You’ve reached a point where you need to hire software developers to achieve key strategic objectives.
What are your options?
You could go right ahead and start the search yourself, if you can live with the costs of maintaining a full-time development team and the timescale required to hire them.
Alternatively, you could bring in some outside help.
Read on for a more detailed explanation of both of these options and what their advantages are over hiring developers yourself.
Extended Team vs Development Outsourcing: What’s the Difference?
Outsourcing software development involves using a third-party service provider to develop software for you, so you don’t need to hire developers full time.
External software development agencies will either have an in-house team of software developers or assemble teams of freelance/remote developers to match the requirements for your project. Alternatively, they might augment their in-house team with remote specialists when required.
You don’t need to outsource all your software development needs if you have some in-house capability already. Whilst you can outsource software development and maintenance on a continuous basis, you could also outsource on a project-by-project basis, or even take a hybrid in-house/outsourced approach.
Creating an extended team involves offshoring some or all of your software development function to a country where hiring costs are lower. With the help of a third-party specialist (often a software development agency), you create a full-time, remote development team that is part of your organisation.
As remote work has never been easier and more accessible thanks to instant communication technologies and AI automation, this is a great way to reduce the cost and effort of extending a full-time team.
Your agency will find developers with the problem solving, technical and communication skills your organisation needs. Whilst you’ll be the ones making any ultimate hiring decisions, you have saved the time and the expense needed to hire developers, process-wise.
Which Option Is Best for You?
Whilst each option works well in a variety of circumstances, there are a couple of factors which should definitely influence your decision one way or the other.
As a first step, ask yourself whether what you want to build justifies maintaining a full-time development team. If it does, both options are viable. If not, outsourcing might be a more sustainable option.
Outsourcing is a particularly good way for companies with no experience in building software products to expand into the area quickly and effectively. If you already have a development team in-house and you want to hire developers to expand it whilst keeping costs down, the extended team model might be a better option.
Why Both Options Save You Time and Money
The immediate savings that both outsourcing and offshoring offer come from the affordability of software development in emerging markets.
Meanwhile, it costs an average salary of $27,000 (£20,000) to hire developers in Ukraine, with senior software engineers earning around $42,000 (£32,000) a year.
Time, Cost, and the UK Skills Shortage
The UK has a serious shortage when it comes to IT skills. Recent Open University data shows a staggering 50% of employers struggle to attract talent in this area.
Software developers are particularly in demand. Stack Overflow’s latest developer survey suggests that in the UK, nearly 90% of developers are already in full-time work (either employment or independent contracting), with just 3.2% responding that they were both unemployed and looking for employment.
This means that to hire developers in the UK, you’ll need to tempt them out of stable, well-paid employment in an industry with generally high levels of job satisfaction (Stack Overflow’s survey has 78% of respondents as neutral through very satisfied about their job, with 66% falling explicitly into positive categories).
To hire developers in this climate, you’ll need to invest in:
- Good salaries, plus considerable benefits packages;
- A significant amount of time spent finding talented candidates that have the right technical skills whilst being a good fit for your organisation.
If your competitive advantage relies on being first to market, or you’re a smaller business without the resources to dedicate to the hiring process, this might not be workable for you.
Outsourcing to a software development agency or using them to build a permanent, remote team gets you fast access to a global pool of specialist talent that would otherwise be inaccessible.
If You Hire Developers, You’ll Need to Create an Infrastructure to Support Them
If software development lies outside of your core competencies, you may also lack the internal infrastructure to make the most of your talent. Do you have project managers with the technical knowledge to manage software projects, for example?
If you hire software developers to create a brand new function within your organisation, you’ll need to rearrange your business to work with this function. This could involve supplementary hires or organisational restructures – which are expensive and slow productivity.
A note: this is true of extended development models too, as whilst you rely on a software agency to make the introductions, you’re still hiring developers on a full-time basis.
It might make complete strategic sense for you to do this. If you see your organisation’s future as centred around software provision, best to lay the foundations now than play catch-up later.
If, however, your app is an extension of your existing service provision (say, you’re an insurance provider and you simply want a mobile app that allows customers to access services easier), this might not be what you want to do. In this case, outsourcing will get you the product you need without the effort of a major company reorganisation.
Extend Your Team with Evolve
Whether you’re looking at an extended development team model or outsourcing software development entirely, Evolve can help.
We’re a UK-based software development agency with access to a huge network of global talent. With over 13 years’ experience creating tailormade solutions for clients across a range of industries, we’re experts in:
- Full-cycle software product development
- Service design
- Cloud migration
- Proof-of-concept (MVP)
We also have the connections to help you build an extended development team that’s perfect for your needs.