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How do I find the best outsourcing company for mobile app development?

#1

Hello,

All raywenderlich.com readers here I have shared one question for “How can I find best mobile application development company?”

#3

You can try to search in google for the best mobile application companies, and you will get a bunch of results. Lots of outsourcing out there.

#8

Many organizations opt to outsource mobile app development rather than using an in-house team. As we discussed in our post on hiring an app development firm vs. using an internal development team, the reasons for this vary, but the decision is made to use a third-party. But even after the decision to hire an external team is made, there are still many options available when it comes to mobile app outsourcing.

This is a guide for companies that want to outsource mobile app development. It will go over the different routes available, the specific considerations involved with each avenue, and the associated pros and cons. At the end of this article, you will be able to make a more informed decision on which mobile app outsourcing option best aligns with your needs.

Learn More: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mobile App?

The Options For Outsourcing Mobile App Development
Companies that choose to outsource mobile app development will find during the vendor selection process that there are many options available to them. Below are the most common:

Boutique Mobile App Development Firms
Firms in this category, like Clearbridge Mobile, focus specifically on mobile app development rather than offering it as an ancillary service. These firms typically:

Employ an agile development methodology
Emphasize product strategy and UX/UI design
Have strong technical capabilities and specialized platform knowledge

Even within this category, you will find a broad range in quality. Aspects including specific technical expertise, experience, proven ability to deliver, project complexity, team size and more will vary significantly.

Depending on the needs of your business and the requirements of your project, you may want to research aspects like the vendor’s past clients and projects; their experience with specific technologies or features similar to what you need developed; team size and location; and the complexity of projects that they have delivered.

Recommended Reading: An Inside Look at the Mobile App Development Process

Big App Development Firms
These firms are typically branches of large multinationals – think IBM or Accenture. The majority of technology and software companies offer mobile app development as a secondary service to other core business functions. Their strengths include:

Consultation and product strategy
Strong technical expertise and development capabilities
Often employ an agile development methodology (though not always)

These firms, while highly capable, have disadvantages which may include:

Lack of responsiveness and flexibility needed to meet client needs
Inability to ramp-up quickly, which is a key consideration for companies with time-sensitive projects
Less attentiveness to clients than you would find with smaller firms

The big development firms also typically charge the most, which is another factor companies will want to consider when outsourcing app development to a third party.

Independent Developers

Mobile is in high demand, and there are plenty of talented developers out there. Independent developers typically have strong technical skills, and many of them even work at firms that build mobile products and freelance as a side job. They are typically significantly cheaper than alternative options, with the exception of offshore firms.

However, if you outsource app development to an independent developer, you will typically find gaps that can affect the overall quality of your product, including:

UX/UI design competency
Product strategy/discovery
User and market research
Platform specialization (typically, but not always, independent developers will specialize in only one platform like iOS or Android)
Ability to leverage knowledge/experience of a team to fill knowledge gaps

Offshore Firms
The decision to outsource mobile app development to an offshore firm is generally made due to budgetary constraints. These firms are significantly cheaper; however, there are many caveats that come with the cost savings. Offshore firms tend to fall short in a number of significant areas, including:

  • Technological and design standards
  • Overall quality of work
  • Ability to actually deliver
  • Adequate security and IP protections
  • Cultural understanding to successfully build for target markets outside of their region
  • Responsiveness/communication due to large time differences

Off-the-shelf Solutions

Opting for an off-the-shelf solution is quite a bit different than any of the options we’ve mentioned so far, and typically isn’t grouped in with mobile app outsourcing per se. These aren’t custom solutions, but rather out-of-the-box platforms that can sometimes be white-labeled. E-commerce is a great example of an area where off-the-shelf solutions have seen widespread use. And they do come with a number of advantages, such as:

  • Feature-richness
  • Quick deployment
  • Typically lower upfront costs compared to custom app development
  • Built-in maintenance, or ability to purchase maintenance

However, opting for an off-the-shelf solution for your mobile app outsourcing needs also comes with a number of downsides, which include: