Should You Partner with an Outside Firm for Application Development?

Should You Partner with an Outside Firm for Application Development?

Outsourcing application development divides opinion. There are those who feel strongly that developing the capabilities in-house is the right answer for them, often citing maintaining control of the project as a key reason in support of this stance. Then there are those for whom outsourcing delivers clear advantages, driving business performance and enabling agility in a rapidly changing landscape.

Gartner states that “by the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them.”   That’s pretty significant.   So, bandwidth aside, what are the typical reasons for engaging a partner for application development?

Get an outside perspective

The resource-intensive task of developing applications under time pressure can leave in-house teams feeling they can’t see the wood for the trees. Outsourcing app development should enable businesses to keep focused on the overarching goal because you’re not experiencing the everyday pressures that can end up compromising the initial vision.

Keep to schedule

“Oh no! Our delivery date is just around the corner but we still have QA to run . . . let’s push this to production anyway and deal with it in the next release.” Diego Lo Guidice from analyst firm, Forrester, is echoing a scenario familiar to many businesses trying to get an application delivered at speed. Diego’s excellent report, Five Must-Do’s For Testing Quality At Speed is well worth a read.

Provided that the milestones are clearly communicated at the onset of a project, an outsourced team should be better at staying focused ensuring key stages are completed in a timely fashion.

Immediate access to skills

Building a development team in-house to handle app projects isn’t easily achieved in a hurry. It takes time and financial investment to find the right people with the right skills, and ongoing investment to ensure those skills remain compeititve. When you outsource, you’re tapping into a skills pool that completely matches your needs, and maps onto where you want to end up, not where you came from. When their application projects take our clients in new directions, the journey into the unknown can be daunting. This is where skills and experience are hard to beat.

An extension of the team

I’m going to stick with that last point a while longer. When you hire an application development service provider, you’re hiring all their combined experience. If there are shortcuts, they’ll take them; but just as importantly, they won’t skimp on key processes and methodologies. To get a sense of how this way of working feels from the client’s perspective, take a look at how Steve Landry, COO and Global Head of Technology at the global fintech company, GlobeOne, describes collaborative working, “As a start-up working on a new mobile platform, there is a lot of customization and change in direction that takes place as we go through our development phase. The Apexon team has been able to adapt, respond, support us and keep us on track all along the way. Their collaborative nature and our ability to tap into their expertise, their understanding of the space, and their experience with other customers has been invaluable.”

Often, cost is the initial driver in the move to outsource. However, ultimately, in a market that rewards quality and time to market, the success of a project is measured in many ways — market share, ratings, ease of use, productivity, to name a few. If you are clear about your goals from the start, it is typically wiser to consider outsourcing at least some aspects of your application development.

Contact us to see if we can help with some aspect of your application development.

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