There may be times when you consider outsourcing your mobile app development. The app might be for an internal client or for a customer or other end user.
Of course, the conditions under which you do that will vary, but there are some general pros and cons to outsourcing this important task. Let’s review the pros and cons in more detail.
The Pros Of Outsourcing
- It is budget-friendly. In today’s times, controlling costs and preserving cash flow in your business is probably at the top of your mind. When you develop a mobile app in-house, you will need a team that is dedicated to the task. When you take this approach, you will have to pay for salaries, benefits, time off, bonuses, etc. True, you could avoid having to pay all of this by hiring a contracted team. However, the cost of using an in-house team is far more expensive when compared to outsourcing your development needs to an external third party, possibly located in a different country.
- You have access to a wider range of talent. When you hire an exclusive mobile app development agency, that is all they, do day in and day out. They offer a wide breadth of experience that you can utilize to build your project according to the needs of the client. Also, this will save you time in trying to find and recruit the talent that you would need if you were to do this in-house.
- You will have a team that is available on call whenever you need it. If you outsource your work to an agency located in a different part of the world, you will be able to access them fairly quickly after business hours. For example, if you have a team of mobile app developers in the United States, you can augment that team by hiring an agency, say in India, which can assist you outside of your local business hours. That way, you have a staff that is working on an almost 24/7, year-round basis to get your project done on time for your client.
- Your in-house team can focus on accomplishing other tasks. If you have a lot of projects coming up the pipeline, you will want to keep your existing team focused on whatever they are working on at the present time, according to the workflows you have planned for them in the future. When you hire a mobile app development agency, you can have them work exclusively on your mobile app project(s) so that none of your in-house processes are altered or affected in any way.
The Cons Of Outsourcing
Of course, along with the advantages of outsourcing come some disadvantages, which are as follows:
- There is a risk of data privacy and loss. Whenever you outsource any type of project to an outside entity, there is always a much greater chance that the confidential information/data that you share with them could be leaked to others, intentionally or unintentionally. In the United States and the European Union, both data loss and day privacy are being taken extremely seriously these days, backed up by the compliance powers of the CCPA and the GDPR, respectively. If anything like this ever does happen, your company, not the outside agency, will be held primarily responsible for any security breaches. In that case, you could face some severe financial penalties. Also, the testing of the source code is on your shoulders, not on the outside agency. To prevent a security breach, you will need to do some sort of penetration testing or threat hunting to make sure that the code is secure, and that any unknown vulnerabilities are completely discovered and repaired.
- You will have less control over the development process. If you have an in-house team create the mobile app, you can ask for updates at any time and get a response almost immediately. But if you outsource, especially to a team in another country, you will have less oversight in this regard, and there very well could be a huge lag time in getting a response, due to the time differences involved. Also, the contracted agency will not want to divulge all of their “secret sauces,” the details of how they actually develop mobile apps, so that it will not be leaked out to their competitors.
- Changes can be expensive. Mobile app development is always a continuous proposition, especially when it comes to updating the source code and making any changes the client requests. Obviously, your in-house team can make changes quickly, without incurring any extra charges. But, if you have outsourced your project, and if there are changes to be made after the initial plan, the agency will charge extra for it, often at great expense.
- Differences in culture, communication, and language. If you outsource your mobile app development to an agency in a foreign country, there may be major differences in terms of communication, work style, and even language barriers. This may prove to be very frustrating for you, especially if you end up spending an inordinate amount of time explaining what needs to be done.
Outsourcing reduces your administrative responsibilities
Overall, the decision to outsource your mobile app development (or not) will be driven by your budget and the time constraints you are under to deliver the app to the client. However, at the outset, there are fewer administrative headaches when outsourcing, which is illustrated in the diagram below.
Ravi Das is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas Tech, Inc. He is also studying for his Certificate In Cybersecurity through the ISC2.