The complexity of modern technology has long outgrown the capabilities of a single person, which has made outsourcing web development projects more prevalent. Having an in-house team that can realize any project regardless of its scale, size, and ambition can be counterproductive. Some projects require specialized industry knowledge that only a few experts have. As a result, more and more companies outsource web development tasks to other firms with teams of specialists that concentrate on web solutions. This process saves companies money, time, and other valuable resources, and allows them to concentrate on business challenges. In this article, we will investigate the web development outsourcing market, learn its benefits and costs, as well as go over a comprehensive guide on how to outsource web development.
Outsourcing website development is a process of hiring a third-party agency to execute a set of web development services, including planning, design, coding, launch, and post-release maintenance. An outsourcing company has the corresponding talent, skills, expertise, and experience to bring a web development project to fruition. If a company lacks knowledge and experience in a certain area, such organizations help them bridge the technological gap and realize their projects.
While outsourcing web development refers to delegating the entire project or parts of it to an external IT partner, outstaffing is a type of temporary remote employment. Outstaffing agencies lend their experts to fill in a certain talent gap. For example, if you can tackle your web development project but lack one vital specialist, an outstaffing agency will find you the best fit who will work with your team for the duration of the project. The downside of this model is onboarding, motivation, and communication, which new temporary employees often struggle with.
When it comes to outsourcing the web development process, the client delegates tasks to another team that has already been working together and does not require any additional onboarding. The communication channels also don’t shift, nor do incentives. Another alternative is the Team as a Service (TaaS) approach which is an improvement of the traditional staff augmentation model, without the shortcomings we discussed above.
In this section, we will explore the reasons why companies decide to outsource web development tasks.
Compared to hiring an in-house team of seasoned developers, project managers, designers, business analysts and other specialists, outsourcing a web project is a much more affordable alternative. Hiring a team takes time and resources, not to mention the onboarding processes and adaptation period. Staff members are also eligible for office space, equipment, social benefits, vacation time, insurance, taxes, and more. With all this combined, every employee will amass a substantial monthly bill. Collaborating with a reliable IT partner will help you reduce costs and get your project done in a shorter time.
The ever-growing technological market demands new talent that might not be easy to come by in your area. Working with an outsourcing website development company will give you access to a much wider pool of talent across the globe. Instead of settling for someone whose skills are just sufficient, you can delegate your project to a seasoned outsourced web development professional with years of experience. For example, if you need a backend developer that specializes in a particular technology, they can be hard to find. With an outsourcing vendor, you don’t have to invest your funds into training your personnel but simply choose a specific workforce you require to complete the project.
Some IT projects can take months or even years before a launch, which amplifies the urgency for scalability and flexibility—one of the main reasons for project outsourcing. Agile methodologies allow development teams to remain flexible throughout the entire project. But scaling your staff is an entirely different story. Outsourcing web development companies have multiple specialists on board that can jump into the project at any time. If at some point your project requires more hands, specific acumen, or industry experience, the company will simply add another player to their web development team.
When you outsource web development tasks, you can focus all your attention and resources on the business side. The client only needs to be engaged at the very beginning of the project when the outsourcing company collects relevant information, design, features, deadlines, budgets, etc. Once these requirements have been gathered and documented, it is possible to minimize the time and resources the client needs to devote to the project. A professional IT partner will communicate their preliminary results regularly to help the client stay up-to-date and make possible corrections.
Shortening time-to-market offers numerous benefits to any organization. Nowadays, if you think of an idea, the chances are someone else has had the same idea and is working on realizing it. The earlier you release your product, the faster can you market and promote it to reach the right audience. An outsourced web development team whose entire job is to execute your project will devote their resources to completing your product.
Besides executing your project, an outsourcing website development team can also use their acumen to evaluate and potentially improve it. They can use their collective experience and skills to assess the product idea, improve the design, test assumptions, and make sure the end product will satisfy users’ needs.
Any reputable IT company will work its hardest to deliver a well-functioning product that satisfies the client. Having their reputation at stake, outsourcing web development companies are more likely to collaborate with the client in pursuit of creating a good product. As a result, you will benefit from sharing some of the risks with your IT partner who will be as invested in your success as you are.
Arguably, entrusting an external company with your project, data, and software can be quite risky. Would you like to learn how to outsource web development and enjoy a successful collaboration? You can minimize the risks by vetting the company and making sure they have the relevant experience as well as a solid reputation. In this part, we will discuss the best practices that will aid you in finding a trustworthy IT partner.
Before you outsource web development activities to a company, use platforms like GoodFirms, Clutch, and Glassdoor to learn about the experiences of their previous clients. Obviously, even the best companies might have a few poor reviews written about them, but this will give you an understanding of how the firm operates and communicates and what it delivers.
Unless you are dealing with a large corporation, IT companies mostly specialize in a certain area or areas. For example, if you are building a healthcare website, search for outsourcing website development companies that have proven commercial experience building products for this niche. Developing a product requires not only technical acumen but also in-depth industry expertise.
A two-way street, solid and open communication are keys to your success. Start by finding a responsive partner that replies to your emails and calls, keeps you up-to-date with the progress, and communicates their messages, concerns, and feedback clearly and transparently.
At the same time, you also need to abide by the same principles. Before you outsource web development to a vendor, make sure your requirements are clear, your goals are well-documented, and communication channels are established. Set up weekly meetings with the project manager to keep yourself in the loop. Agree upon the tools that will help you and your IT partner monitor the progress and exchange feedback. Establish a single source of truth where the team can store all project-related documentation. Double-check your references, especially if the outsourcing agency is based in another country and has a different cultural background.
Almost half of outsourcing endeavors fail due to poor communication, including vendor responsiveness and customer service. Only if you and your outsourcing web development partner are both willing to keep the communication flowing will the project be successful.
To secure your company and customer data as well as enhance the chances of a fruitful collaboration, sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The document must include information pertaining to your intellectual property, sensitive data, conditions for project termination, responsibilities of both parties, and more. It’s highly recommended to work with an experienced lawyer to prepare a comprehensive and solid NDA.
It’s no surprise that web development rates can fluctuate depending on the vendor’s location, experience, and the project itself. A complex website or app with advanced features alongside cutting-edge technology like Augmented Reality or Voice Recognition will cost you significantly more than a basic application.
A common way of reducing the costs is finding an overseas partner from Eastern Europe, Latin America, or Asia. On average, a Northern American or Western European development company will have higher rates. Before you outsource outsource web development, compare the average rates across the countries:
This region comprises multiple countries that are known for high-quality tech specialists as well as lower rates, mostly due to a lower cost of living. Countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Lithuania, and others offer top-notch IT expertise that will not overwhelm your financial department. Each year, the number of qualified tech professionals grows with half of them choosing to work on outsourcing projects. Average rates range from $50 to $90 an hour, while the cultural differences between Eastern Europeans and the rest of the Western world are almost non-existent. The only notable downside is often the basic English proficiency of web developers, but this is usually circumvented by an English-speaking project manager.
The reason why Latin America is an attractive region to North Americans is similar time zones. Although not as advanced in web development as Eastern Europe, Latin American states are starting to expand their technological expertise. You can find experienced firms in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina charging about $60 to $120 per hour. Especially if you are concerned with long distances and would prefer to arrange face-to-face meetings once in a while, hiring an agency from Latin America could be a good option.
India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and other Asian countries offer pristine web development services. The biggest disadvantage of working with these countries is a considerable time difference as well as cultural misunderstandings. It might appear a little harder to communicate your requirements since what is considered minimalistic design in Europe might mean something very different in Asia. At the same time, the prices are moderate—$50 to $90 per hour—and the technological acumen is at a great level. On top of that, most Indians speak very good English, which eliminates any language barriers.
USA and Canada offer highly professional and experienced web development teams that do however come with a high price tag. With average rates as high as $170 to $270 per hour, even a small project will be extremely expensive.
It’s hard to definitively answer the question of which country is the ultimate outsourcing spot. Regardless of the location, there will always be associated outsourcing web development benefits and risks. If the minimal time difference is of extreme importance to you, then choose a region accordingly. However, if you are looking for the best combination of cultural closeness, technical acumen, and decent rates, then Eastern Europe is your pick.
The hesitation in making a decision to outsource web development for your project is understandable. You will be trusting an external company with sensitive information and relying on strangers to realize an important project. Hopefully, our guide to how to outsource website development can help you avoid common pitfalls and begin a successful and productive collaboration with a reliable partner.
Even before hiring an IT partner, define the goals and requirements for the project. If you lack technical understanding, use business terms to clearly identify the objectives that you want to achieve with your product. Maybe you want to raise brand awareness, generate more leads, or reach international audiences. Either way, describe what you want to achieve and why. On top of that, identify the target audience and formulate the exact problem you strive to solve with your product. If you have this document prepared before meeting with a potential outsourcing firm, your initial communication will be significantly easier.
To narrow down your choice of IT partners, estimate the budget of the entire project. Based on this number, you can find an appropriate outsourcing website development company. Keep in mind that there are two main pricing models outsourcing companies use: fixed and flexible. In a fixed model, the entire project is planned out to a tee to figure out the closest estimate of the overall bill. The downside is a lack of flexibility which can be quite detrimental to a web development project. A flexible model allows you to expand the scope as you go and make changes. Although this model usually generates better results, it does tend to increase the budget.
Gauging a timeline can also be helpful when looking for a company. If you know when the product should be released, communicate this information to the outsourced web development company to allow them to assess their possibilities and offer an appropriate deal. However, if your project does not have a definitive release date, you can leave this calculation to your future IT partner.
Before you outsource web development outsource website development tasks, draft a list of essential requirements including location, industry experience, rates, values, cultural background, etc. This record will help you make a shortlist of the most suitable agencies within your budget. To check a company against your requirements, you can read online reviews, peruse their website and case studies, learn their mission and values, and ask about their rates. For the final vetting step, reach out to the company to arrange a meeting and evaluate their communication skills and technical expertise.
As we mentioned before, communication is immensely important in your relationship with an IT vendor. Agree upon the channels of communication and messaging tools, create a consistent meeting schedule, exchange feedback, and ensure transparency. An SLA (Service-level agreement) is a helpful mitigator when it comes to communication issues. Include all the relevant information in the agreement alongside the warranties, definitions, responsibilities, software, and tools. When looking to hire a partner, make sure the outsourcing web development company is responsive, values its clients, and strives to provide open communication.
Before you outsource web development to an external company, you need to know the potential risks. There are a few challenges you might face when delegating a project or a part of it that we will discuss below. How can you outsource website development without facing major issues?
Entrusting a third-party company with your project and company data can be highly unnerving and risky. There is always a chance that the company of your choice will not deliver the required product. However, if you do your diligence and investigate the company, you are not likely to end up disappointed with the results. An SLA will also protect you in case the vendor fails to deliver.
Hiring an outsource web development partner might be challenging if your organization operates on-site and does not have much experience with remote workers. A seasoned vendor with an established remote work system can help you bridge this gap and build a clear communication path.
Handing your sensitive data over to another company can sound scary and immensely risky. A data breach can lead to detrimental consequences and ruin your reputation if customer or employee data is leaked or damaged. This is why having a well-thought-through NDA is so vital. Include clauses that cover data transfer and protection as well as possible repercussions for the vendor in case of a breach.
Even if you create a detailed budget breakdown, you might still end up with a higher bill due to hidden and unexpected costs. The best way of mitigating this issue is to include the possible additional expenses in the contract before you outsource website development. Furthermore, staying in the loop and monitoring the progress will also help you remain within the budget and retain control over the expenditure.
Many companies are highly concerned about losing control over their project after delegating it to the IT vendor. Especially if the project is associated with the processes that are core to the business, companies can be understandably worried about harming their organization. A good remedy is requirement-tracking software that allows you to oversee the progress and make changes on the go. It is also recommended to establish regular reporting that includes comprehensive status updates. However, our clients can get in touch with technical specialists to receive any support regarding their projects and company needs.
One or two hours difference is easily manageable, but when it’s more than six or seven, serious challenges can emerge. Although a real obstacle, time zone differences can be overcome with high-quality communication and task management systems. Create a unified space where you can share and exchange project-related information to ensure continuous communication. If the time difference is fairly big, you can incorporate the so-called “follow the sun” model where the vendor works during the client’s night and delivers the results the next morning.
There are a few myths that are associated with hiring an outsource website development team for projects and discourage organizations from choosing this work model. In reality, if handled and set up correctly, IT outsourcing can be highly lucrative and convenient and deliver top-notch results. For example, some companies have already had bad outsourcing experiences that deter them from taking on this risk again. However, analyzing what went wrong and doing more precise vetting will help them avoid failures in the future.
Some firms also struggle with delegation in general and believe that an external organization will not do its best because they don’t care as much. This notion is a complete fallacy as good companies will not jeopardize their reputation. It’s in their interests to deliver a high-performance product that will satisfy their clients. At the end of the day, doing due diligence will come a long way and ensure the success of your collaboration. Evaluate the outsourcing web development benefits and risks for your company before making a final decision.
Another common misconception is cultural and language barriers. Although this can be true for some vendors, the majority of reputable companies have English-speaking staff that are familiar with the Western culture. You can mitigate cultural barriers by working with an Eastern European partner where such disparities are minimal. NIX is a trustworthy partner that values its clients and delivers the best possible results. We are a team of web development experts who will set up collaboration in an effective and transparent way. Get in touch with us to receive a quote and talk about your project.
As we can see, outsourcing—compared to hiring in-house specialists today—allows you to achieve such advantages as resource management, having the best talent, having the opportunity to scale a project, improving time to market, focusing on business values, and also sharing the risks associated with achieving the success of your product. At the same time, it’s essential to find a reliable contractor who would respect your intellectual property rights, clearly understand your business goals, and do exactly what you expect without numerous edits.
In particular, you can choose NIX, an awarded web development outsourcing company with a near 30-year history. We will guide you from requirements gathering to product release and subsequent updates. If necessary, we will integrate your product with your IT infrastructure to ensure seamless synchronization of data and processes within your company. Just explain your idea, and we will calculate the budget for its implementation and offer available cooperation models. Feel free to contact us right now, and our experts will introduce you to everything needed for our successful collaboration.
Being a proactive leader, Mike's driving force is to assist businesses in leveraging technology to create robust and scalable software solutions that will endure in an ever-changing market.
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