22 February 2015

Outsourcing Development

Many companies look to outsourcing as a means of cost efficiencies and for rapid turnaround of work. On other occasions it is about lack of in house skills for which they need to outsource for support. Although, outsourcing may appear to increase development efficiencies in short-term, it more than reduces it in the long-term. Outsourcing is also detrimental to agile processes within a team environment. It also ordinarily reduces the scope of development work for existing permanent staff which inevitably leads to loss of morale and productivity. Although, management might see outsourcing as the way to go, for many developers it is often an unpleasant experience. Not only does outsourcing incorporate frustration with third-party communication but it also involves lower quality as well as increases risk for unexpected delays in project deliveries. Invariably, with outsourcing one is also limited to the skills and experiences of the third-party for development. On many occasions once a project is delivered, third-parties also play tricks to continue on the contracted work with continued maintenance or for more project deliveries as a form of business opportunity. While the product owner values quality assurance, the third-party outsourcing agency more than values delivery of work for which they are paid. At times, delaying work also means more income from the product owner. On other occasions delivering on buggy projects means more continued work for maintenance later down the line. All this stretches the budget constraints on an outsourced project and for the product owner. The best approach for most corporate environments looking to deliver on project is to bring in permanent developers for the entirety of the full life cycle of work. This will mean a clean execution of development work with clear deliverable as well as a chance to form an agile culture that grows internally as the project evolves over time. It also avoids wasted time for the product owner as well as for development staff. Most hands-on developers that enjoy development work will never be in favor of outsourcing or contracting work out because it reduces the scope of their work and increases risk of uncertainty. Cloud computing has also allowed for more efficiencies in development with performance and scale to meet business demands for growth. Organizations that utilize outsourcing as their core means of development budgets really need to start re-evaluating their strategy for the long-term as having internal development teams will far surpass in quality of work as well as provide for continued cost efficiencies. In the long-term, this is almost a necessity especially with the changing trends in technology and the demands of the business environment for maintaining a competitive advantage.