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Big Challenges of Outsourcing Software Development

14/04/2024

Big Challenges of Outsourcing Software Development

 

IT outsourcing is one of the biggest industries in the global market. In 2019 alone, it was estimated to be worth $66.5 billion. And every day, it continues to grow. Despite its spectacular growth, it gets somewhat of a bad rep. Generally, outsourcing is equated with contracting a foreign low-cost company for software development. Time Zone differences and cultural ones, in this case, can hinder the success of a project in such cases. 

 

Outsourcing can certainly cut time and cost significantly for a company. Your outsourced partner will likely already have a team in place. You won’t have to worry about the recruitment and salaries to pay the new workers. Still, outsourcing software development is not without its own set of problems. Let’s go through some of the major ones. 

 

6 Challenges Associated With Outsourcing Software Development 

 

The Trust Factor

 

Trust here goes beyond simple belief in the capabilities of your partner to complete the project in the given constraints. It also means more than having a simple iron-clad contract in place. It refers to a company that is willing to go up and beyond the requirement to understand your needs. The industry you work in, your company, your goals, and your customer, once an outsourcing partner understands these things, you can rest assured of a great product. 

 

Software developers have a reputation for being someone who lives for requirements. But for any software development project to be successful, it is crucial to develop a deep understanding of the bigger picture. Your outsourced partner needs to learn about your business and take the time to ensure that the project fits the goal. This is why having a recurring partner is a great thing. As they have already worked with your company numerous times, they have a good idea about your goals and ideas. 

 

Communication Problems

 

Communication is one of the largest hurdles when it comes to outsourcing software development. In many ways, it’s obvious. You have two companies, often located in different parts of the world. With different cultures and communication styles, they are expected to mesh smoothly and work as one. Even very simple communication issues between personnel can lead to large problems, ultimately causing delays. And while minor problems are expected from both sides, significant issues can cause serious harm to the project. 

 

It’s no surprise that a good number of outsourced software development projects end up in dispute. This is not due to the lack of technical talent but due to communication problems. Due to minor snafus, the end product can be changed completely. What the client expects is not what they get. 

 

Scope Creep

 

Outsourced software projects are notorious for going over the timeline and the budget. Failure to understand the scope of a project is often the byproduct of a lack of communication and trust. A lot of software development companies work in small silos, and they often lack the knowledge to understand the larger picture. Without any proper understanding or a broader view of the project they’re working on, they just stick to what’s on the paper. Without a relevant background to ask ‘why’ they’re doing a particular thing, they often end up making a dry and empty product. This ultimately leads to reworks., budgetary inflations, and unnecessary features. 

 

Project Management

 

The one in charge of the overall project is the software development partner in most cases. Issues here arise when there are ill-defined processes, mismatched expectations, and a lack of communication among the executives. A good management process will understand the goals themselves and direct the team to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. There is also the problem of risk management which is the responsibility of the management side. 

 

Outsourced software development firms may lack a proper protocol for risk management. In case of failure during the project development, it can lead to difficulties and problems. Good project management will always draw up plans in advance and keep track of everything happening to get the work done.

 

Delays

 

Software development projects that get outsourced are rarely completed on time. There are generally two main reasons for this.

 

 

  • Unrealistic expectations from the side of the client
  • Constant modification of the project during the development stage with the addition of new features or changes to an exciting one

 

And while every outsourced partner somewhat expects this, it still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause problems. In the industry, things change rapidly. Any shift in the industry will be a cause for change in the software project. Incorporating them is the responsibility of the outsourced company. However, even with the prior expectations of such a situation, integrating these changes in the middle of a development process is no easy task. Delays are sure to happen in these cases. 

 

Ownership Problems

 

Outsourced projects are not entirely outsourced in most cases. Generally, the client will only outsource a portion of the project to an offshore firm, while working with their in-house team on another portion. However, this can lead to ownership problems in the project. Who is responsible for what part of the project? Which team was supposed to work on a particular section? Things like this can cause problems. 

 

This happens when there are no clear guidelines from the start and can result in a lot of back and forth between the two partners. As the project goes on, even a small decision can have a big impact. And while initial scoop definition is important to understand, so is continuous bi-directional communication. Something that a lot of partners forget leading to ownership problems in the project. 

 

Focaloid for Software Development

 

Focaloid has a talent pool in its software development team that has consistently shown its skill and demonstrated its ability. By producing high-quality products, we’ve given satisfactory results to numerous clients. At Focaloid, we pride ourselves on our consistently high quality of work that is achieved by following the strictest of guidelines. Get the best out of your software project by going for Focaloid and avoiding the problems associated with outsourcing. 

 

Final Words

 

Software development is certainly not without its own set of problems and challenges. But then, hardly any business endeavor is. As you go down the outsourcing path, it is vital to keep an open mind about this business model. There are bound to be problems and issues, but there are also a lot of benefits to it. And all these challenges can be avoided or at least minimized in their impact by choosing the right partner. 

Published:14/04/2024

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