“Value for money” is how people or organisations evaluate purchased services in terms of cost, quality, sustainability, and ROI.
A substantial investment required to hire and maintain an internal team for building bespoke software is one of the biggest hurdles any company can face, especially if it’s a startup or a small firm.
Project outsourcing to an external software house specialised in bespoke software development has proved many times to be a viable solution to this problem. Due to the labour cost arbitrage, you can get much more for your budget than if you choose to build your product internally with local resources.
By itself, the cost of software development means nothing if it is not comparable to the value you receive. Cost differences can only be objectively assessed using the same considerations — comparing apples to apples. For example, two development shops can provide very different solutions, results, performance, and reliability at the same speeds. This is where value comes into play. Thus,
“value for money” implies minimal development costs while getting the most efficiency and results from your partnership with a software house to build and deliver your tailor-made solutions.
Once the project kicks off, the ultimate goal is clear: develop a unique product that will help solve particular user issues. This is why you need to make sure your development team is competent, ready to take on challenges, deliver the highest quality ever, and can work well with your product owner(s) to achieve your business goals.
Your software developers are the backbone of your digital transformation initiatives. They keep the engine running, so choose carefully.
At Evolve, we look at two general criteria:
The right skill set
An effective team consists of people with the right skill sets. Having team members who speak excellent English, understand your ecosystem and business needs and challenges, and are fully focused on your business will undoubtedly lead to increased productivity. You also need to understand what makes the code good because it will come in handy to assess developers’ level of competence.
Here are some questions you can ask to evaluate them:
- What experience does each team member have?
- How do you ensure that the code they write is of the highest possible quality?
- Do your team members receive regular training on the latest technology?
- Do senior architects review the code generated by their less experienced colleagues?
- How do your developers validate the code they write?
- How do you manage communication between client’s in-house and extended teams?
The recipe for achieving a goal does not only depend on the technical skills of your team.
Effective collaboration also requires a shared culture.
This means that your dedicated team hosted by a third-party software house shares the same product vision and core values as your in-house team. For this to happen,
you need to inject your corporate DNA to your extended team, i.e., encourage regular knowledge-sharing between both teams, do informal team building activities (both virtual and offline), fully immerse your offshore team into your corporate environment (e.g., make them use tools and systems you use internally within your organisation), etc.
Also, make sure you pay close attention to your partner’s standards for transparency and communication, responsiveness and timing, continual improvement, management style, and so on.
In addition to their background, expertise and portfolio, select a country-specific dev shop with attributes that are important to you. Outsourcing to countries with excellent STEM education systems and a good pool of English speaking tech talent ensures that the people you work with can easily adapt to your business expectations and deliver on time and budget.
This is what makes your investment payback. All of these best programming and management techniques keep everything running smoothly.
You can also get more for your bespoke software development investment by using value-added services offered by software houses like Evolve – from service design to software testing to AWS monitoring to Cloud migration and beyond to help you deliver your product faster, safer, and better.
Effectiveness is also evident when your team members are proactive and come up with fresh ideas. It is the corporate culture that brings more pleasure to your software dev talent and therefore to you.
This is all that brings you the most bang for your buck in exchange for a given input.
Once you understand all of this and find a sweet spot with a software house you trust, you should remember one more thing: outsourcing is not just about handing over your project to the selected dev shop. In you opt for a dedicated development team model, you should treat your external team as your in-house team.
Read this HackerNoon interview with our MD Philippe Peron about why you should treat your dedicated software team as a product!
You will have to collaborate with them as actively as with the internal team to reap off good benefits and get the value for money.
This means that you continue to be primarily responsible for the success or failure of your software project.
The good news is that working closely with the right bespoke software provider and an external team can bring significant benefits.
Benefits of partnering with a dedicated dev shop for bespoke product development
The benefits include but aren’t limited to:
- Faster time to hire and time to market,
- Access to mature and senior software dev talent (that you may not be able to afford in the UK/USA due to their high costs and tough competition in the local labour market),
- Software development costs optimisation, and more.
The hidden costs of choosing the wrong software house
Partnering with a software company that falls short of the above expectations can lead to two things:
First, you lose the opportunity to get the most out of your investment. Second, you face significant overheads at later stages of your SDLC. They may be hidden initially, but they can seriously damage your project in the long run.
These overheads can happen due to:
Cost of re-writing low-quality code
Dealing with bad code can be an expensive problem because it is difficult to maintain, customise, and understand. Let’s say one of your dedicated developers leaves or you fire a poorly performing team member and find a replacement as your project is halfway through. The new team member takes on a complex codebase which quality can be so low that re-writing it from scratch deems the only working solution.
Real-life Case Story
Offerd is a UK-based startup that is building an innovative digital recruitment platform. Their Founder Jamie Beaumont wasted more than £200,000 working with the two dev shops that initially chose the wrong architecture and tech stack, were non-transparent and delivered very low-quality code.
Read more about how Evolve breathed new life into Jamie's product, fixed the code issues and helped Offerd onboard the first paying customers.
Cost of missed deadlines
Poor code and a generally inefficient and disorganised project can end up with many missed deadlines, and it can also be expensive. We’re talking about launch dates that need to be rescheduled, sales and marketing teams that need to rethink their strategies due to delays, inability to keep up with competitors, etc. To say that this could hurt your business is to say nothing.
Cost of high attrition
The company also has to bear the costs when the developers leave. Hiring, onboarding and training new employees will incur additional costs. Not to mention the time you will have to spend training a new team member, plus the cost of disrupting your project. While this won’t be such a big deal if you’re working with software development vendors (as discussed earlier), it can still cause delays in your project if your outsourcing partner can’t keep their developers happy and doesn’t have a vast IT pool to source from.
How Evolve Makes a Difference
We are more than just a software house! We guide brands throughout their software development journey, from ideation to release, support, and scale-up.
We’re well-known in Leicester and beyond as a problem solver and a tech partner focused on building long-term strategic relationships with every customer we onboard.
Since 2007, we’ve worked on hundreds of projects using different tech stacks, architecture types, programming languages, and frameworks. With such extensive experience, we are confident that we can analyse and fix nearly any software problems effectively.
We are flexible
You can slow down. Or go faster. Or decide for software support. It all depends on you. As long as we maintain seamless communication, the Evolve team and your organisation should be able to address any issue.
We have a pool of mature talents to source from
We can say that we employ the best of the best, but nearly any other software house makes such statements today. So we stake on the fact that we do everything possible to ensure that our people stay with us. We offer them competitive salaries, flexible working conditions, whatever tools they need, incentives to learn the latest cutting edge technology, amazing perks, projects they enjoy working on, and more.
We boast high retention rates and a high happiness index in the office through a meticulous process of screening, hiring and retaining great people. We take care of them and know that they are happy because they recommend their friends to work with us. In fact, almost one-third of our new hires are employee referrals. We have created (and continue to develop) a strong corporate culture. Our flat management style and open-door policy are keys to clear communication between teams and founders.
We are not the jack of all trades, but what we do, we do perfectly well!
Evolve specialises in expanding internal software teams nearshore or building ones from scratch in our Ukraine-based R&D Centre. When you partner with us, there’s no hidden agenda, as you know the exact salary of each member on your extended team and what our management fee is composed of.
We value transparency at all levels and reject mediocrity. Let us know if you need any help with your software development project!