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Why Should You Outsource Mobile App Development?

Do you have a great project idea and don't know what steps to take to develop the app? If the answer is yes, read this article to know why you should outsource app development. Don't close this page even if you believe in-house app development is the best option. Just give time to look at all options and consider the benefits of application outsourcing.

Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile App Development

Yes, budget is everything. You don't want to spend thousands and millions on an app that could be built at a much lower cost.
So, why is outsourcing mobile app development less costly than in-house app development?
One thing is that recruitment is time-consuming and costly. According to Deloitte, it takes about 52 days on average to fill open positions for developers in the US. You may be surprised to know that the cost of just making a job posting, conducting an interview, running a background check, and training the staff is 4 digits.
And not only that. Hiring an app developer takes money. According to, the average app developer is making 77% more than the average worker, with a salary totaling about $102,000 in the US. And that is just one developer.
Add to this figure the costs for payroll and taxes and overhead costs for an in-house team.
In short, sometimes the total cost of the app development is as much as the salary of one developer if you outsource.
Talent across the globe
When you outsource, you gain access to the best engineering talents from all over the world. Compare your chances of hiring a developer within a radius of 30 km from the location of your company. If you research the background of outsourcing companies well, you will gain access to already established teams with dedicated members.
And not only that. The members of outsourcing companies work on a variety of projects and they know each other professionally. They can work in many different industries from food delivery to medical and financial realms.
Risk reduction
The outsourcing company assumes all risks of the project after signing a contract. All sensitive data is protected due to signing a non-disclosure document. After signing this document, there is no risk of leakage of confidential information.
The contract also obliges the outsourcing company to deliver the project on time and within budget.

When is Outsourcing Mobile App Development Right?

There are several cases when outsourcing is a better option. For example, if you are a new startup and not an established company with in-house resources, it's better to outsource.
Also, it's better to outsource if time and cost are an issue. As you already read in this article, outsourcing is much cheaper. For example, a project that may cost you $40 000 if done in-house, may be completed on a budget of $9000 if completed by an outsourcing company.
The projects are completed in a shorter time because of more extensive resources at an outsourcing company. Hiring and training employees to accomplish the task in-house can take a lot of time and delays in project delivery.
You may want to outsource also in the case when you need niche expertise. A lot of outsourcing companies are specialized in specific niches and you don't need to train your staff to complete the assignment.

Options for Outsourcing App Development

You have several options while outsourcing:

  • Hire a freelancer
  • Hire a development company
  • Off-the-shelf solutions
  • Project-based model.

Hire a freelancer
This is one of the most cost-effective methods. If you are limited on time and money, hiring a freelancer may be an option. However, this is good for smaller and specifically designed projects. If you have a more elaborate app to build, hiring several freelancers and building a team from scratch may be a hassle.
Hire a development company
If your app is more complex, you need to hire a development company. This option offers better time to market, better quality, and fewer risks than freelancers.
Checking the portfolio of the company is a must as your app success is in the hands of a group of developers you have less control than if done in-house. Make sure you know their past experience and statistics before you sign the contract.
Off-the-shelf solutions
If you don't need custom software, you may decide to choose from ready-made options. This is a quicker and less expensive option. However, a packaged solution may cost you more over time due to its inefficiencies, and any ongoing maintenance and subscription fees (e.g. SaaS).
Project-based approach
This is a better option for startups with a limited budget. Rather than hiring mobile app development, the outsourcing company provides services for a specific task.

How to Outsource Mobile App Development?

Finding the right outsourcing company is not always easy. You have to do some due diligence before you even approach an agency. Let’s have a look at how to outsource mobile app development in the right way.
Have a clear idea of what you want
First, you need to be clear on your project idea. This takes a lot of research and team brainstorming activities. Your idea is the starting point of your success or failure. Once you are clear of what you want, you can start shortlisting agencies.

Shortlist the agencies
You can find outsourcing companies at B2B directories and freelance websites:

  • B2B directories like Clutch and GoodFirms – this is a place where you can read reviews and portfolios.
  • Freelance websites like Upwork, Guru, and Golance – these are flexible online marketplaces where you can connect with businesses of all sizes.

Choose an agency
You need to know the portfolio of the agencies and the tech stack used. Make sure the team is experienced enough and has experience in the same industry as you. Take care that they are listed in ranking agencies.
Set a budget
Your budget is certainly an issue. However, this should not be the main consideration. You need to find a middle point for the price, quality, and time to deliver. When it comes to the budget, it's very hard for agencies to come up with the exact cost of the project. However, you need to know the price range.
Sign a contract
The contract is the legal document between you and the outsourcing company. Make sure you study all the points as this may cause trouble later in the future.

Outsourcing Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Outsourcing does not come without risks. You might have thought about how you can trust someone located thousands of miles away. And you are right. It takes a lot of planning and management to accomplish a goal with people that you may have even never met. And nothing helps more than being aware of those risks and mitigating them.
The biggest risk is that you will end up with people who don't have enough experience and expertise to pursue your goals in a specific industry. And here is what you can do to mitigate this risk:

  • Learn how long the company is in the market, the average project size, the number of the team members;
  • Know the number of successful projects for the few recent years;
  • Study the company's website;
  • Watch the company's social media activity;
  • Take a look at review platforms such as Clutch;
  • Contact current and past clients and get their feedback;
  • Ask for a code example from past projects.

The Cost to Outsource Mobile App Development

There is no one answer to this question. Outsourcing app development depends on many different factors. The location of the developers is one of them. E.g., developers in Europe may cost you something like $30 to $170 per hour whereas in America they may charge you from $50 to $200.
Once you know the average fee of the developers, you need to know the number of people engaged in the team and the number of hours needed to accomplish the project.
Have a look at this project price example for comparison.
Image description
Normally there are at least 10 people included in a team with the following roles:

  • product owner,
  • project manager,
  • business analyst,
  • 2–3 app developers per platform (Android and iOS),
  • back-end developer,
  • UI/UX designer,
  • and 1-2 QA engineers.


Yes, outsourcing is the right solution especially if you are a new startup or are limited on time and money. However, your outsourcing team is the key to your project success and its choice should be under scrutiny. It's vital that you find the right vendor. To do that you need to check their background as well as get feedback from past clients.

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