Are you planning to build a new mobile app for your business? Perhaps, you want a ready-to-market mobile application fast.
If you are contemplating mobile application development, there are two options: outsource the project or hire an in-house team. More and more businesses and startups are considering outsourcing their project to a mobile application development company.
While hiring an outsourced team to build your mobile app requires due diligence, it is the best way to develop and launch your app, find devs across tech stacks and hire flexibly.
Ready to outsource your project? This article explains how to outsource app development.
From why you should hire to the benefits and how to outsource, it provides a comprehensive guide for startups and businesses on how to find the right mobile app development partner.
- Hiring an external app development team to build a mobile application for your business is called app development outsourcing.
- The six steps to outsource app development are to outline your project requirements, find the best outsourcing agency, check their portfolio, and choose the best service model and payment method before signing contracts.
- You can hire an onshore, offshore or nearshore development team to build your mobile application when outsourcing.
- Onshore outsourcing involves hiring a dev team to work remotely from your country, while offshore outsourcing involves working with a remote dev team in a far country. Nearshore app development means working with a dev team in a nearby country.
- When hiring an app development company, the pitfalls to avoid are not checking for experience, paying a large sum of money upfront, not establishing business communication and not signing an NDA.
What Is Mobile App Outsourcing?
If you don't already have an in-house app dev team, you might have to turn to an agency to design, build and deploy your mobile app for you. This process, also known as app development outsourcing, makes hiring a third-party agency to create your mobile application easy.
Outsourcing is a practice where a business hires an external development company to perform tasks, handle operations and provide services for the company. The outside agency, also known as the service provider, arranges for its developers to perform tasks from an external location.
Most app outsourcing companies have project managers, designers, developers, QA engineers, and testers who work as a team to build apps for different clients.
Why Do Businesses Outsource Their App Development?
There are several reasons businesses outsource their mobile application development; here are a few.
Hiring a dev team from an outsourcing company is much cheaper than employing in-house mobile app developers. This is one of the many reasons businesses, especially startups, consider outsourcing their app development project. Depending on your business location, if you decide to outsource to Eastern Europe, the cost cut can range from 20% to 40%.
Work with Experts
Hiring in-house programmers for rare talent is an uphill task, especially if your location has a skill shortage. If you outsource your app development project, you won't have problems finding and engaging experts who understand rare or new programming technology.
Build a Team
Mobile app development projects require the services of more than one software developer. If hiring in-house, you must assemble a team that includes a designer, developer, QA engineer, AppSec, etc. Getting all these professionals will take time and cost a lot, especially for startups with less budget. When you outsource your app development project, you will work with a company that has all these professionals already, making it easy to build a team quickly.
Better Business Focus
Developing a mobile application is a complex process that needs plenty of time and attention. This is in addition to the fact that getting in-house mobile app developers takes time. Once you outsource your project, you only need to provide feedback. You will have time to concentrate on your business while the experts handle your task.
Large Skill Set
The best app outsourcing companies have experts with different skills and experience. Usually, an app dev team consists of a project manager, business analyst, QA engineer, developer and designer, etc. So, no matter the skills your project requires, building it will not be a problem.
If your app development project becomes more complex, you must increase the number of team members. This might not be easy when you hire in-house mobile app programmers. But with an outsourced team, you can scale with the highest level of flexibility. For example, you can increase the number of app devs from 5 to 15 or reduce the numbers whenever you like.
Professional app outsourcing companies have protocols that ensure that your new mobile application works within local legislation and adheres to data protection rules. They use GitLab to store your code securely and Google Drive for project documentation. Also, signing an NDA ensures that your data and ideas are protected.
Quicker Development Process
Another reason businesses outsource their app development project is because they will get the software product quickly. Your development partner will carefully estimate the project and timeline and use the information to set a deadline for completing the tasks. This will make it easy for you to move from an idea to a market-ready product much faster.
Six Steps on How to Outsource Your App Development
Ready to outsource your mobile app development project? Below, we will share some tips on what you must do if you want to find the best outsourcing team.
Outline the Project Requirements
This step involved making a list of everything you need to build the app. You can do it in three stages:
- Consider your business needs. Why do you want to build an app? Do you want an e-commerce app that allows customers to shop for your products or a service app? Will the app give users access to free and paid services? Most business apps need payment integration. If your business accepts payment online, you should include that when writing your project requirements.
- Predict user expectations. How will your customers or clients use your app? Will they use it to search for your products? Most apps require a sign-in before users can access the features. Will your app require users to register? Note what your users expect you to add to your app and list them when writing the requirements. One way to do that is by doing market research. Note the features of your competitors' mobile apps and include them in yours.
- Clarify the kind of app and tech stack. Do you need an Android or iOS app? While most startups will prefer native apps, others prefer hybrid or cross-platform apps. Choosing the right mobile application type will help you choose the right tech stacks.
When choosing a tech stack, you should decide based on scalability, performance and cost.
A tech stack is a toolset programmers use to build apps. It consists of software applications, programming languages and frameworks. The tech stack for your project depends on the platform you are targeting.
For iOS apps, the technologies used are Objective-C and Swift. Aside from that, app programmers use integrated development environments like JetBrains’ AppCode and Apple's Xcode.
The tech stack for Android development is programming languages like Kotlin and Java and toolkits like Android Studio and Android SDK.
The tech stack for cross-platform apps is React Native, Xamarin, Titanium, Flutter, etc.
Find an App Development Company
There are various ways of outsourcing your app development project. You can hire freelancers or an outsourced team. While most startups favour freelancers because they are cheap, others prefer to outsource their projects to a team. Let's walk through some pros and cons of hiring freelancers before considering the types of outsourcing teams.
Pros of Outsourcing Your Project to Freelancers
- Many freelancers are competent in different skills that can help you build your app.
- You can outsource your project and access skills across the world.
- Freelance app programmers charge cheaper than in-house and outsourced teams.
Cons of Outsourcing Your Project to Freelancers
- Building a mobile app requires the skills of more than one developer. So, if you outsource your project to a freelancer, getting the team to work in sync will be a problem.
- Every development project needs a manager to oversee tasks. When you hire freelancer app devs, managing the project will be tricky if you don't know anything about app development.
- Since freelancers work for various clients, getting dedicated devs to work on your project can be challenging, especially when you need the team to build something that meets your business needs.
- Devs must complete your project before the deadline if you want to deploy it on time. Freelancers are known for abandoning projects halfway, which can delay deployment.
An outsourced team consists of ready-made devs with experience and skills across tech stacks to address your app development needs. You can use three outsourcing models if you decide to hire an external app development company to handle your project. You can engage an onshore, offshore and nearshore development company. Let's consider the various outsourcing types, one after the other.
Onshore App Development
In onshore development, you engage a team of app developers who work remotely from an external location. The developers are located in your business country.
- Since you and the app programmers are in the same country, communication is not a barrier because you are in the same time zone.
- Onshoring ensures that you engage a dev team that understands your language and shares a similar work culture.
- The setback of onshore development is the high cost involved compared to other outsourcing models. Since you and the programmers share the same living cost, they will charge a high fee for the task.
- Another setback of onshore app development is that if you have a limited talent pool in your country, finding a wide variety of programmers will be challenging. You have to explore other options.
Offshore App Development
In offshore development, you outsource your app development project to a dev team not located in your country. For example, a business in the US can outsource the project to a team in India.
- You can easily find programmers with different skills and experience if you have a skill shortage in your country.
- Offshore devs charge less than onshore programmers because they are located in a country with lower living costs.
- Offshore app developers are located far away and in different time zones. This will make it challenging to collaborate on a project and get tasks done quickly.
- You may not share the same work culture and language with offshore devs; this can result in a lack of understanding and cause friction when the programmers start working on your project.
Nearshore App Development
Although you and the programmers are not located in the same country in nearshore development, the primary difference between it and offshore is that the programmers are in a nearby country.
- Nearshore app development is the most cost-effective outsourcing model of the three.
- You and the dev team share a similar work culture, though you are not in the same country.
- Since the dev team is close to your country, you share the same or similar time zones.
In most cases, you and the app devs may not share the same language. This might make it difficult to communicate.
A portfolio gives insight into a dev team's services, skills and experience level. That is why you must examine their portfolio before signing a contract.
Check for past projects and reviews, and recommendations from previous clients. Regarding reviews, look for positive feedback and contact past clients, if possible, to ask about the company's work culture.
Another thing to do when checking a portfolio is to look for apps they have developed in the past. You can download and inspect apps and assess their features. If you are satisfied, you can move to the next stage.
Select the Best Service Model
An engagement model defines how you will work with the app development team. It includes the responsibilities, level of control and management.
Under this model, you outsource your project to a dedicated team that works exclusively at a fixed cost. The team has all the experts needed to build your mobile app, such as a designer, developer, QA engineer, project manager, business analyst, etc.
This model includes:
- A fixed-sized team
- A fixed budget
- A fixed period
Project-based model is popular with businesses and startups without an in-house dev team.
In the dedicated team model, the app development company you outsourced your project to is responsible for building and managing the team and quality control.
Hiring a dedicated team gives you access to a full-cycle development team that includes a project manager and all the experts needed to build a ready-to-market app for your business.
This business model works great for startups, midsize teams and businesses.
This model allows you to fill a skill gap in your team without employing permanent app developers. In this option, the nearshore development company is responsible for assembling a team of devs you can plug in with your in-house team with all the skills needed to build the app.
Choose the Most Suitable Payment Model
There are two payment options to consider if you outsource your app development project to a nearshore company. You can choose the hourly payment or fixed payment.
Pay-as-You-Go (Hourly Payment)
This is the most popular, flexible and transparent payment model because you pay only for the time the team spends working on your project. Also, you can easily change the scope or team size whenever you want.
This payment option is perfect for businesses with little knowledge of the work scope and who want to change the requirements along the way. The setback of hourly pay is that it gives you less budget control because you can't tell how long the development process will take.
In this payment option, you set a fixed amount you will pay the dev team after completing the project. Fixed payment offers low risk but lacks flexibility if you have to add more tasks to the project or need a change in requirements.
You can choose the fixed payment model if your app development project is small, and you can easily estimate how long it takes to build it. The setback of the fixed payment model is that it requires elaborate planning to identify all the requirements and deliverables.
You can hire an app development company when your requirements are met. Before you hire, ensure the dev team has all the experts needed to make your mobile app and the right skills. Also, decide on the right working models and payment options.
If skills, project management and payment are settled, you can sign an NDA and a contract with the outsourced team. The NDA will protect your ideas and the final product, while the contract will state what must be done and the completion time.
Benefits of App Development Outsourcing
There are several benefits of outsourcing to an app development agency. Here are a few.
Reduce Development Costs
Developing a functional mobile app your users will find useful is not cheap. That is why most businesses consider the cost of building an app before anything else.
The cost is even more if you hire in-house app programmers because you will pay in addition to salary insurance, time off, etc.
But when you outsource your app development to a nearshore development company, there is no need to assemble the team or manage them.
The app development agency will handle all that for you. Also, you only have to pay them for what they do; there is no need to pay for vacation and other benefits.
Increase Business Efficiency
Time-to-market is everything in business. When developing an app, you want the programmers to start working on it immediately and complete the task in less time without keeping your customers waiting.
If you choose to hire in-house, the hiring process alone is tedious, and when you finally find someone, onboarding is another time-consuming task.
Outsourcing your project guarantees that you form an app development team quickly. They will transform your business needs into a working product that appeals to your customers, allowing you to concentrate on your main business activities.
Outsourcing to an app development company means the team will be more accountable for your product. They will do everything to deliver a working software product that meets your customers' expectations. Mobile app devs will want to gain your confidence, referrals and repeat business. So, your app's success is theirs too.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Outsourcing Your App Development Project
Finding the right outsourced team can be challenging but quite manageable. Below are tips to help you make an informed decision when outsourcing your project.
Ensure You Check for Experience
One pitfall to avoid when outsourcing is not checking for experience. To do that, you should examine the app development agency’s portfolio, website and case studies and see how they have handled past projects. Also, it would help if you download some of the apps they have built and test the features and functions.
Sign an NDA
Your app ideas and the final product must be protected at all costs. When you work with an outsourced team, you entrust them with business-sensitive data; that is why you must sign an NDA. This non-disclosure agreement ensures that your sensitive data remain confidential and offers legal protection that prevents your ideas from being stolen.
Establish Business Communication Guidelines
Before finalising the deal with the app development company, you should establish communication guidelines. This includes setting how often you give feedback and when it is implemented, scheduling online meetings and means of communication.
Avoid Paying Large Sum Upfront
While advanced payment protects developers from unethical clients, remember that there are unethical devs too. To protect your company from unethical app devs, you should arrange to split the cost into instalments for the first few months of your cooperation.
Outsourcing your app development project has many more benefits than hiring in-house developers. But to get the best from an outsourced team, you have to do your homework. Some of the tips for outsourcing your app development project are:
- Outline your project requirements
- Find an outsourcing model
- Check portfolio
- Choose the best service model
- Use a payment model that fits your budget.
When you are sure you have the best app development team to work on your project, you can proceed to sign contracts and an NDA.
Ready to outsource your app development now? Deazy can connect you with dedicated app developers from our ecosystem to build a go-to-market software product for your business. Contact us now to learn more!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Application Outsourcing?
Mobile app outsourcing is assigning your app development to an external agency to build, test, maintain and manage your application.
Is It Better to Outsource App Development?
Outsourcing your app development project is faster and cheaper than hiring an in-house team. The outsourced team has app developers with different skills who can handle your project.
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