When it comes to IT Outsourcing it is no surprise that we think it’s a good idea. We are a marketplace for outsourcing after all!
However, we understand that it might not always be possible. Often having an in-house team is mandatory. We have our own development team and do much of our development work in-house as well. We are certainly not against doing work in-house, but sometimes we think IT Outsourcing provides the best solution over hiring more people into your in-house team.
Still not sure? We thought we would take the opportunity to talk about a few different situations where we think outsourcing wins over hiring in-house.
Starting From Scratch
In an ideal world, developing a new product in-house would be a well-defined project with a clear goal. I think we all know of many situations where this isn’t the case! Developing new products can start with an idea, a user-suggested improvement, a hunch that a feature might work. These can lead to greatness, but they can also lead to costly delays, or result in no new products at all.
Often the scope of the work needing to be done can be unclear. Hiring new members of the team to work on a badly-defined project means you can spend months and months coding, and paying your new hires, as costs grow but no new products emerge.
Outsourcing in this case makes sense. In order to engage an outsourcing team you need to have a clear idea of what you are hoping to achieve. They will (they should!) give you a clear idea of cost, timings and what they will deliver. If you decide to change the scope of the project while you are working on it there will usually be additional charges. This gives a better focus for you to decide what you are hoping to achieve, and less chance you will keep pivoting your project, as if often the case with in-house development work.
IT Outsourcing Brings New Skills Into Your Team
When you are putting together an in-house team you are looking for certain skills in developing. As businesses grow, the skills that you need in your development team might change as your products grow and you add new features. Scaling your products as customer demand grows can also be an issue.
If you feel that it is time to bring a new skill into your team then IT Outsourcing can be a great option here.
This isn’t just something we are including in this blog, this is something we’ve done ourselves! It was great to be joined by web development expert Jakub Zalas who worked with our web development team for a week. During his time with the team Jakub ‘made several performance improvements and infrastructure servers’ and shared his expertise of Symfony with the team. This has given them new skills which they’ve used in their work since Jakub’s visit.
Michael Shearer, Chief Marketing Technologist at NetExperienced, echoes this. He used outsourced expertise when a client’s site was hacked, having first tried to fix the problem himself. He comments ‘I realized there is efficiency in using experts for such types of things vs. trying to solve internally.’
In-House Team Struggling or Too Busy
Development work is like anything else, there are busy times when a team finds it hard to have everything covered. At times like this outsourcing projects makes sense. Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to have everything covered when you need to, without growing your team.
This is a great way to respond to demand within your development team before you decide whether a larger team will be needed going forward.
For some types of business outsourcing could also be part of your business plan. For digital agencies IT Outsourcing is a great way to liberate your creative in-house team from having to deal with certain tasks. One example, a mobile agency can validate a guideline style, a few wireframed screens from a website or of a mobile app, and then outsource the building of the product within these creative guidelines. This gives the agency not just the ability to scale the work they do easily but let’s them focus on the area where their skills lie: creativity.
Agency Freshleaf Media call this ‘the third way.’ They talk about projects where working with an in-house team and an agency has produced great results.
‘Working internally for a company we had design skills in house, but opted to take on an agency to handle the development when we moved from a static to a database driven website.’
Having an in-house team, with outsourcing alongside that, has become the norm in many organisations. At Playerline.com they used IT Outsourcing to develop the first version of their app. However as Progress Manager, Rommel Paras, notes ‘over time as the app grew in users (over 100K on both platforms), this brought up more challenges.’ They now have an in-house team as well as outsourcing to programmers, testers and designers distributed around the world.
Porting Apps And Polishing Products
Once you have finished development of your Android app in-house, it could be the case that your team don’t have the skills to code it in iOS, or vice versa. Here outsourcing is a great option. You have a finished product that has been validated and tested so the scope of your project is well-defined. IT Outsourcing is straightforward, you can expect to get precise timings and a tight budget.
‘The projects that I have seen do well with outsourcing are these rewrites and ports. Design constraints, non-functional requirements and high-level system goals can be transferred along with the existing system to port or re-implement.’
Mike goes on to also identify another area where outsourcing works well. Alongside an in-house team, he suggests outsourcing discrete parts of the your project which can ‘be packaged up, sent off, monitored and the results then integrated into the final project.’ He feels this can work well with tasks such as ‘load testing a web site, foreign language conversion, or testing to a well-defined industry standard.’
Whatever your in-house development team looks like, I’m sure, like ours, they are always striving to code and ship better products and learn new skills. IT Outsourcing can be a great way to complement the team that you have and continue to deliver quality across your business.