Recruiters
September 21, 2020

In-House vs Outsourced Development: Choosing the Right Option — Part Two

Choosing between in-house and outsourced development can be a difficult decision, one with far-reaching implications.

In Part One of this series, we looked at the state of the software industry, and the unique circumstances that have combined to make this a new golden age of software development.

In addition to companies looking to cash in on new markets and opportunities, the current state of the industry almost demands that many companies have an app that ties into their products and service. In many cases, this applies as much to non-tech, brick-and-mortar businesses as tech companies.

Part One also outlined the benefits of outsourcing development efforts. In Part Two, we’ll look at the benefits of keeping development in-house.

Benefits of In-House Development

Despite the benefits of outsourcing, there are a number of advantages to in-house development.

Control

One of the biggest advantages to bringing development in-house is the control a company gains over the process. When outsourcing programming, an organization is working with another company or group of programmers whose business it is to provide programming services to other companies. As a result, when working with an outsourcing company, customers must realize they are not the only customer the company is working with. In fact, the outsourcing company is likely juggling multiple contracts simultaneously.

In contrast, when a company handles their development in-house, they have total control over the development process. They don’t need to worry about their project taking a back seat to a larger one. They can set their own schedule and do whatever is necessary to meet their own goals.

Continuity and Independence

Another important factor is a company’s ability to ensure continuity and independence. While relying on an outside company can be convenient, and cost effective, that convenience immediately disappears if the developer goes out of business. Suddenly the client company is left scrambling to find another outsourcing firm that can pick up where the original one left off.

This can add significant cost to a project as well, since many companies will likely charge a premium to review an existing codebase and work to integrate with it. Keeping development in-house, however, eliminates many of these potential issues.

Quality

In many ways, quality can be a two-edged sword, when it comes to outsourcing. For companies that lack the expertise to handle programming in-house, outsourcing can result in a superior product, especially if the company takes the time to find the right outsourcing provider. On the other hand, picking the wrong provider can result in poorly written code, even worse documentation, and a product that barely meets the original needs or specification.

In contrast, keeping development in-house gives a company more control over the quality of the product. Rather than relying on an outside factor, a company that relies on in-house programmers has the final say in whether the product is finished and meets the desired requirements.

Communication

Communication can be another major benefit to in-house development. Cost is often one of the biggest motivating factors in choosing to outsource development. However, finding the best prices for development often means working with companies on the other side of the world. This can be a challenge due to different time zones, language barriers and cultural differences.

Using in-house developers, however, eliminates many of these issues. For many companies, being able to walk down the hallway and talk with the development team face-to-face is invaluable when trying to manage a large project.

Privacy and Regulatory Concerns

Other factors to consider are the privacy and regulatory issues many companies must work with. Some industries have strict guidelines that must be met. In many cases, these guidelines are far easier to enforce when the developers are in-house.

Ongoing Support

Not to be ignored is the ongoing support and maintenance that will likely be needed once a project is complete. In many cases, this is more straightforward with an in-house development team. When issues arise, bugs are reported or new features needed, it can be much easier to have a local team of developers, developers who are already intimately familiar with the product, implement the necessary changes.

Conclusion

Software development has become a vital resource for companies around the world. For many companies, software development is their main business and opportunities abound. For other others, it is a means to an end, a way to meet their customers’ needs.

Whatever the reason for developing software, there are pros and cons to both in-house development and outsourcing. Cost, control, expertise, independence, communication, support and quality are just a few of the things that must be considered.

As with most things in software development, there is no one-sizes-fits-all best solution. Instead, each company must carefully weigh the options, choosing the one that best fits the circumstances.

TagsIn-HouseOutsourcedSoftware Development
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

Related Articles

Back
RecruitersSeptember 21, 2020
In-House vs Outsourced Development: Choosing the Right Option — Part Two
Choosing between in-house and outsourced development can be a difficult decision, one with far-reaching implications.

In Part One of this series, we looked at the state of the software industry, and the unique circumstances that have combined to make this a new golden age of software development.

In addition to companies looking to cash in on new markets and opportunities, the current state of the industry almost demands that many companies have an app that ties into their products and service. In many cases, this applies as much to non-tech, brick-and-mortar businesses as tech companies.

Part One also outlined the benefits of outsourcing development efforts. In Part Two, we’ll look at the benefits of keeping development in-house.

Benefits of In-House Development

Despite the benefits of outsourcing, there are a number of advantages to in-house development.

Control

One of the biggest advantages to bringing development in-house is the control a company gains over the process. When outsourcing programming, an organization is working with another company or group of programmers whose business it is to provide programming services to other companies. As a result, when working with an outsourcing company, customers must realize they are not the only customer the company is working with. In fact, the outsourcing company is likely juggling multiple contracts simultaneously.

In contrast, when a company handles their development in-house, they have total control over the development process. They don’t need to worry about their project taking a back seat to a larger one. They can set their own schedule and do whatever is necessary to meet their own goals.

Continuity and Independence

Another important factor is a company’s ability to ensure continuity and independence. While relying on an outside company can be convenient, and cost effective, that convenience immediately disappears if the developer goes out of business. Suddenly the client company is left scrambling to find another outsourcing firm that can pick up where the original one left off.

This can add significant cost to a project as well, since many companies will likely charge a premium to review an existing codebase and work to integrate with it. Keeping development in-house, however, eliminates many of these potential issues.

Quality

In many ways, quality can be a two-edged sword, when it comes to outsourcing. For companies that lack the expertise to handle programming in-house, outsourcing can result in a superior product, especially if the company takes the time to find the right outsourcing provider. On the other hand, picking the wrong provider can result in poorly written code, even worse documentation, and a product that barely meets the original needs or specification.

In contrast, keeping development in-house gives a company more control over the quality of the product. Rather than relying on an outside factor, a company that relies on in-house programmers has the final say in whether the product is finished and meets the desired requirements.

Communication

Communication can be another major benefit to in-house development. Cost is often one of the biggest motivating factors in choosing to outsource development. However, finding the best prices for development often means working with companies on the other side of the world. This can be a challenge due to different time zones, language barriers and cultural differences.

Using in-house developers, however, eliminates many of these issues. For many companies, being able to walk down the hallway and talk with the development team face-to-face is invaluable when trying to manage a large project.

Privacy and Regulatory Concerns

Other factors to consider are the privacy and regulatory issues many companies must work with. Some industries have strict guidelines that must be met. In many cases, these guidelines are far easier to enforce when the developers are in-house.

Ongoing Support

Not to be ignored is the ongoing support and maintenance that will likely be needed once a project is complete. In many cases, this is more straightforward with an in-house development team. When issues arise, bugs are reported or new features needed, it can be much easier to have a local team of developers, developers who are already intimately familiar with the product, implement the necessary changes.

Conclusion

Software development has become a vital resource for companies around the world. For many companies, software development is their main business and opportunities abound. For other others, it is a means to an end, a way to meet their customers’ needs.

Whatever the reason for developing software, there are pros and cons to both in-house development and outsourcing. Cost, control, expertise, independence, communication, support and quality are just a few of the things that must be considered.

As with most things in software development, there is no one-sizes-fits-all best solution. Instead, each company must carefully weigh the options, choosing the one that best fits the circumstances.

In-House
Outsourced
Software Development
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

Related Articles