This is the first post in a series of articles about the ins and outs of hiring a software development firm. From deciding whether outsourcing is right for you, through launching, maintaining and improving your product, we’ll walk you through the process and share some things we’ve learned from years of developing applications for clients ranging from venture-backed start-ups to multi-billion dollar enterprises.

When I founded Blurtt, my first start-up, one of the first - and arguably most critical - decisions I had to make was whether to build a technical team or hire an outside software development firm.

While I didn’t have a background in software engineering, my previous life as a technical services product manager and solution architect at Accenture had given me ample insight into the factors that influence the ‘build or buy’ decision. 

Ultimately, I decided to outsource, and I chose Dialexa; who, you’ve probably surmised, I now work for.

Having witnessed the strengths and weaknesses of outsourced software development as a consultant, a client and now a vendor, I’ve had the opportunity to hone in on the circumstances that make hiring an outside firm a wise choice for all involved, and I thought it would be helpful to share them with you. 

Timing is Critical

Now more than ever, speed-to-market can mean the difference between winning and losing - and finding, hiring and onboarding technical talent takes time. Outsourcing to the right software development firm can mean access to a high quality, highly experienced team that’s used to working together and has a battle-tested process in place on day one.

You’re Vertically Deep, But Horizontally Challenged

Outsourcing software development can be ideal for those with deep knowledge of their industry but little to no in-house design and programming expertise. The best software development firms understand the larger context in which the product will exist and are skilled at translating that awareness, along with their client’s domain expertise into software that provides real value to the client and end users.

You’ve Got the Team, But Not the Bandwidth

Sometimes there are more ideas that are worth persuing than there are internal resources to bring them to life - and in many cases sitting on a high-potential concept until you’ve got the bandwidth to execute isn’t an option.

Agility is a Priority

Lean methodologies such as Agile and Scrum have caught on in part because the rapid pace of innovation demands that many businesses constantly adjust and adapt to the changing technological landscape. For those who find the right development partner, rapid scalability and immediate access to specialized technical expertise can amount to considerable competitive advantage. 

What Do You Think?

What other circumstances make outsourcing software development advisable? Under what circumstances is it a bad idea? 

To learn more about how Dialexa improves the software development process, including our approach to the new product development process, click the image below.

Get Farther Faster with a free copy of our Guide to New Product Development Process for Software

The photo used in this post is a derivative of "Seattle - Cheasty Blvd Street Sign" by Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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