5 things to consider before you outsource app development

Kevin Nguyen
Jun 2 · 4 min read

Although outsourcing is the best cost-saving solution in developing a mobile app, it still hides risks if you find a wrong partner. In this article, we will figure out 5 things need to be considered before outsourcing your app development.

A wide range of technologies and skillsets

An outsourcing app partner expertizing in multiple industry domains can bring a broader mind to your app including ideas and capabilities from their previous projects to help you. Besides the most popular operating systems like Windows, Android or iOS, some outsourcing companies can build an app in Bada (from Samsung), Symbian and Palm (OS), WebOS (Palm/HP), Meego (Intel & Nokia) and Blackberry OS.

You can find a partner that focuses on one or several popular operating systems as long as they are suitable for what you want. As a result, the development team will build your app quickly like other similar products before. However, this working process limits the creative skill when it comes to new features and capabilities that make your app unique.

The level of experience

It’s necessary to review your outsourcing software development partner’s portfolio to ensure their previous experience in dealing with risks, process, and operation will affect your app. Check the quality of the previous app to make sure your partner’s versatility in complicated apps. A trusted outsourcing company which has been in the technology industry for a long time can give future orientation and provide products or services that fit the market.

Another factor relating to experience is the reputation of the company. The reputation includes qualification, business, and professional image. These three factors should be revealed through a conversation between you and the company, not only through its portfolio and review. In cases of being unable to meet, at least you should listen to people around you. Word of mouth is more believable than advertising. Good companies don’t need to advertise, because they still get their clients by referrals.

The research skill

Since many people just care about technology and skill, they almost forget the importance of research. The “state of the art” of any mobile apps’ technologies have a half-life of 30 days. The rapid speed of technology and UX development can turn your app to be old-fashioned after launching several months. Thus, the best software outsources companies invest strongly in research to predict the next trends that help your app become new and trendy in the long-term period. Also, research maintains your development, especially in cases of many new competitors appear with a higher level of technology.

An outstanding example, WillowTree developers researched a group of children from 3 to 14 years old. They discovered that children search video by character instead of by title. This changed the search function to attract more children to engage in video apps.

The quality of employee

We all know that we must consider the developers’ skills when outsourcing but how to evaluate them? First, they specialize in technology and platform that the app is developed. Second, they are flexible in solving the complicated problems that need to be analyzed in detail. Moreover, you can compare them based on their turnover. App development outsourcing is a competitive field where developers’ skill is decided by their incomes. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner about the turnover rates as well as employee tenure and compare your collected information on Glassdoor. The happier the developers are, they are more willing to do your project.

After seeing them in individual, you need to evaluate them regarding the team. The ideal team not only has technology experts but also professionals who have research skills and solution-seeking mindset that orienting your business. That’s the long-term strategy for both sides in the way to be successful in the technology business.

The communication between you and the partner as well as among team members is also important. The conversation should emphasize the relationship between the quality and the budget. This team needs to balance between your expectation and the real result. You should check whether the team can understand and visualize your idea or not.

Besides that, the internal team must understand each other to guarantee the different parts work smoothly.

Cost-effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness doesn’t mean you choose a too low or too high-cost development partner. It’s about how efficient the cost is, compared to the average cost in the market and your project’s requirements. Thus, there are two types of outsourcing partner you should avoid. Companies raising prices uncontrollably to stay profitable and ones keeping the prices down by abusing their employees. Both types don’t care about the quality and your ideas, they just care about the profit. The former will turn out to end up costing you more than you expected to improve. Meanwhile, the latter will cost you in some unnecessary elements.

The solution is, you should use the waterfall method at the first stage to understand the working method of an outsourcing company. Then, you can use the Agile method in the next stages when getting enough trust in your partner.

Here are 5 factors that affect the success of outsourcing app development. However, choosing the right partner doesn’t mean you leave them to do their jobs. Problems may occur anytime, so you’d better check the work progress periodically.

Kevin Nguyen

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Software Development — Mobile App Development — Website Solution Development