I know that the topic about software development outsourcing has millions of variations and most of them are aimed at marketing of their own outsourcing company, its staff and engineers. In my article I want to cover another aspect of outsourcing in software development.
Where is the main risk? Why there are so many stories about awful experience working with an outsourcing company.
My personal point of view is the following, if you apply just directly to the company which does software development with its own staff, sitting in their office and officially hired engineers, and the only thing is that they are simply located in another country, there is no a lot of risk. As in any country there are good and bad software developers and the risk that you will hire a company or an engineer with lack of expertise is real in both cases. As well, if we don’t speak about software development companies, but discuss software development outsourcing with regards to so called “solo developers”, there would be always good and bad developers. If you are not a professional, it will be extremely difficult to identify the lack of necessary experience in the very beginning of the process.
The main problem, which exists in software outsourcing, you cannot visit the executor’s office and check presence of declared staff. Applying to a local software development company, you always have a possibility to visit them in their office and check the staff they have and at least make sure that engineers exist.
Way out: pay attention to reviews telling about experience of other clients, the more detailed review is — the better. If there are no projects published, all portfolio projects are impossible to verify, no reviews which seem realistic — don’t risk.
So how to outsource software development?
Important! The main issues take place when an OUTSOURCING company is trying to OUTSOURCE the software development projects to other freelancers because of lack of resources or absence of expertise in required technology. This process is fatal from the very beginning, first of all because, they don’t tell about it to the customer directly. And if already there is no trust from the very beginning, how can you trust your business to a “faker”? How can they guarantee privacy if the engineer working on your project is not officially hired by the company, and potentially can leave any day?
If the software development company hires an outsourcing developer and you see the problem in communication, and when the process of a feedback or answer takes longer, then it should, most likely this outsourcing agency is outsourcing its work and hire unqualified staff.
Also, I never understood why, however, lots of companies, especially outsourcing companies, announce that they have multiple headquarters where their staff is located. On practice, it is whether a fake information from the very beginning, whether they have some representatives there, one or two, but even not engineers, at the best case business development managers. The development, estimations all would still be done in the main office. However, usually, rates would be higher in this case.
Communication in the software development outsourcing is considered to be of high importance.
Make sure! You and the engineer, outsourcing company or anyone else you have selected is on the same wave with you. Pay attention to the contract details, hiring a freelancer or outsourcing company as well.
Software projects outsourcing
There are also cases, when whole projects are outsourced. So, a consultant is based in US, he or she is a native US citizen, and he hires a company or two, or a group of developers who are working on projects while native consultant keeps communication with potential customers.
I personally don’t see anything bad in this approach, IF the customer knows in advance about the business process. Unfortunately, it is very common, when the customer doesn’t know the initial process, and paying according to the US rates, he discovers, that there is usually no hired developers in the office, when apparently decides to visit the software development company he hired.
I would also like to add, that there is nothing bad to tell, that some areas of software development are not a part of your expertise. As well as, there is nothing bad to tell that potentially this piece of software can be done by your company, however, there are no similar software already developed in order to show as an example.
Here is one of the main complements we got from a customer, who provided clutch.co with an interview about software development experience with Code Inspiration:
What did you find most impressive about Code Inspiration?
“ — Other firms will promise more but give less. Code Inspiration is much more realistic than any other agency I’ve worked with.”
Nick Xenos, CEO, Gmooh LLC
Full Nick Xenos’ review on Clutch
Software outsourcing itself, is a good model of work, which helps many businesses to keep development CHEAPER, in the countries where rates are extremely high; BETTER in the countries, where there are no deep IT expertise.