June 12, 2018 Hangry

Outsourcing vs. Insourcing – App Development

The idea for this blog post on outsourcing vs. insourcing came last week when our team discussed the ability for clients to manually add promo codes from our dashboard.

It started out as a simple idea that we’d hoped to revisit the following week. Instead, our founder, Fabian, came to work on Monday with a fully functioning promo code feature that he couldn’t wait to share with us.

This is why you don’t outsource,” our software developer joked.

But his statement, while passive, holds true and brings us to our blog topic today.

You need someone who can bridge the ‘vision’ and the ‘technical’ process Fabian begins.

A simple google search of outsourcing vs. in-house coding will provide you with countless pages of technical information as to why outsourcing is not ideal. Here are a few examples we find to be the most relevant:

Expectation Discrepancy

When outsourcing, you are always at risk of the result not being what you’d hoped for, especially when it comes to client expectations. In addition, there is the issue of communication, and how the transfer of information is interpreted. The development team you’re working with might not gather information clearly enough, creating a problem with the end result that you, yourself, won’t be able to fix.

No Flexibility

Tech start-ups are always coming up with fresh, innovative ideas. When choosing to outsource, your opportunity to add new ideas on the fly, or even add client-requested features quickly diminishes. In addition, the app world is STRICT. Requirements are constantly changing, and frequent updates are necessary. Typically, the third party will complete a project based on the brokered agreement, and wanting to make new additions will require a renegotiation of the contract. This situation is not ideal for a fast-paced environment like app development.

Simply, outsourcing is not going to provide you with the foundation you need to grow as a company.

“Outsourcing tech is like building a house on the side of a mountain, held up by some sticks. You can sleep there a few nights, but the moment you have a party, it’s going to collapse and crash down the mountain,” Fabian explains.

If you start off with a weak foundation, your company will not be able to grow. Often, outsourcing will work in the beta environment, but once it goes live, you’re almost always going to find bugs. This brings us back to our ‘house on the mountain’ metaphor; if your foundation crumbles, as a company you cannot rebuild it alone. The pieces will be unfamiliar to you, and no guide will be provided on how to correct it. In rare instances, some companies raise enough money so that if these issues arise, they can just pay to patch up the foundation. But you’re never really working with something that is truly yours.

Fabian continues, “Hangry’s platform is built on a rock solid foundation that was created in-house, and is monitored 24/7. In addition, we aren’t paying out-of-pocket for every feature we want to add to our platform. In the simplest of terms, I could come up with a feature idea on an airplane, take out my laptop, and have the feature working before the plane lands.”

It may have taken us longer, but Hangry can say it prides itself on a top-notch product because our founder is so close to it. Had we outsourced, the product would not be as stable as it is now. At the end of the day, outsourcing is going to provide you with a foundation of sticks to hold up your house. But when your foundation crumbles, and the house starts crashing down the mountain; it’s your house that’s crashing, not theirs.

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