Yes this post is a bit self-serving but there are a number of reasons that outsourcing is becoming more popular with both startups and established businesses alike.
No matter how big or small you are, software development projects can be expensive and time-consuming, and they divert precious resources away from critical business activities.
Outsourcing to a specialist development team can help to save money, mitigate internal disruption, and otherwise reduce a lot of headaches. In this article, we'll cover why outsourcing software development might be a good option for your organisation and some of the things worth considering before making the leap into an outsourced relationship.
1. Specialist skills and knowledge
Your tech co-founder or senior development team members will have a bunch of domain knowledge that makes them really valuable. However startup and digital transformation projects often need specialist skills, or a broader range of experience.
If you're looking for deep tech skills then you will be competing for resource in a very limited talent pool, outsourcing will likely give you far more immediate access to resource than direct recruiting will be able to produce.
2. Flexibility and scalability
Projects tend to run in waves of activity, there are busy periods and then times when your development team might be sitting on their hands. Outsourcing provides a more flexible approach to resourcing projects, allowing organisations to hire more developers in the busy periods, or cut back when things are quiet.
If you need to pivot and change the makeup of the team then no problem; you won't have to go through a painful restructuring exercise and can just adjust the team as required with your outsourcing partner. While the rates might be higher than if you were to recruit internally, the commitment is only as long as the project takes to complete.
3. Time and cost savings
Recruiting for in demand or rare skills including Web3, Security, or cross-platform mobile frameworks is difficult, slow, and expensive. And while you're doing that, you can't be fully focused on the business.
Outsourcing allows you to focus on your core business while someone else manages the technical aspects of your product or service, including ongoing support and maintenance if required.
You will be able to get projects started quicker, eliminate distractions elsewhere in the business, and save money by keeping commitments aligned to business cases.
Risks and mitigation
Of course it's not all sunshine and roses. Here are a few things you'll want to watch out for.
If you're outsourcing off-shore then you need to consider timezones and overlaps, as well as the language barrier. You will want to setup an asynchronous comms platform to deal with different timezones and partially mitigate language issue, and establish standup meetings during the overlap so that everyone stays on the same page.
IP related issues
If you're developing IP with an outsource partner then you want to use a mix of contractual and real world security practices to keep things safe. Consider using virtual desktops to keep control over code and general environment security.
Code quality and consistency
It's generally not a good idea to chop and change between developers on a project so you want to make sure you're working with a team that can maintain some level of staff consistency even though the timeline may have big gaps. At the very least, make sure that the project is well documented both in the source, as well as in a tool like Jira or Azure DevOps.
The flexibility and scalability that outsourcing offers are valuable assets for many businesses, from startups all the way through to enterprise. If you're looking to accelerate product development, secure specialist skills, or mitigate risk, outsourcing should be something you're considering.
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