A great deal of innovative ideas is nowadays realized through the development of mobile apps. Most of the latter are developed for the Google Android ecosystem and its associated platform, which is one of the two most prominent platforms for mobile development. For many entrepreneurs the development of an Android mobile app is the main vehicle for realizing their product or for offering their services. Likewise, numerous enterprises develop and launch mobile apps that support their day-to-day business activities. As a result, there is a huge demand for developing novel, robust and user-friendly mobile applications for the Android platform, including demand from enterprises that lack the knowhow and expertise to build high quality applications. In this context, a large number of organizations are investing time and effort in developing enterprise class mobile applications. Alternatively, they are also offered with the option of outsourcing their Android mobile applications development tasks.
Outsourcing involves hiring an offshore company to develop a mobile app that fulfills a set of business and technical requirements. In this way enterprises can benefit from world class Android development expertise, while saving time and money. Hence, offshore development makes perfect sense, especially for enterprises that lack technical expertise for developing Android apps.
Benefits of Off-Shore Android Development
Nowadays a proliferating number of companies, ranging from high-tech startup to innovative large enterprises, benefit from offshore Android development. The most prominent benefits include:
- Effective Implementation based on World Class Expertise: As already outlined, offshore Android development allows companies to collaborate with world class experts in the Android platform. This guarantees effective implementation and decouples enterprises from the need to delve into low-level details of mobile apps development. In recent years, outsourcing is increasingly about access to world class talent, rather than access to lower cost resources for developing mobile apps.
- Time Savings and Faster time to Market: Outsourcing the development tasks to experts can accelerate the development of mobile apps. Experts make less mistakes and have higher productivity, which can also boost the time to market for the application.
- Better Business Focus: Several Android apps are vehicles for achieving wider business goals. This is for example the case with several multi-sided marketplaces, where the innovation lies in the operational model and the customer service rather than in the technical development of the mobile app. By outsourcing the software development tasks, enterprises can better focus on their business goals and business tasks like marketing, sales, customer service, business expansion and more. That’s another important benefit of offshore Android development.
- Round the Clock Service: Most offshore development companies offer support for maintaining, operating and upgrading the app on a 24X7 basis. Access to such support might be vital for meeting crucial business goals. Therefore, it’s also one of the reasons why enterprises resort to offshore Android development.
- High Quality Results and Development Excellence: Android development companies tend to use the most up to date technologies that lead to higher productivity, improved performance and top-quality results. This is not always the case with in-house Android development teams. As a result, companies tend to exploit offshore development in most cases where exceptional quality is a primary concern.
Tips and Best Practices
The benefits of offshore Android development have given rise to a vibrant market for Android development, which includes hundreds of competent enterprises. In this landscape, companies may have hard times finding the right partner for their Android development tasks. Nevertheless, there are some best practices and recommendations that can help you in this discovery, including:
- Accessing and Reviewing the Portfolios of Candidate Partners: A first and prerequisite step towards selecting an offshore partner is to view the portfolio of the candidates. The portfolio of a company is indicative of its expertise, competencies and experience in similar projects. A closer look at the portfolio can provide you with a lot of information about a company’s quality and limitations. It simply provides insights on its core competencies, but also on areas where it is not as strong.
- Limiting your list based on application area and area of expertise: In most cases companies do not seek an Android development expert in general. Rather, they seek an expert for their development tasks at hand. Hence, it makes sense to identify the companies that excel in the target application area. There are offshore development companies that emphasize in different kinds of applications such as gaming apps, e-commerce apps, social networking apps and infotainment apps. Make sure that you prioritize companies with track record and expertise in the targeted application area.
- Ensure easy and frequent Communications: Communication between the offshore company and the business owner of the development task is a critical factor for the success of the outsourcing activity. Thus, it’s important to select a partner that offers many and frequent communication options through different channels such as telephone lines, e-mail and chat services. These channels should ideally be operational 24×7, while offering special fast track options in case of emergencies.
- Opt for Long Terms Partners rather than Opportunistic Agreements: The partner to be selected should be a contracted with a long-term outlook, covering the development, the maintenance and the implementation of updates to the application. Long term partnerships provide a foundation for developing great teams and gradually improving the results of the collaboration. That’s better than cost-driven opportunistic agreements that provide short term benefits only.
- Cost of Services: In addition to evaluating quality and capacity of the offshore company, it’s always crucial to consider the cost of the services, as the one of the objectives of the selection could be to optimize value for money. In this respect, one has to make sure that the offshore development services are provided at a fair price.
- Develop a Scoring Formula: Most of the above listed criteria (e.g., quality, cost, communication channels) are important for the final decision. Nevertheless, they weight differently to different people and decision makers. Therefore, it is recommended to develop a weighted formula by assigning proper weight to each criterion i.e. weights reflecting the relevant importance of the various criteria. Such a formula can then be used to score and compare the alternative solutions.
Overall, there are distinct and proven benefits to hiring an offshore development company for your mobile apps. However, the selection of the proper partner is not always easy and straightforward. The above-listed tips can help you in avoiding common pitfalls and mistakes in the selection process.