Whether you are the owner of a startup hoping to release your first custom software to market, or are an executive at a major corporation and need to expand your internal capabilities, it’s likely that you’ve heard of software outsourcing as a potential solution to your challenges. Software outsourcing companies allow businesses to react to their customers’ demands and produce high-quality, user-friendly software easily. This guide will help you understand what outsourcing options are available and determine whether or not software outsourcing is the right option for your business.
Types of Software Outsourcing
Before considering whether software outsourcing is the right option for your business, it is important to understand the various outsourcing options available today. The most popular outsourcing model for companies of all sizes is staff augmentation, which involves supplementing your company’s permanent IT team with one or more contractors for a limited period of time. This approach helps businesses quickly add crucial expertise to their team during key phases of the software development cycle.
Alternatively, some companies turn to autonomous delivery teams to complete software development projects with little internal support or supervision. Many businesses do not have the resources to hire a full-time development team, or simply don’t have the future project needs which would warrant a full time staff. End-to-end delivery teams are then the perfect option, since they will take a general idea and develop custom software from the ground up with little supervision required.
When is Software the Right Option?
Competition for Tech Talent
If your business is located in an area with a large number of tech firms and Fortune 500 companies, you may have noticed how competitive the hiring market is for experienced software engineers. The tech industry as a whole has an incredibly low unemployment rate of 1.9%, which means that there are few candidates for every job opening and companies are struggling to fill open roles. One of the most attractive benefits associated with working with a software outsourcing service is the ability to access top talent anywhere in the world. This means that a medium-sized company located in San Francisco no longer has to compete with Google, Salesforce, and Facebook for local talent--they can hire software developers with the same skill-set in Buenos Aires, or anywhere in Latin America, since modern technology makes instant communication with these remote employees easy.
Long-term Staff Flexibility
The single-most important advantage that software outsourcing confers on startups and modest sized businesses is the ability to develop custom software for their clients without committing to a large and bloated permanent development staff. Rather than spend months hiring and training programmers, modern firms often turn to software outsourcing companies to find experienced software engineers that they can hire on an as-needed basis, ensuring that their budget remains lean once the project is completed. Both autonomous delivery teams and augmented staff arrangements are popular for companies interested in maintaining a flexible permanent staff into the future.
Immediate Start Dates
One of the main benefits associated with software outsourcing companies is the ability to start projects according to your business needs. Traditional hiring methods struggle to keep up with the fast-paced demands of the contemporary technology industry; recent estimates indicate that it can take more than a month and a half to hire a single full-time software engineer. This makes starting a large-scale software development initiative a difficult undertaking--it could take months to hire and train full-time staff members, a luxury that many businesses simply do not have. Working with an outsourcing service allows you to begin projects immediately--since they have a list of experienced developers ready to begin their next project at a moment’s notice.
When Should You Avoid Software Outsourcing?
Price is the Most Important Factor
If you are interested in outsourcing software development in order to save money, then you may want to reconsider your next steps. While there are a range of top-quality outsourcing partners who can help lead your business into the next stage of growth, the cheapest options in this industry are usually newcomers who lack crucial experience with the software development cycle and who do not have access to the top talent in their region. Working with a bargain-focused company typically means that your new augmented staff members will be novices and lack the wide range of experience necessary to succeed. Before signing a contract with an outsourcing company, it is important that you thoroughly research the industry and understand what the standard rate for a high-quality outsourcing service is in your field.
Looking to Build Institutional Knowledge
Another important reason for rethinking a relationship with an IT outsourcing company is because your business lacks institutional knowledge and you want to develop your in-house talent. In this cases, companies interested in building up their internal capabilities often turn to outside project managers to help train their staff, plan their upcoming software development project, and oversee the process themselves. By working with an experienced and highly regarded project manager found through a software outsourcing partner, you can ensure that your generalist full-time staff develops the skills, and cultivates the knowledge, necessary to help ensure success in future software development projects. It is important to make sure that all processes and training is thoroughly documented through this process, guaranteeing that your managers are ready to train the next set of full-time hires up to company standards.