Pros and cons of outsourcing software development. Part 1: Cons

Entrepreneurs and business owners are always looking for ways how to do some part of work faster, cheaper and not cutting on the quality of the final product.

Outsourcing software development may be one of such ways but it is also a venture. There are a lot of points that influence the success of the final result.

That’s why it’s important to weigh all pros and cons before deciding to outsource.

In this article we’ll talk about negative aspects of outsourcing software development. And in part 2 we’ll consider advantages.

Low Quality of the Final Product

Quality software development is really expensive as it involves work of top-notch specialists.

There will always be a risk of getting low quality service when outsourcing software development. This especially relates to situations if you pay less for software development and know almost nothing about it.

In such cases, you should delegate a person who you trust and who has enough knowledge in software development to choose an outsourcing company.

If you don’t have such a person, you should prepare before signing a contract with a company. Find references about previous projects of a company, contact the people who left the references and ask them how the company dealt with their project, what advantages and disadvantages were seen in the work.

You can also run some small tests and try test projects to see whether all the specialists meet necessary criteria.

Communication and Availability Issues

There is a great number of offshore outsourcing companies which bring a couple of challenges. Time, language and culture differences may contribute to low performance and frustration of both sides.

You can deal with these challenges in the following ways:

  1. Schedule regular meetings/talks. They can be daily, weekly or biweekly as it is convenient to both sides.
  2. Most companies will be able to deliver services in English, but it’s better to double check this point.
  3. Study the cultural differences and what is even more important national holidays. This way you’ll eliminate such situations when you need something done on a particular day, but it turned out that it’s a holiday in other country.

Security Threats

Outsourcing is connected with a number of risks due to the fact that confidential information about your company is exposed to some third party.

Unfortunately, there always will be a risk.

You can minimize such risks by carefully going through a company’s portfolio as well as looking for testimonials and contacting previous clients.

Moreover, most companies offer a first consultation for free. This may help you learn all the essential data about an outsourcing company, principles of their work and build trust with them.

The Need of Constant Management

Certain skills and expertise are needed for managing outsourced teams. An outsourcing company can assign their own manager who will be in charge of your project.

But I advise to assign a manager in your company as well. This way you’ll make sure that everything is done according to your requirements.

To have a successful project with an outsourcing company, you need to:

  1. State your requirements in detail in order to prevent any conflicts.
  2. Determine which parts of the development process will be entrusted to an outsourced team and which will be done in-house.
  3. Plan in detail future code integration.
  4. Check the quality of the work on every stage.
  5. Make sure that the work is carried out according to the required timeline and ask for regular reports.
  6. Provide feedback regularly, state what you like and don’t like in the work.

Lack of Customer Focus

An outsourcing company may run several projects at the same time, sometimes they may lose a focus on your project a bit.

That’s why it’s extremely important to check the work on every stage and discuss a plan of the following stage.

Set regular reporting on the progress of the work and check how it complies with your requirements.

Conclusions

Outsourcing a software development company may be a risky venture. That’s why it’s important to weigh all pros and cons before deciding to outsource.

There is a couple of cons that you may encounter when choosing an outsourcing company:

  • Low quality of the final product – choose an outsourcing company wisely, study their portfolio and references, contact previous clients.
  • Communication and availability issues – make sure that an outsourcing company can deliver services in English; schedule regular meetings or talks; learn about national holidays in advance.
  • Security threats – study the portfolio and references of an outsourcing company, contact previous clients; have a first free consultation and discuss all the issues that bother you.
  • The need of constant management – state your requirements, make a plan, stick to it and monitor how the work is going on.
  • Lack of customer focus – set regular reporting on the progress of the work.

How do you choose an outsourcing company?

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