Paraphrasing the Bard's masterpiece, one might ask the question: “to outsource or not to outsource?” I have a suspicion – bordering on certainty, however – that you have repeatedly wondered whether the work on a project of creating a website for a client could be made easier with the help of a software development company. And if it still happens that you are not entirely convinced by the idea, provided below are some reasons why you should do it.
Argument #1 | Money
When cooperating with an outsourced team of developers you can obtain a measurable, calculable benefit. The final value is influenced by various factors: the size and complexity level of the project, the programming language, the client's budget, the region, etc. Employing a full-time developer (and/or full-time developers) is a cost that on the one hand reduces the level of income within the project itself, and on the other – continues after the project's completion. While the first part is quite easy to include a financial forecast (launching the recruitment process, the developer's monthly salary, providing the work equipment, etc.), the second is a bit vague. Because how can you be sure that your company will soon be implementing a similar project, for which the newly-employed developer can be used? Or even worse – how long will you have to wait before commencing such a project? Or in the worst-case scenario – will you simply pass on the projects that your developer will not be able to undertake? Risk reduction has a real impact on your company's budget – the more question marks you erase, the more space you will gain for other activities.
Argument #2 | Stable process
Some say that money is not everything. They are right. The financial argument is only a contribution to further, in-depth risk analysis. And what if it turns out that during the project, the knowledge and skills of your new developer are not enough for him to be able to perform his tasks effectively? Sure, in such a situation you can just lay the developer off, but at the same time, there is a great danger that it will cause losing the project, and thus – the client. This is one of the bleakest visions. A disappointed client can then disseminate information about your company's unprofessional approach to business partners, about your inability to manage the process – all existing testimonials will lose their value in this way, and your advertised credibility may be called a cheap sales pitch. Let us consider even a pessimistic assumption that a similar situation may occur in the context of cooperation with a software development company, and the developer does not come up to the expectations set on them. Can you opt-out of this cooperation? Yes, you can, and it does not necessarily have to affect the continuity of the project. The position change has a chance to go smoothly – a software development company keeps reserve developers who can enter the game at any time. It is important to obtain information on their quantity and shared competences at the beginning of an outsourcing-based cooperation. I will just duly add a few words about such a prosaic thing as an unplanned absence of a full-time developer (illness, unforeseeable circumstances). While just one day of absence will probably not slow down the work yet, a week may. So now we are going back to the previous thought: a contract signed with a software development company assures maintaining the continuity of work.
Argument #3 | Software development company vs. freelancers
You might ask me "what about hiring a freelancer?" And I will answer: the only argument in favour of hiring a freelancer instead of a full-time developer is saving the costs of a recruitment process, salary, and position maintenance. The risk of not ensuring the continuity of design works, however, still remains: illness, unforeseeable circumstances, or any other factor suddenly hindering the freelancer's activity. And what if the freelancer receives a more attractive offer and decides to abandon your project overnight? A software development company team is... well, exactly that – a team. By adding a project manager and Scrum methodology to this team, you get a service that is complete in terms of the management. Software development company employees know each other personally, they have been working for various clients for years, they know in which areas they can count on each other. That is how you get a team that you would otherwise have to spend long months to build (if you would even actually consider it).
Argument #4 | Knowledge
In the text above I mentioned the knowledge. One should look at it from yet another perspective. The Drupal development company you contact will probably specialise in a given programming language, or in their portfolio, they will have cases corresponding to the expectations of your client (after all, you will be looking for such specialists). So, we are talking here about numerous projects, years of experience, or even certifications obtained by the developers of the software development company. And if you would like to avoid the risk of your potential client taking you for someone lacking certain knowledge, you can consult the project requirements with a specialised software development company first. As a result, you will receive an accurate estimation of the time and costs needed to complete the web development tasks, and in addition (or maybe above all) you will look in the eyes of a potential client as a trustworthy manager, for whom it is not a problem to ask for some time in order to come back with precise information the next day, the day after tomorrow, in three days. However, the use of consulting can also result in added value – you will have the opportunity to see and evaluate the working methods and the approach to the issue of the developer and/or project manager of the software development company.
Argument #5 | Product
Expanding the topic of consulting, you can offer the client various technological solutions. Provided, of course, that your client does not have any specific requirements in this aspect and remains open to ideas – ergo: they want the best solution, and the tools being used for this purpose are a side issue. So, you are not limited by – for example – a specific programming language, thus the field of activity and the possibilities are greater. Can you also identify the added value here? Of course. After the completion of programming works the software development company can provide a support service for the created website. The client will be provided with support, which can be an important argument for them in the context of security, updates, implementation of additional functionalities. Yes, I am aware that this is an indirect sales argument, but it is an argument, nonetheless. Ultimately, the client will settle the support costs with the software development company, but it was you who presented them with the option that could have significantly contributed to signing the contract with you. So, you not only contribute to the product, but you ensure its further effective operation. If your company is a digital agency, this opportunity can be extremely valuable.
Thanks to cooperating with a software development company you manage your budget effectively, so you can support other areas of your company with the resources saved. During the project implementation, you have the option of scaling: adding more or removing the current resources without having to recruit and train people or involve the human resources department. Therefore, you get the support of an efficient team that you would need several months to build on your own. You can be sure that you provide your client with a stable process in terms of technology and design. Should I keep going, or have I captured your imagination enough and encouraged you to consider the next project in the context of cooperation with a software development company?