Is Outsourcing the Answer to Your Software Development Problems?

As a Director or Project Manager, you might sometimes be faced with deadlines that can’t be met, increasing technical debt and will begin weighing possible solutions to make your life a bit easier. Determining whether or not outsourcing is the answer to your software development problems is not necessarily a difficult question but it is a question which involves careful consideration.

There are a series of questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether or not outsourcing your software development is a wise decision. This could be a good one-time solution, or it could be a good permanent solution. But you won’t know until you begin looking. Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Are my in-house employees truly capable of resolving the software problem?
  • Do the current workloads allow my team to work on this problem in a timely manner?
  • How expensive will it be to outsource the task that needs to be completed?
  • What are the benefits of outsourcing the problem?

This article will take a look at each of these questions and provide insight into how these questions can be used to help make this important decision.

The Capabilities of In-house Employees

Some software development problems require highly specialized training to resolve the issues. It is often the case that a company’s in-house employees do not have the capabilities of resolving these software issues or the team is currently too busy putting out fires to work on fixing the problem permanently. When this occurs outsourcing the problem to a specialist is the obvious choice. However, in situations where the in-house employees are qualified to resolve the problem, the issue of whether or not to outsource becomes more complicated.

Those tasked with making the decision often weigh the options by considering the cost of outsourcing versus the speed at which the problem would be resolved in both cases. If there is an expert readily available to tackle the problem it will likely be resolved relatively quickly. However, if in-house employees are currently overburdened, they may not be able to make this problem a priority.

The Workload of In-house Employees

The workload of in-house employees often comes into question when considering whether or not to outsource a specific software related task or tasks. In the previous section we discussed the importance of outsourcing when the in-house employees are not qualified for certain tasks. However, this is not always the case.

Often in-house employees are fully capable of completing a task but they are unable to do so because of their current workload. In a situation when all of the in-house employees are unavailable to take on additional tasks, outsourcing again becomes a viable option.

Will Outsourcing Save Money?

One of the main factors companies consider when they contemplate outsourcing is whether or not they will save money by outsourcing. Hiring an expert team on a contract basis can certainly be expensive but it is often a worthwhile investment especially for highly specialized work. The cost of outsourcing is usually higher in terms of the hourly rate of the employee but overall the costs may be reduced.

When considering work performed by in-house employees it is important to realize the cost of the work includes the employee’s hourly rate, the cost of benefits such as social security, Medicare and workers compensation and resources such as office space, hardware, office supplies and other incidentals. After factoring in all of these costs it becomes clear that outsourcing isn’t always the more expensive option.

Another factor to consider when calculating the costs of outsourcing a software problem is how quickly the problem can be resolved by outsourcing as opposed to handling the problem in-house. This will depend on the capabilities and availability of the in-house staff. If there is not a capable staff member available it may take significantly longer to handle the problem in-house.

The Benefits of Outsourcing

Finally, the benefits of outsourcing should be considered in deciding whether or not to outsource particular tasks. We have already touched upon some of the benefits of outsourcing but for the sake of completeness we will include a list of some of the most significant benefits below:

  • Decreased labor costs
  • Access to industry experts
  • Flexibility in scheduling
  • Increased manpower

Bottom Line

With so many benefits it is clear that outsourcing can be a viable solution to many software problems. The bottom line in determining whether or not to outsource a particular software problem often involves comparing the benefits of outsourcing to the costs of outsourcing.

Samex is a workforce training and software development consulting firm. With offices in Troy, and Detroit, Michigan. We offer specialized workforce training to prepare software developers for the workplace, and outsourced software development to businesses of all sizes. If you’re considering outsourcing your software development, or hiring additional team members to complete your projects, give us a call at 800.730.7840 and allow us to explain how you can reduce the overhead and costs of your organization and complete your projects on time.