'Key points a business should consider before outsourcing software development' post illustration

Key points a business should consider before outsourcing software development


The business enterprise can never be successful without you, a business owner. It’s impossible to exclude yourself from the process, delegate the key business decisions, and expect good results. To make software a part of your business, you might think that you need to diversify your expertise and learn at least high-level concepts of a rather technical and deep field such as software development.

The challenge is, you quickly find out that there are many levels to developing software: business analysis, project management, software design. And they all focus on specific elements of the process, leaving out what you should know as a business owner before starting developing your own software product.

#1: Clear Objective

This point seems obvious, but there are still many startup businesses, and sometimes established enterprises, that are trying to initiate software development without setting a clear objective. The root of this problem is that very often a product description is misinterpreted as a product objective.

An objective defines the intention of your product

The very first instinct is to focus on concrete software features, on what it does, as people intuitively feel they are solving specific problems : “I want my users to be able to … in the app that works like …”. Instead, the main focus must be on why there might be a need for a software solution in the first place, and what it should achieve for your business in general: “I want to provide … service for people using … to enable them …”.

What do I want my business to achieve?

The answer to this question will provide guidance when you make future business decisions about your software. A good software development provider always begins by asking about your end goal – it is essential to know in order to provide you with the most effective product design while also taking into account other derived business requirements.

#2: Business First

A business, at its core, is always about people interacting with other people. A software product might take a key role in automating and streamlining certain aspects of it, but would never be able to completely replace you or your team.

A software solution is a tool that only enhances your business

Always think about your business operation first, and do not get caught up in the software solution details, even if the plan is to eventually create an entirely digital service. Ask yourself the usual questions, for instance, if you are planning a B2C business: what is my market, who are my competitors, and how do I win the market over?

A business process always comes first

You are not required to think through software implementation details, this can be done by your provider. At the same time, your general business process description will play a key part in the business analysis stage, and help to define concrete requirements, design specific usage scenarios, and identify software features.

#3: Continuous Development

Let’s think for a second about an average business. Every day there are new challenges and new opportunities: markets fluctuate, trends change, and demands evolve. Every new day requires business teams to adapt, adjust their processes, and undertake new tasks to stay effective.

Businesses and business processes always change

Now let’s think about software, a tool deeply integrated into your business. Is it really possible to write it once and never change? This makes software development different from buying a car or building a house, it never truly ends as long as your business works and your software solution remains an important part of it.

Software also always changes

In practical terms, this means that your software product will go through phases of active development every time your business changes and will require some continuous maintenance. Employing software as a part of your business in this regard is no different from hiring an employee, a very capable and efficient employee, who still needs to be paid (maintained), managed (remember, not everything can be automated), and trained (new product features). Your provider should be able to help you with the majority of these tasks, operating as an integral part of your business.

#4: Flexible Approach

As a rather technical field, software development is sometimes not very intuitive as to the amount of effort required to implement certain features. Using an appropriate technology stack, or reusing open source solutions, can significantly reduce development time on seemingly complex functionality. On the other hand, some relatively simple, but less common tasks, can be extremely time consuming.

Software development has a complex difficulty pattern

That's why it’s very important to focus on achieving your final product goals rather than on specific implementations. Software development tools are designed in a way that makes certain implementation paths easier than others. By taking this into account and having the flexibility to freely make tactical decisions, you and your development team can save a great deal of effort on implementing the product.

Expect your team to suggest the best development path

Clearly state your goals and ask your provider how they can be achieved. At every stage of project development, business analysts and user experience designers will work very closely with software engineers to plan solutions that fully meet your objectives, and, at the same time, are cost-efficient to implement and maintain.

#5: Time Investment

Imagine you are trying out a new business strategy. You can engage in its implementation yourself or delegate to a trusted employee, either way you probably allocate sufficient resources to be sure that it has the proper attention.

New business activities require attention and time

This remains the case if you hire a software development provider. They fully manage the development workflow, and do their best to understand your business needs and implement the software product in a way that avoids a majority of technical and even business pitfalls. But it is essential for you or your representative to be a part of the process and allocate time every week to review the results, provide feedback, and communicate the details and priorities of your business.

You are essential to the software development

A capable provider usually holds your hand throughout the process: your immediate objectives are analyzed by business analysts who design concrete product features, meanwhile a project manager organizes the development team to implement these features within your time and budget constraints. This process is repeated as a cycle, iteratively fleshing out your solution, adopting and scaling it to any new demands.

Green Light Ahead?

Employing software into your business requires the same approach as any new business activity – you are not required to understand the intricacies of software development, only apply common business sense.

It’s also important to understand that software development is a continuous process that supports your business operation, it requires a certain amount of attention from you or your team, but, at the same time, can be effectively handled by a software development provider.

A good provider should work together with you at a strategic level, targeting your business objectives, enhancing your ideas through technical expertise and in-depth research, operating as an integral part of your team, and continuously supporting a software side of your business.

If you're looking for a developer or considering starting a new project,
we are always ready to help!