“The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build.” – Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of C++
There is a reason why software outsourcing is on the rise, especially in startups. When you organize a project with support from outside professionals, you can improve outcomes, enhance efficiencies and sustainability, and save on a range of overhead costs.
However, in order to outsource custom software or technology-specific development (such as Python development) successfully, you need to be mindful of a few key variables.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Software and Application Development
Before covering some of the key variables with respect to both short- and long-term success, it is important to discuss the benefits of outsourcing. Some of the major benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Lower operating costs, especially in terms of the equipment and supplies required for software development, not to mention significant savings on in-house overhead costs. When working with a partner who follows an agile methodology, you will reduce your risk of ballooning costs.
- Clear milestones and efficient time management. A professional software and application development company will have the skills and team members necessary to meet strict deadlines. This will reduce the time to market, allowing you to scale more rapidly.
- Experts skills that result in a well-designed, highly functional end product.
- Team interaction and collaboration allow you to benefit from a fresh perspective.
- You can prioritize other critical internal tasks, including the development and scalability of your team.
Of course, the success of your partnership with an outside developer team will depend on a number of core factors. By understanding these factors, you can significantly reduce risk, ensuring a smooth, successful collaboration.
Five Considerations When Hiring an Outside Developer
In order to enjoy the benefits discussed above, it is imperative that you and your outsourced team are on the same page. To ensure this, consider the following when selecting a team to partner with:
1. Know Whom You’re Hiring
We’ve all heard some horror stories in IT, which are often the result of poor choices during the outsourcing process. To find a great software development team, you need to consider whether or not a team will hold itself to high-quality standards and prioritize your company’s objectives. At the end of the day, it is up to you to practice due diligence in verifying the certifications, experience, and expertise of any potential outsourced team.
2. Ensure You Share a Common Goal
When you outsource software development, you need to make sure that everyone is on the same page. The end goal is to create high-quality software, which will in turn grow your company. The right outsourced team will be both experienced and innovative, willing to collaborate with your internal team to reach a shared goal.
3. Set Clear Milestones and Maintain Open Communication
Software development success relies on setting and meeting clear milestones, which can only be done through open, honest communication. Of course, requirements are liable to change and evolve over time — which is all the more reason to maintain open lines of communication with your outsourced developers.
Before embarking on a partnership, discuss with your internal team what you want from the end product. A short list of specifications will allow an outsourced team to innovate while sticking to your core metrics.
4. Ask About Collaboration
You will want to work with an outsourced team that takes a proactive approach to understanding your needs while making its own informed suggestions for improvement. The key to the best product possible is collaboration between you and your outsourcing partner. On your end, think about the type of user experience and interface you want to achieve, then share this information with your partner.
5. Hire for Success
The most important variable to consider is your partner’s ability to drive your company’s growth and success. Can the partner in question offer end-to-end product development? If so, this shows their level of competence. From design to engineering, prototyping to market strategies, how well-rounded is your prospective partner?
When it comes to the most common risks involved in outsourcing software, a lot of these issues are 100 percent preventable. The key is due diligence from the start. Hire a team of experts who understand your needs. Throughout the process, remain open to one another’s ideas and communicate continuously.
Rahul Varshneya is the cofounder of Arkenea.