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Is it better to outsource or hire your own onshore development team?

If you are reading this, you have probably tried to get some work done overseas or are ready to plunge into the world of development of your product or start-up and wondering whether it is a good idea to outsource as the costs can be quite heavy for putting together your own team? Even before you read any further, we can guaranteed you there is no holy mantra for either that will work. It all depends on the use case, how much exposure you have to outsourcing and how much risk you are willing to take on specially if you have data, security and privacy concerns.

The Pro’s and Con’s of outsourcing:

Outsourcing can be an effective way to build web and mobile apps, but it depends on a number of factors. Here are some of the pros and cons of outsourcing app development:


  1. Cost-effective: Outsourcing can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house development team, as the rates charged by offshore development companies are often lower than those charged by local developers.
  2. Access to global talent: Outsourcing allows you to access a wider pool of talent from around the world, which can be especially useful if you have specific skill requirements or are looking for a development team with experience in a particular technology or industry.
  3. Faster time-to-market: Outsourcing may be help you get your app to market more quickly, as offshore development companies often are ready to work around the clock, or extended hours and can provide faster turnaround times than an in-house team.
  4. Overheads, Contracts and Workplace rules: Getting someone offshore to do your work, means in simple ways you can contract them by project, or by time and have the flexibility to manage their engagement with you without the need for payroll, or if they are not in Australia then you do not have to worry about managing their superannuation or local tax as you will most likely be paying someone overseas. You need to still report your expense and there are other rules of engagement from a financial stand point that you need to consider.


  1. Communication barriers: One of the biggest challenges of outsourcing is communication. Working with a development team in a different time zone and cultural environment can create communication barriers and result in miscommunication, which can lead to delays and errors.
  2. Quality control: Outsourcing requires a lot of trust, as you are entrusting your project to a team you may not have worked with before. Ensuring quality control can be a challenge, especially if you do not have experience working with offshore teams.
  3. Privacy and Security risks: Outsourcing can also create security risks, as you may be sharing sensitive data with a team outside of your organisation. It’s important to ensure that the development team you work with has robust security measures in place to protect your data. Processes also need to be put in place with how much access and control your outsourcing vendor developer has.
  4. Expectations Vs Output. The way an outsourcing partner sees your customer experience Vs what they deliver can be a mismatch as there may be a gap when it comes to how your end users wish to use the system and what you end up developing. It can be quite painful to explain this to someone who is overseas and does not necessarily always understand the customer experience you are trying to achieve.
  5. Coding and technical dependency. Not everyone is a coding expert and that can be a disadvantage when your outsourcing partner takes full ownership and control of the technical aspects. Often this creates a situation where you are very reliant on your technical outsourcing partner when it comes to discussions about much was “in-scope” and what was “not-in-scope” as agreed. This increases budgets, timings and resources and could end up in delays.

In summary, outsourcing can be effective for building apps for some use cases where you do not mind taking a risk in case the project does not really go exactly as per your plan. You need to do your home work and choose the right development team, communicate effectively and this also includes ensuring you are on top of things irrespective of the time zone you are in, and take steps to mitigate the risks. It’s important to do your due diligence and choose a reliable and experienced outsourcing partner to ensure the success of your project.

If you are unsure and need someone to talk to you about your technical delivery, digital product or you are looking to build something where you are not sure where to start. We are happy to offer you some advise as a non-obligatory consulting opinion. Have a look at some of our work here.

Feel free to ring us or book a free consultation with our team here. Remember, we code in many languages but like to speak human!


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