Mobile app outsourcing is a popular tactic that allows companies to save money and time while still getting a high-quality product. If you lack IT expertise or would like to focus your attention on the business side, project delegation could be a viable option. However, some companies are skeptical of outsourcing and worried about losing control of their projects. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of project outsourcing, talk about the process of successful delegation, and explore how to outsource mobile app development without running into common obstacles.
What Is App Development Outsourcing?
Mobile app development outsourcing refers to the delegation of a project or its parts to an external agency. Regardless of the industry, company size and project requirements, businesses seek out professional services to get their applications developed. A viable and more affordable alternative to in-house development, outsourcing allows companies to focus on their business goals instead of investing money into hiring in-house.
Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
There are numerous reasons to outsource app development to a third party. Outsourcing helps companies save money and time, gives access to a huge talent pool, and offers much-needed scalability and flexibility. In this section, we will explore the benefits of outsourcing app development in greater detail.
Wide Talent Pool and Scalability
Depending on your location, you might struggle to find unique and seasoned professionals to complete your project. However, outsourcing firms already have people on staff that can jump on the project at any time. Even if the requirements change throughout the project and you would need an additional labor force, your IT partner will swiftly provide you with such help. For example, if in the middle of the project your requirements shift and you need Node JS developers for hire, your vendor will instantly fill in the talent gap. As a result, you will not be wasting time and freezing the development while you are searching for a specific expert.
Another reason to outsource app development is to also significantly reduce costs. Instead of hiring an in-house team and paying HR costs, taxes, office space and equipment, holidays and vacation days and more, you will be charged only for the work done. All the hiring and associated expenses will be covered by the outsourcing agency while you will be paying only for the workers’ rates. On top of that, if you choose a company based in Eastern Europe or some parts of Asia, the rates of developers, project managers, designers, etc., will come at a lower cost.
Finally, outsourcing agencies do not only provide app development services, but also business consulting, marketing, testing, research and more. Especially if you are launching your first application, there is a lot that goes into the process that you might not be aware of. A reliable IT partner will conduct thorough market research to learn the industry trends, identify essential and additional features, list technical requirements, and design an application that your users actually need.
App Development Outsourcing Tips
The process of app development can be challenging and complex, but a few tips from our seasoned professionals will help you avoid common obstacles.
Define Your App Requirements for the Desired Outcome
In order to achieve the desired results and build an application that attracts users, you need to have a clear understanding of the requirements. They are threefold: business, user, and app. Business requirements incorporate the business goals that you are after, as well as user pain points. User requirements address how users will interact with the app and go over the main functionality. Finally, app requirements include functional and nonfunctional requirements that deal with product characteristics.
Estimate Your Budget
Most commonly, you can outsource app development using two pricing models: fixed price and time and material. An alternative option is a monthly salary for the rented resources in the case of the staff augmentation outsourcing model. The fixed price model refers to defined costs and scope that cannot be changed throughout the development cycle. This approach is preferable when the specifications are clearly defined, and the solution is well known to the IT partner. If you are developing a product you are very familiar with and not using any new technology or tools, this model might be a good option. Otherwise, it’s recommended to apply a time and material model that operates with monthly fees based on the resources spent. This model offers more flexibility and allows you to make changes to deliver the best possible product.
Choose an Engagement Model
When choosing an IT partner, you can either outsource app development as an entire project or hire help for certain parts of your project. In other words, you can select an end-to-end development model or staff augmentation: https://doit.software/blog/staff-augmentation. End-to-end development implies a complete delegation of the project while you focus on the business side of your company. This approach is suitable for complex applications or for companies that do not have much experience developing products. Staff augmentation entails hiring a firm that lends one or several specialists who work with your team to build the application. If you have your in-house team but identify a knowledge gap, you can borrow a few developers, business analysts, project managers or designers to utilize their expertise for your project.
Evaluate App Developers
Collaborating with the right vendor is one of the integral parts of success. Make sure your IT partner is experienced, reliable and good at communication. First, review client feedback and their website to learn their basic information. If you are satisfied with your findings, arrange a meeting with the agency to ask questions about their processes, tools, experience and more. Finally, request their portfolio to make sure the company has the required industry and technology experience.
Communication and Tracking the Progress
After you have chosen your IT partner to outsource app development, establish a clear process of communication and monitoring. Depending on how much you would like to be involved, discuss these details with the vendor. For example, how often you would like to receive reports and how comprehensive they should be. On top of that, decide on the tools and platforms you would like to use to reach your partner.
Outsourcing Risks and How to Mitigate Them
Outsourcing does come with some risks and challenges, especially if you are new to this form of project work. In this part, we will discuss the most common risks and how to avoid or minimize them.
- Data protection
Entrusting an external company with your sensitive data can be quite nerve-wracking. To alleviate this stressful aspect, it’s highly recommended to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which addresses how the data is collected, stored and handled by both parties.
- Remote work
Some companies have never had experience with remote teams and are concerned about managing such projects. As an option, you can hire a team that is located in your area to host in-person meetings. Alternatively, you can hire a trustworthy outsourcing company with years of experience that will help you make this transition.
- Communication issues
Especially if the team is located in a different time zone, you might be worried about consistent communication. To mitigate this challenge, set up regular meetings and calls and request weekly or biweekly reports addressing the project stage. Basically, choose a communication model that fits you (including the frequency, platforms to use, etc.) and discuss it with your IT partner.
Delegating a project to an external team you have never worked with can seem risky. However, if you do your due diligence and review the company’s portfolio, client feedback and references, the chances for a fruitful collaboration are high.
Application development outsourcing can be extremely beneficial to any company that wants to undertake a new project. You can save resources, focus on business goals and marketing, as well as receive expert-level consulting services by delegating your app project to a reliable IT partner. Make sure to find a trustworthy company with experience in your field and establish clear and smooth communication channels.
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- How much does it cost to outsource app development?
The exact outsourcing mobile app development cost is contingent on the app’s complexity, the number of features and the location of the vendor. Eastern European ($35 to $50 per hour) and Asian ($30-$40) companies tend to offer lower fees compared to their North American ($85-$150) and Western European ($80-$120) counterparts.
- How do you outsource app development?
First, define the requirements of the future application and estimate how much money you will be able to spend on the project. Find a reliable partner through rigorous vetting and research and sign an NDA to ensure the safety of your data. Finally, establish smooth and consistent communication with the outsourcing company to monitor their progress.
- How much does it cost to outsource app development in Eastern Europe?
On average, outsourcing companies based in Eastern Europe charge $35 to $50 per hour. Depending on the complexity of the app, it will take from six months to a year or even longer to complete the development cycle. If we take a six-month-long project as an example, the overall costs l would be $52,000.