In-house Vs Outsourcing Application Development – The difference

This is one of the most frequent questions that plagues companies at the planning phase of the mobile app development project. Time and again, organizations have pondered over it before finally kick-starting work on the project. Since app development forms a crucial part of the pie, for firms of all kind, large and small, it’s important for them to look at the merits and demerits of both outsourcing the development work overseas and hiring developers in-house, before coming to a conclusion. In such a case, it’s essential that firms take the right decision that is tailored to their needs. The bottom line here is not to consider this decision as an effect of the debate between outsourcing and in-house, but instead carefully evaluate all the factors including the expertise and experience of internal developers and outsourced ones, the cost incurred and then finally zero in on the approach that is in sync with their organizational goals.

A glimpse of the challenges and advantages of both the methods.

In-house app development – This is when a firm decides to assign the mobile app development to the internal squad of IT personnel. Although there are many merits of this method like better control over the project and hassle-free allocation of resources, firms cannot overlook the disadvantages of in-house app development.

Advantages –  

  • Companies can keep full control on the project
  • Cultural boundaries do not exist
  • Teams can gain better insights on the project by transfer of Knowledge between the team members
  • Efficient and effective communication between team members

Challenges –

  • Lack of competent and specialized resources as mobile app development demands a different skill set
  • Hiring a new team from scratch requires more time and shoots up the cost
  • Scalability is a big issue especially if the project expands
  • It’s one hell of a task to find the right developers who have good hold on the programming languages the company wishes to work on
  • Getting multiple domain experts to fulfill certain project needs is a cumbersome task

Outsourcing app development – This is when organizations consider assigning entire the app development work or a particular section of it, to specialized outsourcing agencies. With the advent of globalization, this method has gained immense popularity. Its proven results have made outsourcing the ideal way to accomplish excellent app development. Let’s take a look at its merits and demerits to give companies a better idea of it.

Advantages –

  • App development is in the hands of proficient, experienced and expert developers
  • Being up to date with new technology trends, outsourcing companies can resolve the pain points of app development, in a much better way.
  • Multiple choices for companies, as they can choose to outsource the entire project or go for staff augmentation or they can also adopt the mixed-sourcing model.
  • Time-saving as the work of app development gets more streamlined if handled by a specialized firm
  • Companies can significantly reduce the costs incurred by outsourcing the app development work to agencies based out of countries where the cost of labor is lower due to difference in the value of currency

Challenges –

  • Transparency in work can be an issue
  • It’s difficult to find the right outsourcing firm that can provide excellent app development services
  • Companies lose control on the quality of app development

Before firms decide on either of these two approaches, they should ask themselves a few insightful questions to get a better understanding of what they wish to achieve and which route will best serve the purpose. Some of these questions can be –

  • What are the challenges that the company wishes to resolve?
  • Is it a long-term or a short-term project?
  • Are there sufficient resources to fulfill the project requirements?
  • What is the complexity level of the solutions that the company seeks?
  • Are there skilled and experienced employees in the team who can handle such complexities?

Answering these questions will give them a fair idea of which road they should take. After deciding the approach, they can consider going completely in-house, or they can opt for outsourcing the app development work by either augmenting their staff by hiring new talent offshore or by outsourcing the project to a specialized agency.

Below are the three delivery models that businesses can opt for, keeping in mind their project goals.

Completely In-house – This works best for a company that is self-sufficient in terms of resources. Its employees are abreast with the mobile technology landscape and its various aspects, and hence, the firm doesn’t need any external help to complete their projects on time.

  1. Staff Augmentation – As the name itself suggests, this model is ideal for organizations that focus on augmenting their already existing IT team. Through this model, companies can leverage the skills of the internal employees as well as those of the new developers, testers or designers who are hired by the app development company.
  2. Project outsourcing – This model involves allocating the entire project to a specialized app development firm. It’s perfect for those companies that lack rudimentary knowledge of the mobile app industry as they are new to this domain and hence, do not have a full-fledged development team to deliver successful results for the project.

The first step of the process of selecting the right approach is to clearly chalk out the goals and the primary purpose of the project. Every company’s needs are unique to each other, therefore, gaining a thorough understanding of the project requirements, analyzing the merits and demerits of all the models, identifying the gaps, and then taking a decision meticulously is paramount to get optimum results.

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