Custom software can play a vital role in the company’s journey toward growth. When it comes to software development, we have several options available and one of them is IT outsourcing. As a highly popular and cost-effective way to develop enterprise-level software, IT outsourcing takes care of every aspect of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).
In this post, we are going to understand the importance, benefits, and disadvantages of IT outsourcing for the software development life cycle. However, before moving ahead, it is necessary to understand the concept of SDLC.
A software development life cycle is a set of processes or a procedure for developing customized software in the shortest period without compromising on its quality or increasing the cost. In other words, the Software development life cycle ensures timely delivery of high-quality software in a cost-effective way. As a robust arrangement, SDLC includes different stages like planning, analysis, creating, testing, and deployment of the software for enterprises.
What is IT outsourcing?
As per Gartner’s definition, IT outsourcing is the use of external service providers to deliver IT-enabled business processes, application services, and infrastructure solutions effectively for business outcomes.
IT outsourcing services include cloud-based outsourcing, SaaS (Software as a Service), and utility services along with enterprise software development. Companies can select the most suitable IT service providers to leverage the benefits of IT outsourcing and gain a competitive edge over their peers.
Software development outsourcing is utilizing IT outsourcing for software development. Let’s understand the role of IT outsourcing in various phases of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle).
Phases of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
The software development life cycle connects the development process with the business requirements. It is helpful in producing a well-defined structure for developing customized software while dealing with all the basic strategies.
Here are the phases of the software development life cycle.
It is the first and most important stage of SDLC. All the further steps are dependent on this phase. Usually, the planning phase is completed in-house to have better control over the project.
This is another essential phase of software development. An in-house team or consultants from a reputed IT company can brainstorm on the blueprint of the development project and analyze the requirements.
This phase has a 50-50 importance level because most companies tend to outsource this phase to external IT partners to save time and costs. The in-house option is a bit expensive and may not bring the desired outcome.
Well, this is the most suitable phase for outsourcing, especially after completing the analysis and design phases in-house. Usually, this phase requires more resources and different talents, so it is better to outsource it.
This phase has two popular strategies.
- Either through an in-house team to achieve deliverables of the desired quality
- Or outsource this phase to save costs and effort significantly
The support and maintenance stage should be outsourced to get timely services and keep the software up-to-date. Outsourcing of the maintenance phase can reduce the operating cost of the software over the period.
Importance of SDLC in software development
SDLC has multiple models and you can find the most suitable one for your project. Waterfall, Iterative, Big Bang, and Spiral models are popular software development lifecycle models. An IT outsourcing company can assist you to choose the right model as per your objectives and business requirements.
Here we mention the top benefits of SDLC in custom software development-
- It ensures the systematic arrangement of development steps with a complete control
- It can improve the monitoring and modification of a large-sized project
- It makes it possible to measure the development cost and the progress
- It enables developers to maintain the quality and reliability of the software
- It streamlines the development process by including steps
Types of IT Outsourcing
IT outsourcing has different types based on the distance of outsourcing teams. Highly prevalent types are-
When the outsourced team resides in the same country as yours, this outsourcing is known as onshore outsourcing. Even if the IT professionals that you have hired are in different regions of your country, and there is no big difference in the time zone, it is called onshore outsourcing. Your in-house team can communicate well with the onshore team because there are no differences in the culture and language.
When you outsource an IT project to a company that is based in another country that is far from your country, it is known as offshore outsourcing. It can be a highly affordable option if you get a good team of dedicated professionals and a sincere project manager. All you need to focus on is communication and removing cultural differences. Offshore outsourcing is one of the most popular options for accomplishing complex IT projects.
When you hire a team from a neighboring country or a country that is in your geographical vicinity, Here there are not many differences in timezone and culture because of less distance. It is more cost-effective than onshore outsourcing and you can get your project done without facing much difficulty.
Other outsourcing models are the dedicated team model and the staff augmentation model. These models are based on relationships or hiring employees.
Importance of IT outsourcing in software development
When it comes to software development, companies need to put more time and effort in the process. As a result, the top management may not focus on other productive activities till the software development process gets completed. There, IT outsourcing lends a helping hand for entrepreneurs! It enables SMEs to focus on core business activities while handling the software development life cycle effectively.
Also, companies can get rid of limitations of resources and experience in developing tailor-made software by outsourcing the project. It is fair to mention that software development outsourcing can assist companies to leverage the benefits of cutting-edge technologies.
The Impact of IT Outsourcing on SDLC
IT outsourcing has both advantages and disadvantages in the software development process. You can hire the right outsourcing partner to leverage the benefits and minimize the impact of disadvantages.
Here are the main advantages of IT outsourcing.
It is the biggest benefit of software development outsourcing. Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe are popular outsourcing destinations that assist companies to complete their software projects on time and more cost-effectively as hourly rates are way less in these countries as compared to the UK, the US, and Australia.
Saving of Time and Effort
Offshore outsourcing often offers a timezone advantage. It means that you can focus more on the software development project after office hours because of the difference in time. As a result, your outsourcing team works even after your office closes which results in saving time and effort for your company.
Another major advantage of IT outsourcing is companies can hire the right skill set for their projects, and that too, at affordable rates. Outsourcing companies have large talent pools for different technologies and when you hire a team from such companies, you can get the benefit of a diverse talent pool.
However, companies need to deal with some potential disadvantages of outsourcing also.
It is essential for your company to pay attention to the quality of software when you outsource the project. It is because, at times, outsourcing companies compromise on quality and other aspects just to meet the deadline. Such quality issues and delayed delivery are the most common disadvantages of IT outsourcing. However, a reputed outsourcing services provider can help you overcome these issues effectively.
Offshore software development process is handled by the outsourcing partner company. Mostly, such offshore developers reside far away from your country, and therefore, you may face communication issues with them. Language and cultural barriers also create obstacles in communication. However, thanks to advanced tools like Skype and Google Meet, you can communicate effectively with your remote team of software developers at any time.
Best Practices for IT Outsourcing in SDLC
Let’s face it! When you can save a lot of time and money using IT outsourcing, you may address the challenges like lack of communication and cultural issues. Here we mention some of the best practices for IT outsourcing that will assist you to get rid of challenges and leverage all the benefits.
Make a Proper Roadmap
This is the first step for a successful SDLC. You need to do some research and check the competitor’s software before making a plan and including all the objectives or goals in it. Your software project roadmap should include every aspect necessary along with proper details and action plans. It will help the IT solution provider to understand the project thoroughly.
Define Communication & Collaboration Strategies
After setting the goals and expectations clearly, you need to focus on defining communication strategies. Effective communication can enhance collaboration and vice versa. Therefore, you need to define effective communication channels and avoid any chances of miscommunication and delays in briefs or feedback.
Select the Right Outsourcing Partner
These days, many companies offer IT outsourcing services. However, some of them do not have much experience or expertise to handle projects with big sizes or high complexity. As a result, you may have to compromise on the software quality or extend the deadline frequently. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right partner for software development.
Ensure Data Security
It is better to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and make sure that your corporate data is safe with the company. Data security is imperative for your company to maintain its reputation and gain the customer’s trust. Your outsourcing partner should be capable of handling data-related issues and preventing the data from any cyberattacks.
Conduct Regular Reviews
You can use advanced project management tools and proven methodologies to conduct regular reviews for your project. Regular tracking and monitoring of performance and progress can assist you to get the software with desired features and excellent functionality.
IT outsourcing can be a game-changer for your software development project. However, you need to consider its cons and focus on following the proven practices to gain the advantage of offshore software development. Finally, you should choose a reliable and reputed IT outsourcing partner to complete the project on time with the desired outcome.
Silver Touch Technologies is a renowned IT outsourcing service provider. We have dedicated offshore development centers (ODCs) for handling all your outsourcing-related aspects and issues. You can get an extended team of experienced developers cost-effectively with our flexible engagement models. Want to know more? Just drop us a line at email@example.com and we will get back to you soon!