What is software development outsourcing?
Software development outsourcing allows you to access a diverse pool of tech talent that can allow you to move your project quicker and in a more cost-efficient way. In fact, 70% of companies outsource software development to save money.
At its core, outsourcing software development is the business strategy of delegating software development projects to an external software development outsourcing company instead of executing it within in-house capabilities. This could look like outsourcing some or part of a software development project. It could also involve continuous, direct management of the project. Or, it could involve offloading the majority of the project management to the hired company.
Examples of common services that software development outsourcing companies can provide:
Custom software development: This service revolves around creating tailor-made software solutions for your business. The outsourcing software development company takes into consideration your specific needs, industry standards, and the latest technology trends. This service typically includes all stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), from initial requirements analysis and design to implementation, integration, and support. The end result is a functional, efficient, and secure software solution that perfectly aligns with the client's operational needs and growth strategies.
Web application development: Web application development involves building interactive applications that can range from simple, static web pages to complex, dynamic platforms that handle vast amounts of data and support intricate business processes. This service often includes front-end (client-side) and back-end (server-side) development, employing the most suitable technologies and frameworks for each project. The final output is a user-friendly, scalable, and responsive web application that can be accessed from any device, improving digital reach and enhancing the user experience.
QA and software testing: Quality Assurance (QA) and Software Testing are critical services that ensure the developed software or application is reliable, efficient, and functions as intended. Testing can occur at various stages of development, aiming to identify and fix bugs, inconsistencies, or other issues that could affect performance or user experience. QA testing could be included as part of other software outsourcing services, or it could be contracted through a specific software development outsourcing partner who specializes in QA and software testing.
IT consulting: IT consulting services offer expert guidance to help leverage technology for greater business growth. Consultants typically analyze the organization's current IT infrastructure, operations, and strategies, and provide insights and recommendations on how to optimize these elements. Companies can also leverage consultants to help optimize their internal or outsourced software development team. It’s common practice to bring in an expert IT consultant to guide the development of large-scale enterprise software development projects.
Read More: 5–Step Proven Process for Successful IT Projects Outsourcing
Why work with a full-service software development company?
Outsourcing software development to a full-service software development outsourcing company who can provide a delicate mix of tactical business planning and superior technical proficiency will allow you to achieve the results you are after, while also reducing the stress and project management that may come with working with less experienced or less full-service software development companies.
More specifically, outsourcing software to the right partner can allow your business to:
Access highly-skilled developers:
Outsourcing software development allows you to access highly-skilled software developers with the exact skills you’re after. You can avoid investing in time-consuming internal upskilling. When outsourcing software development, you have the flexibility to source top talent from anywhere in the world. You aren’t constrained to an internal talent pool - or even a talent pool within your local area or country.
Hiring developers comes with a lot of overhead. Sometimes it’s worth it, but for some projects, staffing up an in-house team is simply too expensive. Software outsourcing companies allow you to quickly gather all necessary software development specialists with an on-demand model. You can reduce costs by avoiding all those pesky onboarding, training, and upskilling costs. You’ll also reduce costs further by outsourcing software development in more affordable global regions such as Eastern Europe.
Speed up development:
Let’s face it, you want to get to market fast. You likely have a lot of internal pressure to deliver quickly. Staffing up an in-house team can be expensive, but it can also be very time-consuming. It’s simply impractical if you want to deliver a software development project quickly. With the right outsourced software development agency, you can get a project off the ground in a matter of days or weeks. Development speeds can also be adjusted based on how many full-time or part-time team members are put on the project. In many cases, you can drastically control software development delivery timelines by adjusting the team size.
Read More: 7 Key Reasons Why Companies Outsource Software Development
Why do companies outsource software development to Eastern Europe?
One of the most sought-after destinations for IT software outsourcing is Eastern Europe. If you are looking for quality over quantity, then Eastern Europe provides world-class IT solutions that are on par with other outsourcing destinations such as Asia, South America, and Southeast Asian nations. Some of the key benefits you can expect when working with a software outsourcing company in Eastern Europe are:
Skilled and competent workforce
Eastern Europe has a highly skilled and competent workforce who can work on innovative projects. The software engineers from Eastern Europe have the experience and knowledge to provide software development outsourcing services on par with the rest of the world. The empowerment of Technical and IT Education in Eastern Europe has drawn people from around the world for access to world-class quality education.
Strategic geographical location and smaller time zone gap
The geographical location of the countries in this region has the advantage of a smaller time zone gap to provide software development services to the rest of the world with ease of working hours. When you outsource software development to a company in Eastern Europe, you can expect the time zone difference to be very manageable.
Adaptability to cultural differences and language barriers
Teams in Eastern Europe are able to collaborate with remote teams in other countries due to their ability to communicate in English and accommodate cultural differences. This can help improve how easy it is to onboard and manage software development outsourcing companies.
Dynamic IT community
Some of the best software development companies have set up their global offices in Eastern Europe citing talent pool, cost of operations, and strategic location. Eastern Europe is also a hub for IT research and web development (R&D) centres. They currently are the access point to a million and more IT professionals.
Cost-effective IT solutions
In comparison to Western Europe, the USA, and Canada, the cost to outsource software development to Eastern Europe is much less given the economic conditions of the nations in this region. This means customers are able to access a very compelling mix of low cost and high-quality custom software development services.
Countries in Eastern Europe adhere to the same standards as the rest of Europe. This includes following copyright rules, maintaining non-disclosure agreements, and implementing policies such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Read More: Software Development in Poland - Hire Team in 4 Simple Steps
What are the models for outsourcing software development?
There are many software development outsourcing models you can use depending on your needs. There is no right or wrong model across the board. What will work best for you will depend on things such as your project scope, project objectives, team structure, and team availability (or lack of). The two main models for outsourcing software development are the managed team model and project-based model.
- Managed team model: In the managed team model, project ownership is shared between the client and the software development company. Typically the hired team reports to the client’s PM, CTO, or other project owner. Exact delegation of project management will be determined by the teams early on, but the idea is to equally share ownership of the project.
- Project-based model: The project-based model is a more hands-off approach. The software development company takes on full responsibility for the project. They own the development cycle from beginning to end. In this model, the outsourced team will not report to you. You’ll be heavily involved upfront in defining the specifications, but after that, your involvement will be more limited as you let the software development company drive the delivery of the project milestones.
If you have limited capacity to manage a software project internally, then the project-based model may be the right fit. You can set aside some initial resources up front to ensure the software development outsourcing gets off on the right foot, but after that, you can expect the outsourcing company to handle the project on their own.
If, on the other hand, you have some resources internally, but maybe just not enough to handle developing the full project from end-to-end, you might consider the managed team model. In this way you can still maintain most of the control of the software development project, but still get access to the software outsourcing company’s resources.
Not sure which way you want to go? Feel free to get in touch with us and we can help recommend a software development process that is most appropriate for your situation.
Read More: Software Development Outsourcing Models — Which Is Best?
What should my company do before outsourcing software development?
Outsourcing software development can yield significant benefits like enhanced productivity, superior product quality, and considerable cost savings. But for successful execution, meticulous preparation and a well-devised outsourcing strategy are indispensable. To ensure you are fully prepared to engage with software development companies, we recommend you work through this 5–Step proven process:
Clarify your goals: The first step to successful software development outsourcing is pinpointing your desired outcomes. Whether you aim to build a new application, enhance an existing system, or resolve a business issue, clarity is key. The project's stakeholders, including company leaders, end-users, customers, or even those outside your organization, play an integral role in this stage. Understand their expectations and align these with your software development project objectives to ensure all potential impacts are considered.
Draft a Scope of Work (SOW): Reaching out to a software development company without a clear plan is a futile endeavor. Prepare an exhaustive SOW document that outlines your budget and requirements, making it easier for potential outsourcing partners to understand your project's scale and complexities. Collaborate with your stakeholders to formulate a SOW that effectively communicates your vision.
Evaluate your technology stack: If your software development project involves enhancing an existing system, it's critical to consider your current technology stack. Can it support the new project, or will you need to introduce new technologies? Ensuring compatibility between your existing and new technologies can help identify software development outsourcing companies experienced with your specific platforms or services.
Define your priorities: Prior to outsourcing software development, recognize what matters most to you. These priorities can range from budget, development speed, specific expertise of the outsourcing partner, to their geographical location or scalability. By defining your priorities, you will be able to streamline your decision-making process and identify a software outsourcing company that aligns best with your business goals.
Develop an evaluation matrix: Adopt a systematic approach to assessing potential vendors by creating an evaluation matrix. It should encompass the critical factors derived from your defined priorities. This could include cost, technical expertise, portfolio, communication efficiency, project management style, client reviews, and availability. By scoring each vendor based on these parameters, the matrix offers a clear and numerical guide to compare different vendors, leading to an informed decision.
Form a vendor selection team: Assemble a cross-functional team to manage the vendor selection process, particularly for large-scale projects. Representatives from different departments such as project management, finance, legal, and IT can contribute unique perspectives. While the project manager may focus on deadline adherence, the legal department can ensure compliance requirements are met. Collaborative vendor evaluation and selection ensure comprehensive coverage of all critical aspects, leading to a well-rounded decision.
In sum, an intricate blend of goal definition, comprehensive planning, technology evaluation, priority setting, systematic vendor assessment, and cross-functional collaboration paves the path to selecting an outsourcing software development company that aligns with your company’s priorities and can deliver on the project requirements.
Read More: Starting a Software Project — Complete Guide to Project Planning
How can my company find the right software development company?
After you have thoroughly documented your software outsourcing needs, you’re ready to start finding potential software outsourcing companies. But, the stakes are high when you’re investing significant capital, resources, and time into outsourcing software. You want to choose the right vendor, but with over 23,000 companies offering software outsourcing services on Clutch.co alone, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming.
We recommend that you give priority to companies that can offer:
Extensive portfolio: An impressive portfolio is a reflection of a software development outsourcing company's experience and proficiency. The portfolio should demonstrate their capability to handle a diverse range of projects, reflecting their versatility and adaptability. However, what’s even more important than range is a deep skillset in the particular area you are interested in. For example, if you’re looking to outsource development of an enterprise web app, a company with mostly mobile app development projects in their portfolio may not be the right fit.
In-depth industry knowledge: An ideal software outsourcing company should possess deep industry knowledge. Understanding your business needs, market dynamics, customer behavior, and the competitive landscape allows them to tailor solutions that address specific challenges and provide a competitive edge. Their familiarity with industry standards and trends can drive innovation and help shape a product that resonates with your target audience.
Partnership attitude: A successful outsourcing relationship goes beyond a mere transactional exchange. The company should adopt a partnership attitude, aligning their efforts with your business objectives. They should be committed to your project's success, demonstrating a high level of engagement, proactivity, and dedication. This approach ensures they understand your vision, share your passion, and work towards a common goal.
Effective communication: Excellent communication skills are critical for successful collaboration throughout the development process. Strong communication can ensure that expectations are set correctly, information is shared promptly, and any issues are addressed swiftly. The outsourcing company should also be comfortable with your preferred communication tools and methods, ensuring a smooth flow of information, quick problem resolution, and ultimately, a successful project completion.
Robust security practices: Given the sensitive nature of software development projects, the outsourcing partner should adhere to robust security practices. These include data encryption, secure development environments, strict access controls, and regular security audits. These practices not only safeguard your project information but also ensure the security and reliability of the final product.
Organized structure and efficient team dynamics: An organized business structure coupled with efficient team dynamics can have a significant impact on the project's success. The software development outsourcing company should have clear roles and responsibilities, efficient decision-making processes, and a culture that promotes collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving. This ensures that your project runs smoothly, reduces overhead, and fosters a productive partnership.
By considering these factors, you'll be better equipped to choose a software development partner that can not only meet your needs but also contribute to the overall success of your business.
Read More: How to Find Software Development Partners - Steps-by-Step Guide
What is your process for developing custom software?
Our development team is dedicated to crafting tailored, business-focused software solutions that perfectly align to your business objectives and budget requirements. Every unique client engagement is initiated with an extensive phase of initial discovery, exploration, and cost estimation to thoroughly understand the project's intricacies and provide clear projections of the project timeline and budget to our clients.
Following this, we lay out our strategic blueprint and embark on carefully planned development sprints. When you work with our outsourced team, you can expect the following process to be followed:
Initial discovery, research, and estimation: Our software development processes are rooted in a comprehensive grasp of your vision, your requested features, and your ultimate objectives for the custom software. This early stage is pivotal in capturing your needs and converting them into feasible development goals, while also setting a definitive project budget.
Workshops and strategic planning: What sets our services apart is our design thinking approach, acting as the ignition for our iterative software development cycle. We employ proven strategies from the software development arena to guarantee superior results. Expect immersive design workshops that refine your business concept and direct us in building top-tier software platforms.
Development sprints: Our development team adopts a rigorous development lifecycle, divided into manageable "sprints." Each sprint targets a specific aspect of the project scope achievable within a set timeframe. Adhering to Agile methodology principles, each sprint concludes with a demo of a functional segment of the software by our skilled development team, laying the groundwork for user acceptance testing.
Stabilization and release process: Crafting custom software solutions involves a complex process necessitating a stabilization phase. During this phase, we concentrate on perfecting every facet of the software to ensure it satisfies your business agility requirements. Post-stabilization, we solicit feedback from initial users and, if positive, we proceed with deploying the initial version of the software solution into a live production environment.
Support and aftercare: Our commitment to your success persists even after deployment. We monitor the software's performance and are prepared to promptly address any arising issues, in line with the agreed Service Level Agreement (SLA) or a separately defined arrangement.
We customize our support and technical enhancement approaches to each client and project, setting up protocols for error management, issue ranking, response time, and scheduling developer resources monthly. Our primary aim is to ensure your satisfaction with the outcome. Above all, we believe that our success is measured by your success.
Read More: 5–Step Proven Process How to Outsource Software Development
How much time do you need to deliver a custom software solution?
The development process for a software project can take anywhere from a few weeks to 24 months. It really depends on the complexity of the project that needs to be built, or in the case of an integration project, the complexity of the integration work. To give you a better idea, here are a few examples:
A Simple data integration project will take about 2 to 4 weeks. Our development team tracks their time worked using 3rd party work-logging applications. To streamline project billing, we have built a custom application in less than 1 week using Active Admin and implementing two API integrations. It connects the data and allows us to issue error-free invoices to all clients faster. It was later extended to have more functionality.
And a complex custom web application project will take anywhere from 4 to 24 months - see example here
What costs can I expect when working with your outsourcing company?
The precise cost to outsource software development services is determined by the complexity of the software outsourcing services we render and the experience level of the involved team members. Acknowledging the importance of a well-defined project scope and budget, we offer our clients the following as part of our software development services:
- Detailed budget forecasts: We provide our clients with in-depth cost estimations, empowering them to plan accurately for their software development project expenses.
- Consistent progress reports: Keeping in line with our dedication to transparency, we keep our clients in the loop with regular updates about the status and progress of their software development projects.
- Seasoned project management: Harnessing our vast experience in project management, we equip our clients with the necessary budgeting tools and management strategies to ensure their software development project stays on track and within their budget constraints.
- Worthwhile investment: At SoftKraft, we abide by the commitment to deliver the utmost value for your investment. Every software developer on our team measures their success by your satisfaction.
Ultimately, our objective is to deliver top-tier custom software that aligns with our clients' needs and budget constraints, meeting their technical and business requirements - all within budget. We invite you to reach out to us for a detailed project estimate. Contact SoftKraft today to kick-start your journey toward a custom solution tailored to your specifications!
Read More: Web Application Development Costs in 2023 + Estimation Template
How does UI/UX design affect software project costs?
UI/UX design services work is an area of software project development that many companies fail to take into consideration. But, the scope of work required in this area - for both the design of user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX) - can be significant.
If you want an accurate estimate, you should carefully consider the scope of UI/UX work, which can include:
User research: An essential step to understanding the target users and their needs, user research can provide the web development team insights into user behavior, preferences, and requirements, which can then be used to inform the design and development process.
User personas: A user persona is a semi-fictional representation of a user based on the data gathered during user research. It helps to identify user goals and needs, which can then be used to inform the design process.
User journey maps: A user journey map is a visual representation of a user's experience with a product or service. It helps to identify areas that need improvement and opportunities to provide a better user experience within a web app.
User stories: User stories are brief summaries of how a user interacts with the product or service. They are an important part of the development process, as they provide a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations of the users.
Wireframes: Wireframes are used to visualize the design and allow for iteration and feedback. Building wireframes can be costly, depending on the complexity of the product, who you hire to build them, and the tools that are used to build them.
Clickable prototypes: Creating a clickable prototype is often necessary in order to check for usability and user experience issues. Prototypes can be expensive to create, as it requires specialized software and expertise.
Read More: UI Design Process - 7 Easy Steps to Make Great UIs Faster