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With the decision to build a digital product comes the choice of which path to choose.

Both, in-house development and outsourcing have their advantages and disadvantages. The decision of which model will serve your product best should be based on substantive evidence supporting each option, rather than on emotions or competition’s moves. In contrast to what some may say, it’s not a choice to be made dealing only in absolutes. What serves some enterprises well may not – and most probably won’t – benefit others. There’s no miracle panacea to every need in software development, thus once you know what you long for, check for the most suitable choice.

In this article

    In-house or outsourced, what is the BEST?

    So you’d like to build a digital project. There’s an idea, maybe already a proof of concept, the funds are earmarked for building a top-notch product or service. Now, it’s time for you to choose the development model.

    Insourcing, in other words, in-house development, means building digital products with your on-site team. You hire the team, supply them with tools, and have them perform tasks within your operations. Development outsourcing, on the other hand, is nothing less than hiring an external service provider to build your product. You choose the right partner, decide on the work’s scope, and their team does the coding. 

    It’s not about who but how

    If you’re looking for unambiguous answers, we regret to inform you that it won’t be that easy. We could narrow the topic to expressly stating that outsourcing is the best thing that could happen to enterprises in need of web development services. In short, we won’t. But right away, to relieve the struggle, we’ll do our best to shed some light on the choice between in-house and outsourced web development. Read on to find out what the decision should be based on and how to choose what’s best for you.

    Outsourcing and in-house development

    Pros of in-house development (but are they really?)

    Direct communication

    Face to face contact, smooth and easy communication, prone to distractions

    Fast response to changes

    Instant support to emerging issues

    Company culture fit

    Hiring staff to match the team and the company

    Cons of in-house development

    Costs

    The office, equipment, benefits, recruitment and training

    Hiring and dismissal

    The problem of teams remaining once bigger projects end

    Lower versatility

    Less access to other experts and their expertise – building an onsite team of programmers you have no access to architects, UX specialists, designers

    Lower innovativeness

    Great programmers rarely decide to work in environments without the possibility of changing projects

    Pros of outsourcing

    Cost efficiency

    “Time & material” model, the cost of hours “burnt”, adequate to project’s needs

    Diverse skills

    Outsourcing provides you with access to a greater talent pool

    Talent acquisition

    No HR-related challenges

    Efficiency

    Getting more work done, with simplified project management

    Cons of outsourcing

    Time zones differences

    Choosing the right outsourcing provider helps avoid time zones affecting smooth cooperation

    Commitment

    Responsible programmers and PMs understand the goals of outsourced projects just as good as onsite teams

    Taking into account all the above, we can assure you that it may look like clear guidelines on “how to choose”, but in real life – it depends. Now it’s the right time to reveal our biggest secret on choosing the best option to develop your next product or service.

    The process

    outsourcing process in software development

    Deciding on who will build your web application is far easier – or difficult, depending on which way you look at it – than just browsing through particular features once you know what exactly to search for. It’s not just the cooperation model (in-house vs outsourced) to choose between, it’s about discovering the process behind web development. The process defines the customer paths, how their products will be carried out and how their concerns will be addressed. 

    Hiring outside providers may carry some risks, but the advantages are undoubtedly worth considering. Outsourcing companies often are partnered with technology providers (AWS, Google, etc.), are less dependent on particular suppliers, have an extensive range of experts, not limited to programmers only. For many finest programmers, the opportunity to work on diverse projects is more appealing than settling down as a part of an in-house team.

    Regarding risks, this is where the process enters the stage. The process enables stability of development and long-term predictability, securing enterprises’ interests. It’s not uncommon for nearshoring companies to present the pros traditionally attributed to the in-house model. A good, trusty outsourcing provider handles the pros and cons, securing clients’ interest with key characteristics:

    Accountability

    The client is always welcome during meetings regarding their project, whether it’s a daily or a retrospective. Treating the client like the 12th player in soccer, we strongly believe the additional person on the team is important to the success of the project. 

    Transparency

    We provide clients with full insight into the work done, giving them access to the code of their project. The clients have the opportunity to check up on the work’s progress and dispose of it as they see fit along the process. 

    Openness

    There are more ways of executing successful and satisfying projects in software development than just outsourcing and in-house models. The hybrid approach may result in beneficial cooperation for enterprises wishing to extend or supplement their on-site development teams with an external workforce. 

    The choice is far beyond deciding on just the tools and skills and taking others’ words. We wanted to sum the above up explicitly, and there’s only one way to do so – it’s all about the process. 

    Which path should you take?

    Not-that-surprisingly, what seems at first glance to be a difficulty in cooperation with an outsourcing provider, can be executed more efficiently by a nearshoring company of your choice than by an on-site team. Since from now on, you know what are some hotspots in the potential future cooperation, here you’ll find some further tips and hints on what exactly to ask about. 

    Having considered all the pros and cons, knowing about the process, and knowing your idea through and through, you should be able to choose the most beneficial solution. What is considered pros of in-house development doesn’t necessarily always turn out great. Features considered as cons of outsourcing can be converted into the biggest assets. 

    At the end of the day, you should also know whether your company has what it takes to engage in satisfactory cooperation, as its success depends on the process on your side as well. What does it entail on the enterprise side? Do you have a roadmap and initial estimates, do you know how to describe requirements and user stories, do you have an interface concept and UX outline? And furthermore, do you know the tools and technology, do you have enough expertise on your side, including PMs, architects, and developers? However tedious it may seem, doubling the number of developers most often won’t double the speed of project execution. 

    Do you already know what will work the best for you, maybe starting with an outsourced/hybrid model, made-to-measure to secure your investment? Whatever you decide when starting a software development project, first make sure you have the process

    Not sure if you’re ready to make the decision? Don’t let uncertainty stop you from building your next great product or service. Try our free 1-hour consultation and see if we have what it takes to make it thrive, no strings attached. 

    Authors
    marcel_kasprzak_neurosys
    Marcel Kasprzak
    Managing Director
    testimony
    Jowita Kessler
    Content Marketing Specialist
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