2 min read

How To Outsource Mobile App Development Efficiently: Insights from Essentio

Published on
August 10, 2023
Christian Vancea
CEO & Co-Founder Essentio
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The Digital Landscape

In today's rapidly evolving digital world, businesses are striving to harness the power of mobile apps. But the journey from ideation to a successful app isn't always smooth. Making informed choices at every juncture is essential. Let's delve into this process with insights from Essentio.

Mobile Platforms: The Need and Nuance

Is a mobile app a necessity for your business? While the answer hinges on your product and services, the shift towards mobile solutions is tangible. Mobile apps offer the advantage of:

  • Accessibility from anywhere, anytime.
  • Compatibility with budget devices.
  • Offline accessibility, although apps like financial tools might require consistent internet.

Yet, mobile screens present interface limitations, which might challenge intricate applications. For instance, businesses dealing in intellectual goods might find the transition to app smoother than those in material goods, which face logistical challenges.

In-House Development vs. Outsourcing: The Big Decision

Embarking on the app development journey entails pivotal decisions like building an in-house team or outsourcing. Creating an in-house team demands investment in recruitment, training, and infrastructure.

On the other hand, outsourcing offers flexible models:

  1. Turnkey Development: Ideal for businesses without a tech team.
  2. Dedicated Remote Team: This team collaborates with your core team on designated app sections.
  3. Team Augmentation: Specific experts fill in the gaps in your core team for tasks like hotfixes or specific feature additions.

There's also the freelancer avenue for concise projects with defined milestones.

The allure of outsourcing often stems from the cost-saving aspect. Outsourcing to regions with a lower cost of living can lead to substantial savings, sometimes up to 50%. Depending on geography, you can opt for onshore, nearshore, or offshore outsourcing, each with its pros and cons.

Outsourcing: The Pros, Cons, and Mitigation Strategies

While outsourcing is attractive, it has its pitfalls. However, with a proactive approach, these risks can be navigated:

  • Communication Challenges: Working with outsourced teams, especially those in different time zones, can result in communication delays and misunderstandings.
  • Language and Cultural Barriers: Differences in language and culture can lead to misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and inefficiencies.
  • Quality Control: Ensuring the quality of outsourced work can be challenging, as the business may have limited control over the processes and standards of the external team.
  • Dependence on External Resources: Relying heavily on outsourcing can make businesses vulnerable to disruptions in the supply chain or changes in the external team's availability or performance.
  • Intellectual Property Risks: Sharing sensitive information with external teams may expose businesses to risks of intellectual property theft or leaks.

Pros of Outsourcing:

  • Scalability: Outsourcing allows businesses to quickly scale their operations and handle larger workloads without the need for significant investment in infrastructure or personnel.
  • Global Expertise: By outsourcing, businesses can tap into a pool of skilled professionals from around the world, gaining access to diverse expertise and perspectives that can help drive innovation.
  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing can result in significant cost savings, especially when working with offshore teams in regions with lower labor costs. These savings can be reinvested in other areas of the business to fuel growth.
  • Focus on Core Competencies: Outsourcing non-core tasks allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and strategic objectives, enhancing productivity and competitiveness.
  • Flexibility: Outsourcing allows businesses to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs by bringing in additional resources or expertise as needed.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Communication: Utilize communication tools like Slack and project management software like Scrum boards to facilitate clear and consistent communication. Schedule regular check-ins and provide detailed documentation to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Language and Cultural Barriers: Choose outsourcing partners with strong English language skills and a cultural alignment with your business. Invest time in building relationships and understanding cultural nuances to minimize misunderstandings.
  • Quality Control: Implement rigorous quality control processes, including code reviews, testing, and feedback loops. Having a tech-savvy person on your team to oversee the quality of work is invaluable.
  • Risk Management: Diversify your outsourcing partners and maintain some in-house capabilities to reduce dependence on external resources. Establish contingency plans to address potential disruptions.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Clearly define the ownership of intellectual property in contracts and implement strict data security protocols to safeguard sensitive information.

The advantages of outsourcing include scalability, tapping into global expertise, and the potential for significant savings.

The 7-Step Blueprint to Efficient Outsourcing

  1. Technical Specification: Begin with clarity. If you're uncertain, a seasoned developer will help shape your vision.
  2. Team Hunting: Use trusted platforms or personal referrals to shortlist potential development teams.
  3. Interview Process: Engage with 4-5 potential teams. Assess their expertise, approach, and cultural fit.
  4. Tech Stack Agreement: Understand and agree on the technological tools that will be employed.
  5. Time and Budgeting: Clearly define the scope, budget, and timeline of your project.
  6. Stay Focused: Emphasize regular communication, track progress, and be open to tweaks and changes.
  7. Future Relations: Foster a healthy relationship with the outsourced team. They can be invaluable for future updates or projects.

Technical Specification: Having a clear technical specification is the foundation of a successful outsourcing project. Your specification should outline the scope, requirements, and deliverables of the project in detail. Be specific about the features and functionalities you want, the user experience you envision, and any other relevant technical aspects. If you're not confident in your technical knowledge, you can hire a technical consultant or use online resources to help shape your vision. Remember, a well-defined specification will make it easier to find the right development team, communicate your needs, and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Team Hunting: Use trusted platforms like Upwork, Toptal, or Freelancer, or reach out to your network for personal referrals. When shortlisting potential development teams, consider their skills, experience, and reviews from previous clients. It's essential to check their portfolios to see the quality of their previous work and whether they have experience in your specific domain.

Interview Process: Engage with 4-5 potential teams for interviews. During these discussions, assess their technical expertise, approach to problem-solving, and compatibility with your company culture. Make sure they understand your project's requirements and ask them how they would approach the challenges you've outlined. Ask for references and follow up with them to get a better understanding of the team's reliability, communication skills, and overall performance.

Tech Stack Agreement: Before signing any contract, it's crucial to agree on the technological tools and stack that will be used for your project. The chosen tech stack should be aligned with your project requirements, budget, and timeline. It should also be scalable, maintainable, and able to support your long-term goals. If you're unsure about which tech stack is suitable for your project, consult with your shortlisted teams or an independent expert.

Time and Budgeting: Set a clear scope, budget, and timeline for your project. Break down your project into smaller, manageable milestones with specific deliverables and deadlines. This will help you monitor progress, ensure timely delivery, and manage your budget effectively. Remember to set aside some funds for unexpected costs or changes in scope. Be realistic about the time required for each stage, considering factors like testing, debugging, and iterations.

Stay Focused: Communication is key to a successful outsourcing partnership. Schedule regular check-ins to track progress, address any issues, and ensure alignment. Use tools like Trello, Asana, or Slack to manage tasks and facilitate communication. Be open to tweaks and changes but maintain focus on your project goals. Keep an eye on the project scope and avoid unnecessary feature creep, which could lead to delays and cost overruns.

Future Relations: Don't consider the project completed once the final deliverable is handed over. Take the time to foster a healthy relationship with the outsourced team. Maintain communication and provide feedback on their performance. A strong partnership with a reliable development team can be invaluable for future updates, maintenance, or new projects.

Essentio's Take

At Essentio, we believe in creating successful outsourcing partnerships. We emphasize transparent communication, ensuring our project managers align perfectly with client needs. With no timezone differences to hurdle over, we prioritize quality and efficient delivery. In addition to these advantages, we take a further step in client-centered communication.

In our commitment to fostering a strong connection with our clients, we prioritize speaking the mother language of the client in all interactions. Whether your preferred language is German or English, our team is fluent and ready to communicate in the language you feel most comfortable with. By conducting business in your native language, we reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and ensure that you feel fully understood and respected.

Our client-focused approach extends to every aspect of our collaboration. From the initial consultation to the final delivery, we put your needs and preferences at the forefront of our processes. By speaking your language, aligning with your timezone, and delivering quality results, we create an outsourcing experience that feels seamless and integrated with your business. Navigate the world of app outsourcing with Essentio as your trusted ally, and experience a partnership that is built on mutual respect, understanding, and a shared vision of success.

In Conclusion

The journey of mobile app development is filled with decisions and challenges. Making the right choices, understanding the nuances of outsourcing, and collaborating effectively can make the process smoother. With the right partnership, like that with Essentio, the end product can be a testament to quality and efficiency.

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