Should You Outsource Your Web Development Efforts?

Posted on: September 30th, 2014 - Written by: John Blomberg

No matter what industry your company is in, you likely have needed some sort of web development in the past—or you find your business in need of it now. In today’s technology marketplace, there are numerous opportunities available for outsourcing some or all of this development work.

Should You Outsource Your Web Development Efforts?“The past few years have seen the rise of outsourcing across industries. Enterprises outsourced business processes such as customer services in an attempt to save big on spending during the economic recession. The IT industry also embraced the practice, outsourcing not only production and manufacturing but also product development and design. With startups cropping up and software as a service (SaaS) gaining ground, more and more IT players are relying on outsourcing to save time, effort and capital,” says business development coach Lucien Moon.2

Many companies these days are deciding to outsource web/software development. There are several possible reasons for this shift away from internal development work:

  • Outsourcing can be an economical solution to development needs. It is expensive to support an in-house IT department, even if it is comprised of just a few employees. Outsourcing allows companies to get the web services and products they need without the huge overhead cost of an internal department.
  • An outsourced team can provide fresh perspective. Particularly helpful when software development is needed to solve existing problems (maybe even longstanding ones), fresh eyes on your challenges can help provide breakthrough solutions.
  • Your web development needs might be outside the source of your internal department’s scope of expertise. Even if you already have an internal IT department, you might find it beneficial to outsource certain projects. Michael Schneider, CEO of Mobile Roadie, a self-service mobile app platform, said this: “IT departments that think they can do it all can actually be dangerous for the companies that employ them. If you’re a technology company, meaning tech is your main business and not just a function within a larger organization, perhaps it does make sense to try and build in-house. But for most organizations, IT groups simply exist to serve the larger purpose of the business, likely something other than tech.”1

Web and software development work requires specific knowledge and experience. It’s not something you want to hand off to just anyone. If you’ve decided to look for an outsourced web development team, make sure you pick one that has all of the following characteristics:

  1. The team should understand your technical needs and have the appropriate amount of (proven) experience needed to meet those needs.
  2. In addition to understanding technical ins and outs, a web development team also needs to understand how to plan, design, and deploy mission-critical enterprise software. In other words, your outsourced development team needs to have a firm grasp of what makes your company work well—and can then translate that knowledge into tangible products and services that make your business even more efficient and profitable.
  3. As with any new hire, an outsourced team must be able to work well with your existing departments. A seamless transition is crucial for success.

In addition to these general components, below is a list of specific roles that a good outsourced software/web development company will offer. Beware of outsourcing firms who promise to do everything for your project while neglecting some of these functions.

Business Analyst: prioritizes, makes decisions, and provides information in a timely manner.

Scrum Master: facilitates and schedules the team, obtains resources, and protects the team from problems.

Development Manager: manages multiple priorities of conflicting projects.

Solutions Architect: matches technologies to the problems being solved.

Back-End Developer: writes code for each project based on detailed specs.

UX Front-End Developer: ensures high-quality user experience on each project.

Quality Assurance Team Member(s): guarantees high level of quality in each end product.

Deployment Personnel: packages all code and files for deployment through the appropriate systems.

As you can see, there is a wide variety of roles needed for successful web development—whether outsourcing or not, make sure your business has all the needed components to develop web solutions that will help you dominate your market.


Sources:

1 http://mashable.com/2012/02/28/outsource-software-development/

2 http://www.businessandsoftwarestrategyforglobalisation.com/when-to-outsource-your-software-development/

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