The popularity, availability, and capability of the internet have made outsourcing a common solution across industries. However, the mobile app development industry has seen a heavy increase in outsourcing.
There are many different reasons a company would choose to outsource their mobile development, as it offers the company an opportunity to utilize a skilled workforce without hiring a full-time employee.
Plus, outsourcing mobile app development can be a remote position, so businesses have the freedom to hire qualified individuals from anywhere in the world.
Yet, the reality of outsourcing is not all rosy. Some aspects of outsourcing that any company should be aware of before they jump into this globalized pool of mobile app developers with both feet.
This article will discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing mobile app development to help you make the right decision for your company’s specific needs.
Pros of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
It certainly doesn’t take much searching to find plenty of pros to mobile app development. While there may be multiple pros that are unique to your business, here are the most common and industry-wide pros of outsourcing in this critical, technical field.
The common idiom, time is money works well in the context of mobile app development. Through outsourcing, your company can hire enough experts to complete the mobile app quicker, as each developer has a task. Therefore, what might take one team of employees a few months can be pieced together in a few weeks since the developer doesn’t have any other responsibilities.
The ability to get the app up and running quicker reduces the time to market. Therefore, it gives competitors less time to develop their apps, and it can help your business start reaping the benefits faster.
Flexibility is rare within the business world. More often than not, businesses need to piece together their resources to draw out the best those resources can produce. This process is usually arduous and ends with companies compromising a lot for the little they gain.
However, with outsourcing, you always have the option to scale resources up or down based on your immediate needs. Since there is no long employee hiring process, training, or probation period, you can get right down to business as soon as you have the right developer.
Additionally, if the developer isn’t working out, you just find a new one. There isn’t a waiting period, and you don’t need to weigh the benefits of what you have versus what you’re going to get because the internet is full of outsourced workers just waiting for you to contact them.
Thus, you have the benefit of finding what you need in a mobile app developer without sacrificing project timelines or even budgets.
Mobile app development is an ever-evolving industry. There are always updates, alternatives, and new practices becoming available. When you hire an in-house mobile app developer, you are kind of stuck with your employee. While they can learn the latest developments in their field, it isn’t likely they will be as up-to-date as an outside mobile development firm.
The reason is that in-house developers are stuck in their ways. If it’s not broken, they don’t fix it.
Alternatively, an outside firm needs to have extensive expertise to keep up with the demand of constantly new clients.
Plus, outsourced mobile app developers are much more likely to have recently developed similar mobile apps and thus, have the first-hand experience that your in-house team may lack.
Maintain Core Business Focus
Regardless of how much your employees love their jobs, they won’t be excited to take on more work, especially if you aren’t getting a substantial pay raise. So, unless you hire a brand new team of mobile app developers, you will ask your team to take on more work.
This work, regardless of how important it will pull them away from their normal daily tasks. Even if they agree to do their new jobs and their old jobs without complaint, you are adding pressure to the organization, as there are only so many hours in the day.
Therefore, this pressure can quickly be detrimental to an organization. So, it is much easier and far less stressful to outsource this work, so your employees don’t need to take on additional tasks.
Every business has a culture that gets established by everyone who works for and with that company. With that culture, a certain perspective forms, which will eventually become outdated.
This perspective can become especially problematic when you are trying to create an innovative mobile application.
Thus, outsourcing your mobile app idea to a mobile app developer is a great way to gain a fresh perspective. Plus, if the developer works closely with your team, they could learn a few tricks that can help you maintain the app and create apps in the future.
Cons of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
Of course, as mentioned previously, not everything about outsourcing is perfect. There are a few potential cons that any business should consider carefully before outsourcing its mobile app development.
Lack of Control
When you own a business, your brand and the reputation of that brand are everything. Maintaining control over that reputation is what keeps customers coming back. However, you are taking a risk with that reputation when you outsource something like mobile app development.
There are many apps out there. Still, when your business develops an app and makes it accessible to the public, it is a big deal. That app is a mobile representation of your business, literally right in the palm of your customer’s hands.
So, you want to make sure you outsource to a company you trust so that your lack of control doesn’t end up becoming a PR nightmare for your business.
Potential Collaboration Difficulties
Collaboration with outsourced workers is essential. However, when you outsource, there is always the potential for your collaboration difficulties. After all, you already know how to work with your ith your employees. It can be a challenge to work with an outsourced individual because the dynamic is completely different.
Additionally, if the communication is poor, this issue is compounded exponentially.
Quality is Unknown
When you outsource work, you never truly know what you are going to get. Sure, you can always request sample projects and references, but you are always taking a gamble on the quality of working on your project specifically.
If you have never worked with a person before, many different factors can make a person or firm look great on paper, but they cannot transfer their expertise into your project.
Hidden costs in any industry are a red flag. However, you should be extra careful when it comes to mobile app development. Since this industry can be extremely technical, it is easy for software development firms to lure customers with a low up-front cost but charge fees throughout the project.
Of course, this is not a reputable practice, and quality mobile app developers likely will not do this to you. Yet, it is something to look out for and squash immediately if it ever comes up.
Indicators You Should Outsource Your Mobile App Development Project
Whether you have outsourced projects before or not, there may come a time when you wonder if it is practical to outsource or hire a team to complete a task. Sometimes, the pros and cons of this decision can make it hard to decide.
So, here are some surefire indicators you should outsource your mobile app development project:
Lack of In-House Expertise
If your in-house developers do not have the expertise to complete a project, you have three options:
- Invest in educating your team
- Hire a new development team with the correct expertise
Both education and hiring through traditional means take a lot of time and money. So, for your first project, you might want to outsource the work. If this project becomes a permanent offering or source of income for your business, you might consider hiring in-house.
Yet, until that time, if your existing in-house team lacks the expertise for a project, outsourcing is often the quickest and most cost-effective solution.
Developers Regularly Struggle Keeping Up With Daily Work
Hiring an in-house developer can be tricky because good developers generally have trouble with everyday office tasks. Many developers just want to develop, and when they get tasked with other responsibilities, they often struggle to keep up.
So, if you outsource mobile app development, you hire them to do what they love without the stress of keeping up with office chores.
It is a win-win for both of you.
Minimal Experience Developing Mobile Apps
If you and your team have minimal experience developing mobile apps, you might want to consider outsourcing the job.
Ultimately, the time it takes for you or your employees to wade through the mobile app development process will far outweigh the money it will cost to hire a professional.
It’s a One-Off Project
Many times, especially with mobile app development, the project is a one-off project. This type of project is one where you will only need to complete it once. Specifically, most businesses only need one app. Unless you are an agency or otherwise building apps for other companies, it would likely be unprofessional to have multiple apps for one company.
Therefore, you would only need mobile app developers for a finite period, making it an excellent project for outsourcing.