Software Outsourcing: Does it Work for Every Project?

Undertaking a software development project can be a big task. With an increasing number of tech companies outsourcing all or part of their development, how do you know if it’s right for your project? 

There are several important elements to consider with software outsourcing, including the project timescale, what resources you have internally, what risks are involved and what the project budget is.

Let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail:

Does Your Software Development Project Have a Deadline?

Software outsourcing works well for projects that need to be completed by a specific date. One of the principal benefits of outsourcing development is the speed at which a software outsourcing company can turn the project around.

The best software outsourcing services deliver exactly what you need, when you need it. An experienced team will have the processes and procedures in place to ensure a productive workflow. 

When it comes to estimating a timescale for your project, it’s worth noting that according to software management company QSM, the average software development project takes just under 12 months to complete and requires 11,414 hours of effort.

Do You Have the Resources to Develop the Software Internally?

Before deciding whether you should outsource your software development, you should consider the expertise of your internal team. Do they have the skills and experience to deliver what your project needs? Are there any skills gaps?

Even if you do have all the internal resources to deliver the project, you may not have the time. If your team is overloaded with projects and working through a backlog, outsourcing can free up their time to focus on ongoing work. 

Interestingly, according to HackerRank’s 2018 Developer Skills Report, the biggest gap in software developers’ knowledge is with JavaScript frameworks.

What is the Risk to Reward Ratio of Outsourcing your Project?

Every software development undertaking carries an inherent amount of risk. The best software outsourcing companies will help you identify any potential issues, so you can make an informed decision about whether outsourcing is the best option. 

At BairesDev, we carry out feasibility studies as part of our outsourcing process to provide technological and budget validation. We deliver proof of concept, develop prototypes, and carry out ongoing testing to minimize the risks early in the product development cycle.

What is your Budget for the Project?

Depending on your project requirements, some software outsourcing services will be able to provide you with an up-front cost for the work, so you know exactly what the price will be before the project begins.

Other times, with large projects where calculating time is difficult, retainer fees can be put in place, ensuring that costs are spread out over a longer period until the work is complete. 

Typically, the cost of outsourcing is less than the cost of developing an internal team. There are no ongoing training costs. There are no software and hardware expenses and the team will already be experienced in working together.

I’ve Decided to Outsource my Software Development, What’s Next?

If you’ve reached the conclusion that software outsourcing is a good fit for your project, the first thing you’ll need to evaluate is what additional expertise you’ll need. You can then determine whether it’s best to outsource all, or part of the project. 

Management roles will then need to be assigned and a thorough project specification should be developed. Everyone involved should have access to relevant documents, so make sure that you have project management and file sharing software in place.

The next step is to ensure that project milestones are set to ensure tasks are completed on time. As the project develops, communication will guarantee that the workflow remains efficient. Progress should be monitored and feedback should be provided throughout.

In summary, to determine whether software outsourcing will work for your project, you should:

  • Consider the turnaround time and whether it’ll be more efficient for a software outsourcing company to assist.
  • Evaluate your current resources. Are there any skills gaps within your internal team and do they have the capacity to deliver the project?
  • Determine whether outsourcing your project will reduce or add to the risks.
  • Be aware of your project budget and explore what financing options your preferred outsourcing companies can provide. 

About the Author

Nacho De Marco is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at BairesDev. He is responsible for ensuring the successful management of the business and setting future strategies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering as well as a Master of Business Administration. He was born and raised in Argentina and is a keen traveller who has visited over 50 countries. He speaks 4 languages and currently lives in San Francisco, CA.

About the Author


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