Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
Over the last decade or so, outsourcing of mobile app development has become increasingly popular due to the many advantages that it offers.
However, many companies outsource their app development without a full knowledge of the risks and challenges that come with this approach.
We believe it’s essential to have a full understanding of both the advantages and the challenges that outsourcing poses, before going for it.
So, in this article, we will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your mobile app development, to give you a better understanding before you make the decision to outsource.
The biggest advantage of outsourcing that attracts most companies is usually the cost saving that it provides. Developers in low-income countries can create mobile apps at a fraction of the cost that it will take an in-house team to do so in a high-income country.
It usually costs between $120,000 and $500,000 USD for an in-house team to develop a mobile app. But when you outsource the work, this price can be reduced to between $30,000 and $100,000 USD.
There are many talented mobile app developers in developing countries like India, Philippines, and several countries in Eastern Europe. They can deliver a quality job for far less than what it takes to develop the app in-house. It’s a win-win situation, because the lower prices you pay for their work still amount to an excellent income in their countries.
In addition, app development is often a one-off project, and doesn’t require a whole team once the main work is complete. So, if you would develop it in-house, you would first have to assemble an expensive team of local software developers, and then get rid of them again once the app is done. This process is much slower, more complicated, and more expensive than simply outsourcing the project.
Less distraction for your in-house developers
If you don’t hire new developers to build your mobile app, but instead choose to work with your existing team, developing the app will be a major distraction for them. This will take their attention away from tasks relevant to your core business.
As a rule of thumb, if the mobile app you want to create is not an essential part of your core business, it’s better to outsource it, to avoid distracting your in-house team from more important tasks.
A good mobile app development team is usually quicker to deal with challenges in app development, since this is what they do every day, day in day out. Unlike your in-house team, they do not need to be trained in new technology and they don’t have to “learn on the job.“
In addition, most outsourcing providers can put together a team of experts much faster than you can find and hire them locally. Also, an experienced outsourcing provider will be able to give you a very accurate estimate of the time it will take to complete the project, and will therefore be able to complete it on time.
A quick time to market is extremely beneficial in the dynamic business world of today. Once you have a good idea, speedy delivery is of the essence. Research shows that in-house teams take about 2-3 times longer to develop a mobile app compared to an outsourced team specialized in app development.
If you choose an experienced outsourcing provider, you’re likely to get a higher quality app than if you build it in-house. This is because the outsourcing team has experience, infrastructure, and talent that is focused 100% on app development.
In addition, they know that if they deliver a quality app, they will get repeated orders, good reviews, and referral customers, and so will make sure to do their best.
Outsourcing partners can be highly qualified and very fast to execute, but they might deliver an app that is not exactly what you had in mind. This is because app development requires continuous and highly effective communication between you and the development team at all stages of the project.
If the communication is not 100% accurate, or lacking in some details, they may not get enough requirements from you before starting the project, and may even end up designing something with a major flaw that will be hard to fix.
To resolve this, ensure that you keep a clear communication line with the development team at all times. All stakeholders must be continuously available and should respond to communications in a timely manner.
You should also ensure that your expectations are made clear and explained in detail before starting the project. Ask questions where necessary. Do not leave anything out. There should be good documentation, a good description of all product requirements, and an exhaustive analysis of requirements.
Loss of valuable information
When you outsource your mobile app development to an outsourcing provider, you risk that your company’s sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands. For a mobile app to be built correctly, an outsourcing partner probably needs to have access to a lot of your confidential information. They may even need to see your customer’s information.
There are two ways to mitigate this risk. First of all, make sure you hire a reputable outsourcing provider. Check if they have already worked with clients successfully without any issues of information leakage. To make sure this is the case, call up their former clients and ask them explicitly about this topic.
The second way to avoid this risk is by having the provider sign a non-disclosure agreement and an intellectual property agreement to protect your data. Most outsourcing providers are already used to this, and will probably offer it to you before you even ask.
In order to succeed with outsourced mobile app development, you need to work together very closely with the outsourcing provider that you hire, to make sure they carry out exactly what you expect them to do.
But once you find a way to deal with the communication challenges, and manage to choose a good partner, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of getting a high quality app in record time, and at a fraction of the cost.