Sooner or later, many companies decide to outsource web development, partly or entirely. Outsourcing is overall a highly attractive alternative to hiring staff in-house for many reasons. Thousands of businesses have already appreciated the freedom and flexibility of this model; whether you need a coder for several hours to fix a bug on your website or you want to hire a large team of developers to create an app, outsourcing may help.
Some experts warn against outsourcing as an unpredictable, risky affair, often ending in the waste of time and money instead of cost savings. In this article, experts of Devox Software share their vision of the outsourcing pros and cons, while the team at Rocket Lab draws from decades of experience and are renowned for their skills in mobile app development.
Why Not Outsource?
Outsourcing is less predictable and controllable than having an in-house team is. The reasons pushing many businesses away from this model are as follows:
- Lack of control. Overseeing a team personally is fundamentally different from managing it remotely. Face-to-face meetings are more effective, while personal control usually boosts performance and helps keep the teams on track.
- Risk of getting a low-quality product. Most providers of outsourced software development work on your product for considerable periods, during which you can’t evaluate the outcome directly. Once the product is ready, it may be absolutely not what you wanted, but it may be too late to change it.
- Security issues. Entrusting somebody else with your sensitive company data and precious intellectual property might be risky. Unreliable outsourcing vendors may compromise a new project and even sell the data to competitors.
- Time and language barriers. Working with a company with 5-8 hours of time difference is hard because of a lack of office hours’ overlaps. Somebody will always have to make compromises, coming to the office at dawn, or staying at work until midnight to have a live conversation.
The most frequently cited reason for opting for outsourcing is cutting operational expenditures, especially among the startup businesses on a budget in developed countries (e.g., the USA, Japan, Singapore, Germany). In such well-developed states, hiring a local developer may cost a pretty penny, which not all firms can afford, at least the beginning. But besides cost savings, there are many other reasons for considering this option:
- Lack of local talent. In many developed but small countries, tech specialists are in super high demand, which urges companies to look for developers elsewhere.
- Lack of needed tech stack. Technologies develop and evolve at a rapid pace, so it’s highly probable that there are no specialists you need in your region or country.
- Market expansion. It’s always wise to set up a dedicated team or a remote development department in a country to which you plan to expand your business operations. You can get acquainted with the local culture quicker and lay the basis for organizing an office there.
What Advantages Does Outsourcing Offer?
So, based on the pros and cons reviewed above, is web development outsourcing worth trying? Here are some of its benefits most businesses value:
#1 Broad Talent Pool
If you’re lacking some specialists locally or wish to find an expert with some rare, specific tech stack, there’s no need to focus only on your location. The world is large, and thousands of qualified experts are waiting for you to hire them. That’s what outsourcing gives – an ability to choose from the global talent pool. Hiring a complete team in one location is surely more convenient to set the project work up and going fast, but if you want some exclusive skills and find such specialists scattered across the globe, you may still let them work as one distributed team. Everything is possible due to the modern task management tools and communication channels.
#2 Cost Savings
If you’re not pressed to outsource web development operations by the lack of local talent, then the cause is most probably the money. Outsourcing is cheaper than in-house development in all cases. Whether you hire from a nearshore company or a distant offshore vendor, you still save the costs of hosting your staff in the home office, paying taxes for them, buying all the needed equipment and software, and investing in their training, team-building, and social package. As soon as you hire a vendor, it manages all the administrative hassle, the documentation, payroll, and taxation of employees, and the hardware/software requirements of your project. In such a way, you have a ready team at your service, working in a well-equipped, comfortable environment, with no extras required from you.
#3 Cultural Diversity
Some businesses perceive the cultural differences as a minus of outsourcing; dealing with completely different cultures is often challenging, even causing some projects to stagnate. Indeed, if your company does not share the basic values like punctuality, open communication, and conflict resolution with the remote team, it will be hard to move forward. However, startups with a strategic outlook at the expansion opportunities may even strive to hire remote teams to strengthen their staff’s multicultural competences and to teach them to work in distributed settings.
Is It Worth a Try?
To outsource web development services or not is a challenging question with no simple answer. While giving you a set of notable benefits, it is still a risky endeavor, especially for those with a lack of multiculturally competent staff and scarce knowledge of remote team management tools. However, one thing is clear – outsourcing is on the rise, with more companies using it as a cost-effective and flexible software development model.
Whether you’ll get the most of it or not depends on your level of preparation for remote work and the degree of prior research when selecting a reliable vendor. Make sure that you have set up the proper task and project management software, trained your in-house staff to deal with distributed teams and work in the conditions of time zones differences and partial working day overlaps. Once this is done, you’ll be able to reap many more benefits from offshore outsourcing than you would, entering this collaboration model unprepared.