Running a software development project can be quite tricky. Should you hire an Offshore Software Development Company for this task? Or appointing in-house software developers will be a better idea? After all, what can best serve the purpose? It is a relatively subjective term that is open to interpretation. There are many factors that must be looked into for your project needs.
For starters, there are a vast number of IT companies providing Offshore Software Development Services over the world. Finding the right fit for your project can be a cumbersome task. There is no denying to the fact that the benefits of software development for expanding your business are tremendous. In current times, all established and upcoming companies understand the requirement of websites, social media, eCommerce, and mobile apps for growing their business. Not only do these software applications help these businesses but they also provide a direct platform for engaging with end-consumers on a global level. This article aims to address all these factors to help you gain a perspective in going about your project development.
Whether to use Offshore Software Development Company or In-house Software Developers?
Many times, companies debate whether they should hire an in-house project team or completely outsource their project to a third-party company. The in-house project team means that you are probably looking into hiring resources on a long-term basis and incurring all costs of retaining them within your organization.
Although, this would help build a higher sense of collaboration but it also puts you directly responsible for managing the project and its associated risks, costs, timelines, and scope. And let’s face it, high-level expert resources do cost a lot especially if you are looking to develop robust software.
This is where hiring offshore development services seem like a prudent choice. It provides the following advantages:
- You hire the best software development company that suits your project needs out of the thousands of companies available around the world.
- The offshore software development company encompasses project management and its associated risks.
- The hired offshore software development company can be contracted for a fixed-term and fixed scope kind of project which makes the overall cost of hiring resources for an in-house project seem like a hassle in comparison.
- You can choose the kind of communication model that you want to have with the offshore development company. Nowadays, reliable internet speed and connection is everywhere. It makes communication easier with a lot of freeware software such as Skype, Confluence, WhatsApp and even regular email software such as Outlook, and Gmail etc.
Narrowing Down on Offshore Software Development Company
When you start looking for an offshore software development company, it can seem like a daunting task. There are thousands of software development companies across the globe. Your search should start off from the very basics. Instead of broadening your search, you should narrow it on basis of your business needs.
For example, if you are a tourism company then you should start looking into companies that already have experience in delivering the offshore software development solutions in the travel vertical. There are a lot of websites that provide profiles of companies with software and mobile app development expertise. B2B research firms like Clutch have huge listings that can be filtered to provide you search criteria that can best solve your software development needs.
You can filter on the basis of location, company size, expertise, and various other parameters. Once you have narrowed down, you will probably have a manageable list of companies with their profiles, contacts, and websites for further exploring their line of business.
For your search of the ideal offshore software development company, you can visit the websites of each company and check out their official profiles to assess their business and their professional expertise in the market. Usually, companies also provide testimonials of their clientele which is also a helpful way of analyzing the credibility of any company.
You can also explore their social media forums, LinkedIn profile etc. to evaluate their overall performance and then judging whether they can be a good fit for you or not. All these action items should help you narrow down to a few companies that you are interested in for hiring for your offshore development services project.
Time to Get into the Nitty Gritty
The next step is to get in touch with the company. Your first point of contact would be a Customer Services Representative who would give you a broad level idea about the rate of their services or probably refer you to an Account Manager to help you figure out the cost logistics in a broader sense of the word.
One of the many benefits of software development with an offshore company is that you get to have a thorough discussion about your business needs. These companies are extremely competent and professional at what they do. This means that they have full command of the latest industry practices and trends. It is always important to pay heed to what the competition is up to.
If you are taking on the project needs yourself, you will probably lack the intuition of how to manage the project and the direction needed for product development. However, with the hired set of experts, you can be sure that they know what the competition is doing and how your product can be developed to stand apart from the crowd.
The hired offshore software development company is your best fit in providing you valuable insight into the market and how your competition is developing their product. This gives you the edge in developing a product that meets the standards required for being a commercial success.
Another aspect of hiring the best software development company is that they make sure to have exhausting requirements analysis and brainstorming sessions to lock down on the requirements. It usually starts off with a vague general meeting and it builds up to many sessions that are more concentrated on the business subject matter.
The chosen offshore software development company also ensures that those sessions are properly documented with Minutes of Meeting distributed to relevant stakeholders. Each session is usually followed up with another session and a rough mock of screen designs that are shared with the Customer who has to provide their feedback as those mockups serve as the basis of design sprint and development of the product.
The selected offshore software development company and the Customer also have to agree with the designed mockups to ensure that the product development will be steered in the right direction. At this stage, usually, there is a sign-off and approval of the documented requirements that are usually elaborated as the project takes off.
Project Management by Offshore Software Development Company
A compulsory part of the execution of the Software Development project is project management. The following are the important features of Project Management for the remote software development firm.
- Building the Team
- Project Development Phase
- Implementation and Post Deployment Support
- Add-on Services like Digital Marketing
Let us explain these necessary aspects of project management for the shortlisted offshore software development company.
Building the Team
Similar to an in-house project, the offshore software development company takes up the project exactly the same way. It builds up a proper software project team with a set of developers, Quality Assurance resources, Business Analyst, and a Project Manager. The team may have a Solution Architect and a Product Owner depending on the size and magnitude of the project. These days, the concept of multi-tenancy is a crucial factor that a lot of businesses look into.
For instance, the customer might have a product and they want their customers to use the same product for their respective line of business. An ideal example would be that a major end Real Estate company gets a product build that is then further outsourced to other Real Estate companies in the locality.
Such types of products require expert-level intuition for each offshore software development company would probably provide a Solution Architect who would have the necessary vision to develop a product that can be scaled to any type of magnitude as per the business requirements.
The company will also talk about its communication model as to how you’d like to get the project’s progress communicated. For most companies, the progress is presented after each milestone with a full-fledged product demo followed by a week-long UAT marathon. This also helps in getting timely approval for the developed product and eliminates the chances of the “surprise” or “shock” element in the project lifecycle.
Project Development Phase
One of the benefits of software development with an offshore company is that they properly streamline the project development phase as per the best industry practices. Nowadays, the Agile project development lifecycle is the industry norm with Scrum and Kanban as the fore contenders in project development. This means the hired company would first have a rough idea of what to develop which is formulated in the form of epics and user stories. Then they decide on which features to develop first by awarding story points. The scope for each sprint and milestones is then agreed upon after which the development starts off.
The entire duration of a sprint is no less than a week and no more than 3 weeks which also includes testing of the developed features. The concept of development and testing hand in hand is a helpful idea as it allows verifying that the developed functionality is not only working but also based on the documented business.
The product demos are a crucial part of the project lifecycle as they help in gaining the client’s confidence and approval. It also helps in getting a head-start if you are way off from the business requirements right after completing a milestone. Unlike the conventional Waterfall model that did not allow the developed product to be showcased until the very end of the project’s duration.
Implementation and Post Deployment Support
If you have hired the right offshore development company, then you can also get implementation and post-deployment product support. The right company will ensure that the product is properly deployed and running smoothly in the system. Does it integrate properly with your existing system? Does the existing or seed data is properly translated into the product? Once, all these items are given a go-ahead then the company will give you a green signal for going live in the commercial market.
This is a very crucial time for any project which is why the chosen offshore development company has the highest level of stakes involved at this time. All their analysis, planning, development, testing, and implementation come together to give out the end-result.
If all the phases have been properly executed then their efforts will shine through. Otherwise, the project can turn out to be a huge failure which will be the biggest setback for you and your project venture.
Add-on Services like Digital Marketing
This is an add-on feature usually provided by an offshore development company that has expertise in the Digital Marketing area as well. Nowadays, it is not just about creating a product but also generating the necessary market buzz for it. Through the SEO/SMM tools, you can hire a specialized resource that provides a strategy for online advertising through various social platforms. With Google Analytics, such a resource can tell you the traction and turn-over rate of customers on your product.
There are a lot of ways to gain customer attention and keep them on your portal for higher sales. The best software development company and digital marketing agency will ensure that you rank high in the search results. It will generate the necessary buzz to bring qualified traffic. It will also help in retaining customers through notifications and customized promotions.
Appointing the right offshore software development company can be a difficult task but with proper research and a clear picture of what you want to get developed, the proposition of your search should be clear. Once you have contracted a company, you should ensure that the signed agreements are clear to both parties as you are making a business investment that should pay you off in the long-run.
The mentioned points in the article should help you in understanding the various dimensions of a project lifecycle and how your input at all stages is a crucial factor. Although you outsource your project but the final say and the way the product turns out to be lies in your hands.
If you are an upcoming company looking to outsource your project to a third-party, then it is time you Talk with Techliance right now. Contact us today for a free quote and discussion about your project needs.