When to outsource your software development projects

Software Development

Many IT managers and business owners are apprehensive about outsourcing certain aspects of their IT operations, especially their software development function. They’ve probably heard scare stories about failed software outsourcing projects. Those failures are likely to be off-shoring projects which failed due to differences in time zones, work ethics, culture and language. However, outsourcing your software development to a local provider is a decidedly less risky proposition and carries more advantages than disadvantages. In fact, there are a several scenarios where outsourcing may be the best approach for your business.

You have limited budget

Even big businesses have budget constraints and need to be able to make do with less. For smaller businesses, doing things the cheapest way possible is a matter of survival.    If you are struggling with a limited budget or if you want to save more money, it pays to consider outsourced software development. For one, you’ll be converting a permanent fixed cost (monthly salaries) into a variable cost (project fees or retainer fees). Typically, the cost of outsourcing is less than the cost of maintaining an internal development team. You can probably negotiate harder to get an even better price but squeezing your provider is not a good way of ensuring you get top-quality service and results.

You also do not need to spend money on training and infrastructure. It is the responsibility of the outsourced partner to come up with the necessary hardware, software and training for his team. By the time provider offers their services to clients like you, they will have already made a massive investment in infrastructure and people. You get to leverage that investment without having to incur the cost yourself.

There is a shortage of skills

South African is experiencing a massive skills shortage in the ICT space. If your recruitment process is stalled for lack of quality candidates or, if your project requires specialist skills which you do not have in-house, then it is definitely time to think about outsourcing.

Just because you are using an outsourced software development company, it does not mean that their resources will automatically be better-skilled than your internal software development team. You need to be diligent when it comes to selecting your provider. If you are outsourcing a project, you need to ask for client references and details about their previous projects to determine their level of skill and expertise. If you are getting dedicated resources you should ask for detailed CV’s and a skills report for each candidate.

You are running at full-capacity

Outsourcing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing endeavour. There are situations where it makes sense to outsource whilst still maintaining your own software development capability. If your own software development team is overloaded with projects and is busy building up a backlog of development requests, you should consider outsourcing your less critical projects. This allows your internal team to focus on those projects that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

You need faster delivery

In today’s fast-changing business environment, it’s sometimes necessary to get things done faster than your internal team would normally be able to do. Whilst it is not possible to rush a complex software development job, an outsource provider can typically throw more bodies at less complex projects to try to get them done faster. Of course, getting things done quicker comes at a cost and this is likely to negate any possible cost savings from outsourcing.


All in all, outsourcing your software development and focusing on your core business is a successful strategy that should be considered when the right circumstances dictate.

Maxxor offers custom software development, software consulting and software outsourcing services to leading South African companies. Check out some of our client testimonials or contact us to discuss your software development requirements.