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How to Outsource App Development Successfully in 2022

 / May 04, 2022

If outsourcing is your better choice to implement IT projects, then finding ways to outsource resourcefully is essential. Based on our long-term experience, we Designveloper will detail tips on how to outsource app development effectively in 2022.

Outsourcing IT products account for the largest market share of the global market. IT outsourcing is divided into app development, web hosting, administration, technology consulting, and more. According to Statista, this trend will proceed further as a result of automation and digital transformation, especially cloud computing.

Time to Focus on Outsourcing Rather Than In-House Staffing

Outsourcing or performing business functions internally is a strategic decision of any company. Each solution comes with particular rewards and risks. However, we have witnessed a bigger shift toward outsourcing practices in recent years. Is this a time for your company to devise outsourcing strategies? To answer this question, you should consider the top 5 benefits you can receive from outsourcing as follows:

1. Reducing Costs

Cost reduction is always among the key driving forces for outsourcing. 

According to the 2021 Deloitte Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey, 84% of respondents outsourced business functions to mitigate costs. This holds true, especially for small and medium-sized companies. This is because they often lack space, budget, and human resources to implement, manage and maintain some tasks effectively.

2. Promoting Business Value

When you don’t have enough specialists to deploy certain projects, especially on app development, outsourcing is an effective solution.

Outsourcing helps employees stay focused on core functions, thus saving time to recruit, train and maintain a new team. Also, high-skilled outsourced teams are responsible for business functions they have the most experience with. They then give you as good results as possible and hence improve business value.

Recommended reading: 20 Best Mobile App Development Companies In Vietnam 2022

3. Promoting Business Continuity

2020 was a hard time for those suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic. We saw various companies cancel or halt outsourcing contracts due to financial constraints. But there was an imperative need to recover their economy and business operations. So they started hiring outsourced agencies to proceed with delivering products or services.

After the disruption, business continuity comes with some new changes in policy, business models, and outsourcing strategies. This helps companies to digitize their deliverables more effectively and avoid unnecessary mistakes in the past. 

4. Accessing Global Talent Pool

Outsourcing saves much time on recruiting, training, and managing experts. Your company can approach a wide range of specialists, regardless of their location.

Working with specialists comes with multiple benefits. While your company sets clear goals, external vendors help identify specs and suggest action plans to build digital solutions better. Also, it minimizes the risk of getting the wrong way during the digital transition and increases ROI. 

Your company gets involved in the development process with outsourced agencies. Through frequent meetings, video conferencing, and project management tools, you will be kept connected with outsourced partners to track progress. 

Recommended reading: Why Should You Develop Mobile Applications in Vietnam?

5. Standardization and Process Efficiency

Process standardization and efficiency are other reasons for outsourcing and shared services, as surveyed by Deloitte. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the post-Covid recovery compel companies to speed up business operations and other functions. An outsourced team of experts makes business processes built with flexibility and agility. Accordingly, your company easily adapts to new changes (e.g. scaling projects, access to new technologies, or increased user demands).

FURTHER READING:
1. How Much Does It Cost to Make an App for Your Business?
2. 10 Stages in App Development Timeline that you should know in 2022
3. Cross-Platform Mobile Development: The 5 Steps to Reduce Costs
4. Mobile App Design Process: How does it change in 2022?
5. Mobile App Development Process: 9 Stages that You Should Know

Three Common Options to Outsource App Development

Outsourcing options are plentiful. If you decide to outsource app development projects, you should consider one of the following common options:

1. Off-The-Shelf Software

When talking about how to outsource app development, people often think of hiring either single freelancers or outsourced companies. But without your noticing, commercial off-the-shelf (COST) software is a typical outsourcing model. This is a ready-made software solution developed for the mass market. 

Pros:

  • It’s the cheapest solution.
  • It includes available features and tools without the need of building them from scratch.
  • Your company quickly launches off-the-shelf software to the market. 

Cons:

  • Although tailoring off-the-shelf software is possible, it hardly meets your ever-changing demands (e.g. UI/UX design). This proves true when your business scales up or wants to be more competitive in the market. 
  • It may have some redundant features and lack essential functionality.
  • Even when software is upgraded, it doesn’t always help your company quickly respond to the changing world. This is because it’s designed to serve the public. Besides, its updates mainly revolve around bug fixes or some new releases that may not suit your company. 
  • Off-the-shelf software can be incompatible with your company’s ecosystem.

Recommended reading: Top 20 Best IT Outsourcing Companies in 2022

2. Freelance Developers

Freelance developers are self-employed tech specialists. They are liable for certain parts of projects and get hour-based pay. After each project, your company can continue working with freelancers for another project or terminate contracts. 

Today, your company can hire excellent candidates through freelance services websites (e.g. Toptal, Upwork, or Fiverr). On such sites, freelancers often clarify their competence, pricing packages, and past work. Beyond that, you can browse through reviews of past clients to define a developer’s attitudes and expertise during work. 

Pros:

  • Hiring freelance developers is cheaper than working with most outsourced companies.
  • Your company can access the talent pool.

Cons:

  • Freelance developers sometimes lack guarantees and commitment to projects. As a result, they can give up projects halfway. 
  • Some freelancers fail to communicate with your in-house staff or manage time due to language or geography barriers.

3. App Development Outsourcing Companies

Working with outsourced companies is a preferred option for many clients. Today, outsourced companies come into three groups:

  • On-shore outsourcing: This model refers to hiring a company located in the same country as your office.
  • Near-shore outsourcing: This model refers to hiring a company located near your country. For example, your office lies in the US while an outsourced partner settles down in Canada.
  • Off-shore outsourcing: This model refers to hiring a company from a faraway country. Your company and an outsourced partner live in different time zones, say, the US vs Vietnam. 

You can search for reliable partners through third-party directories (e.g. Clutch.co or GoodFirms). The companies therein define their strengths, portfolios, and experience. You can read through reviews to determine how they worked in past projects. 

Pros:

  • Compared with freelancers, outsourced teams include specialists with different expertise. So they have more experience to handle a wider range of projects. 
  • Outsourced companies have a well-organized workflow to build effective solutions within budget and time.
  • Outsourced companies prove more reliable as they are regulated by their host country. 

Cons:

  • Hiring outsourced app developers is often more costly than the two mentioned methods. 

Is communication and time management an issue for outsourced companies?

Communication and time management can be issued when you work with outsourced companies. 

However, many outsourced companies have found ways to solve this problem. 

Companies, for example, Designveloper, involve clients and other stakeholders in the process from scratch through communication tools. For this reason, clients can track progress while developers show what they have done and receive instant feedback from clients.

The development process and technologies help parties communicate, manage time, and understand required metrics better.

How to Outsource App Development Effectively

Once you have an app idea, you decide to outsource app development instead of using in-house staff. So what’s the thing you should do next? If this question is also what you’re concerned about, we then give you some critical tips to outsource app development effectively.

Establish a Clear Vision of Your Future App

Before building up any digital solution, you need to clarify what you expect from your future app. Service providers, albeit individuals or companies, can help with market research, business analysis, and app creation. But they hardly do that if you have no clear visions, goals, and requirements of the app. 

To make an app idea visible to you and your outsourced partner, you should answer the following questions:

  • What does your company want to achieve from an app?
  • Which problems does the app help to solve for your company and end-users?
  • Do you want to build the app on iOS, Android, or both?
  • What features should the app include?
  • Should it be monetized? If yes, how can your company make money from the app?

Make Budget Estimates

When it comes to budget, you shouldn’t try to find as cheap deals as possible. Focusing only on prices without caring about quality is a big mistake you should avoid. If a service provider offers the lowest rates but poor-quality code, you will waste more money fixing the bad codebase. 

Besides, after listing reliable outsourced developers that offer you affordable prices, you should ask them for estimates. There’s no exact figure for a whole project as app development is a long-term process. It means the project doesn’t wrap up after the product release. Instead, you need to consider its constant updates which respond to changes in market trends and user demands. So you need rough estimates for your app project.

Search for App Developers

Your company should consider key factors (e.g. geography and budget) in search of suitable developers.

Where are your future service vendors? As already mentioned, providers now come into three types: on-shore, near-shore, and off-shore. Their location can impact communication and budget.

If your office is in the US, on-shore or near-shore developers are much easier to manage. Beyond that, your company can frequently hold in-person meetings with ease. But the price may go beyond your initial budget.

Meanwhile, when working with off-shore companies, you may face obstacles like different time zones and geographical distances. But many committed and experienced companies have solved these issues through project management practices and tools.

Learn About the App Developer and Make Comparison

The best channel to learn about app developers is B2B reviews websites such as Clutch.co or GoodFirms. 

Through their portfolios and client reviews, you can have deeper insights into industries and projects outsourced companies have experience with. 

Further, you can make a list of possible, reliable app developers. Then you should work with them to find out who meets your requirements. Suitable partners should have a well-organized development process, understand your ultimate goals, and have clear budget estimates.

Once learning about app developers, you can make comparisons and choose the most suitable partner. 

Prepare for Challenges Faced by Your Company When Outsourcing

Apart from benefits, outsourcing comes with negatives as well. Without good preparations, your company can face serious damages related to finance or brand image. Below are some tips to help you avoid unexpected issues when outsourcing:

  • Sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

This contract ensures sensitive data of your company and clients will remain confidential and be protected from illegal leaks. 

  • Set workflow specifics

Your company and an outsourced partner have different workflows. So it’s needed to establish business communication guidelines that include reporting methods, time for meetings, and more.

  • Don’t make too large advanced payments

Upfront payments are essential to protect outsourced companies from dishonest clients. But you should avoid paying too much and pay small installments instead to protect your company from dishonest developers.

Consider Proper Means of Communication Upon Work Start

Communication is one key factor that contributes to the success of your app project. Therefore, your company and an outsourced provider should agree upon proper communication methods and tools to support your communication best.

Conclusion

A decent app developer plays a vital role in deciding how to outsource app development successfully. Having said that, finding a suitable service provider is not an easy task. It costs you much time and effort. But in turn, working with an outsourced developer gives you much more benefits for your company and digital products.

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