In-House vs Outsourced Software Development
One of the most common dilemmas businesses face when embarking on a software development project is whether to outsource the project to a development agency or use an in-house team.
We spoke to one of our software account managers, Alex Hall, who shed some light on some of the key benefits of each solution, as well as why you might want to consider a blended approach for your project.
Benefits of Outsourced Software Development
Work Managed by Experts
A notorious issue that continuously appears with in-house software development is the difficulty in managing your technical personnel. If you do not have extensive technical knowledge in software development, it is almost impossible to be able to effectively manage your team, set proper expectations, and monitor performance – both in terms of workplace efficiency, and the quality of the outcome.
By outsourcing software development projects to technical providers such as Netmatters, you can be certain that work will be completed to the highest standard. Considerable experience completing all kinds of development projects ensures that technical providers are always working to best practices. Additionally, with a diversified spread of technical expertise throughout an agency, account and project managers can peer review estimates and timeframes with a clear understanding of development processes, ensuring that work is completed as efficiently as possible.
Using an in-house development team can also introduce more risk to a project compared to an outsourced solution. In-house development teams typically only contain 1-3 developers, which when undertaking a demanding project, likely means there won’t be enough technical expertise on hand to check each piece of code that is deployed. Thus, you will be left far more vulnerable to individual errors that could break down the code and significantly slow the progress of projects. In contrast, technical agencies such as Netmatters are able to leverage a wealth of expertise and manpower to mitigate this risk. For example, Netmatters developers first push their code to a testing environment where a senior team member can review it and identify any errors before they go live.
Additionally, by only having a few developers on hand, in-house solutions leave businesses too reliant on a few staff members who could decide to leave at any stage. This significantly exposes the business and poses a constant threat to any project - something that is negated by an outsourced solution. Partnering with an agency such as Netmatters, who employ over 40 full-time developers, gives you the depth and resilience to manage any project effectively.
These concerns are compounded when considering the importance of the proper management that an outsourced solution can provide. For example, coding best practices stipulate that all code should contain comments from developers pertaining to what it is, and how it has been put together. This ensures that anyone coming into the project can easily see what the previous developer has done so that they can pick up work seamlessly. However, without the correct management/peer reviews, this step can often be neglected. Thus, if your in-house developer was to suddenly leave, it could be incredibly challenging for the new staff member to pick up the work, creating a significant time cost during staff transitions.
Benefits of In-House Development
The core benefit of in-house development is that the actual hourly cost of development can be cheaper through directly employing the resource. However, this does not necessarily mean that your projects will be delivered at a lower cost. For example, with the aforementioned risks and loss of efficiency that come with a small, un-managed team, the cost incurred from fixing errors and managing staff transitions could result in an outsourced solution delivering a more financially efficient project.
Third Option – A Blended Solution
Whilst there are key benefits to using an outsourced development solution, it can also be effectively deployed alongside an in-house team through providing a number of key functions:
Providing Numbers to Meet Deadlines
A managed development resource can also support in-house developers on larger projects with tight deadlines that require more manpower to be completed. Instead of needing to find additional expertise on short-term contracts, agencies such as Netmatters can seamlessly integrate developers into existing projects to relieve some of the pressure on your team and ensure that outcomes are delivered on time and to requirements.
Bridging the Skills Gap
Skills gaps can arise in a multitude of ways. The most common results from creating and developing teams to match the exact requirements of a business. As all expertise is focused in one key area, it can then be challenging for the business to explore new technologies and opportunities.
For example, a business may have an existing Microsoft software stack that includes tools such as Microsoft Business Central to manage their operations. Their in-house developers may be profficient in working with Microsoft tools, but when the business wants to integrate other software systems into their stack, such as Salesforce or Xero, the developers are unable to provide a solution.
This is where an external development resource such as Netmatters can be brought in to compliment the existing team. With a diversified skillset across numerous experienced developers, a development agency can be used to support individual projects that require knowledge and expertise outside of your in-house development.
How Netmatters Can Help?
With over 40 experienced software developers that are proficient in all key coding languages, Netmatters can provide bespoke, workable solutions, whilst also being able to integrate seamlessly with an in-house team. Get in touch with one of our offices in Wymondham, London, Cambridge, or Great Yarmouth to book a free consultation with one of our experts, who can help map out a plan for delivering high-quality outcomes for your business.