04 Feb 2021

You know that outsourcing software development has multiple benefits, but it also comes with challenges. Whether you have experience outsourcing or you're considering it for the first time, common concerns can hold you back. Want to know more about outsourcing fears and mistakes? In this article, we'll cover five fears that organizations have about outsourcing software development and what it takes to avoid them.

The state of software development outsourcing 

First, let's briefly discuss the state of software outsourcing and why it's more important than ever to overcome these fears and issues. The fact is, 70% of companies plan to increase their use of outsourcing. The popularity of outsourcing software development will only continue to grow.

The problem? More projects can quickly lead to more issues if companies don't understand these concerns, pitfalls, and the truth behind them. If you’re thinking about outsourcing or want to streamline the process, it's critical to address these fears now, before they become reality on a project. 

5 common fears when outsourcing software development

Now, let's jump into five of the most common fears and what you can do to resolve them.

1. Quality of work

One of the most common fears companies face is concerns about the quality of the work. How can you be sure that the developers you're outsourcing to have the skillset to deliver what you're expecting? 

By asking the right questions, you can gain more confidence in the quality of work. Ask any outsourcing partner you are considering about how they vet, hire, and train developers. They should be able to clearly explain their process for finding the right talent. Beyond that, the outsourcing partner should be able to explain how they train their developers to work within their internal processes and maintain consistency. 

2. Wasting resources

Wasting resources is another common fear when outsourcing software development. Companies normally opt to outsource because of the low cost, however, many know that hidden costs or obstacles can throw off their budget.

Want to avoid this issue altogether? Before you begin outsourcing, have a conversation about whether or not the outsourcing partner can meet your expectations and what it will take to make things happen. Make sure you understand all costs involved with outsourcing.

For example, change requests are common, especially in agile software development. However, you need to make sure that your organization and the outsourcing partner you work with come to an understanding about how you'll manage change requests. Otherwise, this could quickly inflate costs. 

3. Communication issues

Here at Unosquare, we talk a lot about the role of communication when outsourcing. How will your organization deal with different communication styles and working across timezones? 

To stop any communication issues in their tracks, talk about communication and project management before you work with an outsourcing partner. Get information about how they communicate with their clients and how their developers usually work. This will help you determine if you will be able to work well together, and what you may need to adjust or adapt to. 

Don't skip this step. Any communication gaps may prevent you from understanding progress on the project or worse, can cause delays in delivery. If you want to know more about how to manage communication when outsourcing, and how it differs from in-house development in one of our previous blog posts on this subject. 

4. Security 

Security is also a major concern when outsourcing software development. How do you know that any intellectual property or sensitive information is safe? It's true that when you outsource, you may need to take a few extra steps to keep information secure.

Make finding a trustworthy vendor a top priority. Tell them about any concerns you have or any special circumstances or regulations they should be aware of, including HIPAA or PCI compliance. If they are the right outsourcing partner for you, they will be able to help you navigate any risks and have solutions for mitigating potential threats.

For example, one of our clients had concerns about the encryption of computers when outsourcing because they're in the insurance industry. We were able to help them understand what they need to look for and implement to keep information secure. In another of our previous blog articles, you can read more about how to start outsourcing your software development process. 

5. Lack of alignment

If you outsource, how will you keep your team and your outsourcing partners on the same page? This is a valid concern. When you delegate tasks to software developers that don’t work for you, misalignment can wreak havoc.

To avoid this, you need to set expectations early. State what your requirements are. Talk about timelines and the scope of the project. If the outsourcing partner confirms that they have a track record of working on similar projects successfully, ask about visibility. How will you stay in the loop on the progress developers are making? There should be a process for regular check-ins and updates. 

That said, you also need to prepare yourself and your team to work together with the outsourcing partner you bring in. If you are nearshoring or offshore outsourcing, work to understand any cultural differences, holidays, and different working hours. One way to keep everyone in sync is to create a calendar of when people will be available and look for overlaps in the schedule. That way, everyone knows when they can connect with each other.

The state of software development outsourcing 

Outsourcing is an effective way to supplement talent and get more work done faster. The key to doing it well is understanding the pitfalls and what it takes to keep the project on track. 

If you're ready to start outsourcing, we can help. Unosquare helps organizations operationally augment technology teams, design and build user experience focused web applications and products, and drive client initiatives in digital transformation in our industries of focus.

We work with the best talent in the world. That way, you can outsource with confidence and bring in the expertise you need to get your software development project done. Let us provide expertise for your teams in a way that is fast, transparent, and efficient. To find out more about what Unosquare can do for your organization, check out our blog.

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