Some businesses set up internal app development teams. But in the long run, outsourcing to the experts works better.
What tasks to outsource and what to keep in-house is a strategic question that every business has to ask itself, and should constantly re-evaluate. The importance of app development in today’s mobile-first world makes it a hot topic in strategy meetings, and many managers are opting to fully outsource just to stay ahead of the innovation curve.
For every outsourcing decision, there is the trade off between your own industry-specific knowledge and the service provider’s expertise in a given activity. While many businesses dive headlong into building their own apps, it is a step that most ultimately regret. In the long run, using professional app development companies results in a better solution and reaps greater rewards. Here’s why.
Stick to what you know
The fundamental axiom of outsourcing is to focus your business activities on doing what you do best. Unless your company makes a living from developing apps, this is not going to be one of your core skills. A well-known lawyer summed it up succinctly when asked by his wife why he wouldn’t fix a leaking tap. “I don’t expect a plumber to walk into a court room and start defending cases. And I’m not going to start doing plumbing.”
Some people assume that keeping a task in-house means saving on costs. However, this is not usually the case. Setting up an in-house team can be costly in terms of recruitment and getting the infrastructure in place.
All that infrastructure development does not only cost money. It also takes time. By the time you are ready to get started, the outside company could already have completed the job.
App development is no small endeavour. Inevitably, it will take management time and attention. For most businesses, this constitutes a distraction that can be ill afforded. By outsourcing to a company whose core business is in developing apps, the day to day running of the overall project can be left in their capable hands.
A better outcome
Last, but certainly not least, think back to the lawyer and his leaking tap. What would have happened if he had done the job himself? He would have wasted money on buying tools and equipment, he would have wasted time going to get it and studying a DIY plumbing guide online and he might well have been distracted from preparing for his next big court case. On top of all that, the end result is unlikely to have been worth all the effort. Chances are, the tap would start leaking again, for the simple reason that he’s not a plumber and even a keen and enthusiastic amateur is not going to produce as good a result as an experienced professional.
Keep the comparison in mind when making the decision on what to outsource and what to keep in-house, whether it is in the domain of app development or other supporting or non-core business activities.