Outsourcing programming and development has had a powerful impact on the global digital landscape and managed to reform the way most companies approach software development and the digital sphere in general. With the entire globe at our fingertips, outsourcing was a natural business move, aiming at reducing costs, boost productivity, and specialize the workflow, making it that more efficient and effortless in the process.
And when you take a closer look, outsourcing isn’t a digital-only practice and it’s not reserved for large corporate entities anymore. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are taking advantage of it and reaping its benefits. Or suffer from its drawbacks.
Yup, you’ve read that right. While there are numerous benefits to outsourcing your projects, the system isn’t without its own flaws. However, the drawbacks are mostly avoidable if you know where to look and whom to partner with.
That being said, not doing the proper research and ignoring the possible drawbacks altogether can cost you dearly and you need to be careful when you’re making your move.
So, to help you navigate better when it comes to the general pros and cons of outsourcing programming, you need to know the best perspective of both.
First of all, we have to admit that the term itself has managed to generate a bit of a negative connotation to it over the years, however, when it comes to the general ins and outs of software development and programming, outsourcing is a far less crooked term. In the vast majority of cases, it’s a great outlet for improved customer satisfaction and commerce. So, when we’re talking about this aspect of outsourcing, you will mostly get high-quality from educated and skilled professionals who will ask for the right price for their services.
So, to kick things off, here are the most notable advantages of outsourcing:
Probably the biggest pro of all. When you are hiring an entire team of developers through outsourcing, you have way more options and potential possibilities than relying on your in-house team alone (if you have one, to begin with). No, we’re not trying to imply that your dev team is worthless or under-skilled, we’re just trying to say that you have to possibility to hire any team that matches your budget (often for the fraction of the cost of having a dedicated in-house squad) and offers totally new software development services enabling you to venture into new business opportunities as a result.
As mentioned above, cost-efficiency is probably the biggest force driving the entire outsourcing phenomenon. And it makes perfect sense. Dropping a penny and earning a dime is a great method for building a strong business foundation and smart outsourcing enables just that. After all, all best business practices involve making the greatest profit with the smallest expense, right? This approach, this profitability is what drives trends on every market and is the golden rule of outsourcing as well.
Cost-efficiency doesn’t stem from the fact that you hire a team from a country with lower costs of living. It’s true that foreign teams will do the same job (sometimes even better), which can be a great option, however, looking only at the cheapest options can also set you up for disaster. You know the drill: Good things shouldn’t necessarily be too expensive, however, they won’t come dirt cheap either.
You can also find cheaper solutions even in your neighborhood. Specialized companies often sell their services at lower prices because they’ve created specialized systems that allow them to get more work done, allowing them to take up more projects with better results. And when you come to think of it, paying for a service will always be cheaper than having to pay the full expenses of an in-house team.
As a business owner, you know that your employees are both an investment and an expenditure. They’re a resource you don’t want to lose, however, there are instances when you are facing projects that need that “extra oomph” and you lack the manpower to hammer it out properly. In these cases, outsourcing can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skill without having to invest in a new team or new employees. You can hire a company for a specified amount of time, making outsourcing a more sensible option.
Filling in the gaps
Finding good and skilled professionals is hard and hiring them can even be harder. As a matter of fact, even the most qualified in-house team can have its shortcomings or might miss an essential figure with the chops needed to deliver the expected results for the next project.
Outsourcing can be a great solution to fill in the gaps, round out your team, and compensate for a lack of options.
This method allows you to add skilled professionals to your team without actually having to go over the hassle of employment training and so on.
Better Time Management
Let’s face it, when it comes to quick turnarounds and quality results, even the best companies manage to fall off the tightrope. If you’re on time, you’ve probably delivered a software solution that still has its fair share of bugs. On the other hand, if you’ve built an impeccable project with all the necessary bells and whistles, chances are, you’ve missed your deadline. Working with an outsourcing company probably won’t be a quick fix to this particular problem, but it will surely enable you to thread the needle a bit more.
Apart from saving money, working with an outside team can speed things up and probably need no additional training (especially when you’re trying to fill in your own gang’s gaps). Apart from that, you can divide tasks better, enabling faster project management with potentially fewer errors.
Now, it’s time to dish out the possible pitfalls and drawbacks of outsourced programming and software development. In most cases, as you will see, the pros will outweigh the cons, however, if you’re not alert enough when hiring your team, it can hit your business pretty hard.
Honestly, there are a few major issues with outsourcing and they aren’t development-specific per se. They are more generalized issues that linger over every industry and niche.
Not Having Full Control
Whenever you choose to work outside the confines of your business, you are giving away a certain portion of your overall control. Most business owners and team managers can live with this, however, it can a major issue for those who like to oversee everything especially, when communication is slow with the outsourcing company. This brings us to drawback number two.
Even though we can almost literally communicate with everyone anywhere nowadays, inefficient and slow back-and-forths with outsourcing teams can turn even the simplest project into a nightmare.
First of all, not everyone will be available at all times, and especially when you’re in different time zones, not everybody will answer the phone or check their mail during working hours.
This problem takes effort from both sides and it isn’t something that can’t be overcome. However, if your working hours don’t overlap, chances are, communication comes to a crawl and you need to attend to that, work around it, or get out the best of it.
Slow communication can also stem from problems like different work ethics and standards which can prove the maintain proper communication between the two parties difficult and even unpleasant.
Lastly, organizing in-person meetings will be a hassle. Plane tickets, hotels, food, take time off, and so on.
The distance itself already means that your conversations will be somewhat slower, however, with it, you are also running the risk of getting a product that won’t meet your expectations. Not having total creative control and control over quality at all times (not to mention, not getting regular progress reports in some cases) can result in a final product that’s simply subpar and not what you would pay for.
Quality issues can also stem from not hiring the right people. It’s true that the whole point of outsourcing is keeping costs low, however, if you go too low, you might end up with a useless product.
Putting it all together
When you take a closer look at the pros and cons of outsourcing, you can see that with the right mindset and approach, you can bypass most of the potential drawbacks. If you can handle losing some of your control over the project, then your chances of finding a great team will tenfold, and if you also know how to find the most qualified people for the job whom you can communicate with efficiently, then there probably won’t be having any major problems with your project.
Software development outsourcing is great. Really, it is. The problem with being blinded by how great something appears to be is that you might miss the weak links in the chain. Ever heard of the phrase “too good to be true?” Staying vigilant while searching for a new partnership with an outsourcing company is the only way you’ll be able to avoid the money pitfalls that might otherwise stand in your way.
The advantages of outsourcing development project speak for themselves, really. It’s an extraordinarily cost-effective practice, nailing high quality with low cost. It also provides an avenue for building and rounding out effective, experienced teams while saving the time otherwise necessary to develop them. The catch is that communication tends to suffer due to time zones and differing cultures, and you might just wind up with a product that doesn’t fit what you paid for.
What’s important is that you’re aware. Advantages, disadvantages, as long as you know what’s coming your way, you should be ready for it. Taking a few risks every now and then is simply a part of the business. If we’re talking about worthwhile risks, then outsourcing your work is one of the best you can make.