5 Things to Consider When Outsourcing Software Development

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A large number of businesses rely on recruiting an internal IT team for the design and development of their systems and applications. This involves a long process of advertising the position on job-listing sites, selecting possible candidates, conducting interviews and testing the applicants before final selection.

The process requires further training and development, which is a huge investment for the business. Then there is the risk that your software development team might just leave if they found a better opportunity elsewhere.

A much safer and possibly cheaper approach is to have a contract with a reputable IT firm. These firms employ some of the best talents within the market and they can custom design the software or app that you need for your business.

Outsourcing your software development offers dozens of benefits and it is no surprise that so many businesses are switching to outsourcing. There are a few things that you should consider before your hand over your company’s software development to an IT firm.

1- Project Deadlines

Software is like a form of living art. You can alter, recreate, enhance and improve it in a bazillion ways. Changes to the code can make software better, faster, shorter and easier to execute. It is so easy to get lost in trying to create the perfect platform or app, so much so that it never gets finished or released by the company.

There are thousands of software and programs that were started with much pomp and zeal but never got finished. Developers spent millions of dollars and thousands of programming errors on development. But they never quite achieved what they set out to do, so the program was canceled and the code locked away forever.

You definitely do not want this to happen to your software.

Make a plan about expected the project deadline and communicate it to your outsourcing partner. Communicate with them regularly to find out how they are keeping up with the deadline. This will help ensure that your software development stays on track.

2- Software Security

Most organizational software nowadays is designed for online cloud connectivity. This makes it prone to cyber attacks and threats of hacking. It is very important that your organizational software is easy to protect and has built-in features that allow you to back up the data regularly.

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If you are outsourcing your software development, make sure that your developer is aware of your organization’s data privacy or security requirements. Many government departments, federal agencies, and financial institutions also outsource their projects to IT firms. The complete project scope must be shared with the developer so that they can put in the necessary security features into the program.

3- Assess the Developer

Before you sign any contracts, you will need to understand how good your potential software development partner actually is. Do not be shy about asking the IT firm to submit a proposal to assess its merit and IT expertise.

If the firm has been in operations for a while, ask them to submit some similar programs that they may have developed for other organizations. Ask them if you can get some testimonials from their previous clients to see what others say about them before you hire the company.

You should not reject a firm if it is new just because they do not have any testimonials to give. Ask them to create a short sample of the software that they will develop for you to see what they come up with.

It doesn’t matter how you evaluate their skills but make sure you test them before handing them a contract.

4- The Cost of Production

The cost of development is another factor that you will need to consider when outsourcing your software development to a third-party. A reputable IT firm with a record of creating high-quality software will charge a premium price. This is because they have built a reputation for delivering good quality projects and if you want the best quality, you may have to pay premium prices.

On the other hand, a relatively newer and unknown software development firm may be willing to work on your project at a lower cost. This does not necessarily mean that the quality of work will be any less. In fact, you may get an even higher quality of work with a new firm than an established one because they might be working extra hard to impress you and secure you as a long-term client.

Be warned however that new software firms could be a gamble that may not always pay off.

5- Service Level Agreements and Updates

Service level agreements are contracts signed with the development firm to guarantee that their software will function as promised for a period of time. During this period, the developer is responsible for troubleshooting issues, provides free support, and may be required to update features on the software free of cost.

The Bottom Line

Before you outsource your software production, make sure that your developer understands your needs and offers adequate post-production support.

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