Product Development · Mobile Apps

Should we hire engineers or outsource for a mobile app?

Svyatoslav Dormidontov Web-developer

September 21st, 2016

We are operating an online community of creative minds and are thinking about the entire mobile experience. In order to have a masterful execution, should we outsource the development of the mobile app or should we hire a mobile expert to oversee the development and retain the institutional knowledge? Or just have the entire development done in-house?

Himanshu Chudasama Founder CEO at Veloz Techform & Start-n-Excel

September 21st, 2016

Hello Svyatoslav

It all depends on multiple aspects:
If you have specification ready and know what you need (say 90% of it) than go for an Offshore team- it could be India or Eastern Europe.

If your specifications are not ready yet- you should hire an expert to prepare those either inHouse or with a Mobility expert onshore or Offshore. Once you have the specifications ready, you can than do the outsourcing.

Post development completion and launch of project- you can retain the offshore team on specific issue resolution basis thus making sure you retain a team to be available at your peril and requirements.

Do ping me if you need to discuss and understand these modalities. I have been in Outsourcing business for 15 yrs.

Emily Lynch Web Design and Development, Internet Marketing, Entrepreneurial Ideas for startups

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018

You can go with any of these two based on your requirements. If you are going to update the app frequently you need an inhouse team. If you have only limited customization and the business model is already implemented, you can try the ready-made app script solutions. By using both these methods you have to compromise with some of your app features. But there is an alternative solution to this you can hire a developer with a ready-made app script and customize it based on your needs. By this you can develop a faster and more versatile app with intergrating your own new ideas and design. Here you don't have to spend a lot on infrastructure and can get your work done by a third party. So in your case outsourcing for a mobile app will help you. If you are wondering about using the ready-made app script solutions, we can help you.

Donavon Urfalian A.I. Engineer / Entrepreneur / Founder & CEO @ Umazed / Kodo Startups

September 21st, 2016

I think this "mobile first" thing is like "the cloud" thing. How about just create a web app that is responsive, meaning that once the software knows if its a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, it will display the right grid. You can get fancy and have a smart phone, tablet, and desktop/latptop versions, or just do one for desktop/laptop and another for smart phone/tablet. This mobile first is just a bull shit saying, you have a lot less real estate to work with on a mobile, then you do on desktop version, so doing both is twice the work, and cost, but saying "Mobile First" as opposed to what, mobile second? If you want to save time and money, just create a desktop version optimize it, and then down grade it to a mobile experience with an html5, and css3 in whatever framework the developer prefers to use. It is easier to do that, then hire a "mobile expert" and build with minimum features because again there is hardly any room on a small smart phone, and then have to expand from their to a full on website. If you have a serious desginer and developer, then they will know all experiences across the board, not just "mobile first'' which is bull shit term, like cloud computing, as opposed to what? Please look past the hype, and do things cheap, fast, and use industry standard ways, not bull shit hype, and you will be fine. I hope that helps Svyatoslav.

Roger Pavane CRO CMO SVP Sales Growth & Marketing Leader Specializing In Software,Technology & Mobile Achieving Exceptional Results

September 21st, 2016

It is more cost effective to hire an external development team that is expert in your vertical. I refrain from using the term outsourcing as that space is crowded with too many bad players.  You need a software development and engineering partner in the cloud that acts as a part of you team. I'd be more than happy to share with you my thoughts directly if you like.  Roger Pavane 404-939-7718

Zhenya Rozinskiy Partner at Mirigos

September 21st, 2016

Having a remote team might save you money, but having your own engineers will protect the knowledge and give you much more control. Why not do both and build your own team but do it overseas where the pool talent is great and costs are lower. Ping me if you'd like to know more about what works. 

Tony Joseph ' Building technology around processes, rather than building processes around technology '

September 21st, 2016

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself

1. How important is the app to your bottom line
2. What is the expected product roadmap, i.e. do you plan on continously development features into the app?
3. How does your fund allocation look like
4. Do you have experience in outsourcing or mobile app development?

Assuming the mobile app is super important for your revenue and the revenue is sizeable enough, I feel having an inhouse team would be the best approach
with the benefits being

1. Quick turnaround and ease of communication
2. Better transparency
3. Easy to implement changes.

However the downside might be the costs associated with maintaining a full-fledged team.

An outsourced product team is also a good approach considering the costs and the existing experience the vendor may have in similar applications. One of the approaches that has worked for our clients is to develop the entire application using an outsourced development firm and then taking support in-house once you have the app launched and stable. This helps you get a high quality application, minimize ramp-up time and also slowly put together your product team inhouse.

Glad to help.!!


Travis Workman Founder/President at Cognisoft

September 21st, 2016

Svyatoslav what I have found is you can hire it out to an offshore or even near shore/onshore team that specializes in this or you can hire your own. The catch to both of these is you have to know how to manage each type of team. My company helps build and manage IT teams that specialize in the area of expertise you need and we manage them and keep you part of the active development cycles so you know what is going on. This isn't the cheapest way nor the most expensive way to build an application, my clients have found this to be a cost effective way and alleviates their need to manage these teams so they can focus on the work they need to do in order to market and develop the product. I would be happy to talk to you more about my company and what we do and how we do it and can discuss rates with you as well. 

John II Entrepreneur - Technologist - Software Architect. The Code Wookie is focused on helping people get the most out of tech.

September 21st, 2016

First, I recommend having someone who is either a member of your company or hired in a contract CTO / development management capacity who understands the mobile space so you have a check and balance to ensure you are getting what you paid for.

Second, when creating a mobile app, you have the option to "go native" which means to build the app for Android / IOS using their tools. There is also alternatives like React and Cordova where you can build a mobile app that uses web technology, which can reduce the cost. 

If you are still in a heavy discovery mode, I recommend the latter. You can build one app for multiple platforms and make changes much more quickly.

If you would like to know more about my experiences in using these type of tools, please message me.

Dmitri Toubelis

September 22nd, 2016

I'll be bold - if you want to be successful you need to build your own team. The reason behind is that you need to work in small batches, you need to be able change your requirements, you need to be able to scrap your MVPs and start from scratch, you may need to pivot few times before you get your product right. Outsourcing lock you into a contract and you will be deprived from any of these options. It also doesn't matter if you outsource locally or to offshore - it is equally bad. However, hiring remote people that become permanent members of your team is not outsourcing and it is can actually work quite well if done right.

Nisha Tillas CAO - KeenEye Solutions Private Limited

September 21st, 2016

We do developments for many mobile applications with large back offices from mostly Europe and US and almost all our clients are long standing with over 3-4 years working relationship. The main focus should be the reliability of your development partner. This should also significantly cut down almost 50% of the cost which you can re-direct and invest in marketing and improving your product. 

The best way to manage an offshore development partner is to hire an in-house project manager ; this way the developers will be well managed and you will be guaranteed the proper result of your project. A good project management tool is essential for the smooth sailing.