People looking to develop an app for their business, startup, or personal project often ask the question: Should I outsource my work long-distance, or work with local developers?
In fact, you may be asking yourself that very question. The reason it is asked over and over is because it has tremendous implications in regard to the final product: your mobile app. Both outsourced app development and local app development have their pros and cons. When deciding which type of app developer to hire, one must consider both options and how each will either benefit or hurt their company.
In this article, we’ll break down several different areas in which outsourced developers and local developers differ to help you make a better, more informed decision regarding the build of your mobile application. Read on to find out which is the best option for you and your business:
Cost is key
We all know that money drives decisions in the business world and in life. When you’re considering who to hire as your app developer, money is a big influencer on your final decision. In fact, it may be the biggest factor weighting your choice.
In almost every case, outsourcing your app development will be much cheaper than working with a team of local app developers. Most studies have found that you can get app development for a quarter of the price of a local developer when you outsource the job. However, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.
Although local developers may charge more for their app development services, there are many reasons that you might still choose to work with them. A variety of factors like collaboration, communication, and reliability can drive companies to work with local developers even though they are much more expensive.
No hassle vs. collaboration
Another key factor in determining which type of app developer to work with is how much you and your company want to be involved in the process. Whether you don’t know how to make an app or if you have lots of experience, time restraints of running the rest of your business may dictate this decision.
Usually, outsourcing development means that you provide a detailed briefing on what you want and what the app should have at the beginning of the project. Then, the long-distance development team does all the work and returns a product that is finished. Working with a local app developer means that they are close to where your business is. This gives you a chance to work with them throughout the process, providing guidance, see the app come to life as it happens, and ask for changes as you see fit.
Since most outsourced app developers are found and hired online, it can be difficult to know whether they will be reliable or not. Unfortunately, the internet makes it hard to hold them accountable for meeting deadlines and making a high-quality product since you can’t meet with them face-to-face. This may lead to potential problems if an outsourced developer doesn’t turn work in on time or turns in a final product that you’re unhappy with. Generally, working with a local developer is much more reliable since you have in-person access to them should problems arise. Even if there are no problems, working with someone close to you is a more reliable way to get work done than contracting it out over the internet.
The unfortunate reality of outsourcing app development is that most outsourced developers live in other countries. While there’s nothing wrong with working with individuals from other countries, such a gap can cause potential problems. For one, time zones may not line up. When you’re just waking up and downing your first cup of coffee, your developer could be getting ready for bed. This is an obvious communication problem, since there will be a large delay between communications or one party will have to be awake at inconvenient hours to communicate in real time. By contrast, working with a local developer means that you’ll be on the same time schedule and easily accessible to each other during normal work hours.
Aside from time zone differences, language itself can be a major hurdle that you’ll have to jump when working with outsourced developers. Even if they speak English, it’s likely a second language. If they don’t, then you’ll have an almost impossible time working together. After all, clear communication is key to making sure your app is exactly what you need. Again, working with a local developer generally eliminates this problem. Since you’re from the same area, both you and your mobile application developer likely speak the same language. If you do decide to face these hurdles and hire and outsourced developer, be prepared to tackle communication problems upfront, not at the last minute.
The final factor to consider when choosing which type of developer to hire is security. When you work with someone to develop an app for your company, they will likely need access to sensitive company info, files, and data. This can be a huge security threat and a liability. Your intellectual property, financial information, and customer information could all be exchanging hands.
As with reliability, working with an outsourced developer means less control and less peace of mind. If a security breach were to occur, it is often very difficult to hold them responsible since they are working over the internet, possibly in a different country. By working with a local developer, your company’s information should stay more secure. If a problem arises, you can utilize local laws and law enforcement to make things right.
At the end of the day, each company has a unique set of needs. You must take the many pros and cons of each type of app developer into account before choosing who to work with. While the decision may be difficult, aligning the pros and cons of each with your company’s unique needs should help make it a bit easier.