Outsourcing Mobile App Development to Offshore Entities
The decision to outsource mobile app development, particularly to offshore developers, is a crucial step to consider whether at the very beginning of a project or nearing the drop deadline.
It is hard to believe that mobile apps were only introduced into the market in 2008. Their explosive growth has spawned an entirely new industry in e-commerce that today is worth several billion Euros.
Although there are a plethora of software development companies in the industry today, choosing the right software house for your project can be a fairly straightforward process, and it is vital to the success of your business to get it right from the jump.
In this article, we’re going over the process of outsourcing mobile app development and how it can benefit your business!
Making the Decision to Outsource App Development
Considering there are over 7 billion mobile devices on the planet right now, creating a mobile app is a no-brainer for any company looking to expand its customer base.
Although you may already have an incredibly talented team, adding more work to their plates could cause serious lags in productivity and workflow. Many companies start with no particular plan to expand into the mobile app market. Even if they do, sometimes diverting manpower to develop one just is not feasible or practical.
Outsourcing mobile app development simply means delegating a complex task to a team of professionals who are specialized in creating exactly what you need. Considering the massive impact mobile apps have had on companies’ ability to scale up, offshore app development is the logical next step to upping your competitive edge in the current global market.
Some common reasons why companies choose to delegate their app development to offshore entities include:
- Wanting to reduce costs
- Prioritizing in-house resources for core business/product features
- Trying to improve the quality of the services they offer
- Fixing temporary capacity issues and preventing their current team from being overworked
- Gaining access to new intellectual capital and potential future talent
- Reducing timelines and preventing missed deadlines
- Needing to grow a business at a faster scale but still stay flexible
As you’re outlining your mobile app development project plan, there are three core steps to cover:
Step 1: Understanding Your Needs and Vision
To outsource mobile app development, a company must commit to researching their own needs for an app tailored to their product, as well as the various developers in their field who will fulfill both the project and the team’s needs.
Most important points to consider:
- What is your vision for the app?
- What will it offer to users?
- What’s the ultimate goal of this new product?
- What features and functionalities should the app have?
- Are there any company values you want to incorporate into the new app?
A mobile app may offer quick and easy access to a product inventory for sale with notifications of special offers for registered users, connectivity amongst several smart appliances, or the cutting-edge convenience of AI or machine learning.
Your business’s app does not have to meet all of these specifications. Not every type of app is suitable for all kinds of businesses. It is best to have a clear idea of what options best align with your vision for how users will interact with your company’s app, and proceed accordingly.
Step 2: Deciding on a Budget
Once you have determined your vision for the app, as well as both the team’s and the project’s needs, you will need to set a budget consistent with your company’s financial setup.
Budget constraints may affect your list of wants and needs, so keep them in mind as you work with your financial department or advisor to keep priorities for the project consistent and clear.
The investment in a mobile app is a sizable one, and should not be taken lightly. The initial financial investment and need for ongoing maintenance once it is up and running are drawbacks, and they should be weighed against the benefits of broader market coverage, direct user access, and business stickiness.
Step 3: Bringing the Right People to Your App Development Team
Once your needs and your budget are aligned, it is time to research developers.
Pangea’s growing database of developers can not only help you find the best fit for your needs but make it easy to contact them with offers and open negotiations.
Once you have spoken with some potential partners, it is time to decide on the best fit, work out the details of a contract, and sign them on.
Congratulations, you have successfully joined the growing ranks of companies that have outsourced app development!
But how do you go about choosing the right developers for your mobile app…
What Kind of Developer Suits the Project Best?
Let’s back up to the beginning of the process a bit:
What kind of app do you want to build to bring your products or services to the masses of app users in the world?
Although mobile app usage has never been higher, the actual number of apps downloaded on a monthly basis is relatively low, likely due to both device and app market saturation.
To combat this decline, instant apps — which take up less space on devices than conventional mobile apps — have become more and more popular due to their faster load times, native user experience, and quick pay features.
Internet of Things (IoT) apps, integrate with smart appliances beyond a smartphone to create an interconnected web of devices providing services across industries. AI and machine learning apps are also becoming more and more a part of everyday life, wearable tech requires unique combinations of AI and IoT approaches around which some developers specifically center their focus.
The first step in figuring out what kind of developer to hire is to determine what kind of framework suits your project best.
Are you targeting iOS enthusiasts, Android aficionados, or both? Do you need the one-code-fits-all-platforms approach of React Native or the legacy system support of Flutter?
Do you need the added web support features of Xamarin or the real-time analytics available through Appcelerator Titanium?
In addition to figuring out the ideal framework for the mobile app, you will need to work out what the project itself needs.
Some developers offer consulting services from the ground up; others offer only the services you specifically state. They may be proficient in prototyping & proof of concept services into MVP development stages. They may shine in UX/UI design and excel in back- and front-end. They may wax poetic in their systems integration and project management or have mastered support and rescue, quality assurance, and testing.
What Kind of Support Does Your Mobile App Development Team Need?
Your staff may already excel in some, if not all, of these areas. After all, working in the digital age more or less requires having capable developers on your personnel roster, regardless of what industry your company sits in. Working with your team to determine exactly what they are capable of taking on for themselves and what kind of support they will need to keep the business running as you outsource your mobile app development to an offshore team will keep things clear and straightforward.
A full breakdown of Pangea’s engagement models can help clarify exactly what kinds of support you can offer your team as they communicate what they would want from an offshore entity.
Companies offering new product development will work with you from the ground up, from defining initial ideas to design, implementation, and testing to market availability. They usually specialize in brainstorming, prototyping, and MVP development in the beginning stages, and they will normally have UX/UI design experts on the team who will be brought in as each of the stages progress.
Understanding Where Team Augmentation Fits In
Maybe your team already has a handle on the project, but they need some extra hands on deck. Team augmentation may be the ideal solution, particularly if a few particularly specialized roles can take on tasks that are too time-consuming and interfere with overall productivity. Depending on the size of your budget, they may have just one or two dedicated developers to jump onto your team for the duration of the project, or they may have a full team.
Perhaps the mobile app development stage is over and done with and the product is live, but there just are not enough hands on deck for ongoing upkeep. Support and maintenance services can keep an eye on code, keep the product running smoothly, and keep your users happy. The contract you draw up with the company will specify how frequently they check in and issue updates as needed.
Independent Developers vs. Outsourcing Development Companies
Now the question is: Should you go for one or more independent developers or outsource an entire project to a company or agency that can handle it all?
An outsourcing company gives you a complete team you can use right away (sometimes with product managers and QAs included). Most often, these companies tend to have better formal processes in place, a more organized development process, as well as a list of highly-specialized individuals to cater to your specific needs.
Freelancers can be just as talented as members of an outsourcing company, but a huge disadvantage is that they don’t have great work processes in place. So you’ll need to take the time to onboard and train them so they can adapt to your development workflows. Plus, you’re not getting any guarantee of the quality of their work nor any client protection measures.
Turn to platforms like Pangea to hire pre-vetted, remote product geeks and engineers. Whether you’re looking for a Flutter, iOS, Swift, or Android developer, you can choose from experienced outsourcing companies to start a new project or increase bandwidth and complement your in-house team.
View 130+ data points for each vendor that’s been previously verified by clients and employees. This allows you to make a data-driven shortlist of preferred companies and then hire them with a single click based solely on merit.
Fighting Common Mobile App Development Outsourcing Concerns
If this is your first time looking to work with an outsourcing mobile app development company or you’ve had negative experiences in the past, you might be hesitant. To ensure a good collaboration process, next are some common challenges and how to face them:
- Choosing the wrong vendor. There are thousands of outsourcing companies out there and people you have talked to in the past probably recommended different options. So you’re likely to choose a vendor that’s cheaper when, in reality, you should be looking at pre-vetted companies and seeing if they worked on similar projects in the past and what the results were. The solution? Prioritize the criteria you’re going to use to choose a vendor. Portfolio, reviews, experience, and tech stack are good options, to begin with.
- Security compliance worries. If you’re simply concerned they’ll get access to sensitive data, signing a non-disclosure agreement will do the trick. A lot of the risks can be prevented by simply opting for an outsourcing company that sticks to security best practices like being SOC 2 compliant.
- Poor communication. The way the project flows and how things are communicated largely depends on the policies you already have in place. A flexible vendor can easily adapt to the workflows you have in place. The best ones will come in and suggest ways of improving collaboration and speeding things up without skimping on quality.
- Mediocre results. One of the biggest fears most companies have is not ending up with the expected results. This, however, is super easy to prevent if you’ve had a good look at the outsourcing entity’s portfolio. Reach out to our team to get one step ahead and receive some recommendations for your exact requirements.
Final Reminders to Get You Started With Outsourcing Mobile App Development
It is important to remember that once you do find the perfect fit to outsource mobile app development, check in regularly!
This is particularly critical if you find an offshore developer in another time zone, country, or even continent. Maintaining close communication will keep everyone on task and potential issues that arise to a minimum. Additionally, it lets you track progress and manage problems much easier. Overloading developers with unrelated tasks will only get in the way and cause productivity to lag; keep your team focused on their work and the rest will come naturally.
Q1. How do you outsource the development of a mobile app?
According to our handy guide to hiring developers, you should:
- Know what role you want to fill.
- Check your network for past clients, recommendations from industry peers, or tell us what you need — we’ll find five companies that fit your specifications within 72 hours.
- Once you find a candidate, look through their portfolio and have a look at testimonials from past clients.
- Obtain reliable references from their past clients and their current team.
- Draw up a contract and get to work!
Q2. Can you outsource app development?
You absolutely can, and probably should! Evaluate your company’s goals and needs for the project alongside your team’s skills and current workload. Does it make sense to pull their focus from their ongoing projects to start a new one, or does it make more sense to bring in a fresh pair of eyes and hands?
Q3. Why should you outsource mobile app development?
- You will increase operational efficiency by allowing your team to continue their usual tasks without interruption to business flow.
- You have access to a bigger pool of talent at an affordable rate, especially for short-term projects that do not require you to hire new full-time staff.
- Outsourcing mobile app development allows you to work around the clock across multiple time zones if you hire offshore developers.
- The niche industry experience of offshore developers allows them to bring their consulting expertise and guidance to the table.
Q4: How much does it cost to outsource mobile app development?
Hourly rates range from €25 to €150 depending on the specific mobile expertise. Often, long-term projects or day rates can get you extra discounts. Costs depend on factors like the scope of features needed, developer location, industry or niche, technologies used, etc. For instance, complex apps will naturally cost more because of the high number of resources and time needed to complete the project.
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