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Complete guide to a remarkable outsourcing app development

App Development Outsourcing: A Complete Guide

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub

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According to Peerbits:

Peerbits stats on new businesses

The most of which grow initially by outsourcing their competitive tasks to some great developers to start with. App development being on the top of the list!

The siren song of outsourcing app development draws in its victims by assuring amazing apps at affordable costs. “Save huge bucks! Lessen workforce troubles! See custom apps magically appear before your eyes!”

Ever wondered what’s the math behind it? What are its risk factors and how you, as a big-time entrepreneur prone to them?

Furthermore, can outsourcing application development really save you money and produce the outcomes you require? Of course. But first, you need to understand how some vendors hide liabilities that could cost you massive amounts if you aren’t careful.

“You get what you pay for” is a reason just for the heck of it. As consumers and businesses are arising as a more reliant on mobile devices for more than merely peer-to-peer communication, organizations have been quick to develop mobile applications to actively and directly involve their customers. Smaller businesses that lack grave capital regularly opt to save every buck by sending the development overseas. However, preserving money outsourcing, a mobile app will cost considerably more in the long run.

All developers cannot be claimed as equal. In the subsequent sections of this article, we will see a detailed discussion about the risks associated with the phenomenon and how to handle them.

Starting with a broad generalisation:


How Much Does It Cost To Outsource App Development?

Based on location, the cost to build a mobile app may also vary. If you take perplexity and range into account primarily, here you are:

  • The cost to build a mobile app for a single app range from $10,000 to $200,000
  • Standard content apps for small businesses – $10,000 to $20,000
  • Startup apps – simple-  $20,000 to $50,000
  • Startup apps- complex- $50,000 to $200,000

Have a look at the following common types of apps and an average cost of app development:

  • Messaging app like Whatsapp – $50,000 – $130,000
  • Dating app like Tinder – $80,000 – $200,000
  • City guide app – $25,000 – $50,000
  • Networking (social) app – Over $25,000
  • Banking/payment app – $40,000 – $70,000
  • Uber – $25,000 – $100,000


The Risks of Offshoring Mobile App Development


1. The Cultural Barrier

First of all, any time you are handling a part of your business and getting another company to have an integral function in development, you run the hazard of cultural boundaries.

Outsourcing the work to a firm implies that the technology and cultural norms for aesthetics will be inconsistent and frequently out of line with yours, making the face of it a little off. For this reason, it will need time for them to surmise your project, and the learning curve can eat into proposed savings.


2. Communication Barrier

Another risk is miscommunication. It is difficult enough to describe to an experienced person in the same room with you,  what you want to make and what exactly are your goals. Relaying this data to a person thousands of miles apart and often through electronic transfer hovers one up for plenty of risk in getting the product you were actually on the lookout for. Software development is a highly engaged social process with people regularly sharing complicated ideas and abstract themes.


3. Cost Issue

Finally, let’s get back to cost — the primary reason most companies outsource in the first place. While a firm may charge you a charming $20 an hour, how much value are you getting in that time? You may think your qualified in-house app developer at $100 an hour may well provide more value for you than numerous junior developers working at $20 an hour overseas.

As they say, Good work ain’t cheap, cheap work ain’t good.

Outsourcing apps also expose you to safety and data leaks. A recent report affirmed that companies that go overseas are 31% more likely to encounter potential data leaks or IP loss. Even with an NDA, you are disclosing your valuable assets and regards such as court settings and litigation come at a high cost. The OWASP Top 10 is a well-known index of web app security vulnerabilities which is employed every day by security professionals. Yet, one thing is missing from the list—how often are each of these vulnerabilities used by hackers to breach organisations? Here is the amount of security breaches that occur:

Stats on security breaches

So, what now? In the next section we will see how exactly the approach of app development outsourcing needs to be followed:

Starting with it, let’s go through some stages that are necessary  in order to outsource your app the right way:


1. Identify The Purpose

It implies the very description of what the app would do and what you will do with it. Free app for recreational purposes and, let’s say, a medical app with a paid subscription are two worlds. Any topic of how to do app development outsourcing begins with this and guides to hire developer(s) with relevant skills.


2. Outsource App Development Risk Assessment

There’s a multitude of risks, among which could be reduced product quality, stays, miscommunication, unreliability, source code vulnerability. Limit database access, distribute the code, weigh on all possible legal matters, etc.


3. Do The Homework

Telling a development team to make you an app and expecting a market-ready product is not enough. You have to manage and supervise. For that, you have to prepare project description, list of characteristics and screens, user flow,  UX basics, wireframes, tech stack, etc.


4. Interview And Select A Developer

Talk to a provider and see if you can understand each other easily. Ask some specific things, like experience in outsourcing Android development to see if he/she is confident about skills. Check or ask for a portfolio. Call surprisingly to know how a person reacts. Also, consider time zones you’ll be struggling with.


5. Project Plan

You have to establish the achievements and checkups and stay at par with those mutually. These are your short-term goals or stages. A common practice is to pay after each phase is completed. Use of project management tools (Trello, Basecamp etc.) is a bonus as well. If you can designate a project manager to control your offshore app development, it would be having an ace up your sleeve.

Here is an image that depicts how outsourcing app development is managed:

Figure showing outsourcing app development managment


6. Oversee

But do not micro-handle too much. Getting app development outsourced doesn’t mean everyday calls and feedback. You need to have the milestones put in place, so you’d better not confuse an outsource developer(s) by talking too much. The basic rule here is not to hinder the process.


7. Adequate Tests

Assuring the app runs is not enough. You have to make sure it works well. The more kinds of testing and user behavior scenarios you find, the better results you’ll have. Go through each possible user action, your developer must do the same.


8. App release

Qualified app developers have published a number of applications to Google Play and/or App Store, so they are there to help.

Here is how big players are doing it:

Pie chart of top outsourcing cities by region globally

I have an even wonderful conclusion for you with some tips from the trenches on how you can eliminate the hidden costs of outsourcing up front:


1. Stay Wary Of The Fixed-price Model.

A fixed price seems very alluring because it keeps you at ease by diminishing budgetary uncertainty. Sadly, many outsourcing companies attract you into a deal and hit you with overhead charges later. The vendor will give an incredibly low quote to build an app, although, the statement of the process will not contain all the prerequisite features. Months ahead, the money will vanish, and the app will be just naively built far from the market standards.

That is why it often observed that new clients that reach some of the decent developers with a budget emergency, have already been charged 120% of the original fixed-price budget, by their original vendor, yet the project is only incomplete.

In this scenario, Do you put in more cash to get the app finished? Or do you bail out and start over with a different vendor, who will charge you the same?

How do you avoid this blunder? Understand that in the realm of high-quality application development, fixed-price is something like a miracle. Instead, pick a vendor that puts in serious time up-front to see how your app needs to function as part of creating a comprehensive, good-faith quote.


2. Important Features Are Top Priority.

At the beginning of the project, the vendor requires to find how the app should work at the end. It looks simple, but not many firms follow this commitment. Choose a vendor that works on Agile, a methodology used to describe–in nontechnical terms–everything the app needs to attain. Based on this ambition, they will list down which features are most important to the users, and the most indispensable features are done first. If you run into budget or timeframe issues, you are able to cut off development and still have a working product–just without the least-significant items on your wish list.

The strongest and highest-priority work must always be first. Skip vendors that want to handle the easy parts at the start.


3. Have The Developers You Were Promised.

It’s the most coveted bait-and-switch. An outsourced merchant shows you impressive resumes for the developers who are going to work on your project, but those developers may never really be hired or made to work for your project. Or, as time passes, those experienced developers are slowly get replaced by greener teammates. You end up with kids in universities who are doing their first app project. Or, perhaps a great Java guy is picked to your project but he’ll have to study on the job if Java is not the only thing that is required.

Turnover can also be an obstruction. In some places, turnover rates run as high as 40% through a project. Some of you will switch right after three key developers on their project quit to go work for a competitive company. This kind of turnover boils down to constant struggles and relearning of the process, your app and your marketplace, which loses you a huge big amount.

How Can You Avoid These Problems?

Start by assessing the vendor’s turnover rates. Pick a guarantee that the people who began the project will do it through until you approve a replacement. Get recommendations for the particular technology you need to assure the team has done. Assure that you speak to the actual developers on your project regularly throughout the project’s timeline. That way, you will be updated about who is really working on your project.

Here are the costs of stages:

Graph of cost range for App Development Stages


4. Create A Communication Plan.

Some companies want to keep you out of the work. They might recommend signing the deal, then redoing in six months once the app is done, but that is a sign of a disaster.

Pick a company with a well-established set of procedures that involve daily, weekly and monthly meetups. Attain full transparency into the project, along with a work schedule and data about which developer is creating which features. The vendor must have your specific contact data and backup contacts, should they need to call, email or text with any questions. Finally, pick a developer in a right time zone. If you want to talk to the developers that are working on your app, you will run into hindrances if they live far away. Here is the way communication plan should go:

Table for communication strategy



So summing up I’d say that if you’re really looking for an AWE-some deal, Find a developer who understands your business.

Anybody can send a rate sheet with developers at $40 per hour. But what does that actually buy you? If you want an app that can transform your business for the better, you need to choose a vendor whose employees comprehend your business and what you are trying to accomplish. The harder your vendor works to understand your goals and your bottom line, the better your app will be.

Outsourcing an app is really meant to save you labour, time and cost. And I wish you attain all three while you go around finding your developers! Just keep this little guide handy!

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.
Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.

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