With even the biggest names in the software industry opting to outsource projects, it is clear that outsourcing is becoming a more popular alternative. Smaller developers stand to benefit the most from outsourcing, not just because it offers competitive pricing, but also due to the wide range of options at their disposal. It is important to weigh outsourcing software development pros and cons to determine whether outsourcing is the right move for your company.
Outsourcing Software Development Pros and Cons
Outsourcing – Pros
Most companies base their decision to outsource on whether it is more available than hiring in-house developers. In the United States, for instance, the cost of a software engineer is high compared to a developer from India. This is the reason why big software companies outsource their projects to offshore companies, or countries with programmers such as China, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. Cost isn’t the only factor either. Many of these countries produce top-notch programmers at low costs, making it a more reasonable choice to outsource than using in-house engineers.
2. Access to a Wide Range of Skill Sets
It can be tricky to find a developer with a particular skill set to hire as an in-house software engineer. That’s because there’s always a shortage in a particular field of programming, and sometimes searching for programmers outside the country becomes the only viable option. Therefore, outsourcing makes it easier to find specific skill sets since it widens the search pool on a global scale.
3. Saves Time
Since most software companies work from project to project, they are much more efficient at completing outsourced tasks. Compared to hiring a dedicated team of developers, outsourced talent works much faster since they receive projects from several other clients. As such, outsourcing ensures that projects are always completed on time.
Outsourcing – Cons
1. Quality Concerns
The biggest issue with outsourcing is that it becomes rather cumbersome to perform quality control. This is one of the few advantages of having an in-house developer, because managing the quality of the project is easily done through constant monitoring and verbal communication. Getting low-quality projects due to outsourcing is a pitfall many developers fall into, usually because of attractive pricing. To avoid this, it is necessary to perform adequate vetting in order to select the companies with a good track record.
2. Poor Communication
Since the majority of countries producing low-cost, high-quality programmers are not native English speakers, communication tends to be an issue. Don’t underestimate the value of good communication especially when you’re orchestrating the development of a project from another country. Language barriers aside, time zone differences can also lead to the breakdown of communication. A lack of decent communication is one of the biggest reasons why companies choose not to outsource.
3. Dipping Morale within In-House Staff
Outsourcing projects get you high-quality results at a cheaper cost, but it also leaves your in-house staff feeling useless and unwanted. The company morale may take a nosedive as employees start fearing for their jobs. Along with the morale, productivity also plummets, and the situation can deteriorate to the point of generating hostility from the remaining in-house staff.
Outsourcing is a miracle solution especially for small companies with limited resources. That being said; however, it comes with its share of downsides, which should also be addressed to prevent further problems within the company. Weighing the outsourcing software development pros and cons will help you determine how it can influence your company.