How to Outsource App Development? (2019-2020 Guide)

By Prateek Saxena
November 2, 2018 2. min read
Last update on: January 8, 2020

You have come up with a million dollar idea for a mobile application and now you are lost on the path of development. Next 7 minutes of your time will be spent in weighing all the options you have about how to outsource app development for your big billion app idea.

If we look at it today, the mobile app development industry has become a multi-million dollar industry. Going by the stats, there are over 2 million apps on Apple’s App store and over 2.5 million apps on Google Play Store.

Understandably so, there are about 19 million software developers in the world and over 50% of them are dedicated to mobile app development.  And thus, it takes a lot of time and effort to find an app developer who is perfect for your app category.

Your diligent knowledge about how to find a good mobile app developer can take your app from ordinary to extraordinary.

Questions related to mobile development like:

  • Should you go for Freelancers or App development agencies?
  • What should be the criteria for selecting an app development partner?
  • What are the benefits of outsourcing an app idea?
  • How do you go for a cost-effective option?
  • OR what is a cost-effective option after all?

will be answered in this article and by the end of it, you will have a path to follow. So let us start.

Freelance or Agency- which way to go for your app idea?

  • Hiring a Freelancer

Hiring a Freelance app developer can seem like an extremely attractive idea when it comes to cost-effective solutions to all your app development needs. But just like any other situation, this situation also has its pros and cons.

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  • Hiring a mobile app development Agency

Hiring an agency can be your one-stop solution for all the app development requirements. A mobile app outsourcing company is much more efficient and effective and most importantly, Organised in terms of handling and managing clients. They provide flexible time schedules and ensure that the cost that you’re paying ends up worth every penny in terms of services. You can’t resist hiring an outsourcing agency for your next project.

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Looking at the Pros and cons of both, hiring a freelancer and hiring an app development agency, it is fair to say that the better option out of the two is hiring an app development agency.

Now that we have decided on one aspect of out next mobile app development project, let us take a look at the scenarios you need to take care of and point to consider before deciding upon any outsourcing company.

How to select the perfect mobile development Agency – Mistakes to tackle?

Mobile app development is a huge investment for any company and selecting an appropriate Agency for making the app perfectly as you have imagined in a difficult task. But following a set of pointers can eae out this process to a great deal.

  • There are websites such as Clutch, Directory of Google development Agency and Appfutura which provide an organised information about the ranking and rating or app development agencies worldwide. These lists can be sorted according to geography, reviews, Hourly rates and Industry focus of the company.
  • After you have made a decision on which geography to outsource services from, go through 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.
  • At at end of checking and cross checking the credentials of your top companies on each of the mentioned websites, finalise four or five companies to go forward with.

The next step in the selection process will be to cross out the unrequired agencies and singling it down to the one perfect company that you, as a client, want to collaborate with.

For doing that, follow the series of below-written steps:

Mistakes to tackle during outsource app development

  • Quality of work

Before making the final decision about hiring someone for your work, look at the quality of work done by them previously. Ask for a portfolio and judge the quality of work with it.

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

There also should be a standardized procedure to follow all the things through so that everyone is on the same page regarding the progress of the application. This has a great impact on the quality of the application.

  • Scope of work

The specifications of the project should be made clear before starting of 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 and then you, as a client, also gain clarity about the things 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 had been going with a freelancer, he would have never changed anything about the specifications you had provided and would have given you  the exact set as you had stated in the paperwork but an agency walks you through the process of development. And gives you options to add or subtract anything out of the specifications as the need arises and the project becomes clearer to everyone involved in the process.

  • Post-launch services

This is one of the most important parts of the contract between a client and a service provider. In a business as intricate and complicated as mobile app development, problems can arise anytime, after all, it’s a machine and no machine is flawless. Therefore, it is crucial to add the required clauses in the contract at the beginning of the project itself that makes it clear what kind of post-launch services you will be needing and the company of the freelance developer will provide you.

Agencies, usually have a separate support department which takes care of the clients’ post-launch services. On the other hand, it might not be possible for a freelance developer to provide support full-time due to time-crunch.

Post-launch services are also necessary because mobile apps require constant upgradations in order to match up to the industry standards. Also, the Operating system upgrades always need to be made compatible with the mobile application. This kind of support is easy to provide for a mobile app development agency.

  • Availability

With the growth that the world has seen in the past decade, it has become very easy for anyone to be in one corner of the world and get services from the other end of the world. This is an amazing technological advancement but with it, comes time difference.

It becomes very difficult to manage communications and projects being in different time zones. In such cases, it is cardinal that we decide the meeting and discussion times beforehand.

What are the criteria for selecting an outsource app development company or developer?

  • They should be well established with a solid portfolio to judge their work. There should be excellent and appropriate examples of their previously done projects that should convey an amenable approach towards each project and client services.
  • They have to have a wide range of capabilities suggesting their work in diverse domains. UI/UX, Android, iOS, Web platforms etc.
  • They should have a good connectivity to be able to cater to all the client needs.
  • If the need arises, they should have the resources to travel to the client destination.
  • They should have a good grasp on the language they’re serving their clients in.
  • Their team has to be very well-organised to reflect a critical mass in terms of the size of the organization or the team.
  • They should abide by all kinds of government laws and shouldn’t be involved in forgery.

One of the best companies to go for as you decide to go to outsource iOS app development or Android app development which caters to your every requirement is Appinventiv. In fact, it is one to the top mobile app development companies in india.

What are the benefits of outsourcing mobile app development?

  • It enhances the speed of your app development without waiting for the full hiring process. Many startups believe in being quick to hire new talents, on the other hand, enterprises are slow to adapt to market changes and instead drag the standard on-paper routines.
  • It helps in expanding the technological stacks without the need of re-hiring talent. Technologies are wildly fluctuating these days
  • It boosts the speed of your app development without waiting for the entire development team to be decided. With the rapidly changing technology these days. Languages and frameworks lie Swift and Firebase for iOS and Android respectively are relatively new platforms and it is crucial to hire developers according to these newfound requirements.While pondering upon your outsourcing development needs you can look out for these qualities in the mobile app developers and choose accordingly.
  • App development outsource adds innovation and efficiency to the existing set-up. The implementation of IDEA (Identify, Design, Engineer and Analyze) is the simplest pattern that greatly helps in streamlining the entire process of mobile app development.
  • The cost-effectiveness of outsourcing is another big point in its favour that makes enterprises attracted towards it. For instance, if we go by the real-life experience of western world clients, they would tell that the cost of mobile app development or even of hiring a developer in the US and Europe is much higher than hiring a qualified app developer in the eastern part of the world.

According to some accounts, the cost was as less as 50% of setting up an in-house development team. So this makes the choice between in-house and outsourcing a bit easier.

How outsourcing can help in reducing cost?

Outsourcing of a mobile application significantly reduces cost. Especially when you’re a start-up. On the other hand, outsourcing also broadens the horizons as to what is the extent of technology we can reach. Also, there are countries which provide the mobile ass development services at a much cheaper rate than US and UK.

The initial push for any startup is crucial in such a scenario if you find a better costing option ANd that initial push can be an MVP made in detail. This can be possible by outsourcing apps from foreign countries (Outsource app development in India like countries, where the cost of an MVP and a detailed wireframe of your project is much cheaper than all the other countries.

Another very significant advantage of outsourcing a project for a start-up is Idea-Validation. There will be an entire pool of experienced people and developers handling your project and you can get crucial insights as to what can and cannot work n the app idea that you’re proposing.

This can also be so because these companies will be able to give you some level of competitor analysis as they must have managed a project from your domain as well, previously. And this is all at a much lower cost than the cost of specialists you would have hired for the development of an app in-house.  

A big backdrop of startups is more often than not, they fall prey to the services provided at a cheaper price by inexperienced developers. That is why it is very important to abide by the list of documents and questions to ask before you hire anyone. The questions are mentioned in the starting of this article. In the lure of a cheaper price, you might end up stuck with a bad quality application which does not generate results as you like.

Before hiring an agency, it requires a set of doubt cleared before jumping into the decision of hiring them right away simply based on lower app development cost.

Plenty of startups run on an “app-only” approach and it brings out the best in the entire team while working since they do not have to worry about any other platform. And needless to say, some of these startups are running very successfully.

How to outsource without compromising on quality?

One of the biggest issues that arise during outsourcing is whether or not the quality of the work will be as desired. Since you get a meeting once a week to discuss all the progress and that too on a tight schedule. This is not enough to completely rely on the team you have hired to build your brainchild of an idea for you. Then how do we decide, that the company we are looking to hire is capable enough to handle the kind of quality work we expect of them.

  • An outsourcing partner company can bring in their collective experience and easily vanquish all kinds of difficult challenges that arise. This is because they have dealt with various companies and highly diverse projects to tackle the hurdles which might seem new or difficult for you.
  • Asking for the portfolio of the team you’re going to hire is an essential criterion to follow because getting into a partnership with the agency or the team, their portfolio will give you a straight insight in their quality of work. Additionally, you can also ask for references for other projects they might have done.
  • Other than this, you can evaluate your potential partner’s potential for success. Holding personal meetings with the teams and asking all your doubts and queries about the project, their way of working and the timeline of all the phases of your project and your involvement in each phase will give an assurance that the mobile application is going to be a quality one and thereby, a successful one.
  • Another very important step in ensuring that the app you get made from an Android app development outsourcing agency or an iOS one is that you should sit down with your management team and draw a rough skeleton of the specifications you would want in your mobile application. It is very important for you to be fixed on the exact properties you need your mobile app to possess. That way, it will be much easier for you to convey the idea that you have in mind for the project to the outsourcing team and ensure quality.
  • The last step to ensuring quality is to work with collaboration and a good developer or a development team always encourages this. This way, you, as a client, and the development team will always be on the same page regarding the progress of the app and ensure that it is going the way you would like.

What are the risks involved in outsourcing and how to tackle them?

What are the risks involved in outsourcing and how to tackle them

Like any other technological advancement, outsourcing of mobile application has its pros and cons too. The pros we have discussed throughout the article such as it reduces cost, enhances the quality of work and that it accelerates the delivery time to market. Whether you outsource Android development or you outsource iPhone app development, risks are going to be involved in both.

Let us now discuss the risks attached to outsourcing and how you can tackle them:

  • Risking the leakage of sensitive data

Involvement of a third party into anything confidential delivers a significant risk of confidential data leakage. Building a successful and quality mobile application requires working with close integration with the outsourcing company team. And that involves sharing of confidential information with a third party.
The antidote for such a risk is making a strong non-disclosure agreement and along with it an IP protection agreement. These documentations should be backed by appropriate legal measures also.

  • Mismatch in expectations and delivery

Your selected outsourcing company might be the most competent one in business but that doesn’t lower the risk of expectations mismatch. There is always a risk attached with outsourcing that the development team might perceive the client’s app idea in a different way and execute it according to that. Another worse scenario can be that the development team did not collect the necessary information about the application and that cause an inherent flaw in the app design itself which might add cost and time to rectify 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.

What are the new outsourcing trends for 2019-2020?

What are the new outsourcing trends for 2019

  • Security as priority

As the times are growing so is the need for sensitive data protection. 2020, will see extreme and technologically advanced measures taken. Advanced security measures related to automation and threat intelligence will find a way into the outsourcing world.

  • RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

RPA is another new disrupting technology that is capable of disrupting the current market of outsourcing mobile application and bring the cost down too. 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.

This will also reduce the cost and work to provide a better quality app with the use of AI.

  • Hybrid Cloud Platforms

The use of cloud platforms is already rising up to a peak and cloud technology is all ready to become a trendsetter. For outsourcing companies, they will be able to highly improve and innovate their services and enhance the efficiency of their business process.

There are a lot of futuristic technologies in-line for helping out the outsourcing companies and clients which are looking to hire an outsourcing mobile app development. 2019 has a lot in store for both of these parties.

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
Co-founder of Appinventiv
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