Top 5 Reasons to Outsource your Minimum Viable Custom Software Project
The answer to the question of whether or not you should outsource your minimum viable custom software project has been in debate for several years. Both arguments, either way, have valid benefits and shortfalls. Zyris has 5 big reasons to consider why it might be a better idea to outsource your custom software project.
1. Cost Efficiency
Let’s say that your attention should be focused on building and validating your business. Evaluate for a moment, what it would cost your business to recruit, onboard, manage, and maintain the new team that will build out your project. In addition, does your business have the capacity and infrastructure in place to house a new business unit that may largely be unrelated to your current business and may have drastically different requirements? Most importantly, what does that capital investment look like?
- Have you done this sort of work before?
- Are you familiar with the latest practices, technologies, and processes associated with developing the type of end product that you hope to achieve?
- Does your business have the right equipment or infrastructure?
- Do you need more space in your office or will the teamwork remotely?
- What are the goals of your organization?
All of these and many more factors will play a part in determining the differences between investing in this software development venture within your organization or finding the right outsourcing partner to reduce the associated risks for you.
2. Human Capital
If you were to build a new team for your software project, what would that process look like? What type of software developer do you need to have on your team? Will you be using rock stars, university graduates, or the ‘I know a guy’ developer? What are the overhead costs with recruiting these team members and how will that impact growth in other aspects of your business? What will you do if your new contractors or employees don’t mesh with the corporate culture or can’t get along? What change management and onboarding processes do you have in place for a new team?
How will your employees need to interface with the information that will be processed and delivered by this new software? What impact will it have on their current roles and responsibilities?
Without having existing processes and risk mitigation strategies for software development in place, there is a high likelihood of an increase in overhead costs due to delayed productivity timelines that are typically the result of more time spent developing processes and fabricating new organizational culture.
An established seasoned software team will be able to focus more on productivity while avoiding costs associated with operational change management.
The bottom line is, outsourcing your software project to an experienced and qualified team will take all of the risks that are typically associated with investing in human capital off of your plate.
Infrastructure is more than just a few computers and a text editor. Take into consideration the final product that you are envisioning. Will the final software product be integrated into any existing or future aspects of your business? Will these integrations be automated, manual, digital, or analogue? Will you need additional equipment that to support the outcomes of the software product?
Now, think about what hardware and software would be required to build this new product that you are envisioning. Does it require the latest and greatest technology or can the developers use less powerful hardware technology? How will you manage development cycles? How will testing the software work? Will the software product be available to customers outside of the business, for internal use or a bit of both? Where does the software need to reside in order to accomplish those goals?
A solid custom software development company will know the hardware, software, and optimal tool sets for a variety of project requirements. These tools or a specific combination of them can drastically mitigate development mistakes. As well, tools and even technologies can affect the current and future costs associated with the software itself. The computer language that the software is written in can affect the cost of a single developer, the infrastructure needed to support various stages of the software, and certain costs that are associated with maintaining the finished software product.
By outsourcing your software project to an experienced and qualified team, you will mitigate much of the risk associated with investing in new infrastructure.
Does your business have the in-house knowledge, proficiency, and experience to make well-informed decisions associated with this project?
This knowledge is a crucial factor relating to the costs that are impacted by how the software is planned, designed, built, tested and launched.
To acquire this breadth of knowledge a software development team would need to be large and diverse enough to reasonably support all aspects a custom software project. They’ll need to understand, explore, and articulate the most efficient development processes and benchmark those against the needs of the business and other similar development process options.
As well, beyond the scope of development, decisions made early on can severely impact the costs that are associated with maintaining the software. Experienced and seasoned developers will be able to better identify potential pitfalls by making crucial decisions earlier on in the process.
For the same price or less than the cost of a single full-time developer, by outsourcing, you’ll have the ability to leverage a diverse panel of experts that collectively hold a multitude of years of experience. This experience can be the difference between a few thousand dollars and a few hundred thousand dollars.
There are two main factors in scalability that can affect the performance and outcome of your custom software project.
The first is about the scalability of the software and supporting infrastructure. An experienced outsourcing team will design and develop your product so that it can be future ready. This means that the more data that gets entered into the system, and the more users interact with the software, inherently the more complex the system will become. A good software development team will guide you on the differences of building a product on spec and building something that has the capabilities to grow.
The Second is resource scalability. Now that the software is ready and you have validated that your product is working as intended, you discover that you need to add more features and require more support for your software product. Your next steps might be adding more developers to handle these new feature requests while keeping some staff available for maintenance and technical support for what has already been created. The right software company will have teams that are cohesively flexible to the changing needs of customers that the software will need to support.
Although the two scenarios of outsourcing and in-house software development both have very similar outcomes, the goals and associated impacts of either will significantly impact the potential investment cost of the project.
The benefits of keeping everything in-house is that your business will become a much larger and more diverse entity. This might make sense for an enterprise level organization that has a goal of focusing on a particular software related business long-term. However, if the software is simply a mechanism that supports non-software related needs, investing in this infrastructure might not make sense.
For custom software related ventures where ideation and validation are still very crucial steps in building the value proposition for your organization’s customers, outsourcing helps mitigate a lot of the risk while simultaneously benchmarking key performance indicators much earlier on in the timeline.
Consider both options carefully and diligently. Remember that outsourcing your custom software project doesn’t mean that you lose control over the quality and the ownership of the work. It’s simply a question of whether or not you want to diversify your business into the development, maintenance, and future support that is associated with the software development. If your goal is to validate your idea or support a non-software related business need, then you might want to consider the benefits of aligning with an experienced and well-seasoned custom software development team.