In-House Software Development vs. Contracting An External Provider

In-house software development isn’t for everyone, whether we’re talking about mobile development, development on the cloud or any other flavor of software development. There are some instances where it is the perfect solution to develop your own applications from scratch but there are other times that it should be avoided at all costs.

Still, you can’t argue with facts – the Society for Information Management reported that CIOs all over the world are spending more money on contracting projects to external software development service providers with the skills and expertise to implement them efficiently. So, how do you know if this is the right solution for your particular needs? Keep reading for a concise, but comprehensive, breakdown of the benefits of utilizing an external provider so that you can make an informed decision.

Why You Should Consider


In a perfect world, where businesses have bottomless budgets, no competition, and open deadlines, the option to hire an external provider probably wouldn’t exist. But, this isn’t the case, our world is full of economic upheaval, competition, and other problems. Hiring another company allows you to receive a quality product for an affordable price, often resulting in a quicker time to market and more worries for your competition.

But, hiring a specialist company for custom software development isn’t the preferred choice simply because it costs less, is quicker, and helps you stay ahead of your competitors. When you compare apples to apples, the work is often of excellent quality and is simply better.

Another reason that people hesitate to pursue the contracting option are the perceived risks associated with this practice. But, the truth is, these issues can be mitigated easily and have been drastically minimized through years of mutual collaboration. Nowadays, the tools for effective communication are readily available and more people and companies than ever use these tools on a regular basis making the technical side of communication a non factor.

Important Considerations


It’s important to note, however, that you should choose a local team for complex projects that require constant immersion in the business. Also, if the industry that you are in deals with highly sensitive projects (where a breach of security can cause harm) this project must be prepared carefully and must be approached with caution.

Thankfully, there are many legal and technical tools available that can help you solve these issues. You may also want to consider taking a mixed approach; using both offshore and in-house specialist on the different parts of the same project.

Before you contract your IT project to an external service provider, the duration, costs involved, industry, quality of the end product, and level of security should be carefully considered. In these instances, it’s wise to take heed of the old Russian proverb that says, “measure seven times, but cut only once.”

The best way to accomplish this is by hiring a business analyst or project manager to act as a single contact point within your business. This will drastically help improve communication (no need to go through several people to make one decision) and makes it easier to meet budget, time, and quality requirements.