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Comparing In-House vs Outsourced Software Development

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Today’s fast-paced technological landscape has presented modern businesses with a choice: Evolve or become obsolete. This choice manifests in diverse forms. For instance, several companies are stuck between establishing their in-house software development team or outsourcing. 

While both options are great, and companies can use a hybrid model where they can integrate their in-house dev team with their third-party software dev vendors, it’s important to analyse each option individually. This way, enterprises can have all the facts they need to make an informed decision. 

In this comprehensive guide on in-house vs. outsourcing software development, we delve into the pros and cons of both options. Our aim is to provide businesses with a detailed analysis that illuminates the unique benefits and potential drawbacks of each, thereby equipping enterprises with the knowledge needed to make the best choice for their specific circumstances. 


Overview of an In-House Software Development Model

In-house software development involves creating a dedicated team within the organisation to handle all aspects of software development, from initial planning to deployment and maintenance. 

Here's a more detailed look at in-house software development:

Characteristics of an In-house Software Development Model

  • An Internal Team: The development team is composed of the company’s employees. This ensures that the team members are fully integrated into the company's culture and more closely aligned with its goals and values.
  • Customised Solutions: In-house development allows for the creation of software tailored to the organisation's specific needs and processes, providing a custom fit that might not be achievable with off-the-shelf software.
  • Control and Flexibility: Having the team on-site allows for greater control over the development process, including more direct oversight, easier changes in direction, and better management of proprietary information.
  • Long-Term Commitment: In-house development often reflects a long-term investment in both the software and the team, with ongoing support, maintenance, and updates.


  • Tailored Solutions: In-house developers know the company’s vision and requirements and are better suited to address specific business needs and processes more precisely than third-party vendors or generic software.
  • Direct Communication: With an in-house dev team, experts can be located in close proximity to each other This fosters greater collaboration and communication between colleagues and other departments or stakeholders.
  • Intellectual Property Control: Developing a software solution in-house grants companies full ownership of that software, including source code and design, which is crucial for proprietary or sensitive applications.
  • Adaptability: There is a quicker response to changing requirements or business environments due to closer proximity to the operations.


  • Resource Allocation: Establishing an in-house IT dev team requires significant investment in hiring skilled staff, infrastructure, and technology. Expenses like recruitment costs, employee salaries and benefits, office space, hardware and software, utilities, legal fees, project management tools, cybersecurity, maintenance, team-building activities, and contingency funds are to be expected. 
  • Management and Coordination: Establishing and sustaining an in-house team of software developers requires effective project management and coordination within the organisation, or else you won’t derive the benefits. 
  • Training and Skill Development: For your business’ longevity and competitive advantage, continuous training is necessary and quite non-negotiable for an in-house team, as they must remain updated with the latest technologies and practices.
  • Scalability: Rapid scaling up or down for an in-house model can be more challenging compared to outsourcing.
  • Risk Management: The company bears all the risks associated with the development process, including technical challenges and project failures.

Who Should Use an In-House Software Development Model?

In-house software development is an ideal approach for organisations with specific characteristics. For instance, it is particularly well-suited for:

  • Businesses that have unique operational processes or industry-specific requirements that standard software solutions cannot adequately address. 
  • Organisations that require full control over their software, especially concerning aspects such as security, compliance, or intellectual property, also benefit greatly from this approach.
  • Companies that view technology as a fundamental component of their long-term business strategy and are prepared to make a sustained investment in it. 
  • Enterprises that require their software to seamlessly integrate with existing internal systems and processes to ensure smooth operations and efficiency.


Overview of an Outsourced Software Development Model

Outsourced software development refers to the practice of a company hiring external service providers to design, develop, and maintain its software projects. This model can range from engaging freelancers for specific tasks to hiring a full-service software development company for a complete project. 

Here’s a detailed look at this model:

Characteristics of Outsourced Software Development

  • External Teams: The development work is performed by individuals or teams who are not company employees. They can be located in the same country or abroad.
  • Contract-Based Work: With an outsourced software development model, the relationships with the third-party teams of developers are governed by contracts specifying deliverables, timelines, costs, and legal obligations. 
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Companies using this model can scale their development efforts up or down based on project requirements without hiring or laying off employees.
  • Access to Global Talent: Via outsourcing, companies have access to a vast pool of talent across the world, which can be particularly beneficial for finding niche skills or cost-effective labour.


  • Cost Savings: Significantly fewer costs due to differences in labour rates, especially in offshore outsourcing.
  • Focus on Core Business: This model allows companies to focus on their core competencies by offloading software development to specialists.
  • Rapid Scaling: Quick scaling of development capabilities without the tedious process of recruiting and hiring.
  • Access to Expertise: Access to a wide range of expertise and experience that might not be available in-house.
  • Risk Mitigation: Some risks are transferred to the vendor, who is responsible for delivering the project as per the contract.


  • Quality Control: Ensuring the quality of the final product with this model can be challenging when development is not done in-house.
  • Communication Barriers: Differences in language, time zones, and culture can lead to communication challenges and misinterpreted demands. 
  • Loss of Control: In the context of outsourcing vs in-house development, one notable difference is the level of control. Specifically, outsourcing typically involves less direct oversight, which can influence the management and coordination of projects, impacting both the workflow and the final outcome.
  • Intellectual Property Concerns: Since the product isn’t created in-house, risks related to confidentiality and intellectual property, especially with offshore outsourcing, might arise. However, this can be addressed with a detailed contract. 
  • Dependency on Vendors: Companies who outsource can become increasingly dependent on external vendors for critical business functions.

For a deeper dive into the topic, explore our discussion on what are software outsourcing challenges

Who Should Outsource Their Software Development?

As much as seven in 10 British businesses outsource their key business operations. [1] More specifically, outsourced software development is particularly suitable for companies with limited in-house expertise or those needing to complete projects rapidly. It's also a fitting choice for businesses with variable workloads or project-based requirements and for those looking to minimise operational costs. Additionally, this approach is especially beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses seeking operational flexibility without committing to the long-term responsibilities and expenses of maintaining an in-house team.

Are you interested in learning more? Discover comprehensive strategies in our guide on when to outsource software development.


In-House vs. Outsourced Software Development: 10 Factors to Consider

When deciding between an in-house and an outsourcing model, there are several critical factors that businesses must take into account. Here, we'll explore these considerations in detail.

1. Core Competencies and Business Strategy

Core competencies are the main strengths or strategic advantages of a business, the things it does best. On the other hand, business strategy refers to the overarching plan or set of goals a company follows to achieve success and a competitive advantage. 

Here’s how both models perform with this factor:



For companies where software development is a core competency and integral to business strategy, having an in-house team ensures that all initiatives are closely aligned with goals, fostering innovation and long-term competitive advantage.

When software development isn't a core competency, outsourcing allows a business to focus on what it does best. It aligns with strategies that seek to capitalise on external expertise while concentrating internal resources on core activities.

2. Cost Considerations

Cost considerations involve analysing the expenses associated with different options and how they impact a company's budget and financial health.



This involves significant upfront and ongoing investment, including salaries, benefits, training, and infrastructure. However, for continuous, large-scale projects, it can be more cost-effective in the long run.

Often more cost-effective, especially for one-off projects or when specialised skills are needed temporarily. It also saves on long-term labour costs and overheads such as office space and equipment.

3. Control and Customisation

Control refers to how much oversight a company has over the development process, and customisation is the ability to tailor the software to meet specific business needs.



Ensures high levels of control and the ability to customise software extensively, as the development team is directly aligned with the business's internal processes and goals.

Outsourcing may lead to reduced control over the development process and potentially lower levels of customisation due to communication gaps or a mismatch in understanding specific needs.

4. Expertise and Talent

This factor is all about the level and type of skills and knowledge required for software development, which differ when comparing in-house vs outsourcing software development. 



Building an internal team ensures that skills and knowledge are closely matched with the company's long-term needs. However, it can be time-consuming and costly to recruit and retain top talent.

Gives companies unmitigated access to a global talent pool, offering a wide range of expertise and experience in specialised skills that might be difficult or expensive to acquire locally.

5. Scalability and Flexibility

Scalability is the ability to adjust the size of the development team based on project needs. Flexibility, on the other hand, refers to how quickly a company can adapt to changes or new requirements in development. 



Scaling an in-house team requires significant time and HR resources, making it less flexible in the short term but potentially more stable in the long term.

Offers high scalability and flexibility, enabling businesses to adjust the size of their development team quickly and efficiently in response to their changing needs.

6. Time to Market

This is the period it takes to develop a product and make it available to consumers.



It might take longer to get up to speed, but an in-house team’s deep understanding of the business can eventually lead to efficient development cycles.

Can accelerate development processes, especially when using teams in different time zones, potentially leading to faster project completion and a quicker time to market.

7. Quality Assurance and Standards

Quality assurance and standards are all about the measures and practices in place to ensure that software meets certain standards and performs as required.



Provides direct control over processes and standards, potentially leading to higher quality outputs as the team is more attuned to the company's specific standards and expectations.

Requires establishing and enforcing clear quality standards with external teams, which can be challenging and may demand rigorous oversight.

8. Security and Intellectual Property

Security and intellectual property are some of the most important factors. It involves the protection of sensitive data and proprietary information involved in software development.



Offers better control over data security and IP protection, as all development is done within the controlled environment of the company.

Raises concerns about data security and IP, necessitating strong contractual agreements and careful vendor selection to mitigate risks.

9. Cultural and Communication Factors

Cultural factors relate to the shared values and practices of a team, while communication involves how effectively information is exchanged.



Fosters a unified company culture and more straightforward communication, leading to potentially more effective collaboration and understanding.

Might face challenges related to cultural differences and communication barriers, particularly when working across different time zones or languages.

10. Risk Management

Risk Management in software development involves identifying, assessing, and strategically handling risks that could impact the project's success. These can include technical challenges, project delays, budget overruns, compliance issues, and security vulnerabilities.



Poses risks such as resource allocation challenges, potential skill gaps, project management issues, and maintaining up-to-date technical expertise. Risk mitigation in this setting includes investing in employee training and development, implementing effective project management methodologies, ensuring adequate resource allocation, and establishing comprehensive security and compliance protocols.

Risks in outsourcing often include potential miscommunication, misalignment with project goals, dependency on the vendor's reliability, and concerns over data security and intellectual property protection. However, they can be mitigated by thoroughly vetting the vendors, establishing clear contractual terms, maintaining strong communication channels, and establishing robust monitoring and oversight mechanisms.

At a glance, here’s how in-house vs outsourcing software development compares against each other. 


In-House Development



Core Competencies and Business Strategy

Aligns with strategic projects; focuses on core business functions.

Suitable for non-core activities; allows focus on primary business areas.

Depends on business focus

Cost Considerations

Higher initial investment; predictable long-term costs.

Variable costs; potential for cost savings in labour and operational expenses.

Outsourcing (for cost saving)

Control and Customisation

Greater direct control; more tailored solutions.

Less direct control; reliant on vendor's understanding and capabilities.


Expertise and Talent

Limited to available in-house skills; retains institutional knowledge.

Access to a wide range of global expertise; possible loss of knowledge post-contract.

Outsourcing (for diverse expertise)

Scalability and Flexibility

Operational flexibility: scaling up requires long-term resource commitment.

Easier and quicker to scale; flexible in adjusting workforce according to needs.


Time to Market

Depends on the team's expertise; potentially slower due to setup and training.

Faster start and quicker deliveries due to immediate access to specialised skills.


Quality Assurance and Standards

Direct quality control; alignment with internal standards.

Dependent on vendor's processes; requires robust vendor management.

In-House (for control)

Security and Intellectual Property

Enhanced control over data security and IP rights.

Potential risks in data security and IP negotiations.


Cultural and Communication Factors

Strong cultural alignment; easier direct communication.

Possible cultural and communication challenges due to external teams.


Risk Management

More control over risk management strategies.

Increased dependency and vendor-related risks.



Outsource With Confidence: Partner With Deazy for Expert Software Development

At Deazy, we specialise in offering comprehensive software development and consulting services to a wide range of clients, from VC-backed startups to major enterprises. Our global network encompasses a vast array of tech professionals, including software programmers, QA experts, project managers, testers, and DevOps engineers – equipped to craft a custom software solution that meets your specific requirements.

Why Choose Deazy for Your Outsourcing Needs?

Deazy is an ideal solution for companies weighing the benefits of in-house versus outsourced software development. It offers a unique blend of advantages that address the core needs of businesses looking to optimise their software development processes. Here’s why you should choose Deazy. 

  • Expert Talent Pool: Our rigorous vetting process ensures that we onboard only the most skilled and compatible professionals, maintaining a high standard of quality and expertise across our 6,000+ developer talent pool.
  • Customised Engagement Models: Understanding that each business has unique needs, Deazy provides flexible engagement options. Whether you need project-based hiring, want to extend your in-house team with our remote developers, or require a dedicated team for long-term projects, we tailor our services to match your business model.
  • Commitment to Delivery: We stand by the quality of our work. If a team member fails to meet your expectations, we guarantee a hassle-free replacement at no additional cost to ensure your project remains on track without compromising quality.
  • Seamless Project Management: Our dedicated internal delivery managers ensure your project's success from inception to completion. They oversee all project stages, guaranteeing alignment with your goals and a smooth execution.

Simply, outsourcing your software development to Deazy not only gives you access to top-tier talent but also frees you to focus on your core business activities, secure in the knowledge that your projects are in expert hands.

Engage With Deazy for Outsourced Excellence

Ready to experience the efficiency and quality of outsourced software development? Contact Deazy today to discover how our tailored services can accelerate your business goals with cutting-edge technology solutions.



In navigating the complex decision between in-house vs outsourced software development, businesses must carefully consider their core competencies, strategic goals, and specific project requirements. By doing so, they can ensure they are well-positioned to meet current and future challenges, delivering software solutions that drive success and innovation. 

Remember, with Deazy, you have a partner ready to navigate these complexities, offering the expertise, flexibility, and dedication needed to transform your projects into remarkable successes. So, contact Deazy today and propel your company forward with technology solutions that are as dynamic and forward-thinking as your vision.



What is the difference between in-house software development and outsourcing?

In-house software development involves creating software within the company using its own employees, while outsourcing involves hiring external teams of experts to develop the software.

Why would you rather outsource your software development than develop it in-house?

Outsourcing software development is often chosen for cost savings, access to a broader range of expertise, and the ability to scale the workforce flexibly and quickly.

Which is better, outsourcing or in-house software development?

The better choice between outsourcing and in-house development depends on a company's specific needs, resources, and strategic goals; there is no one-size-fits-all answer.