Executive Director at GoodCore Software, a leading software development company based in the U.K.
In recent years, businesses operating in many industries have been embracing the technological revolution and welcoming digital transformation. But software development, while highly demanded, is a niche industry that comes with its own set of required knowledge, expertise and skills.
Not every business, technologically inclined or otherwise, has the capacity to hire in-house software teams. A lot of startups often do not have the funds. Larger businesses may not want to go through the hassle of permanent, long-term recruitment.
This is where outsourcing comes in. While there are countless upsides to outsourcing software teams, such engagements can often easily go wrong.
Why Businesses Outsource Software Development
Outsourcing software development teams allows companies to hire professionals based precisely on what they need. They can choose which roles they need and which ones they could do without. Any budgetary constraints can also be easily accommodated. Here are a few other benefits that outsourcing has compared to hiring a team that works in-house:
• Controlled costs
• Lower risk
• Improved efficiencies
• Faster results
• Fresh perspectives
• Access to talent across borders
• Expert support
Three Mistakes To Avoid When Outsourcing
While hiring an external third party for any purpose seems like an easy task, you must exercise some caution. Based on my experience, here are three mistakes that many businesses make that can result in regrettable experiences with their outsourcing partners:
1. Not Having A Proper Plan Ready
In order to succeed, you need a solid strategy. As a buyer, you will not be able to develop a powerful strategy to meet your end goals if you do not know what those goals are. Therefore, problem definition is a crucial phase of the software development process.
The process of searching for a software partner involves reaching out to multiple vendors and shortlisting the best after a detailed comparison. If you do not know and understand your requirements, you will have a hard time speaking with the vendors.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself at this stage:
• What are my requirements for the project?
• What do I want the software to do?
• Who will be using this software?
• Designers, developers, QA engineers, managers—which roles do I need on my team?
• When do I need the software to be ready?
• Could cost difference be a dealbreaker?
You do not have to prepare extensive answers to all of these questions, but it is always a good idea to write down whatever you can in the form of an outline or brief. This can help effectively gather your thoughts as well as avoid possible confusion, miscommunication and misinterpretation. Some clients go one step further by using basic sketches as visual aids in initial meetings.
2. Failing To Review Candidates’ Previous Work
These days, for even the smallest purchase, most buyers make sure to quickly scan reviews of past customers to authenticate the seller’s credibility. Bigger investments, such as custom software development, warrant more extensive research.