When it comes to outsourcing, software development is something that almost always makes sense. But with so many different companies making different promises, who do you go with? And more importantly, who can you trust?
The Benefits of Outsourcing Software Development
Some of the most successful businesses in the world are built on outsourcing. And if it works for them, there’s a pretty decent chance it’ll work for you.
Outsourcing is effective for a variety of projects, tasks, and business functions, but it’s especially advantageous when utilized for software development. Here are some of the specific benefits:
· Cost savings. There’s a very limited supply of software development talent. Trying to hire full-time developers onto your team can be a very expensive endeavor. In addition to salary, there are benefits like payroll taxes, office space, etc. By outsourcing, you can avoid all of these ancillary expenses and only pay for what you need.
· Smarter use of time. By outsourcing software development, your team is able to better leverage its time to focus on core competencies – which may be sales, marketing, or customer service.
· Access to top skills. When most companies hire software developers, they either have to pay top dollar and lure someone away from a current job, or they’re forced to settle for lesser talent. When you outsource, you get access to talent with top skills without having to do all the leg work to entice them.
· Scalability. Growing fast? Uncertain of how your software development needs will fluctuate over time? Outsourcing offers incredible scalability and flexibility.
Every business gets different things out of outsourcing, but regardless of circumstances, you’ll almost certainly reap these four benefits.
The 3 Main Types of Outsourcing
Not all outsourcing is the same. In fact, there are three major categories or types:
· Onshore. This is the traditional model of outsourcing. It involves working with companies or contractors who are located in your home country. The advantages of onshore software development are no language barriers or issues with time zones. The biggest con is the cost. It can be very expensive.
· Offshore. When you go offshore – which means hiring a team from abroad – everything is 100 percent remote and virtual. And while this option can be extremely cost-effective, you’re often forced to communicate with people who speak another language and/or are in a totally opposite time zone. This can be frustrating and problematic in multiple regards.
· Nearshore. Finally, there’s the nearshore model of outsourced software development. This approach is very similar to offshore – in terms of cost and remote interaction – but has the benefit of proximity. A nearshore partner is typically in the same time zone, which makes efficient communication more practical.
The model you choose will depend on your location, budget, needs, and other organization-specific factors. (Though nearshore software development is becoming the preferred option for many companies.)
What to Look for in a Reliable Outsourced Partner
Whether it’s onshore, offshore, or nearshore, you want to make sure you’re partnering with a software development team that’s right for your business. Here are some things to look for:
Start by looking for recommendations and referrals. Do you know any other businesses or entrepreneurs within your professional network who have used outsourced software developers in the past? If so, can they provide a recommendation? It’s also important to keep your ears open for warnings. Ask your network if there are any firms that you should avoid.
Take all information with a grain of salt, but if you start to hear some of the same names popping up over and over again (good or bad), you probably have good intel. (Some quick Google research should help validate your research.)
2. Clear Communication/Accessibility
Communication is one of the biggest factors in the success or failure of an outsourced software development project. As you consider different partners, think through elements like:
· Cultural elements
· Time zone
These are just the surface-level details. You also have to consider reliability and accessibility. Do they get back to you quickly? Do they answer all of your questions? Can they follow specific instructions? (You can find out a lot of this information in the back-and-forth of the due diligence period.)
3. Understanding of the Project
How good of a grasp does an outsourced software development firm have of your project? Be sure to dig into specifics prior to making a hiring decision. Ask for feedback on what you want.
Here’s one foolproof tactic for ensuring someone is on the same page: Ask them to explain what you’re asking them to do in their own words. Then ask clarifying questions to see if they’re able to answer (or if they’re just stringing you along).
4. High Code Quality
Once you’ve confirmed that you’re dealing with a developer who is reliable and on the same page, turn to their coding skills. High quality, clean code is a must. Ask for examples of their past work so that you can judge their skills.
It’s also not unreasonable to ask for an example or sample of the kind of work you would receive for your project. This is a great way to see their processes in action.
5. Total Transparency
This is arguably the hardest element to find in an outsourced software development partner, but it’s so very important.
Total transparency means honesty, straight-shooting, and full/open disclosure. There’s no caginess or unwillingness to present information. Everything about your relationship should be an open book (and that goes both ways).
ZAGA: Nearshore Software Development
At ZAGA, we believe nearshore software development should be affordable and convenient. But we’re also strong in our belief that you shouldn’t have to compromise quality to get these perks – and that’s where we come into play.
When you partner with ZAGA for nearshore software development, you pick up a valuable extension of your team – a partner that’s focused on quality and transparency each step of the way.
Want to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!