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Factors To Consider When Outsourcing App Development

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outsourcing app development

Outsourcing app development can be a huge decision. When you transfer the creation of an integral component of your company’s functioning to a third party, all sorts of things can prospectively go wrong. On the other hand, if you choose your outsourcing partner wisely, you could end up with a better product than even you had initially imagined.

The outsourcing app development market is worth more than USD 85 billion, as per NASSCOM. This underscores the importance of choosing the right partner after you decide to outsource. Read on to know more about the top factors to consider when outsourcing app development.

Top Factors to Consider when Outsourcing App Development

1. App Requirements

The first step in developing an app is to decide what your requirements are for the app. This doesn’t merely include the broad functioning of the app, but several intricate details as well. The following guidelines may help you in this step.

  • Decide who the target audience of your app will be. Is it experienced professionals, early-career service people, or the general audience? Who is the ideal user of your app? These questions will enable you to create a list of features that your app should have to cater to the needs of these users.
  • Determine the key unique selling point of your app. This is important not just from a marketing perspective, but also from the app development perspective – the whole app needs to be built around these features.
  • Decide the monetization model of your app – whether it will be free, paid, or contain in-app purchases.
  • Decide the platforms on which you will offer the app – Android, iOS, or multi-platform.
  • Rank the above considerations in order of priority. Realize that all these requirements may be hard to fulfil, and when you communicate them to your outsourcing partners, they must have a clear picture of what is an essential requirement and what is not.

2. Budget

The whole process of app development will likely revolve around the budget you allocate for its development. This becomes doubly important when you are planning on outsourcing app development to a third party. Your outsourcing partner might require either a commission of your budget or a percentage of the revenue for a predetermined period of time. The following factors will determine your app budget.

  • The time period over which you are likely to recoup the money spent on the development activity. You might need to create a revenue model based on market research to determine this period. Depending on your revenue and profit requirements from the app, you might increase or decrease your budget if this period is extended or reduced respectively.
  • Computational resources that will be used in creating the app.
  • Human resources such as developers and programmers.
  • Administrative resources.
  • Overhead costs.

3. Risks Involved in Outsourcing App Development

As with any other major financial or functional decision, outsourcing app development also has risks associated with it. It is essential to identify these risks appropriately, understand the reasons for their occurrence, and take steps to mitigate them.

Ideally, measures to stave off these risks must be included in the draft contract you develop to share with prospective partners. The common risks are listed below.

  • Reduced confidentiality of data. There are various reasons why data might leak when you outsource, which we shall come to later.
  • Delay in the dates when key app milestones are achieved, due to a mismatch between the goals of the outsourcing partners.
  • Your partner might want to keep the source code confidential which could lead to troubleshooting problems down the line.
  • Miscommunication and misunderstandings can creep in unless the motives of both parties are on the same page. It can even lead to a reduction in the final product quality.

4. Choosing The Type Of Outsourcing Partner

The choice of an outsourcing partner is the most important factor you will need to consider when you make the decision to outsource. Each type of partner will have its pros and cons, and you need to make the choice depending on the type of services you need, your budget, and the kind of relationship you wish to have with your outsourcing partner.

The types of partners are listed below.

  • If you are looking for an outsourcing partner who is an expert in mobile app development only, you may opt for a specialist mobile app developing company. Such firms will generally be small in size and cater to multiple clients at once.
  • Larger app development conglomerates offer mobile app development only as one part of a suite of services. If you are looking for a long-term relationship, this type will likely suit you best.
  • If you are on a tight budget, you may opt for app development freelancers. As a result, they may be an individual or a group of individuals, that offer services per project.

5. Vetting Your Partner

After you have chosen the type of partner you want, it is important to vet all the options you have. Before either of you signs on the dotted line, it is essential that you develop an understanding.

The steps of vetting are as follows –

  • You must conduct a thorough background check of your partner, and whether they have worked on the kind of projects that you are offering them.
  • They must show an interest in your project and have the requisite knowledge and experience in the technical requirements your project demands.
  • You may also get in contact with previous clients of your outsourcing partner. It will help you to understand whether the work done is up to standards and whether the prospective partner is professional and punctual.

Once you have vetted your partners, you may commence discussions regarding the terms and conditions of your contract. You must develop a mutually beneficial contract based on terms that you spend some time negotiating.

6. Is Your Outsourcing Partner Transparent?

The background check that you conduct on your outsourcing partner will also enable you to understand how transparent they are with you. Specifically, you need to understand whether they themselves are outsourcing parts of their projects to other partners.

There are a few companies that do not have issues with multiple partners being involved in the same project. However, others do have issues due to the presence of confidential data in the project. The disadvantages of this are listed below –

  • While you might have signed a non-disclosure agreement with your partners, it is not necessary that they have any further such agreements. This can put the privacy and confidentiality of your data in jeopardy.
  • It can also lead to prolonged legal issues if this confidentiality is compromised.
  • If any further outsourcing is taking place, it is possible that the product produced is inconsistent at places because it has been produced by different developers.
  • The product may also get delayed, and only become available in bits and pieces. It often becomes necessary for both partners to know exactly what personnel will be involved in a particular project on both sides.

7. The Contract for Outsourcing App Development

While details about the contract have been covered in other points, it does warrant a point of its own as well. The following are the salient features of a good contract.

  • Before the contract is developed, there must be an agreement between you and the developer regarding every detail of the development process. This agreement must be reflected in the contract.
  • The scope of the work must be defined clearly in the contract.
  • The contract must stand on solid legal ground.
  • The contract must not contain loopholes.
  • The language of the contract should be easy to understand.
  • The contract must be equitable.
  • In case of disputes, a recourse for their settlement must be outlined in the contract.

8. The Project Timeline

The time you intend to take in achieving every milestone in the project is an important consideration when planning on outsourcing app development. The project partner must be able to allocate enough resources to the project. It will ensure that all deliverables are communicated on time.

After reaching an agreement, it is also important that you lay out the project timeline as a part of the contract, or at least through an official channel. To ensure the meeting of milestones, you must keep in touch with the outsourcing partner regarding the status of deliverables throughout the course of the project.

Conclusion

As difficult as the decision to outsource can be. Keeping the above factors in check can be useful in ensuring that the quality of the end product is up to the mark. Your software outsourcing platform and you must remain on the same page, and your requirements and expectations must be very clear.

The importance of communication in an outsourcing agreement cannot be understated. If the above-mentioned steps are followed efficiently, the risk involved in the outsourcing arrangement decreases considerably. Along with that the rewards increases proportionally.

Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to make the ideal mobile app development outsourcing deal!

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Mayank Pratap
Mayank Pratap
Mayank Pratap Singh Top writer at Entrepreneur.com, the startup, Hackernoon, StartupGrind | Helped 500+ founders to build awesome Web & App products, Hire Remote Engineers | 30+ funded, 6 selected in Y-Combinator | More than 50 founders from MIT DeltaV & Harvard innovation lab has used Supersourcing

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