While outsourcing IT is getting increasingly popular, there are questions to ask about how to do it properly.
Data about outsourcing from McKinsey Global Institute show that every year in the United States, over 300,000 jobs get outsourced. Business owners were asked why it is so accessible and appealing to them. The answer was that their primary motivation was saving money while sustaining high-quality product development services.
78% of businesses all over the World feel optimistic about their outsourcing partners. Want to join them? Answer the questions above.
How does IT outsourcing work?
The specifics of IT outsourcing might vary from one project to the next as they adapt to meet the client’s demands. What it means is that you hand over all the work needed to develop your digital product to your chosen technology partner through project outsourcing.
You can easily find the full outsourcing definition in one of our previous blog posts. Many businesses choose that idea, especially regarding information technology and software development. It’s because many companies cannot have an in-house development team. For them, that’s the only way to accomplish the project and make their business thrive.
On the other hand, business owners outsource software development offshore because it reduces costs.
Why do people look for outsourcing IT services?
One of the most persuasive situations in favor of looking for software developers outside of the town or country is the difficulty of finding them locally. Often, local software development teams are either occupied by different projects or too expensive to hire.
Another one is limited time. Some projects need to be accomplished fast in market development or another round of funding the company just received.
Sometimes when you look for experts who specialize in a specific technology, it may be hard to find them locally because of the limited number of such specialists. If you’d like to do it on your own, which means going through the recruitment process, it may take a lot of financial and time resources. Another advantage of the outsourcing provider here is the vast range of developers who are both – acquainted with the technology you’ve chosen and cheaper than the local ones.
It also applies when you want to go head-to-head with your competitors and be one step ahead of them. Finding competent specialists who can do much more than the regular software developers you can hire is essential. Let’s say you’re in the blockchain industry. It would be best to look for developers with specific skills who will accomplish your project exactly how you want it.
Does the team I hired deliver tasks on time?
The process of looking for the best in-house development team is expensive. If you’re unfamiliar with the software business, hiring and firing people who don’t deliver what you need may be extremely expensive. You want to pay for the results, a standard for fixed-price contracts typical for most outsourcing companies.
How does outsourcing IT benefit your business?
One of the main pros of outsourcing is that, as a business owner, you can focus on what’s the most important for your company – your core business. It allows you, as an entrepreneur, to shift from peripheral activities to serving your customers and staff.
Once you decide to outsource – the development of your website or app will take place in a highly professional environment. It will be led by specialists and project managers who know the team and are highly qualified in the chosen technology. They’ll provide information on combining the features you want to have with technological capacities. And also how to do it in the best possible way. Without you having to focus all of your attention on the project.
How to choose the right technological partner?
Let’s say you don’t want to look for the programmers alone. You decided to find a remote development team out of your country. While looking for a technological partner, we highly recommend you check out the company’s structure.
Many IT companies look professional at first glance. Once you check out their team and experience, you find out that it’s their first year on the market, consisting of a few friends who run a business after hours. You need to find out how many people work in the company and their experience.
Whenever it is possible to make a stationary visit, go for it. Try to get to know the developers and the management team working on your project in person if it’s not possible – because of the long distance. Schedule a video conference, meet the team and ask for an office tour to see the infrastructure. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience and working culture. Find out whether they’re interested in your business and goals. If so, find out if they have enough experience and capacities to help you reach your objectives.
What does the process of software development look like in an outsourcing company?
No doubt you’d like to get into the process, understand it, and verify whether it seems legit and accurate to your plans and needs. Once you contact a software house from abroad or an outsourcing agency, ask them how their process looks.
Highly qualified and experienced software houses or outsourcing agencies have an established structure that can be easily applied to the project. Those will probably provide you with a document copy, such as a well-organized Process Book like ours.
At Applover, the development process consists of five steps:
Step 1 – Brief. It’s a list of questions about the product, which, after you answer them, will give us an idea of the desired functionality.
Step 2 – Initial valuation. At this stage, we determine the time and costs of the project in a very rough fashion based on the brief you sent us.
Step 3 – First workshop. Its goal is to collect the information and materials needed to create the initial technical specification and mockups, including business and functional analysis of the product. (It can take place at our office or yours. We can perform it remotely if long-distance distance makes it difficult to meet in person.)
Step 4 – Second workshop. It aims to clarify any doubts or issues. It helps to create the final versions of your product’s specifications and the basic look of your app, website, or tool.
Step 5 – Kickoff. When everyone is familiar with the project, a start date is set, and the team begins work simultaneously.
To learn more about our process, download Applover’s Process Book here.
Do you want to know more about outsourcing services at Applover?
Has the outsourcing company worked on a similar project to mine?
Consider technology (if you have already chosen one), sector, industry, and features.
When it comes to the industry – examine case studies shared on the company’s website. If they have already worked on a project in your industry, they probably know it well and will understand your ideas or needs better. It is also a good idea to check the reviews. Clients often post their experience with outsourcing companies on platforms such as Clutch, which is an excellent piece of knowledge for someone looking for the best outsourcing partner.
When the company doesn’t have experience in the industry, find out whether the projects they established contain similar features you need. If so, they probably won’t have any problems adapting them to your project.
How do we communicate during the project?
Our blog posts on outsourcing emphasized that communication is critical in such a relationship. At the beginning of the cooperation, ask your outsourcing partner how often they will contact you. Of course, it’s up to you whether you want a phone call or video conference scheduled every day, once a week, or once every two weeks.
Establishing which tools they’re using for project management is also crucial. Management boards such as JIRA and instant messengers like Slack, Skype, or Google Meet (for our team, remote contact is excellent, convenient, and safe, taking into account what’s happening nowadays). If you aren’t meeting the team personally or scheduling video calls regularly, it might be hard to react when something goes wrong. On the other hand, these tools will benefit the development team when it needs clarification or answers to business-related questions that only you can provide. Direct and straightforward contact may prevent many misunderstandings. Therefore try to establish which tools to use to discuss crucial aspects of your project.
Not only will you be faster and better informed about your project development progress. You’ll also be able to make sure whether any changes or arrangements you’ve discussed have been implemented or what’s the progress. An adequately established communication channel will help you ensure that you and your development team are on the same page. As simple as that. Adequate communication will help you to head towards the same goal.
Should I stay in-house or outsource?
There’s no straight answer to that question. Everything depends on your in-house capacities, needs, and resources that you’re ready to invest financially and time.
Outsourcing is an idea worth considering, especially in terms of software development. It needs experienced specialists who know precisely what to do and have a vast background on similar projects. Knowing that so many business owners are happy about cooperating with their outsourced development teams, it might be worth considering the pros and cons of outsourcing and answering the abovementioned questions.