No one should deny that outsourcing IT can benefit a company. But no one also should forget about the challenges that come with software outsourcing. Hiring a company that deals with software development projects can become our support towards achieving success. Unfortunately, the process isn’t associated only with advantages, as many challenges occur at every stage of the outsourcing service – starting with the selection of the company, through the implementation development process, up to the delivery of the final product. Here you’ll learn the 5 most common problems during the outsourcing software development process.
No. 1: The outsourcing company selection is a key to success
Right from the beginning, the problem we observe is the choice of a partner based only on the price of the service. Unfortunately, executives choosing an outsourcing partner for many businesses focus mainly on the cheapest offer. We must remember that a well-performing final product is a key to success.
The belief in getting the highest quality for the lowest price may be misleading and illusory, resulting in apparent savings causing hiccups for a long time. Ultimately, this can have financial and reputational consequences for the company. Although costs are a high-priority issue, when choosing a partner, we should also evaluate and compare other crucial issues for our product. Before selecting the right outsourcing IT company, carefully do your research. Pay particular attention to the following:
- Experience – years of experience can make a big difference in how smoothly the work on your project will proceed. If a company doesn’t have the right professional background but has previously done projects for your industry and can show off similar products, that’s a good sign.
- Testimonials and customer feedback – as in any industry, the more positive and satisfied customers the software house has, the better for you!
- Technologies they work in – pay attention to if they align with your product vision and can provide technological background for your expectations.
In addition to all of the above aspects, it’s worth visiting the company’s headquarters to experience the atmosphere yourself when possible. Note the communication between employees. An employee-friendly place allows them to focus entirely on the work they will soon be doing for you.
Well-done research will narrow your choices and make it easier for you to avoid working with an inexperienced software development company whose digital product won’t meet your expectations.
No. 2: Communication difficulties with a software development team
Working with an outside company comes with many communication challenges. Business owners decide to outsource development offshore because they are not capable of having an in-house development team. But often, in addition to geographical or language barriers, we see differences in the organization’s culture, which can cause many misunderstandings and obstacles in the workflow process. The key to this problem is to ensure continuity of communication.
Discuss with your business partner how you would like the service and who will be responsible for project management. Find out how software developers usually work, when and with what tools you will contact them, and with the project manager to discuss the project’s progress. If there are differences in time zone, ensure that the contact won’t suffer, and you will be informed regularly about the progress. Ensure that the software development outsourcing companies you consider have a Quality Assurance team to check the code quality.
Don’t skip this step, and ensure it fits your vision. Creating a transparent information flow will help you avoid any problems. An experienced third-party outsourcing company can help you design a detailed action plan.
No. 3: Unclear business objectives and poor product specification
A vague indication can compromise the success of a software project to an outside company of what we want. We cannot treat the project specification as a sideline. If we don’t know how the finished product looks, we can’t expect an outsourcing partner to fulfill our blurry vision. Make sure you are clear about the development goals and the accuracy of your expectations. Think about the match between the product and your customers and the importance of the features. Just because you’ve seen a cool feature somewhere doesn’t mean you also need it in your product. It probably won’t be successful if the product doesn’t fit your customers.
The vision of the finished product is as important as the components that make it up. Before signing the contract, ensure you provide the project’s basic requirements, confront your vision with the development team, and take their suggestions into account. By preparing a digital product specification for outsourcing, the final product will be enough for an external development company to choose the right solutions to meet your expectations. The delivered product should work correctly at the moment of project delivery. If you already know that in the future, you are going to extend the product, be sure to inform the outsourcing partner about it.
No. 4: Ambiguous costs of the outsourcing model
Nothing can spoil cooperation like sudden information about additional costs. To avoid disappointment, ask at the beginning of the partnership about any expenses that could increase. Find out how to handle billings and overtime hours that weren’t included in the software project’s estimated completion time. Ensure all of these arrangements are written into the contract and set a notification interval for changes.
No. 5: Concerns about the data security
The final major problem that faces companies choose to outsource software development services is taking care of the organization’s data security. Several steps need to be taken to take care of confidential information and intellectual property. Experienced custom software development partners can propose solutions that reduce this threat to zero. Be sure to share your concerns and any regulations the third-party provider should be aware of. Signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that will ensure your company protects confidential business data is also necessary.
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Your success in outsourcing the software development process
Outsourcing software product development is quite a challenge. On the way to product development success, some problems may occur–from communication misunderstandings to mistakes regarding technology. Yet, it’s not the whole list of possible issues. The key to success is to choose the right IT supplier and determine the course of collaboration in detail. If you take care of all aspects of cooperation, you will not only avoid problems but also receive a high-quality final product.