Software Development Outsourcing Options in 2021

These days, it has become incredibly important for all types of businesses to invest in some sort of software application in order to gain an edge over their competitors and add some meaningful value to their brand and business. This leads to a dilemma: who do you hire to create your custom software application?

One option is to hire a team of software developers to work for you full-time, as dedicated employees. However, it is not feasible for most businesses to hire their own development team for a one-off project. Hiring in-house developers is not only a time-consuming task but is also a costly process. Therefore, the next best option for such businesses is to outsource their software development project.

One of the most common outsourcing options is hiring a freelance developer. The other option is to hire a reliable software development company.

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Before we talk about the good and bad of either one of these options, let’s shed some light on what outsourcing is, and why you should consider it for your next software project.

What Is Outsourcing?

The process of outsourcing involves trusting an external third party with a task and delegating it to them instead of utilizing existing resources or hiring additional full-time employees within your organization. There are several reasons why a business might choose to outsource its various functions. Some common reasons are:

  • Recruitment of additional full-time resources can take a lot of time. You may not always have the required resources available in your company whenever you take on a new task. This means you would have to hire new people. What if the task you want to accomplish is urgent? Can you afford to go through the entire hiring cycle, from job advertisements and interviews to induction and on-site training? This would be a colossal waste of time, especially if you need these recruits to work on a one-off project. Will you fire them after the project is complete? I’m sure you would hate to do that. Thus, outsourcing is a quick, temporary solution to your problem.
  • Hiring new employees is expensive. The job advertisements may incur initial costs. Once you have finalized candidates after the headhunting process, each new person that you invite to be a permanent part of your organization comes at a cost. The biggest expense would be the regular monthly salaries. These people are now on your payroll so you owe them certain monetary benefits as well, such as accommodation, health, or conveyance allowances. Even the training and induction sessions sometimes have to be paid for.

Outsourcing defeats these and many other problems. So let’s discuss two great outsourcing options in detail.

Types of Bespoke Software Development Providers

The two primary outsourcing options when it comes to software development are:

  • Freelancer
  • Bespoke software development company

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of both options so you can decide which one would be more feasible for you.

Pros and Cons of Freelancers

Perhaps the greatest advantage of hiring a freelancer is that they are cheap. Since the market is highly saturated with independent service providers claiming to be experts at every job imaginable, freelancers often offer service packages that are quite easy on the pocket.

Secondly, when it comes to hiring a freelancer for bespoke software development, you can forget about the geographical limits that would otherwise restrict your access to talented individuals. Most freelancers offer remote work, which means you can hire someone with the right skills and expertise no matter where they are based in the world. You could be a business operating in France working with a freelance developer in Afghanistan.

Now let us talk about the negatives.

A glaring problem when working with freelancer software developers is that the cost often indicates the quality of work you can expect from the freelancer. Generally, the lower the cost goes, the worse the calibre gets. Thus, it is important to check for reviews instead of directly going for whoever is offering the lowest prices.

Freelancers are also often found working on multiple projects simultaneously. They work odd hours, juggling all sorts of work responsibilities, sometimes struggling to meet deadlines due to being overworked. You may have to really go after them if you want to see desired results on time. Thus, if you want to work with someone who can give your project their complete attention and be available whenever you need them to be, freelancers may not be the best choice.

There are a few notable platforms such as Fiverr and PeoplePerHour where you can easily find freelancers for all sorts of projects.

Pros and Cons of Software Companies

Let us talk about working with a bespoke software development company now.

Most software companies have a rigorous recruitment process where they critically test applicants’ skills and hire them only if they fit certain pre-decided criteria. Partnering with a software company will enable you to work with a team whose members are guaranteed to excel at their jobs. You can thus expect a higher quality of work from a software company.

A lot of companies give you the freedom to decide which roles you would like to take on for your particular project and then choose candidates that are most suited for those roles. You can also scale your team up or down depending on your needs depending on how many resources you need at each phase of your project. This way, you can manage the costs as well as distribute responsibilities efficiently.

Working with a professional software company guarantees undivided attention to your particular project. When a specific resource is assigned to your project, they work exclusively with you and nobody else. You can request that they report regularly to you and update you about project progress as often as you would like. Thus, it is much easier to keep track of your project when working with a professional company. Additionally, while freelancers might not offer post-launch support, software companies offer support and maintenance services that you can avail even after your project has been delivered.

Compared to freelancers, a software development company might offer its services for a much higher price. It is not impossible to find a provider with lower costs but, again, you will have to make some sort of compromise. Hiring a cheap software development company in India, for example, will definitely not offer the same quality that you would get from a software development company in the UK.

Finding a suitable provider can be a bit tricky. You can always choose the first company that shows up when you do a quick search on Google. However, a better option would be to properly go through review platforms such as Clutch and Manifest. These sites have verified reviews for all the companies listed on them. You can even filter search results based on budget, location, expertise, and other factors. For example, if you want to work with a software development company in London, you can set the country filter to London.