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Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Web Development

Building a custom web application is an excellent opportunity for businesses to promote their brands online. Though when it comes to the development process, several options are available – hiring an in-house team or outsourcing the entire project to a service provider.

Hiring a development team in-house can be rather costly, especially for medium and small businesses and outsourcing becomes a real business saver for many. Meanwhile, outsourcing can be rather challenging in practice and there are so many different reasons for that.

In this article, we uncover the possible web development outsourcing challenges and explain how to efficiently outsource the development of custom web applications.

What Is a Web Development Outsourcing Company and How To Engage with It?

A web development outsourcing company is a tech company that provides experienced teams of professionals for creating web solutions and streamlining the development processes with the implementation of the latest approaches and methodologies.

Companies can engage with an outsourcing company in several ways:

  • Outsourcing parts of the web development project – developing only front-end or back-end part; supplementing a web project with complex technologies, e.g. IoT, AI-driven voice assistants, Blockchain technology, and others; enhancing the existing solution, e.g. re-designing web application architecture; adding/removing particular features; or improving web application performance, scalability, flexibility, and others.
  • Outsource an entire web development project – when a service provider takes complete responsibility for the project development and implementation, from design to release.
  • Adding extra outsourcing specialists to the existing web development team – when an internal team is overwhelmed with current projects it is more productive to hire some extra hands from an outsourcing web development company. Moreover, it is cost effective and allows to supplement the team with lacking experts.

Benefits of Outsourcing Web Development

There are many reasons why companies opt for outsourcing web development services and this goes far beyond the cost reduction.

Today, companies of all types and sizes become more and more aware of other advantages outsourcing can bring. For example, large-scale and midsize companies can consider outsourcing web development when missing out on the required level of expertise or resources to successfully deliver their projects.

Often, they turn to outsourcing providers for specialists with unique or rare expertise or domain knowledge. It allows saving time and budget on hiring and teaching in-house people. Or there might be a situation when there are enough web developers in-house but no graphic designers or QA specialists. It’s faster and easier to find the needed specialists in an outsourcing company than in the local market.

Start-ups also find outsourcing to be a viable solution to many staffing issues. It’s a common practice for startup companies to outsource their development projects as their top priority is to release the application to the market fast. The hiring process might take time and effort that not every start-up can afford. While outsourcing web development projects a start-up might concentrate on the marketing and business development strategy and further promotion of the project.

Let’s sum up the main advantages outsourcing brings to companies.

Access to a pool of development resources — outsourcing opens up a worldwide technology talent pool, providing access to critical IT skills that you might be missing in-house or fail to find locally.

Cost Savings – the major benefit of outsourcing is inevitably significant cost savings. The rates of outsourcing development companies are much lower than in the local market. A typical company can save up to 60-70% on outsourcing to low-labor-cost countries.

Focus on core activities — while outsourcing the web development, the company’s internal team can concentrate on some other business-critical issues like marketing, business development, financial strategy, etc.

Fast time-to-deployment — by outsourcing the development work to a vendor, the project can be released much faster than an in-house team could do. A company can also release several projects simultaneously while integrating an in-house and outsourced team.

Improved quality —most outsourcing providers have an independent QA team who checks the accuracy of code and provides bug-free software to the customer. Moreover, they can run various types of testing like performance, security, usability, etc. making your application invulnerable and high performing under peak loads.

Cons of Outsourcing

In spite of all the advantages, outsourcing has some disadvantages that every company should consider before moving forward with a vendor. The most important are supplier organizational issues, project management issues, and geographical/cultural concerns.

Supplier organizational issues – while looking for an outsourcing company it is very important to understand whether it will be a reliable partner, financially stable company, and able to keep needed team members with a low turnover rate. It highly influences the success of the outsourcing project and its deadlines as well as budget. One of the crucial points in cooperation is the ability of a supplier to protect a client’s intellectual property from being stolen or sold to a competitor.

Project management issues – very often cooperation between an outsourcing company and a client doesn’t last long as it can be ruined at the very first steps. It can be because of an inability to transfer the work to the provider, lack or absence of transfer knowledge, and inappropriate project management both on the client and outsourcing side.

Geopolitical and cultural concerns – when choosing an outsourcing vendor it is important to check its location as it might be too far from your country with a very significant time difference and you won’t be able to manage the provider’s team or legal situation in the country can be unstable, not mentioning the locations with a threat of war or terrorism or any other natural disaster like a tsunami.

Cultural differences between the two parties, inability to understand each other properly caused by poor communication skills, or language barriers might also result in failed cooperation.

How to Outsource Web Development: Steps

There are some basic steps to take when outsourcing  web development projects. Here are some of them:

Determine Your Core Business Goals and Product Requirements

Each web development project is different in its own way. Therefore, companies should be well-prepared and consider every detail of their web solution. The main questions a company should answer before turning to an outsourcing company are:

  • What business issues will the developed web solution solve?
  • Who is the target audience of the web application and how it can benefit its users?
  • What kind of web development specialists to add to the team to build an effective web application?
  • What programming languages and tools to add to their web tech stack?

A clear description of the development project will make it easier to establish communication with a potential software development partner and start the development process faster.

Determine the Timeframe and Budget

Budget and timeframe are the two main resources that determine the complexity of the project and the choice of the web development partner.

There are numerous providers in the outsourcing market and choosing the right one can turn into a daunting challenge. Although, some may fall into the misconception – the higher the price, the better is the quality. It is not always so, and we recommend contacting several candidates and selecting the average price range.

Establishing a clear timeframe and release date allows companies to plan better their further business development as well as easier find the web development team. Discuss the deadlines with the potential outsourcing partners. Experienced outsourcing companies usually know their approximate development times and they can deliver high-quality resulting solutions within the determined deadlines.

Choose a Reliable Outsourcing Web Development Partner

Outlining project criteria is halfway through the web application development outsourcing. The second major step is to find a professional web development team. This stage also requires much preparation and carefully weighing the pros and cons of each found option.

Companies can alleviate the search process by creating a list of potential partners, and comparing them with the set requirements such as terms of budget, development stack, location, experience, case studies, and more.

CTA: Find out in more detail how to effectively search and select software development teams.

Sign a Contract and the Required Documents

The outsourcing process doesn’t stop at finding the right web development company and the development process discussion. Signing a custom software development contract and all the required documents such as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) also require much attention.

Both documents establish the legal relations between the companies and determine mutual expectations and responsibilities. The software development contract outlines all the rights and warranties for the customer company and the development company. Meanwhile, the NDA ensures the confidentiality of the development process.

Establish Terms of Remote Project Control and Communication

Communication and tight control of the software building process are the major aspects of effective application development remotely. Therefore, before starting the collaboration with their development teams, companies have to establish strong communication and monitoring.

For this, they need to address the following issues when discussing the development process with the project managers:

  • Communication tools such as messengers, emails, chats, and other means
  • Monitoring tools such as access to project management software
  • Frequency and scheduling of remote meetings
  • Deadlines and milestones of the development project
  • Approximate budget and the required resources

Effective collaboration and communication is a key way to build robust, secure, and swift web solutions. Therefore, they shouldn’t be overlooked by the companies that outsource their web development tasks.

Conclusion

Outsourcing web development is a great option for companies of all sizes looking to cut down web development costs, concentrate on core business activities, and swiftly find key web development specialists. However, before contacting any outsourcing vendor, companies have to prepare well and conduct thorough research of the market. This way, they’ll ensure that they cooperate with a reliable web development partner who is able to deliver robust web solutions within the determined timeframe and budget.

If you’re looking for a professional web development team, then it’s worth considering  Scand. Our experts have 20+ years experience in building web solutions for businesses from diverse industries with the implementation of time-tested as well as innovative programming languages, frameworks and tools.

Author Bio

Victoria Puzhevich Lead Business Development Specialist
Victoria has over 15 years of experience in IT, keeping track of the current and future trends in the sphere, sharing expert advice and relevant industry experience.