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Software development

How to successfully implement a project with an external IT team

Laurent Naitza
Apr 18, 2023 ∙ 5 mins
Two developers working together at Osedea's office in France.

Whether your project is urgent or not, finding the right digital partner to ensure the development of your project is often a real headache.

First and foremost, let's understand that seeking external assistance is a common practice. It's important to know that outsourcing an IT development team come with many advantages :

Key reasons why companies resort to outsourcing
Key reasons why companies resort to outsourcing

Regardless of the need, whether it's software development, creating a web app, a mobile application, developing a SaaS, etc. it is evident that most SMEs/ETIs and large corporations eventually turn to a service provider to outsource all or certain parts of their development.

But, the question remains; which provider to choose?

1. What type of service provider should I choose for my digital project?

Before directing you towards a digital partner, it is important to consider several factors.

Firstly, if you already have an internal team you can consider reinforcing it with external consultants, a freelancer or an IT service company (ESN/SSII). They will provide additional resources and bring their expertise, enhancing the skills of your current team.

However, if your project is complex and requires specific expertise, it is preferable to engage a specialized digital agency that focuses on developing tailor-made solutions. These agencies have complete teams of digital professionals, such as UX/UI designers, developers, tech leads, QA, DevOps, project managers, etc. They are accustomed to working together and are usually well organized, with work methods developed over time and through past projects. They specialize in the creation and deployment of end-to-end digital platforms.

Consider them as partners: by choosing a digital agency, you benefit from technical expertise, professional experience, and a proven working methodology. They can understand your needs and offer customized solutions to meet your expectations. Moreover, digital agencies are often at the forefront of the latest technologies and can assist you in selecting the most suitable tools and platforms for your project.

As we have just seen, the choice of service provider for your digital project depends on several factors.

2. Which model of digital service outsourcing should I choose?

Now that you know the type of service provider you need, there are several ways to require the services of a digital agency:

  • Offshore

Offshore refers to the practice of hiring a provider from a geographically distant country. India is often favored due to its low cost, so are Romania, Tunisia, and Argentina.

The main (and often the only) reason that might lead you to choose Offshoring is the low cost of labor.

Unfortunately, this outsourcing method comes with many disadvantages :

  • Poor quality of service (lack of documentation, forget about Clean Code, best practices, and unit testing).
  • Language barrier (even if English is often used, communication will still be significantly affected).
  • Time zone differences make coordination difficult.
  • Team changes will slow down development as the provider's functional knowledge will deteriorate (especially if there is no documentation).
  • Data security is not guaranteed (application security).

Furthermore, an application is not just the culmination of an initial project. It lives and evolves over time based on your company's needs and usage. Therefore, you need to consider its future:

  • Do you plan to add new features in the future?
  • Is performance important to you and your audience?
  • Will you have this project taken over by a more local partner or bring it in-house?

In the majority of cases, the low code quality will make it necessary to develop a new platform, resulting in even greater investment. The initial cost savings you thought you would achieve will be far inferior to the final expenses.

  • Nearshore

Much closer than offshore, here we refer to service companies based in neighboring or bordering countries.

In a culturally similar environment, costs are slightly reduced, and consultants are sometimes better supervised than in offshore settings.

With less noticeable time zone differences, management methods can be similar to your own.

However, while costs may be lower than local development and communication simpler than with an offshore company, the code quality is often inferior, and the project's performance and scalability may be affected.

In conclusion, nearshore can be an interesting compromise for companies looking to outsource their digital development services, but it is important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

  • Onshore

Here, we rely on the services of a local partner or one based in your own country. The investment will vary depending on your region/city, and the advantages are more substantial.

Facilitated communication between teams

  • Real protection of intellectual property
  • Qualified personnel
  • A team ready to challenge your ideas and provide advice
  • Assurance of quality and performance
  • A proper project handover process

With all this information, you should be able to determine which approach is best suited for your digital project.

Developing a web and mobile application
Developing a web and mobile application

3. The 10 questions to ask before engaging with a digital service provider:

You have selected one or several digital agencies/service companies and are about to meet them. Not all these companies work the same way and have the same technological expertise. Entrusting a project, whether partially or entirely, can sometimes be daunting, especially when the provider is located on the other side of the world.

During the initial exchanges, you will be challenged, so do the same! Ask them the right questions.

  • What technologies will be used for the project? (Php, Symfony, Javascript, Typescript, Node.js, React, React Native, Python, Angular, Flutter, Java, etc.)
  • Does the provider use the latest versions of these technologies? (Also consider the maintenance of your future platform!)
  • Will you be able to find resources on these technologies easily if you need to hire or change providers?
  • Does the provider have references for projects similar to yours?
  • If you have an internal team, can the provider adhere to your code standards? Clean code?
  • Project management: Do they work with Agile methodologies?
  • What about unit, integration, and functional testing?
  • Are they proficient in DevOps?
  • Can they assist you with the ergonomics of your application (UX/UI Design)?
  • What is the proposed team composition for your project, and how long have the team members been with the company? (Team stability and seniority)
  • Etc...

These questions will help you gather essential information and ensure that the digital service provider aligns with your project requirements and expectations.

With all this information at your disposal, you are now capable of selecting the most suitable approach for your project and choosing the right digital partner.

If you are looking for further insights and guidance in selecting the ideal partner, take a look at our blog article on How to Choose the Right Digital Partner.

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