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The Essential Guide: How to Outsource App Development for Project Success

February 21, 2024

6 Steps for more successful outsourcing,  knowing when it’s right for you, how much it will cost, and how to find the right outsourcing app development company

How do you outsource app development with fewer risks?

The benefits of having a great outsourcing development partner are obvious – a large, dedicated app developer team with much wider experience to complement your internal one – but how do you know which outsourcing development company is the right fit for you and won’t let you down?

In this post, we want to show you how to outsource app development in the way that works best for you and your product, including:

  • The 6-step essential guide to outsourcing app development.
  • Understanding application development outsourcing.
  • Knowing when it’s better to outsource app development.
  • How much it will cost to outsource app development.
  • The best places to find a good outsourcing development company.

The Essential Guide: How to Outsource App Development Successfully

Step 1: Choose Your Ideal Platforms

The first crucial step in successful app development outsourcing is selecting the right platforms for your project. Research and analyze the platforms that align with your app's target audience and goals. 

Are you building a mobile app for iOS, Android, or both? Will it be a web application? Make informed decisions at this stage to ensure your app reaches the right users on the right platforms.

Step 2: Prepare Project Requirements

Before you start outsourcing, define your project requirements clearly and comprehensively. Create detailed documentation outlining your app's functionality, design, and performance expectations. The more specific and detailed your requirements, the smoother the development process will be. This step is the foundation of a successful outsourcing project.

Have a look at the 9 things you should nail down before you start developing an app.

Step 3: Pick the Right Outsourcing Model

Selecting the appropriate outsourcing model is pivotal to success. You have options like offshore, nearshore, or onshore outsourcing. Consider factors like budget, time zones, and communication preferences. The right model can lead to cost-efficiency and better collaboration.

Learn more about outsourcing and insourcing and all you need to know about selecting your ideal app developer.

Step 4: Find The Right Outsourcing Development Company

Choosing the right outsourcing development company is a critical decision. Look for experience, expertise, and a proven track record in app development. Request references and review their portfolio. Communication is key, so ensure that you can establish a strong working relationship with the company you select. See all you need to know about selecting your ideal app developer.

Have a look at what roles you need in your startup team to succeed, and then see how our professional team helped companies achieve major success, including the stellar work we did with SA’s number one jobs management software, ServCraft.

Step 5: Organise Your Project Management

Efficient project management is essential to keep your app development on track. Define roles and responsibilities, set up communication channels, and establish a project timeline. Use project management tools and methodologies to keep everyone aligned and informed throughout the development process.

See what exactly a product owner does, why you need a scrum master, and what a week in an agile development team looks like. 

Step 6: Project Kick-Off and Team Integration

As you kick off your project, it's vital to foster a sense of team unity between your in-house team and the outsourced developers. Clearly communicate your expectations, establish regular check-ins, and create an atmosphere of collaboration. Team integration can lead to a more productive and harmonious development process.

See here the business benefits of custom software development, then see how much it costs to create an app and how long it takes to build one, as well as how to get to market 3 times faster with a low-code app option and how to save up to 60% of your app costs.

Also get access to better data with strategic FinTech collaborations.  

What is application development outsourcing?

It’s when you hire an external technical partner with experienced development teams to design, build, and maintain software applications like mobile apps or web applications, on behalf of your organisation. 

Instead of handling all development tasks in-house, you delegate some or all of them to a trusted software partner. This approach is commonly used to access specialised skills, reduce costs, accelerate development, and focus on your core business activities.

Is it better to outsource app development?

Whether outsourcing app development is better for your project depends on various factors, including your organisation's specific needs and resources. Outsourcing can be advantageous because it allows you to leverage the expertise of specialised development teams, reduces development costs, and speeds up the time-to-market. It can also be beneficial if you lack the in-house skills required for app development.

Also, see why it's important to focus on tech in our roundup of the impact of digital transformation on South African businesses and all about Android app development.

Should I outsource app development?

Consider outsourcing if you:

  • Don’t have the in-house expertise for app development.
  • You want to reduce development costs.
  • Need to accelerate the development process.
  • Have a limited budget for hiring and maintaining an in-house team.

How much does it cost to outsource a mobile app?

The cost of outsourcing a mobile app can vary widely based on several factors, including the complexity of the app, its features, the development location (onshore, nearshore, offshore), and the hourly rates of the outsourcing company.

See exactly how much it costs to develop a new full-code app and how much low-code app development costs. But note, that often only includes the development part of it – there’s more to creating a successful app. To get the full picture, see how much it costs to create a new app from start to finish, all-inclusive.

Where is the best place to outsource app development?

The best place to outsource app development depends on your specific needs. Here are some common options:

  • Onshore development outsourcing: If you prefer proximity and cultural alignment, onshore outsourcing within your own country is a suitable choice. However, it can be more expensive.
  • Nearshore development outsourcing: Nearshore outsourcing involves working with companies in neighbouring countries or regions. It strikes a balance between cost and proximity, making it a good option for many projects.
  • Offshore development outsourcing: Offshore outsourcing involves working with companies in distant, often lower-cost regions. It can be cost-effective but may present challenges related to time zones and cultural differences.

The best place for you depends on your project's requirements, budget, and your comfort level with remote collaboration and communication. We can tell you that it’s up to 95% cheaper to outsource development to South Africa – see how much an app costs in SA and how to select your ideal app developer.

And, being South African ourselves, we can tell you that you won’t have a better general collaborator team than South Africans – we are culturally diverse and are as much at home in Silicon Valley as we are in a developing economy. Much like Elon Musk, who is, of course, a South African just like us.

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