Outsourced software development is not as uncommon these days as it was a decade ago. Outsourcing provides a myriad of benefits such as cost savings, speed and efficiency, light and nimble team structures, and access to the best talent in the world. This is possible now, especially with the existing online tools and technology that make it easier for us to communicate and collaborate.
The idea of outsourcing software development may vary and may create specific connotations for different people. But there are actually different ways to outsource development, depending on what the project calls for, and what your company needs.
From hiring a freelance gig worker to booking a full-service development agency, let’s explore the different types of outsourcing models for software development, and what makes them an ideal option for a specific project, company, or industry.
Freelance developers are flexible contract workers and individuals that can help development teams in the creation of software applications.
A freelance developer usually has certain skills that they specialize in, or they can be a generalist – being able to do multiple things at a time. But a freelance gig worker can only complement an already existing team. Building software has a lot of components – it is almost impossible, or painstakingly slow, to rely on only one or two freelance tech workers to develop a software application from start to finish.
If a company would hire freelancers, it will boost its in-house team of developers. Hiring one or two freelance developers can fill the skills gap of the development team, only acquiring specific talents and skills they need.
But a company can also build a whole team composed of individually hired freelancers – they just need to have a leader or manager that will oversee, organize and lead the team. The leader would be preferably someone in-house or within the organization who knows about the company and the direction it wants to take for the project.
A company opting for a team of freelancers has full ownership, control, and responsibility for the entire development process of the software from planning to release.
Other than the development process, the company will also need to establish all processes, standards, safeguards, performance metrics, training, and any other factors critical to the success of the project, if it hasn’t done so already.
With full control of the software development comes a lot more responsibilities and hurdles. Getting freelance developers and uniting them may take some work compared to other outsourcing methods since the company is the one responsible for the team. There might also be a lot of trial and error involved when the team is in its infancy, and the members and freelance workers are figuring out how to work together.
Overall, freelance developers are the best option if the company just needs a small addition to their in-house development team, would like full control over the project, and have the time and resources necessary to build and manage a freelance team.
Software development agencies and companies offer dedicated teams for clients and projects and usually take over the whole development process. Usually a development agency will specialize in a specific type of project or vertical, and have teams in place for those specific use cases.
A company can appoint an in-house project manager who will coordinate with the outsourced development team, receive progress reports, and report to management for alignment and to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The outsourced team is responsible and has project ownership from planning and designing to building, testing, deployment, and even maintenance. They will develop and build the project according to the client’s needs and specifications. They also keep clients updated by providing progress reports, communicating challenges and possible solutions, and gathering ideas and inputs from clients, among others.
Even with less control on the client side, this setup has clearly drawn processes, guidelines, outcomes, plans, and strategies that can help push for more efficient and faster delivery of the project. If the company has a development need that matches the agency team’s capabilities, this can be a great fit. However, it can be difficult and time consuming to approach an agency with a project outside their usual scope - especially if they don’t have a team readily available with the necessary expertise.
A managed developer team is a combination of all of the outsourcing types, which provides individual top-tier talents, or managed teams tailor fit for the project. They provide access to the best developers and talent, even tech experts, around the world that can deliver software development for companies looking for the best quality and service.
For example, Gigster is a fully managed software delivery platform providing companies access to over 900 global tech experts in different niches and fields, who are the top 1% talent in their respective industries.
A managed developer team is different from an agency because of its ability to assemble on-demand teams with specific competencies, which are the right fit for a specific company or industry. Providing the client with a project manager to support the rest of the team, manage the project, and use tools like AI ensures every stage is more efficient and predictable. The combination of expert developers and proven processes results in a higher quality in the final product.
Using a managed team also ensures that the project can begin immediately and there is no issue assembling a team with the necessary skills to complete the job. Gigster uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assemble each team based on the client's specific project demands and the complementary skills of the team members. This helps to get teams built quickly so the project can begin as quickly as possible. Increased development speed is especially vital when working with emerging technologies which can offer a major competitive advantage to first movers.
Gigster has proven processes and a larger company supporting the development team, which is superior to just hiring freelance developers where a client is not sure of what kind of talent they are going to get.
In addition, Gigster's on-demand teams have access to code libraries with past project code, plan templates, feature components, and others so they can start and finish projects faster. Click here to learn more about Gigster's global talent network.
Companies are turning more and more to outsourcing their software development as it provides access to top talents around the world, and flexible and efficient teams according to a client's needs for less cost.
No matter which type of outsourcing model a company may adopt, outsourced talents give companies a fresh perspective on how they are viewed by their customers and how to further improve and innovate the project, as well as their products and services.
Outsourcing software development is one of the many ways a company can get ahead and be more agile and competitive in today’s fast-paced global business landscape.