Outsourcing has remained one of the most debatable topics for the last two decades. Companies around the globe are using this business strategy to grow their business by reducing operating costs & increasing the quality of services.
But while some entrepreneurs are applauding the benefits of outsourcing, a few others had terrible experiences with their offshore partner. This mixture of reviews from the entrepreneurs often leads to confusion.
So, should you consider developing in-house or outsource software development?
Let’s dig deep into the pros, and cons of outsourcing to find out the answer. But to get a quick overview, let’s first understand the difference between the two.
In-House vs Outsourcing (Pros and Cons)
In-house development or insourcing means building software within your organization. It includes the utilization of full-time local programmers available on-site, with a regular or fixed salary and other employment benefits. Developing software in-house also requires setting up an office or infrastructure with all the facilities (hardware and software).
Whereas, outsourcing refers to the process of hiring an organization or specific skills set to fulfill your software requirements. In this case, your software team will be working remotely or from an offshore location (country). While outsourcing, you can hire offshore staff on either an hourly basis, fixed salary, or based on the project requirements.
Now, if you have a clear understanding of both the terms, let’s continue with the in-house vs outsourcing comparison by taking a look at their pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
Thinking about outsourcing software requirements? Well, it’s a crucial decision to make, especially when you are an early startup working on a shoestring budget!
So, in order to clear out your confusion, let’s list down the pros of hiring offshore staff that every startup should know:
1. It’s Cost-Effective
According to the Deloitte 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 59% of companies consider outsourcing as a cost-cutting tool. According to the different statistics, the average salary of a developer in western countries is between $100 – $150/hour.
Whereas in Asian countries like India, the average hourly wage of a programmer ranges from $20 – $40/hour. It clearly signifies that outsourcing in India can help you develop your product in one-fourth of what it is going to cost in the USA.
Combining the cost of infrastructure, hiring expenses, and hourly rates of developers, you can reduce your development cost by up to 60% by outsourcing. Hence, outsourcing not only saves your time but a huge capital that you can utilize on other important matters to grow your business.
It is one of the biggest factors to consider in the comparison of developing in-house vs outsourcing.
Just to give you a heads up, here is the list of resources that you might need to build a software, website, or mobile app.
- Team of designers and developers
- Quality Assurance Testers
- Project Manager
- Infrastructure (Hardware and Software)
In the case of outsourcing, you can either hire these resources separately or open up an offshore development center and make it an extension of your in-house team or company.
2. Short-Term Commitments
It is the most underrated benefit of outsourcing. The ability to bring an expert on board, without long-term commitments is a great advantage.
As mentioned earlier, outsourcing allows you to hire developers based on three engagement models:
- Hourly Model
- Time and Materials Model
- Dedicated Team Model
Therefore, hiring developers on the hourly model can help you avoid any long-term commitments and pay only for the work done. Whereas, hiring an in-house team is a long-term commitment that is bound to a fixed monthly salary and other employee benefits.
Let’s understand it with the help of an example. Sometimes a need may arise to add a specific skill set in between your project. Considering you are aware that you need this resource for just two months, there’s no point to hire a new professional coder to your in-house team permanently.
Instead, just get in touch with an offshore company that provides IT staff augmentation services to hire developers with specific skills set, and complete your project without spending a huge amount.
3. Core Competency
“Do what you do best and outsource the rest” – Peter Drucker
Global outsourcing survey of 2016 by Deloitte states that approximately 57% of companies believe that outsourcing enables them to focus on core business.
When you follow this approach, you are actually accelerating the growth of your business. Especially in established companies, introducing a team of dedicated offshore developers reduces the burden on your in-house team, hence, increasing the overall work productivity.
So, why not choose to outsource in the early stage and focus on your core business functions?
4. Risk Mitigation
A lot of people forget to mention this benefit of outsourcing. In case they do, no one pays attention. However, it is one of the most significant advantages of hiring dedicated offshore developers. Getting confused? Wait!
Let’s get things clear by first listing down the types of risks involved in the software development project:
- Schedule Risks
- Budget Risks
- Operational Risks
- Technical Risks
- External Risks
Outsourcing is always bound by a legal contract. Not only it includes the scope of work, NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), but also some other important aspects like payment clause, time clause, performance clause, confidentiality clause, exit clause, etc.
Recommended Read – Legal Precautions in IT Outsourcing for Startups
Moreover, outsourcing is not just about handing over your responsibilities to another company, instead, it is more about collaboration and sharing. Hence, both companies share the benefits and risks involved in the process by default.
Cons of Outsourcing
Well, like every other strategy outsourcing does have cons. So, without further ado, let’s discuss them. Here are some common IT outsourcing Challenges:
1. Lack of Control
It is the most reported concern, where companies lose the traction of the project. This may happen due to the lack of project understanding by the offshore team. In the comparison of in-house vs outsourcing, this particular point will always be in favor of the former.
While you can always guide your offshore engineers, if your team is not a good listener and competitive, there’s a chance that you will lose control of the project, leading you towards a failed outsourcing relationship.
But you can avoid this issue by documenting all your requirements, creating milestones, and project charter. This way you can keep track of the work. In case things go wrong, it will help you to easily find out the whereabouts of the same.
2. Communication & Quality Concerns
No matter what the deal, it is always recommended to keep a single point of contact for all your communications. Communicating with an on-site team is far easier than the offshore team.
In the case of offshore development, communication becomes a bit complicated. The issues may arise if your team is located in an entirely different timezone, doesn’t have a reliable internet connection, and hasn’t finalized the preferred medium of communication. Plus, quality is another concern. If you are not getting the expected quality, then what’s the benefit of outsourcing.
But again, it’s easy to avoid these issues by collaborating with a reliable outsourcing partner and finalizing the right communication channels and time for meetings.
Pros and Cons of Developing In-House
Let’s keep it short and simple. Between in-house vs outsourcing development, working with a remote team will always be beneficial. But why do entrepreneurs opt for in-house development? Let’s find out;
Pros of In-House Development
1. Cultural Fit
Hiring a team of local engineers means working with people that share the same culture and beliefs. It helps the employees to integrate with the company efficiently, allowing them to add more value to their work.
2. On-Site Availability
Being able to connect with each other helps to work effectively and reduce any misunderstandings. As all the team is working together within the same office and time zone, it’s easy to get the changes done more quickly.
Cons of In-House Development
Building an in-house team is certainly beneficial. But it’s not susceptible to risks. In fact, there are more disadvantages to hiring local developers in comparison to outsourcing. Let’s take a look at them one by one!
1. High Cost
The cost to hire developers in-house is significantly higher than offshore developers. It’s simply because this cost is inclusive of the infrastructure, overhead salaries, other employee benefits, training costs, etc.
2. Lack of Talent
The IT industry is evolving rapidly, which is a good thing. But not every developer is passionate about upgrading their skills with the trends. The result is a shortage of talent with a specific skill set. So, the only option you have is to pay a significantly higher amount to bring in the required talent.
3. Low Retention Rates
Due to the higher demand and luring packages offered by other companies, programmers in the western and European countries keep switching jobs more frequently. Thus, there’s always a risk that your lead developer may switch jobs during the crucial phase of the project.
The benefits of working with an offshore team make outsourcing worth giving try. Who knows, while working with offshore developers, you may find long-term players that will be focused on the success of your business.
Hiring a professional local developer may seem awesome in the first place, however, some real issues exist while doing so. From recruiting the right talent to explaining your needs & getting the best out of the developer takes a lot of time and effort. This may distract your focus from core business functions, leading to a lot of confusion and the project losing its flavor.
A general recommendation is to evaluate the overall situation via SWOT analysis;
Getting a better perspective is possible only by conducting a self-evaluation of the situation. Outsourcing does take away a lot of the planning & execution part from your workload thereby freeing your efforts at focusing on tasks that demand your attention!
Did the SWOT analysis give you a signal for outsourcing? If you are planning to develop your software offshore, then you should definitely drop us your requirements at [email protected]
Or get in touch with our team to get help in strategizing your project in the best possible way!