Business

In-House Development – advantages and disadvantages

Marlena Walburg

Before you decide to develop your dream application or another type of software, there are many key decisions to make. Having your vision for the project, you will surely come to the point where you will think about who will implement it and translate your idea into a real product. The two main solutions, not counting the hybrid ones in this case, are outsourcing external teams and in-house development. Which turns out to be better will largely depend on your and your project’s needs. There is no shortage of good specialists, and high quality is what you strive for, but will both guarantee it? More and more companies are choosing to outsource because of the bigger savings and faster product delivery. Here’s a little bit of knowledge about both approaches, their pros, and cons.

What is in-house development?

In-house development is simply building software with the internal experts you have in your company. All work is carried out by your employees, without outside help. If you decide to practice this approach, without having developers or other specialists onboard yet, you must, of course, carry out appropriate recruitment and create a dedicated team. It is quite a laborious process, and it requires proper research and understanding of specific needs. By doing it right, you will gain a loyal, committed team. 

What are the advantages of creating custom software in-house?

There are quite a few significant benefits of in-house development:

  • Full control over the team – thanks to the fact that your internal team will be available at your fingertips, it will be easier for you to observe the progress of work and supervise the implementation of the project. Moreover, you can train team members in any direction you want, in line with your company’s philosophy;
  • Better communication – contact with them face to face with developers working directly with you is much less burdensome and better accessible than in the case of outsourcing. Thanks to this, you can introduce changes to the project faster, eliminate errors caused by incomprehension and speed up the project implementation;
  • A better understanding of the company’s values ​​- in-house developers, as regular members of the company, are more aware of its needs and values and are culturally fit. They also have a different approach to work and act faster through a greater dedication to the project and communication between all parties to the project;
  • Well-matched team members – an internal team is often more involved than an external contractor. It is because such a team is working on the account of the company to which they belong. As a result, the selection of candidates is often more time-consuming and may extend the recruitment time, but it is more detailed and careful.

What is outsourcing software development?

Outsourcing is a practice where you outsource software development to a team outside your organization. Such companies are usually technology experts who offer not only product development, but also consultations and advising services. Outsourcing is intended to save time and money if you do not have in-house specialists in a given field, but not only in such a situation, it can be a beneficial choice. In the age of the Internet, finding such experts is not a problem, and their flexibility and models of cooperation or team expansion are very attractive.

Key benefits from outsourcing software development

Outsourcing is a popular solution for a reason. By hiring external experts, we can count on many benefits.

  • Increased efficiency – with a team of experts in a given field, you can start working on a project right away. You don’t spend time training your team, and you greatly accelerate the development process;
  • A large pool of talents at your disposal – nowadays, access to experts in any field is unlimited. You can choose specialists from all over the world, regardless of your needs and geographic location;
  • Facilitated scaling – By working with an external outsourcing team, scaling the team up or down is much easier. You can do this at any time during product development, faster than with your own team where you would need to recruit or fire someone. Such scaling will not negatively affect your image as an employer;
  • Reduced costs – outsourcing means larger savings. You do not have to provide equipment or office space to subcontractors. You hire a team and pay them when you need them, and if you want to scale your project up or down depending on your budget and needs, you can do it very easily. Moreover, if necessary, you can change the team to one that offers a better price;
  • Good time-to-market – by employing an outsourced team, you avoid the additional recruitment or personnel processes that usually occur with in-house development. You can add new elements to the developed system at any time, moreover, by employing trusted specialists, you can count on their experience and efficiency. This significantly shortens the time-to-market. 

Risks of outsourcing software development

Nevertheless, it is not a completely impeccable solution. Most of these disadvantages are due to the lack of constant face-to-face contact with subcontractors. There are also a few other important considerations when deciding to outsource:

  • Potential communication problems – communication with an external team will mostly be done via e-mails, instant messaging or other means that do not have the same strength and advantages as a real-life conversation. This can potentially lead to misunderstanding of the other side;
  • Transparency and security issues – not without a reason, there is a lot of talk about employing trusted teams. In the case of outsourcing, there is a greater risk of revealing company secrets or data. Therefore, a confidentiality agreement is almost a necessity, and most of all, a lot of caution. By checking the partner well, we minimize such situations;
  • Less control – both in terms of completing the team and checking their skills, in the case of outsourcing, you have less control over these issues. It costs more to complete a crew, but the huge benefit of this is a team that understands your goals and values.

The differences between in-house vs outsource software development

Outsourcing is the better option if you want to start creating your digital product faster. You do not have to recruit specialists to your team, or train and implement them before starting work. External teams are also more efficient and have optimized processes, which will take some time for an internal team. The experience of the outsourced team, who have many completed projects behind them, is an incredible advantage here. This has a positive effect not only on the speed of development but also on the quality of the final product. If quality is important to you, it makes sense to rely on the knowledge and skills of an outsourced team.

Outsourcing is cheaper than building and maintaining an in-house development team. By outsourcing software development outside your company, you avoid the formalities and additional expenses of hiring programmers full-time. You can also benefit from effective team scaling, which helps you control your budget.

How to set up a cooperation with an outsourced team?

When deciding to outsource, remember a few basic rules. Start by choosing a suitable subcontractor. Pre-completed projects and a rich portfolio are a guide. It’s great if you can check a finished product or application on yourself and see what quality it is, but it’s not a must. Compare whether the profile of your potential business partner corresponds to that of your company. Do the right research, check out websites like Clutch.co, Behance, check out opinions and case studies. You also need to be clear about your requirements. Think about what services you need, whether it is to build the entire product from scratch, rebuild your existing application, or maybe you want to expand your team. It will depend on which company you should pay attention to. When starting cooperation, clearly define what you want to achieve, what your needs and expectations are. Be ready for questions and also don’t be afraid to ask them yourself. Take care of good communication and proper expression of your requirements. Also, remember about proper time management and the progress of tasks in the project. You will keep better control over the situation by implementing tools that will help observe how work is going. These are, for example, Jira, Asana, or Trello.

Why outsourcing a project to BinarApps is a good idea?

At BinarApps, we do not only work on software development. In fact, we offer a wide range of consulting services that help our clients choose the right solution for their business. We know how important it is to have a holistic approach and learn about the real goals and values of the stakeholders for whom the product is actually created. During the years of our operation, we have successfully finished many projects. We have specialists in various technologies on board, as well as designers, testers, PMs – in a word, all the experts needed for thriving software development. Our experience, knowledge, and focus on building partnership relations with the client make us a good choice for outsourcing a project.

Summary

The current trends indicate the greater popularity of outsourcing. Moreover, forecasts for the future say that this trend will continue. Both models, in-house and outsourcing, have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice depends on the specifics of the project. The profile of the company you run may be a clue to choose. If software development or maintenance is not your company’s core business, creating an in-house team to build your application can be a challenge. Companies that specialize in creating such products, can make your product competitive and attract more customers. Also, it will help you save a lot of money. There are many options on the market, you will definitely choose something for yourself.

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