How to Outsource App Development? A Comprehensive Guide Outlining Benefits, Process, Risks & More

Prateek Saxena July 8, 2024
outsource app development

In today’s tech-savvy scenario, where digital transformation is the need of the hour, the quest for the perfect app has become the lifeblood of business success. Mobile applications offer countless opportunities for business growth and user convenience. From gaming, entertainment, healthcare, social networking, transport, and finance to retail and eCommerce, there is an app for everything. We can’t imagine a world without mobile apps.

The advent of mobile apps has truly transformed the way we access goods and services. It is why businesses across industries are increasingly investing in trending app ideas to gain competitive advantages in the global marketplace.

Yet, considering users’ ever-evolving demands and technological advancements, the question arises: How can businesses develop state-of-the-art applications without compromising quality, time, or budget? Well, the answer is — by outsourcing app development.

It is not just about saving money anymore; outsourcing mobile app development has become a must-have strategy for businesses looking to thrive in the digital age. According to Statista, global revenue in the app outsourcing market is expected to reach $121.60 billion in 2024 and cross the market volume of $129.90 billion by 2028.

Application Outsourcing Market - Worldwide

Accordingly, many reputed companies, including Basecamp, Slack, Skype, WhatsApp, etc., have invested in the outsourcing app development approach. But is the same possible for your brand? What makes outsourcing so irresistible? How to hire an app development company?

Let’s explore answers to all such questions in this blog. From accessing top-notch talent worldwide to getting apps done faster without compromising quality, there are a lot of benefits of outsourcing mobile app development services. So, let’s dive in and discover the necessary insights to keep your plans to outsource app development rolling.

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What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile App Development?

Outsourcing mobile app development offers a multitude of benefits for businesses looking to streamline processes, reduce costs, and leverage expert talents. Here are some key benefits of outsourcing mobile app development:

Benefits of Outsourcing App Development

High Speed of Development

It enhances the speed of your app development. With outsourcing, you don’t have to wait for the full hiring process. Additionally, when you outsource, the agency you partner with works single-handedly on your software, meaning there are no distractions or additional tasks. This single-focus approach plays a great role in increasing the speed of app development.

Greater Innovation Capabilities

Outsourcing helps expand technological stacks without the need to re-hire talent. Technologies are evolving rapidly these days. And making hiring and firing decisions simply on the basis of the technologies that are in or outdated can be an inefficient business practice.

When you outsource software development services, you can leverage the new-age technologies without affecting your in-house manpower planning process. An offshore development firm often has access to the latest technologies, tools, and methodologies. This ensures that your mobile apps will be developed using cutting-edge solutions, which will result in enhanced functionality, performance, and user experience.

Risk Mitigation

Outsourcing app development can help mitigate risks associated with project management, resource constraints, and technology implementation. Experienced outsourcing partners can provide expert guidance and support throughout the development lifecycle, reducing the risk of project failures, delays, or other setbacks.

Optimized Cost of Development

The cost-effectiveness is another big benefit of outsourcing mobile app development that attracts startups and enterprises. For instance, if we go by the real-life experience of Western world clients, they say that the cost of mobile app development or even hiring a developer in the US and Europe is much higher than outsourcing a qualified app developer from the Eastern part of the world.

Thus, outsourcing your app development project to Asian regions, specially India, ensures that applications are not only developed cost-effectively but also meet high-quality standards and regulatory requirements.

Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourcing development services provides flexibility, allowing businesses to scale resources up or down according to project requirements. This agility enables enterprises to adapt to changing project demands without the overhead of maintaining a permanent in-house team.

Focus on Core Competencies

Outsourcing mobile app development allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and strategic objectives. By delegating development tasks to external experts, companies can allocate internal resources more efficiently, enhancing their performance and productivity. According to Deloitte, 65% of businesses confirm outsourcing helps them focus on their core functions.

Benefits of outsourcing app developers

What Goes Wrong When You Delay Outsourcing Development?

Tech startups and their established counterparts usually have two choices: hire an in-house team or outsource development services. While both approaches offer distinct advantages, outsourcing app development services go the extra mile, offering limitless advantages for business expansion. Let’s look in detail the various implications of delaying the outsourcing of your project:

Why Outsourcing A Developers Company is Better Than In-House Team

Extended Time Frames

Postponing or delaying the outsourcing of your app development project can ultimately lead to prolonged development timelines. Lacking the specialized skills and additional resources that outsourcing partners provide, projects may face delays, impacting time-to-market and potentially missing crucial business opportunities.

This is because your in-house IT team is used to working with a certain type of software, so they can’t have the same expertise in every guideline, standard, and model that you would get when you outsource mobile application development.

Increased Costs

Choosing to handle app development with an in-house team means bearing the full burden of app development costs. This includes expenses related to hiring and retaining skilled professionals, investing in infrastructure and technology, and managing overhead costs, all of which can significantly escalate the overall cost of app development.

Limited Access to Talent

Opting against outsourcing means missing out on a vast pool of global talent. By outsourcing an app development company, you get access to a pool of tech experts who have a diverse range of perspectives and approaches. Their innovative viewpoints can lead to building cutting-edge solutions that can propel your app development success and provide a competitive advantage in the market.

Your Competitors Outrun You

As you grapple with challenges such as budget constraints, staying abreast of technological advancements, and delaying time to market, your competitors, who have likely pursued offshore software development, are already reaping the rewards of their developed applications, leaving you lagging behind.

Now that we are acquainted with the myriad of advantages that mobile app outsourcing offers, let’s know which outsource mobile app development mode you should choose.

Freelance or Agency: Which Outsource App Development Mode Should You Choose?

Deciding between hiring a freelance developer or partnering with an agency for outsourcing app development is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the success of your project. Here is a quick comparison that will help you make an informed decision when you are looking to outsource app development services:

Hiring a Freelance Developer

A freelance developer offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness, making it ideal for small-scale projects or specific tasks. With direct communication and quick decision-making, freelancers can efficiently tackle short-term assignments.

However, they may face limitations in resources and expertise compared to agencies, potentially impacting the timeline and quality of work delivered to the clients. Furthermore, freelancers often lack the support of a larger team, which can lead to challenges in handling complex or multifaceted projects that require diverse skills and rapid scaling.

In addition to this, the absence of a formal project management structure may also increase the risk of miscommunication and inconsistency.

Hiring a Mobile App Development Agency

An agency can be your one-stop solution for all app development requirements, making it a wise choice for larger projects or long-term partnerships. An agency provides access to comprehensive services, expertise, and scalability, ensuring high-quality deliverables and extensive support throughout the project. They provide flexible time schedules and ensure that the cost that you pay ends up worth every penny in terms of outsource development services.

In addition to this, agencies bring a level of reliability and professionalism that can greatly enhance the overall project execution. Their structured processes and team-based approach enable them to tackle larger and more complex projects efficiently, ensuring consistent quality and adherence to deadlines.

Looking at the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer and an app development agency, you might consider mobile app development outsourcing from an agency as it offers considerable benefits over a freelance developer.

Here is a brief table comparing freelance and agency options for outsourcing app development:

CostFreelancers usually charge less, making them more budget-friendly for smaller projects.Agencies may have higher hourly rates, but they often provide a broader range of services.
ExpertiseFreelancers may have specialized skills but may lack efficiency in certain areas.Agencies typically have a team of experts with diverse skill sets, offering comprehensive solutions.
FlexibilityFreelancers tend to be more flexible in adapting to changing project scopes and schedules.Agencies have more rigid processes, but they handle projects with dedicated resources.
AccountabilityFreelancers may lack formal contracts or SLAs, leading to potential accountability issues.Agencies usually have contracts and SLAs in place, providing clearer accountability.
Project ManagementFreelancers rely on self-management, which may result in varied project management approaches and timelines.Agencies have dedicated project managers who oversee every aspect of the project, ensuring smoother execution.
RiskHigher risk of project delays or quality issues due to individual dependency.Lower risk due to established processes, resources, and experienced teams.

View Our App/Software Development Services

How to Select the Perfect Agency to Outsource Mobile App Development?

Mobile app development has become a multi-million dollar industry in today’s digital age. According to Business of Apps, there are over 2.266 million apps on the Google Play Store, and 1.81 million apps are available on the Apple App Store. And to meet this demand, the global population of developers is expected to reach 28.7 million by the end of 2024, an increase of 3.2 million from 2020.

Number of software developers worldwide in 2018 to 2024

A simple mathematical calculation would show how difficult it is to find a good app development agency amongst the millions of developers available in the market. Thus, it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right app developer to meet the requirements of your specific app category.

Considering this, here is a list of essential pointers that will help you outsource the best mobile app development company to meet your needs.

Fix a Geography

Websites such as Clutch, Directory of Google Development Agency, and Appfutura provide organized information about the ranking and rating of app development agencies worldwide. These lists can be sorted according to geography, reviews, hourly rates, and the company’s industry focus.

After you have decided which geography to outsource services to, read the reviews of the top-rated companies to make a clearer second-level decision.

You can even choose to personally contact some of the reviewers to get a better idea about the working procedure of the app development companies. After checking and cross-checking the credentials of your top companies on each of the mentioned websites, shortlist four or five companies to proceed with.

Offshore, Nearshore, or Onshore

When selecting the ideal agency to outsource mobile app development, considering the location of the agency—whether offshore, nearshore, or onshore—can significantly impact the project’s success. Each location option comes with its own set of advantages and challenges:

Offshore1. Cost-effective

2. High quality product

1. Communication challenges

2. Challenges in aligning work practices and project expectations due to cultural disparities

Nearshore1. Convenient time zone

2. Access to talent

1. Communication challenges

2. Limited talent pool

Onshore1. Easier communication

2. High quality software

1. Higher costs

2. Limited specialized talent

Ask for the Scope of Work

The project’s specifications should be made clear before starting the actual development process for the best outcome. Generally, a rough solution or a scope of work is provided by the freelance developer or the app development agency according to their understanding of your vision. Then, as a client, you gain clarity about what you need and do not need in the application.

The process of providing the scope of work also works differently for freelance mobile app developers and mobile app development agencies.

If you go with a freelancer, s/he would never change anything about the specifications you had provided and will give you the exact set as you state in the paperwork. But an agency walks you through the entire process of development and gives you options to add or subtract anything from the specifications as the need arises, and the project becomes clearer to everyone involved in the process.

Enquire about the Post-Launch App Services

This is one of the most important parts of the contract between a client and an outsourcing service provider. It is imperative to establish clear expectations regarding post-launch services at the project’s outset. This ensures transparency regarding the support needed and what the freelance developer or agency will provide.

Post-launch services are essential for addressing ongoing app maintenance and updates required to keep pace with industry standards. Additionally, ensuring compatibility with operating system upgrades is crucial. Mobile app development agencies more readily address these ongoing supports.

Agencies typically maintain dedicated support departments to handle post-launch app maintenance services efficiently. In contrast, freelance developers may face limitations due to time constraints, making full-time support challenging.

Match the Communication Lined

In an era marked by remarkable growth, accessing services from distant corners of the world has become increasingly effortless. However, this technological advancement brings with it the challenge of navigating time differences. Effectively managing communications and projects across different time zones becomes paramount in such scenarios. In such cases, it is cardinal that we decide the meeting and discussion times beforehand.

Check the Quality of Work

Before making the final decision about which agency to outsource for web app development, look at the quality of work they have done in the past. Ask for the portfolio to evaluate their quality of work.

Portfolios are a great way to evaluate a developer’s or an agency’s expertise level in handling complex apps and projects. For instance, if your app is a complicated one, you will not hire a freelancer or agency that has only simple apps in their portfolio and vice versa.

A Checklist to Outsource Mobile App Development Company

  • They should have a robust portfolio to showcase their work, containing excellent and appropriate examples of their previously done projects.
  • When you outsource app development services, look for expertise across various domains such as UI/UX, Android, iOS, and web platforms.
  • They should have reliable communication channels to address client needs effectively.
  • If the need arises, they should have the resources to travel to the client’s destination.
  • They should have a good grasp of the language they are using to serve their clients.
  • When you hire a remote development team, ensure that the team is well-organized. A well-organized team reflects the organization’s credibility.
  • They should abide by all kinds of government laws and should not be involved in forgery.

How Appinventiv Helped KFC Launch 7 Mobile Apps and Generate Massive Conversions and Revenue

KFC’s strategic decision to outsource app development to Appinventiv proved to be a game-changer, yielding seven innovative mobile apps launched in a single year. The collaboration ignited a surge in user engagement, driving significant conversions and revenue growth. By seamlessly integrating technology and user-centric design, Appinventiv helped KFC to revolutionize its food delivery system and set a benchmark for mobile app development outsourcing.

Key Success Metrics and Outcomes of Our Collaboration

  • It led to a substantial 22% increase in the conversion rate.
  • The KFC apps achieved a 4.5 rating on the Play Store and App Store.
  • Over 50% of total orders started coming directly through the KFC mobile apps.
  • The app resulted in a significant 60% increase in repeat purchases.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Like KFC?

KFC case study

What is the Cost of Outsourcing Mobile App Development?

The cost to outsource app development varies widely depending on various factors, including the app’s complexity, its features and functionalities, the tech stack used, the location of the outsourcing partner, and the pricing model chosen.

On average, when you partner with a reliable tech app development company, the cost to outsource app development can range from $30,000 for simple apps with basic features to $300,000 or more for complex, enterprise-grade applications with advanced functionalities.

Here is a visual presentation of the estimated costs associated with outsourcing app development based on various regions:

Outsource App Development Cost

What Are the Risks Involved in Mobile Development Outsourcing and How to Tackle Them?

Even if outsourcing app development offers numerous benefits to businesses, it also comes with its fair share of risks. Here are some of the key risks involved in app development outsourcing and strategies to tackle them:

Challenges and Solutions Involved in Mobile Development Outsourcing

Leakage of Sensitive Data

The involvement of a third party in anything confidential delivers a significant risk of data leakage. Building a successful mobile application requires close integration with the outsourcing company team, which involves sharing confidential information with a third party.

The antidote for such a risk is making a strong IP protection and non-disclosure agreement. These documents should also be backed by appropriate legal measures.

Communication Challenges

When you outsource app development services, miscommunication due to language barriers, time zone differences, or cultural nuances can be one of the most pressing challenges, causing misunderstandings and project delays.

However, providing detailed project documentation and fostering an open, transparent communication culture can mitigate communication challenges.

Mismatch in Expectations and Delivery

Your selected outsourcing company might be the most competent one in business, but that does not lower the risk of mismatching expectations. There is always a risk that your outsourced development team might perceive the app idea differently and execute it according to that.

Another worse scenario could be that the development team did not collect the necessary information about the application, which causes an inherent flaw in the app design itself, which might add cost and time to rectification at a later stage.

To avoid such risks, the client-developer communication should be clear and on paper/mail. A clear, pointed contract should be formulated with the development agency so that this risk can be neglected altogether.

Talking of contracts, let us next look into the three most preferred application development models that businesses choose from when they outsource app development requirements.

Key Engagement Models of App Development Outsourcing

While there are multiple engagement models that an app development company offers, three of the most common models used by outsourced app development agencies are – Time and Material, Fixed Price, and Dedicated Development Team.  Let’s talk about these models separately to gain a better understanding of each:

Outsource App Development Models

Fixed Price Model

In the Fixed Price model, the client and the outsourcing partner agree on a set price for the entire project, regardless of the actual time or resources spent. The pricing is determined based on a detailed project scope, requirements, and deliverables specified upfront.

This model provides predictability and budget control, as the client knows the total cost of the project from the beginning. It is suitable for projects with well-defined requirements, clear deliverables, and stable timelines where cost certainty is of utmost importance.

The only limitation of this app development model is that everything is fixed. Meaning, there is little to zero scope of amendments in the project once the development has begun.

Time-and-Material (TnM) Model

Under the Time and Material model, businesses pay for the actual time and resources spent on the project. The pricing is based on hourly rates for the developers, along with any additional costs for materials or tools used. This model offers flexibility, allowing for changes in project requirements or scope during the development process. It is suitable for projects with evolving requirements, uncertain timelines, or complex functionalities where flexibility is crucial.

The drawback of the Time and Material model is the potential for cost uncertainty and budget overruns due to the open-ended nature of the pricing structure.

Dedicated Development Team

The dedicated development team model involves outsourcing a dedicated team of developers, designers, testers, and other specialists exclusively for your project. This model provides transparency and direct communication, fostering collaboration and synergy between the dedicated team and your internal stakeholders.

The dedicated development team model is suitable for long-term projects, complex or large-scale developments, or when you want complete control of every aspect of the project.

If you are still unsure which business model will best fit your needs, here is a brief table to help you gain a better understanding of each approach and make an informed decision.

Development ModelBudget ApproachTimeline ApproachScalabilityScope ManagementPayment Method
Fixed PricePredefined BudgetFixed TimelineLimitedPredefined ScopeFull Prepayment
Time & MaterialMilestone PaymentsTeam-Estimated TimingModerateTailored to ProjectPer Development Stage
Dedicated TeamsMilestone PaymentsTeam-Estimated TimingHighFlexible AssessmentHourly Rate

What Are the Biggest App Development Outsourcing Trends?

The software outsourcing landscape is continuously evolving, driven by technological advancements, market demands, and changing business dynamics. Some of the biggest trends shaping mobile app development outsourcing landscape include:

Outsource App Development Trends

Cybersecurity as Priority

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, cybersecurity has become a top priority for businesses outsourcing app development services. Accordingly, you should outsource web app development service providers who follow robust security measures, compliance frameworks, and secure coding practices to safeguard sensitive data and protect against cyber attacks.

You may like reading: Why and how to develop legally compliant AI products

RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

RPA is another app development trend that is not just making people wonder if the future of work is robots but is also capable of disrupting the current market of outsourcing mobile applications and bringing the cost down. There is a very high amount of data inflow during the making and testing of any mobile app, and if we multiply the number of applications, the numbers are sky-high.

This size of data can be managed and analyzed only through automation, reducing the outsourcing app development cost and providing a better quality app powered with AI and ML capabilities.

Hybrid Cloud Platforms

The use of cloud platforms is already rising by leaps and bounds and cloud technology is all ready to become a trendsetter. Hybrid cloud platforms, combining public and private cloud infrastructure, are gaining traction for their flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Outsourcing partners help businesses leverage hybrid cloud architectures to optimize workloads, improve agility, and enhance data management capabilities while ensuring security and compliance.

Sustainability and Green IT

Sustainability and environmental responsibility are becoming integral considerations in software outsourcing decisions. In 2024, businesses look to outsource development services, which are committed to green IT practices, energy-efficient solutions, and sustainable development methodologies to minimize environmental impact.

[Also Read: Green AI: How Artificial Intelligence Can Solve Sustainability Challenges?]

Adoption of Agile Methodologies

The app development landscape has witnessed a remarkable surge in the adoption of Agile methodologies, which promote iterative development, collaboration, and flexibility. This iterative approach not only enhances transparency and visibility but also facilitates early feedback and course corrections, leading to higher-quality outcomes and greater client satisfaction.

Appinventiv: Your Trusted Outsource App Development Service Provider

Outsourcing mobile app development services can be a strategic decision for businesses looking to leverage specialized talent, reduce costs, and accelerate time-to-market. And with the right outsourcing partner, such as Appinventiv, companies can unlock a world of opportunities to innovate, scale, and thrive in the digital landscape.

We have a proven track record of delivering 3000+ successful projects for the world’s leading brands spanning across industries. From crafting intuitive applications for culinary giants like KFC, Domino’s, and PizzaHut to elevating eCommerce experiences for Adidas, Edamama, and 6 Street, our expertise knows no bounds. We have also made impactful contributions to the finance sector with EdFundo, education with Gurushala, and healthcare with Soniphi and Health-e-People applications.

Edfundo screen


Whether it is crafting intuitive user experiences, harnessing the power of emerging technologies, or navigating complex development challenges, our team of 1500+ tech professionals stands ready to deliver tailor-made solutions that drive business growth and customer satisfaction.

Partner with us to embark on a transformative app development journey with confidence, knowing that a dedicated team of experts is standing by you every step of the way.


Q. What are the most common types of app development outsourcing?

A. When it comes to outsource web app development services, there are various types based on the technologies and platforms involved. Some common types of app development outsourcing include:

  • Mobile App Outsourcing: It is one of the most common types of outsourcing app development that involves the development of mobile apps for various platforms, including iOS, Android, and cross-platform solutions.
  • iOS App Development Outsourcing: It involves outsourcing development services specifically for Apple devices like iPhones and iPads.
  • Android App Development Outsourcing: This type of mobile app development outsourcing involves outsourcing development services for Android devices, like smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • React Native App Development Outsourcing: This type of development service focuses on building cross-platform apps that are compatible with both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Laravel App Development Outsourcing: It is about outsourcing web app development services using the Laravel PHP framework, known for its elegant syntax and robust features.
  • Flutter App Development Outsourcing: It is indeed one of the most popular types of outsourcing app development services. The Flutter framework enables building apps for iOS, Android, and web platforms from a single codebase.

Q. How to find the best offshore mobile app development partner?

A. While you can turn to a usual Google search to find an offshore app development company, what we recommend is to head on to rating and review websites like Clutch and MobileAppDaily, which have a genuine list of software development companies that you can then select from.

To make the right decision, narrow down your choices and shortlist the top 5 outsource mobile app development companies, perform screening interviews, evaluate data, and go ahead with the best suitable to your specific project requirements.

Q. What is the typical timeframe and cost for outsourcing app development?

A. The time and cost it takes to build an app when outsourcing app development can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the app, its features and functionalities, the technology stack used, the size and efficiency of the outsourcing team, and the development process followed.

Generally, simple apps with basic features may cost around $30,000 to $100,00 and take 4-6 months to develop. On the other hand, more complex apps with advanced functionalities cost nearly $100,000 to $300,00 and could take six months to a year or more.

To get a more precise estimate of the outsource app development cost and timeline, you can discuss your project idea with our efficient app developers and get a detailed quotation.

Prateek Saxena
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