the market – take some reviews from people you really trust.
- Make sure the company is financially stable – one way to judge that is to watch how the company promotes itself. Poor marketing, boring site and weak social media activity usually mean one thing: the company is broke.
- Get to know the cultural aspects that predetermine your future cooperation: though nowadays it seems like there are no borders left in the business world, there are still some sensitive spots (like national business etiquette or, say, long national holidays) you should be aware of.
- If possible, meet the representatives of the company in person, at least once.
Trust the process, but walk through check-points
While you are dealing with pros and cons of outsourcing software development, you are sure to be tempted to let it flow, more than once. Trust is really a crucial component of such cooperation, but, still, keep your hand on the pulse. Don’t skip meetings on cross-cutting issues and be present during skype-calls. Once you’ve made sure everything is going the way it’s supposed to – you can step back a little, until the next check-point. If you have a delegate selected from your in-house staff who is managing the partnership – sometimes double-check. Don’t become a control freak and don’t micromanage – just follow each step of the project.
Ready to outsource your development and testing?
There are several models that serve the outsourcing software development. First, you can hire an outsourcing provider, who will find the vendor himself, but walk you through the process: managing of the project after the vendor is found is left at client’s – yours – disposal. Or you can trust the provider with the whole package – including the project itself. Or you can manage the cooperation yourself. Whatever path you follow, remember – outsourcing software development can be a one-time thing or a long-term relationship. But for it to be successful you should have clear goals and be aware of its pros and cons. Once you are – we at QAREA are ready for you.