With the world becoming increasingly digital, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a successful company without an online presence and powerful intranet systems. Whether it’s a simple website or a complex web application — modern businesses are looking at innovative software solutions to spearhead business growth.
However, not all companies have access to the best IT resources or the time to search for in-house developers. Thus, more and more organizations are turning to external professionals and outsourcing web development.
So, if you need to outsource web development projects and want to discover what the process may entail — keep reading. It is precisely what we are going to cover today. By the end of the article, you’ll know the main benefits of outsourcing, common mistakes, and be able to determine if it’s the right decision for your business. Let’s get started.
Common Types of Web Development To Outsource
While there are many types of web development that companies tend to outsource, let’s take a look at the four most common ones.
Websites and Portals
As a result of automating the majority of policy management tasks, your insurance business will become a lot more efficient. Instead of dealing with paper, you will transition to electronic documents that let you organize data in the best way. In the end, your employees and customers will be grateful.
So, whether it’s website redesign or brand new development, outsourcing is an excellent option when lacking internal resources.
Enterprise Web Applications
As the name suggests, an enterprise web application is created for a firm, usually to handle internal or external operations. It runs in a web browser and often involves sophisticated automation capabilities that foster revenue growth and increased productivity.
Enterprise software can integrate seamlessly with your existing IT infrastructure and be tailored to the unique needs of your organization.
Content Management Systems
Next up are content management systems (CMS). These solutions let corporations manage everything to do with content and its creation. Typically, these web applications support multiple users and foster collaboration opportunities by combining document and media management with basic sales and marketing tools.
Lastly, eCommerce platforms are also common in web development outsourcing. Companies that sell goods or services online often need tools that are highly effective in driving online sales and providing a smooth experience to end-users. Since finding skilled eCommerce developers for an in-house team isn’t always easy — companies often outsource the creation of such solutions.
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Why Outsource Web Development?
Now, you might be wondering why some companies choose to outsource web development. So, let’s dive into the main benefits outsourcing can bring for your organization.
Significant cost reduction is generally the main reason why businesses end up choosing to outsource web development. Your company can avoid the expensive process of hiring and training new in-house employees and quickly ramp up the needed team.
Moreover, if you turn to an offshore development company, you may also benefit from advantageous rates in certain countries.
Even if you choose to take the custom software development route, you’ll likely still observe lower fees than hiring full-time employees for your team. The costs of recruitment, onboarding, taxes, insurance, holiday pay, and the like can sum up to a rather large amount, so they definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.
Access to Skilled Talent
Another major advantage of web development outsourcing is that you gain access to skilled individuals who you’d otherwise not be able to employ. Perhaps, they might be in a different country and are too expensive to transfer, or already work for an outsourcing company and wouldn’t even fall on your radar.
In short, when you outsource web development, you increase the chances of finding the required specialist due to the larger pool of talent you can pick from.
Organizations within every business sector are speeding up digital transformation efforts and building digital solutions to blow competitors out of the water.
Healthcare providers, financial institutions, and insurance professionals are all rushing to create software that will boost their business processes. It’s a race and whoever comes first with the best solution wins.
Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, in-house hiring can take up a significant amount of your time. Yet, if you turn to outsourcing, seasoned developers can get started on your web development project almost immediately. Moreover, they’ll likely be experienced in agile practices and be able to deliver the required software in a speedy manner.
Contrary to the common opinion, outsourcing web development services doesn’t entail losing control over your project. In most cases, no matter what engagement model you choose, your development team will keep you updated on every step of the process while implementing a web solution.
Usually, there are team members, like project managers and business analysts, that are responsible for project planning, risk assessment and mitigation. Companies that have been providing app development services for years employ best practices and efficient guidelines to eliminate any project failures.
When you decide to outsource your web development project, it doesn’t start or stop at just the development phase. Your software partner will help you analyze the market, set the right goals, validate your idea, and build a prototype or MVP.
Quite often, instead of a one-time deal, you’re getting a long-term commitment that provides you with support going beyond app development. A reliable partner is interested in your software product’s success and helps you maximize its business potential.
Finally, the last benefit of outsourcing web development that we’ll discuss today is scalability. You see, a subcontractor usually has many specialists available and thus can scale your project quickly.
If you suddenly need additional back-end developers or user interface designers, an outsourcing firm will already have a roster of people to choose from. Hence, additional resources will be onboarded swiftly.
Common Mistakes of Web Development Outsourcing
Of course, web development outsourcing does have its challenges, and you’ve got to be prepared when embarking on this journey. Sometimes, corporate leaders underestimate how much has to go into a successful project or are forced to rush through some processes due to a busy schedule.
So, you should know the various pitfalls to avoid with outsourcing software development and some of the most common mistakes you may face. Typically they include the following:
- Lack of clarity about your goals. Set clear expectations from the beginning since changing goals and, consequently, the development process can affect the project timeline, budget, and overall outcomes.
- Little vendor research. Pay attention to vendor research; otherwise, you might end up partnering with the one that lacks competence or experiencing communication issues. Yet, it’s very unlikely you want to change a vendor when your app’s development has already started.
- Pricing unawareness. Outsourcing can save you a lot of costs. However, it can eat up your budget as well. Send RFQs, compare the prices and engagement models, do the math, and choose a vendor that fits you best.
- Absence of communication. Another issue leading to project delays and failures is the lack of an established communication process within a team and with a client. Make sure your potential vendor isn’t interested in playing the broken phone game.
- Insufficient involvement in the process. Don’t be mistaken thinking you can delegate everything and skip any participation in the development process. A great part of the success depends on you — follow the workflow, provide feedback, and control the milestones to get the web app you expected.
Hence, if you are choosing to outsource web development, make sure you don’t view it as something to just be handed off to a vendor and forgotten about until the end product is built. You’ll definitely need to commit a bit of time to ensure that what you obtain as a result of the collaboration is something of true value to your business.
Which Web Development Roles Can Be Outsourced?
Now, you might want to get into more practical matters and ask yourself which team members are needed when you outsource a website or any other web application development project. Of course, the range of specialists will differ depending on your needs, but at the bare minimum, you’ll be outsourcing five roles. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Great Project Managers aren’t always easy to come by. After all, the role requires a combination of hard and soft skills that not everybody can cultivate. So, it is common for a Project Manager to be provided by the software development vendor you choose.
A Project Manager oversees the daily operations of development work. This person is in charge of the product creation cycle and ensures that the team stays on budget and delivers on time. Thus, when you outsource a web development project, this is likely a team member who you’ll often be in contact with.
Business Analysts (BA) play an important role in the success of complex web development projects. They analyze business processes, determine the scope of work, and help reach the goals that were set out at the start.
By always keeping potential business value in mind, BAs help uncover opportunities and provide data-driven recommendations that cater to the unique needs of each client.
The road to becoming an experienced Business Analyst is filled with professional certifications and a commitment to always continue learning. Hence, if a seasoned BA is on your team — you can rest assured that the developed web product is of the highest standards.
Back-End and Front-End Developers
Of course, your web development project can’t do without Back-End and Front-End Developers. The former will be in charge of the server side while the latter will oversee the client side of your application.
Developers are integral to the success of any web development undertaking, but can be costly to employ in-house. Thus, these roles are often outsourced, resulting in the delivery of effective, user-friendly solutions that solve business challenges.
The fourth role that is prime for outsourcing is that of a UI/UX Designer. This person’s tasks involve everything to do with making the product intuitive and attractive to the end-user.
When you turn to experienced software development professionals, you’ll often get high-skilled UI/UX Designers who are focused on maximizing the usability of your application and delivering top-notch user experience.
Finally, QA Specialists are the last outsourcing role that we’ll cover today. These team members are responsible for ensuring that your final web product is of the highest quality.
Often, QA Specialists are very detail-oriented and continuously inspect the app for any problems or dissatisfactory features. Thus, with them on board, you can be certain that the developed system will meet all the requirements and operate as it should.
How To Outsource Web Development
You now know the different types of web development outsourcing, its main benefits, common mistakes, and the roles that are often contracted out.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “How can I actually outsource web application development?” So, let’s take a look at the three main steps you’ll have to take.
1. Define Your Web Development Project Goals
Everything starts with getting clear about your goals. Before you outsource, it’s imperative to identify what you want to gain from web development services. Consider asking yourself the following questions:
- What challenges am I looking to solve?
- What are the use cases of the web solution I plan to create?
- Who are the users of the future web application?
- What type of a web solution will fit my needs best?
- What resources do I need for my project?
- How quickly does the final product need to be built?
The answers to these questions will set the direction of your search and help you during initial consultations with potential vendors. So, don’t overlook this step and take some time to seriously evaluate the end goal of outsourcing.
2. Do Your Research On Web Development Companies
The second step to initiate the outsourcing of web development is finding the right company to fulfil your needs. You should do thorough research and talk to a couple of software providers before settling on one.
Some good resources for a web development partner search are Clutch.co and Goodfirms.co. Both resources let you filter companies based on your needs, check out verified reviews, and get some insights on the services provided.
Ideally, the shortlisted firms should have the majority of the below attributes:
- Provide web development services
- Have expertise in your industry
- Illustrate past projects in a transparent manner
- Be present on the market for a long time
- Showcase a multitude of reviews from clients
- Have experience in the technologies you will need for your web project
- Have an active social media, blog, portfolio, and PR presence
It’s possible that to find out some of the above details, you’ll need to contact a company representative. So, don’t hesitate to schedule a call or fill out a request form as soon as you have a few web development companies in mind and get further information from each of them.
Only after that’s done and you feel comfortable moving forward should you proceed to sign a contract.
3. Communicate During the Web Development Process
Lastly, to ensure successful completion, you need to not only express your needs at the beginning of the project but also maintain effective communication throughout the entire development process.
Don’t underestimate the power of letting the outsourced team know any concerns that arise, changes that may be required, and simply ideas that might occur to you after the project has begun. With thorough communication, you’ll be able to avoid future problems and obtain a web solution that truly caters to your needs.
Are You Ready to Outsource Web Development?
If you’re still hesitant about outsourcing web development — don’t rule it out completely. You may have just discovered new information, but there’s still some research to be done. Consider dipping your toes with outsourcing and starting with a minor task first.
For example, after finding a software firm that looks promising, you could outsource a small website development project and see how you like the collaboration.
Alternatively, subcontract part of a project or turn to team expansion and add the needed resources to your in-house members. Either one of those ways will help you evaluate a new potential partner without too big of a commitment upfront.
At Velvetech, we’ve had many clients transition from what seemed like a one-off project at the beginning to an ongoing partnership. We place client satisfaction and retention at the top of our priorities, which is why you never have to worry about your outsourced team slacking off.
Whether it’s website redesign, eCommerce platforms, CMS solutions, or enterprise web applications that you need — don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to discuss a potential collaboration and answer any questions you may have.