In-House Development May Be Costing You Time and Money
It’s no secret that the current digital business environment is increasingly specialized, innovative, and efficient. The digital world is rapidly improving, and with it, digital products are becoming more sophisticated than ever before. Further, the workforce across the globe is largely remote, which means companies can (and do) have access to some of the top talent in the world.
The good news is this landscape poses massive benefits for the consumer of digital products—their experience is more intuitive, and the products are faster to market with constant improvements. At the same time, this environment places a strain on companies who have historically managed research, design, and development on their own. Many are struggling to keep up with the pace and quality of competitors.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is not for everyone. But if your internal team is overwhelmed by the time-intensive, specialized work of market research, competitive analysis, digital product design and development, and prototyping, it might be the right solution. Let’s take a look at the primary benefits of outsourcing.
Companies outsource—or use a third-party vendor—for services of all kinds, including payroll, human resources, administrative duties, IT services, consulting services, and more. Typically, companies will opt to outsource when they do not have the capacity to manage a process internally, or when someone beyond their company possesses a greater level of expertise in the area.
More and more, companies are choosing to outsource product development because of the nature of the work; exceptional software development requires deep expertise and experience. The more experience a vendor has, the more time it will save the company who has hired them. In this context, outsourcing frees up internal IT teams and allows non-technical members to focus on the work surrounding the launch and promotion of applications, rather than getting bogged down in the development of the product itself.
The difference between in-house and outsourcing
For years, many companies planned, designed, and developed their own in-house applications from scratch. As outsourcing became a more prevalent business practice, some companies shared hesitations about legal and regulatory issues surrounding the process as well as concerns about communicating efficiently across teams.
Now, though, the whole world has embraced a digital work environment, with teams working remotely and asynchronously across the globe. There has never been a better time to outsource complicated processes like digital product development.
Why Outsourcing Works
You’ll have access to a team of experts
When you outsource product development, it’s much more than a hand-off deliverable at the end of the process. Here’s a brief list of what you get when you work with a qualified third-party:
- A team of professionals with in-depth knowledge about the disciplines, emerging market trends, design practices, software stacks, and methodologies required
- Years of specialized experience in a vast array of industries
- Team members with diverse backgrounds—and who can view problems and solutions with a more objective perspective
- Colleagues with a collaborative mindset
- A centralized talent base to overcome local talent crunch
- Access to multiple services
- Design, CTO level strategy, architecture, product development, quality assurance, DevOps, etc.
- Maintaining control of the process—as the company receiving services, you get a say in both the process and the results
- More efficient, faster results than assembling an in-house team
It can cost less than developing in-house
Hiring, vetting, and training the right person can be costly and time-consuming. And asking an underqualified or non-technical team member to take on the work can undermine the quality of your product. When you choose to outsource, you may be saving your company money while gaining access to experts who are leading their industries.
- Generally, outsourcing software development allows you to work with experts at a lower price than hiring someone full-time
- You don’t have to outsource overseas; instead, opt for nearshore or domestic developers who are managed by a consulting firm
- Avoid onboarding high-salary, full-time individuals who you may or may not need to sustain past the timeline of the project
You can outsource at any stage of development
Outsourcing doesn’t mean you have to hand over the project from day one. There are several ways to work with third-party companies, and there’s flexibility to arrive at an arrangement that works for you both.
- Whether you’re in the ideation stage or have an up-and-running application, you can partner with a vendor at any point in the process
- When you outsource, you’re freeing your internal team up to work on core business, strategy, customer service, and more
- Outsourcing allows for a clear-cut, defined relationship and can be less complicated than managing an in-house team
Partner with AVIO for outsourced technology and development.
Our team of experts are skilled in product development across a range of industries—and we take a collaborative approach to each of our client relationships. Whether you have an idea or a functioning product that needs refining, we’re here to help.
5 Steps to Successful Outsourcing
Before you jump into an outsourcing relationship with a third party, review the following five steps to ensure you will be set up for success.
Step 1 - Define your goals.
What does success look like for this project?
Step 2 - Choose a partner.
Who is the best organization for this job?
Step 3 - Choose a model of collaboration.
Will you be collaborating regularly, or is it more beneficial to conduct a kick-off and remain hands-off until it’s time for review?
Step 4 - Agree on communication rules.
How regularly will you meet to discuss the project? What avenues will you use to communicate and how frequently?
Step 5 - Formalize the partnership.
What legal processes are required? How will you handle payment?
Outsourcing Use Cases
Outsourcing is only helpful insomuch as it makes a tangible, positive difference in the operations of your company. Let’s take a look at how outsourcing worked well for a retail management company in a real-life example.
A large retail management company was looking to outsource product development in an effort to sell their product faster to their customers. They were bogged down in the design and development process and knew they would not be able to launch in a reasonable time moving at their current pace.
The pandemic affected their consumer’s shopping behavior significantly. The company sought new, compelling, and effective ways to engage with customers in the digital landscape. Their goals included:
- Stay competitive in the marketplace
- Improve customer experience
- Provide a personalized virtual shopping experience
- Gather customer analytics by building out customer profiles
- Create revenue uplifts
- Build on and improve the industry-specific mobile platform
The company wanted to provide a virtual environment with video chat capabilities so that a personal shopper could easily make recommendations for the client. A platform like this would allow the personal shopper to see real-time updates of which products the customer likes or dislikes and make adjustments accordingly. This feedback would then be used to build customer-specific product catalogs for future recommendations, with a goal of improving sales and overall customer experience for the long-term.
Once the product was developed, the company’s goal was to sell this virtual shopping capability to several different brands and major retailers. AVIO Consulting created the user interface for their initiative with deliverables in three key areas:
Virtual Shopping Portal for Customer
Video through Twilio integration
Like / Dislike products
Video Chat for Associate
Product catalog search/display features
Session history features
Concierge Application Enhancements
Customer queue enhancements
Create a conversations Module
Launch appointment through Concierge
Ready to save time and money on your next project?
Contact one of our AVIO Consulting team members to learn what it might look like to partner with our team of experts for product development.