An increasingly popular trend in software development and IT, outsourcing can offer a variety of advantages to companies looking for outside expertise. Statista puts the income generated by the global outsourcing industry in 2019 at an impressive 92.5 billion dollars, highlighting its tremendous potential. Understanding the process of outsourcing software development is key to finding success, and thankfully this guide provides a full breakdown of details from start to finish. By understanding these intricacies, every company will be well-equipped to find the perfect outsourced software development company that meets their needs.
Steps of Software Development Outsourcing
There are some steps that all companies wishing to outsource software development must go through. It is also important to follow the sequence to arrive at the desired result and not to redo the work several times, as well as to avoid many mistakes.
Step 1: Set clear goals
A process of outsourcing software development must enter into play when selecting an outsourcing software development company for your project goals. By using the SMART acronym – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound – you can clearly define the desired results from each process. To ensure success, it is important to not only set those specific goals but also plan by budgeting for the project and by addressing any potential contingencies or flaws within the process; furthermore, it is necessary to test the product in multiple environments. Waiting until after selection to formally articulate expectations sets companies up for failure due to a lack of direction and structure. Establishing clear objectives first will enable an outsource software development team to hit the ground running and provide them with key input needed as they work towards building successful outcomes.
Step 2: Choosing the type of outsourcing
Depending on your needs, the goals you set will help determine the perfect outsourcing model for you. When it comes to outsourcing, oftentimes two models stand out: project-based or specialist models. In the project-based approach, you as the client company would be hiring a team of developers to complete a specific project with the responsibility of management and handling contingencies falling on the development team.
On the other hand, the specialist model works better when there is an existing in-house software team and additional experts can be brought in to fill any gaps in knowledge or experience. Out of the few choices available, many find that a flexible specialist model allows companies to easily bring on board external specialists to work on their software needs while still having control within their in-house team which is why this is often seen as the most preferred choice.
Step 3: Determining the budget and timing
Planning a successful project requires careful consideration on the part of the stakeholders. It should cover an analysis of basic elements such as deadlines, milestones, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and necessary budget. Establishing deadlines and milestones early on helps teams articulate sprints to ensure the proper deployment of the project. Defining budgets is essential, as it will determine several factors such as which type of outsourcing model is most appropriate – offshoring or onshoring, or a hybrid. Additionally, budget constraints may influence how many developers can be added to the team to come closer to achieving the goals set out in the original plan. The importance of defining project plans and budgets cannot be overstated when it comes to successfully launching any project.
Step 4: Choosing a country for outsourcing
If you’re looking for a U.K. based company, Clear Horizon Digital offer a bespoke software development service. Working with a remote development team can provide significant benefits, such as the ability to leverage the differences between time zones and increase productivity day and night. Developers who have similar working styles and are fluent in English should find it easier to integrate into your team regardless of their location. Rates for outsourcing software development services vary, as countries such as Asia usually offer lower rates than European companies. However, you may face issues with professionalism or quality without proper vetting processes. Furthermore, if the skillset is lacking in the remote team, this can result in longer hours being worked, leading to an unexpectedly higher cost than initially planned. Usually, they try to find a country with a low cost of living (respectively, lower salaries), but a good level of English and a slight difference in time zones.
Step 5: Finding a company for outsourcing
When you have identified an agency that meets your goals and budgetary requirements, the next step is to evaluate them.
- Portfolio. An analysis of past work using their portfolio as a guide should give you an idea of the skills and expertise they possess to complete your project.
- Reviews. To obtain more comprehensive information, seek out third-party reviews from independent websites such as Clutch.co, GoodFirms, g2.com, Hubspot Agency Directory, and so on. These can provide insights regarding the agency’s customers’ relationships with them – the level of client satisfaction, responsiveness to change requests, etc., which can all be crucial for a successful partnership. If possible try to arrange for a face-to-face interaction with a senior representative from the agency for questions about their processes and services.
- Past clients. If you want to get the full story about an agency’s work, reach out to their past clients. Take advantage of rating and review platforms that have contact information for these individuals. To ensure you make the most informed decision, delve deeper than just the numbers that each review scores an agency.
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