Should You Outsource Software Development?

As a business owner in a modern, technological society, you may have come up against the decision of whether to choose a software development outsource provider. It is often hard to find software that meets the specific needs of your business, especially if you operate in a niche industry. You may have the resources to assign your own IT team to write or adjust the software to fit your requirements, but many companies don't have those resources. Even if you do have the budget, manpower, and the equipment to manipulate software, it may not be the most cost-effective option.

Software Development and Outsourcing

Software development professionals must tackle several steps and do so without sacrificing accuracy.

  • Requirements analysis
  • Coding for custom solutions
  • UI/UX design
  • System testing and administration
  • Ongoing product support

Outsourcing this work means hiring an external company to complete the tasks. Outsourcing is popular in many areas of work, such as recruitment, billing, and hospitality. The complex nature of IT development makes this an area that is commonly sourced to external providers.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

As with most decisions made in a business setting, there are pros and cons to each option when it comes to software development. Should you keep the development in-house or outsource the work? The answer for your business probably comes down to cost-efficiency, time-savings, productivity, and associated risks. Weigh the benefits and risks of outsourcing to determine the right course for your business.

Why Keep Things In-House?

The benefits of keeping the work in-house include quality assurance and improved communication with the developers. When you hire another company to handle this critical task, you run the risk of accepting lower quality coding that you'd allow if the work were done under your own roof. Some external service providers are located in countries where the primary language is different than yours. This could make it difficult to clearly communicate your desires. If you have your own IT staff working on software development, daily updates and clarifications can be easy.

It is possible to reduce these risks, however. Check out references and past projects for the external service providers you're considering. Try the providers out with small projects before asking them to complete more expensive projects. If time zones and communication are problems, set up weekly and midweek meetings.

The Advantages of Outsourcing

Many companies have found that the benefits of outsourcing their software development easily outweigh any disadvantages. The primary benefit of seeking an outside service provider is the chance to save money. You'll probably pay more for a local professional than you would for a talented software developer in Africa, Asia, or Eastern Europe, for example. Of course, time savings are nearly as important to many business owners. Without enough manpower to get the job done in-house, outsourcing offers a clear advantage. In many cases, the external providers focus only on software development, so those professionals have honed their skills in this area while your staff may not have that opportunity. There are many other reasons to outsource, such as sourcing new talent, building new partnerships, and breaking into new markets.

Which opportunities would be most exciting for your business? Could outsourcing software development be the change your business needs?