In today’s world it is almost impossible to run a business without some form of technology and more often than not, as your business grows, so do your software needs. There comes a time when it is in your best interest to consider outsourcing.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the use of contractors or other service providers to do some of the tasks that your company needs doing. In the 1990s it became a sound business approach. As globalization grew, outsourcing became easier and more popular. Now you don’t need to limit yourself to certain places. Thanks to technology, you can find better and more cost-effective services from anywhere in the world, a particular advantage for software developers who aren’t so tech-savvy.

Why is outsourcing more beneficial in the software industry?

Developing software is far more complicated than we might appreciate, even when looking at a straightforward program. From start to finish you could be looking at a process lasting anywhere from 17 weeks to 8 months. Every detail that you wish to add on is going to increase this amount of time.

When you consider the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) you will begin to see how complex the situation becomes. This life cycle includes everything from market research, the design of the software, the testing phase and post-production maintenance.

Is this something your business has the time to accomplish?

Who would you need to develop software?

In the first place, you will need a project manager who is in charge of designing the app and managing the production and standards of it. A business analyst will be compiling the market research, studying the rivals in the market and handling the market position on the product. There are typically two types of developers: the front-end who writes the code and deals with the user-facing, while the back-end focuses on the architecture of the application. It would be impossible not to provide an application that is suitable for a mobile, so the mobile developer converts the web version into a mobile version. These are just the main members of the team. Depending on the software and the size, there might be more.

Engagement Models

You have made the wise choice to outsource your software development. Now you need to decide which engagement model you feel you should use.

An engagement model is a set of rules that each person or party involved in the process, are obligated to abide by. It will ensure that the task is correctly planned and documented. When working in IT, there are three models that are at the forefront.

  • Time and Material
  • Dedicated Team
  • Fixed Price

Time and Material: This model is appropriate for long-term projects and it requires the client to be the project manager in every sense of the word.

Dedicated Team: Another model which is appropriate for long-term projects but in this case, it is the seller who holds the responsibility of production.

Fixed price: This model would be used for short-term projects and is more commonly associated with freelancers or subcontractors.

Finally, once you have decided which engagement model to be used, you can decide on the location in which you would like to outsource. When looking at locations you will notice that they are defined as onshore (within your country), nearshore (within 4 time zones of your country) and offshore (beyond 4 time zones of your country).

Places within North America are going to be highly specialized due to it being one of the most experienced in the IT industry but with this comes the higher wages. Eastern Europe is experiencing rapid growth as an IT outsourcing location and in general, the hourly wage is more reasonable; while in the west of Europe the cost will be relatively high.