Are you interested in building a new mobile app for your business? Whether you’re a startup, a medium-sized business or a large enterprise organization, app development is rarely easy. One of the best ways to ensure a top-quality job is to outsource the project to a professional team that specializes in mobile app development. In today’s post, we’ll explore how outsourced mobile app development works, why companies outsource their development and how to ensure that your next outsourced project goes according to plan.
What ‘Outsourcing’ Is… and What It Isn’t
As the world and its work force has become more and more globalized, the term ‘outsourcing’ has been used in many different ways. In regards to mobile app development, outsourcing refers to making use of contracted resources to accomplish some or all of a mobile app development project. You may outsource certain roles or functions on your project team in order to speed up delivery. Or you might outsource the entire project to a capable team which includes all of the necessary talent to complete it.
There a number of reasons why businesses outsource their mobile app projects. If you’re a business with no software developers on staff, then the choice is easy — you’ll need to outsource in order to avoid having to hire developers, managers and other necessary talent. If you do have in-house developers, consider factors like whether or not your team has accomplished anything like this before, whether you may end up draining talent from other projects, or what happens if developers move on to another project or company.
In any case, outsourcing isn’t limited to ‘overseas’ firms or replacing an entire department in your business.
Making the Case for Outsourced Development
Whether you’re a large enterprise or a small business, using an outsourced development team makes sense for many reasons. Mobile app development shops specialize in one thing: building apps. As such, teams like ours are constantly building and maintaining expertise in different platforms, languages, devices and development environments. Even if you have in-house developers, it’s likely they haven’t specialized in mobile. That project and development expertise can mean the difference between a buggy app and one that achieves consistent 5-star ratings.
Along with expertise, project speed is another reason to consider outsourced mobile app development. Outsourcing means that there is virtually no lag time involved with getting your project started. If you’re working in-house, you’ll have to marshal the developers and resources necessary and that might mean pulling them from other projects. If they’re unavailable, it might take weeks or months to even get things going.
Cost is another consideration you’ll have to make. Yes, it’s true that using an outsourced developer might not initially seem to be the less expensive option when compared to in-house staff. But having a fixed project cost will provide clarity and insight without any of the ‘hidden’ costs that come with in-house teams, such as developers moving to a new job mid-project.
Finally, accountability is another benefit that should be considered. Working with a quality mobile app development team means that you’ll be working with a signed contract and scope of work. Responsibilities for both parties will be clearly defined, as will the framework for solving any issues that come up. If any kind of delay, mistake or other problem occurs, you’ll be able to work with a single, dedicated account manager to get it resolved.
As you can see, there are many reasons why outsourcing your mobile app development makes sense. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ‘cons’ of outsourcing.
How Outsourced Development Can Go Wrong
As with any large project, outsourcing your mobile app development can lead to a variety of issues if not done correctly. While the majority of outsourced development projects are completed without issue, as mentioned above there are a number of ways to mess a project up. Here are a few that you’ll want to avoid:
Choosing a provider based solely on price. Sadly, mobile app development isn’t free. It’s an investment in your business and as such, there are costs attached. And while pricing should be a consideration when you’re selecting from outsourced app development shops, it shouldn’t be the main reason you choose one. Consider the above quality, complexity and skill factors — is saving a few percent on your overall invoice worth sacrificing quality? Picking the lowest-cost developer for that reason alone isn’t a good idea. Don’t do it.
Using an untested team with no references or portfolio. You wouldn’t hire a new employee without first reviewing their resume or CV and checking with references to assess their work quality and ethic, would you? Working with a mobile app development team should be the same. Before you commit to an outsourced team — even if you’re working with us! — be sure to ask for references or samples of recent work. This small amount of due diligence can help to ensure you’re working with a capable team.
Going ‘overseas’ without a local account manager. One of the best parts about software development is that coding languages are universal. As such, there are talented development teams located in countries large and small throughout the world. At first it might seem tempting to work with an overseas team as their project costs appear to be lower. But if you don’t have someone local to interface with, this can lead to disaster. Keep in mind that you’ll be crossing multiple time zones and may end up with a significant language barrier. You may also end up using patchy communications services like Skype to keep in touch. To ensure the best results, you’ll want an account manager who is relatively local and is accountable for all aspects of your development project.