Addressing 6 top problems in outsourcing software development and industry’s elephant in the room
If you are reading this article, you might be a business owner that is at the stage of thinking about starting a new software development project. And most likely, you can’t decide what kind of collaboration with software engineers to choose — in-house or outsourcing team. Each approach has its own pros and cons, its benefits, and pain points for you as for the business owners. Today, we are not going to convince you that one approach is better than another or vice versa, we just want to make your decision process a little easier and more reasonable.
There are significant numbers of reasons to outsource engineers for your project: cost efficiency, quick access to the talent pool, more focus on the growing business instead of managing a software team, etc. But today, being an experienced outsourced software development company, we would like to share with you 6 the most common software development outsourcing problems you may have during the development software for your product.
What are the biggest risks with outsourcing a remote team?
Having a deep tech experience and expertise in software development and appropriate knowledge from working with leading US, Canadian and European companies, we created the list of the most typical problems with outsourcing software development team for preventing more people from possible business failures and troubles.
Also, we provide you with the solutions for outsourcing problems, and recommend how to avoid all these perils working according to the outsourcing approach of cooperation for you could get a ton of advantages from your decision. So here is a list of the most usual and typical problems in outsourcing:
- Lack of Experience in IT Outsourcing
- Project Management
- Time and Language Obstacles
- Complying with regulations
So let’s take a deeper look at each of them!
Problem 1: Lack of Experience in IT Outsourcing
Outsourcing is not a new phenomenon, but it still has big popularity nowadays. But even despite this, there are a lot of people, including business owners, that don’t have a clear understanding of how this mechanism in this industry is working. And if you are choosing a software development company for turning your idea into a real digital product, this aspect can have a prominently negative impact on achieving your business goals.
When you start to think about creating a new software product, first and foremost you should set up the reasonable and clear goals and expectations for your outsourcing team and engineers in particular. We recommend you arrange everything that is related to the development process: product and development vision, the stages of development, all deadlines, budget, etc.
This process is not such difficult as it may seem if you have the right company next to you, a company that really understands your business needs and expectations. A good outsourcing development company will take you at each stage of the development process and explain everything in a simple language you would be able to understand. They will also help you to establish all project requirements, choose the best tech stack based on your needs.
Problem 2: Project Management
It might be a little hard to have successful project management when you and your team are located on different sides of the globe, in this case you should remember that the culture varies from one city to another. Every country has its own cultural features, some might be more independent, others need straight guidance to follow, the others are more cost-oriented instead of results and vice versa. You should keep in mind these factors during the selecting an outsourced software development vendor such as losing control in project management can lead to significant time and budget expenses.
First of all, pay a big attention to the initial stage of your project development — finding the right vendor. Do a deep research of each company you are considering, learn the cultural specifics of all regions, compare the rates and check reviews ( for this you can use Clutch.co platform). Likely if you differ too much from each other, it will definitely take a lot of time to establish and coordinate your collaboration, set goals, create a common vision and manage the whole development process, at HebronSoft we use Agile and Scrum Methodologies that are very helpful for transparent communication, quick response, setting clear expectations, and tracking results.
Problem 3 : Time and Language Barriers
When you are working with a remote team, most likely you will need to communicate with them in different time zones and will have language barriers, as you are located in different spots of the globe. And if you are working with 12 hours difference, your working hours may never overlap. Basing on geography, communication also can be a huge challenge, as you speak in different languages. And even if your software provider assures you in their high language skills, sometimes it appears that sometimes it is hard to understand each other because of different pronunciation, sentence structure, etc.
According to the last statistic, a lot of software engineers have a wide range of technical skills, but at the same time they can speak English just at a basic level. At first sight, these two factors do not seem very important, but actually they can have a huge negative impact on the whole development process.
When you are starting to work with a remote team from a different time zone, first of all, you should set up daily/ weekly meetings with them. If the difference is too big, both of you should look for a compromise, for example, you can start your working day earlier than you’re used to, and your outsourced team instead can shift theirs closer to evening or vice versa. Also, keep in mind about changing time ( some countries don’t have this practice) and national days of each country. We recommend discussing these two aspects at the very beginning of your collaboration.
To avoid communication problems in outsourcing, we strongly recommend interviewing each participant of the team by yourself. At HebronSoft we pay great attention to the language skills of our engineers, most of them have at least an upper-intermediate level. Also, we handle a good practice taking a project manager who is responsible for communication with a client and a team.
Problem 4: Cost Overrun
There are a lot of reasons to outsource a development team from other countries and reducing and operating development costs is one of their top. But in reality, it may be quite different if you working with an unreliable outsourcing development company. Sometimes it can lead to cost overruns in addition to the other set of problems of outsourcing software development. According to the study that was conducted by McKinsey found, there are nearly 66 % of software development companies have cost overruns, and a third of them do not fit the schedule and exceed all development deadlines. The reason for this can be that some engineers can do very ordinary tasks for a long time and in the end they still have a lot of bugs and mistakes that lead to more billed hours overall.
First and foremost, be realistic how much the development of your digital product, in the long run, can cost. For this, we recommend comparing the price and time of similar products for having a general picture of what to expect. The best way to avoid the cost overruns and create a budget is to find a reliable and well-respected software development partner. Working with them you can ask to have an experienced project manager which would be responsible for setting the whole development process, handing out tasks, and then monitoring their performance.
Also, you can use the project managers’ tools that help all the participants of development (you, your project manager, and development team) to be on the same page and keep the project orderly and on schedule and budget.
Problem 5: Software development security problems (Intellectual Property and Data Privacy)
The software development of any digital product always goes with the risks of losing intellectual property and data security. Nowadays, the data is the most important records that every company has. They find a huge value in collecting and using data for the different specific needs. But not all development companies can guarantee you that your unique business ideas, plans and trade secrets will not be known by the third party who doesn’t have relation to you and your project.
To overcome this issue, first, at the very beginning, you have to make sure if your outsourced software development company uses technical safeguards for protecting all the date they work with. If you are EU citizen, pay attention whether they comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). If you are from the US and are going to develop a health mobile app, make sure that your software vendor complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If the company ensures data privacy and security, it means that you can be confident for all your data — whether it is the list of your customers’ personal data or all your website recordings.
Problem 6: Unmatched Expectations
If you are a business owner and is thinking about the software development of your new project, you definitely imagine your already developed product in every single detail, how everything should work there, what value it should bring to you and your customers. But when it comes to reality, it does not work such smoothly as you could visualize. Sometimes, the reason for this is that client has too high expectations unknowing how everything really works. The customer may think that the outsourced software development provider will take care of everything that is related to the project and he doesn’t have anything to do. But it’s not exactly right.
All the best practices tell that the best way to avoid these outsourcing issues is to discuss beforehand the roles of each one who takes part in the development process. Also, pay attention to the discussion of expected results making sure that your software provider has appropriate knowledge and experience to deliver your product in the fastest time and defined budget. So, selecting a software provider, be sure it completely suits all your project requirements. For example, if you are looking for a software product development service, first of all, to make a deep analysis of your candidates, take a look at their portfolios and clients’ reviews.
The bottom Line
Not all outsourcing software development companies will fail your project! Don’t hesitate to hire outsourcing software developers from other countries, just make sure that you are choosing the best candidate that fit all your specific business needs and follow the most important requirements. If you still have any questions related to our article or software product development in general, contact us and we will do our best to cover all your gaps and help to overcome all pitfalls outsource software development.