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In-House or Remote Development Teams: Which Model Makes Sense for You?



No matter what kind of software product you’re looking to create, turning a basic concept into a reality will require the support of a software development team. However, many businesses lack the basic infrastructure to realize their in-goals. Larger organizations may bite the bullet and absorb the cost of employing an in-house team. For smaller companies, this isn’t cost-effective, with an IT outsourcing approach being the only way to progress. However, both models have their advantages and drawbacks. Below, we break down the pros and cons of each to help you make your mind up.

The Benefits of In-House Development Teams

Provided you can cover the expense, hiring an in-house development team is a good idea. An established team working within your organization will be able to commit to your development project fully. Once completed the onboarding, the in-house team will also align with your organizational structure and business principles. It is likely to increase motivation to realize your software development projects.

With an in-house team, you also benefit from communicating directly with all specialists within that team. There’s no chance of misunderstood things in translation over email exchanges or a phone line. While IT outsourcing models usually involve a dedicated manager, you can take charge of development yourself.

Finally, an in-house team can sometimes prove to be more efficient. If an unforeseen issue arises, your teams can respond in a rapid time to resolve the problem. By maintaining direct oversight of your in-house teams, you can ensure efficient use of time and resources. Furthermore, it’s far easier to make minor changes to project direction when using an in-house development team.

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The Downsides of In-House Development Teams

Generally speaking, in-house development teams are expensive. You will have to meet the salary demands of local talent, but you’ll also need to retain staff once it completes a project. Negotiating short-term contracts can help control costs, but you may encounter a scenario where you require ongoing input from developers after they achieve main project deadlines.

Software developers are also in high demand. You may find it incredibly difficult to acquire the right talent for your projects at affordable rates. Even if you do manage to put together a first-rate team, it’s always possible that your recent acquisitions will depart midway through a project timeline to take advantage of a better offer.


The Benefits of Outsourcing

For many companies outsourcing development projects to external providers is a cost-effective alternative. One of the main benefits of this approach is significantly lower costs. If you’re outsourcing work to a foreign country with lower living costs, the salary expectations of a skilled developer are likely to be marginal compared to local talent.

Outsourcing can also take the hassle out of recruitment. It is imperative if you’re relatively inexperienced with the development jobs marketplace. An external provider will have access to a vast network of skilled professionals, allowing them to put together a multi-disciplinary development team for you in days or weeks. More importantly, you benefit from maximum flexibility. If project requirements change, you can adjust team line-ups accordingly without worrying about breaking contractual obligations.


The Downsides of Outsourcing

One possible issue with outsourcing development projects is an increased security risk. However, you can negate this by partnering with a provider with an established reputation. Regardless of how experienced an external provider might be, make sure you perform due diligence. Non-disclosure agreements should also form the foundation of any agreement with a third-party provider.

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Outsourcing can also lead to some issues when it comes to communication. If you opt to use remote teams in foreign countries, language barriers can occasionally confuse you. You may also have to deal with workflow clashes due to time zone differences.


Making the Right Choice

In-house teams have long been considered best practices for development projects. Having an in-house team allows for more direct lines of communication, but getting maximum value requires considerable investment. One of the biggest hindrances to in-house teams are the costs involved. Maintaining an in-house team is prohibitively expensive for many small and midsize businesses, while larger organizations may also struggle to justify ongoing costs after achieving a project.

Generally speaking, outsourcing to external teams is a more affordable and flexible approach. Multi-disciplinary teams can adapt to meet changing project requirements. At the same time, an experienced third-party vendor will be able to secure you the best possible talent in any given field.

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