How to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

If you’re thinking about outsourcing your mobile app development, you’re not the only one. More and more businesses are looking for a way to redistribute their app development responsibilities versus keeping them in-house.

According to Statista, the global outsourcing market was worth $92.5 million back in 2019.

Today, things are different.

Statista’s latest study has shown the app outsourcing sector is on track to reach US$108,748.6m in revenue by the end of 2021.

Why are More Businesses Interested in Outsourcing their Development Instead of Keeping it In-House?


There are lots of reasons, but here a couple of obvious ones:

  1. The job market is oversaturated for developers. Most decent developers have a lot of options to choose from at all times. The market is flooded with great offers so stimulating a great developer to choose your company over your competitor’s requires a lot of work.

In addition to offering developers great salaries, unique benefits, and flexibility - you also have to provide them with a greater sense of purpose.

Most companies lack the capacity to do that. They don’t have the necessary infrastructure to keep high-level developers happy and engaged at all times.

  1. Flexibility and cost-savings. It’s a lot cheaper to hire an outsourcing company than to build a team in-house. As we shared in one of our previous articles on this topic - by deciding to work with an outsourcing company, businesses immediately reduce workload and overhead expenses (e.g. you can lessen the burden of some particular tasks on your in-house team and outsource them, or you can outsource the entire development and eliminate expenses such as taxes, employee healthcare, onboarding, IT equipment, etc.).

In addition to that, they save time and money on recruitment (outsource to proven IT experts directly). You don’t have to worry about such things as talent shortage and getting access to dedicated software development teams - the outsourcing company is directly responsible for everything that has to do with the execution of a plan you agree upon.

  1. Access to highly skilled employees from whom in-house employees may learn from. When you work with a specialized outsourcing company, you are given a direct line of communication with people who have lots of experience doing various projects.

This gives your team a unique chance to pick up new skills as they collaborate with the other team. Outsourcing companies are great for picking up neat tricks, learning about new technologies, and figuring out what are the latest best practices in development.

Companies are Going to Outsource Even More Development Work in The Near Future

The mobile app development industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today. The main reason behind this impressive growth has obviously a lot to do with the increase in usability and importance of mobile devices. Millions of people today use handheld devices for a variety of different reasons. According to Statista, there are currently 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world and two-thirds of them spend 90% of their time in mobile apps.

Tapping into this rich consumer app market is appealing to savvy entrepreneurs. Currently, there’s a huge demand for a wide variety of applications, especially those that keep track of time, help employees communicate with each other and within and outside of office walls.

Even though the market is full of great products, there’s still room for more. People are hungry for more and better apps!

If you think about your company as a collective that has aspirations to lead the market, developing a tremendous variety of mobile apps should be one of your main business objectives. Even within the same organization, there can be a wide set of mobile apps targeted at different customer types, or even various segments of internal users.

The Nuts and Bolts of Working with an Outsourcing Company


Even though most businesses are sold on the idea of building mobile apps, creating great and exciting mobile solutions is never an easy task.

Even with the support of a great outsource team, there needs to be a lot of proper planning, testing, and monitoring of all activities.

We at Share IT have been in this game for a long time and we know all the ins and outs of working as an external partner for companies that are looking to build great mobile apps.

Here’s our step-by-step plan on how to outsource app development to receive the highest level and quality of service:

1. Outline the Project and Define What You Specifically Need

This is the most important step of this process. When they reach to work with outsourcing companies, most customers don’t have a firm grasp of what they actually need. They just have a rough idea of what they like, but once we dig into the specifics, a lot of questions don’t get answered.

This is a major problem because the customer is letting the outsourcing company figure out what they need and how to execute the project. In some cases, this could turn out great, but in most cases - the customer ends up with a product that they don’t need.

That’s why, before you reach out to anyone asking for help, you should make sure that the project you’re looking to build makes sense from a business perspective. So, to justify the existence of your app, start with the business plan first.

Preparing a business plan will help you analyze your needs, evaluate your possibilities, and understand what you expect from your outsourcing app development vendor.

Once you justify the logic and business value of your project, go a step further and define the requirements. In this part of the process, you should think about simple things and provide answers to the following questions:

  • For which platform are we building this app and why?
  • What tech will we use to execute this idea?
  • What are the core functionalities that this app needs to have from day 1?
  • What features shall we include in the MVP?

2. Make a List of Outsourcing Companies that You Want to Work on This Project and Pick the Best One

Once you’re done with the specs, it’s time to move to phase two: finding the team to build the product for you.

As you probably know if you have ever worked with any type of external agency or even a freelancer - It’s always difficult to find and hire the best outsourcing app development vendor. You have to keep your eyes wide open and focus on all the details to make sure that you have chosen the right partner for the job.

We at Share IT have a little cheat sheet you could use to figure out which company / freelancer you should hire:

  • Start looking for help within your network. If we focus back on the data that was shared in the first half of this article, chances are that one or more of your business associates or people within your business network have collaborated with an outsourcing company on a project similar to yours. Reach out to them and ask for recommendations. Look at the work that has been done for them and have a chat regarding how happy they were with the service.

  • Do some digging on social media. Look for companies that invest in marketing and do a good job of demonstrating their expertise. Review the testimonials of their customers, read case studies, and see how well they engage with their audience. This will tell you how much the company values its online reputation and how much effort they invest in providing their customers with a satisfying experience.

  • Use the search engine to make sure that the company you choose can back up what they preach at sales meetings. If you’re planning to build an Internet of Things product, google “best IoT app development companies.” If you’re looking to create a logistics solution, search for “logistics software development companies.” By following this approach, you can make sure your technology partner has the needed skills and can help you build the best product on the market.

3. Establish a Healthy Communication Style with The Outsourcing Company’s Account Managers


Building the right report is crucial for the success of your project. If you want to see your plan properly executed, you need to establish a healthy style of communication with people who are responsible for the execution of your project.

The first thing you should do is let the person in charge of your project set up ground rules. We advise you that you treat your project manager as a strategic partner and not just someone who chases deadlines for you and reports on progress.

Since the point person you get will probably be someone with a lot of experience in the field, someone who has a senior position within the company - it’s in your best interest to listen to that person and try to extract his or her opinion on literally everything regarding the execution of your project.

Let that person know that you’re available for questions. The more questions the account manager asks, the more they’ll know what you envisioned and how to execute your wishes.

Another thing - avoid one-sided communication. Be ready to not just answer questions but to ask questions and dispute things as well. Prepare a list of questions that may affect your choice of contractor and don’t hesitate to ask them all.

Also, don’t shy away from pushing back. Yes, you’re looking for help from the expert that runs your account, but you should really put yourself in a submissive position. Challenge every decision you don’t agree with or understand and ask for additional context. Make the team know that you’re not someone who doesn’t care about how the process is done. The right contractor will understand your interest and be willing to actually work with you on finding the best solution.

4. Think about the Pricing Strategy and Choose the One that Works Best for You

Once you’ve chosen an outsourcing company, aligned on expectations, and established how you plan to collaborate, it’s time to focus on the final pieces of the puzzle and that’s pricing.

When it comes to building a mobile app, there are usually two pricing models to choose from:

  • Waterfall - this methodology is usually applied when you have a fixed price and strict deadlines. With waterfall, you know exactly what the end product should look like and develop it step by step without retrospectives or significant changes.

  • Agile - a methodology that allows more flexibility. Agile is all about chopping the project into sprints. This way, developers get to focus on smaller chunks of the product and hit small, but relevant milestones week after week. The cool thing about this approach is that it involves a lot of testing. The team constantly tests, measures, and improves the product to better fit the market needs. As a result, the final product might be quite different from the initial idea, but it will meet end users’ expectations.

So Which One is Better?

It depends on what your expectations are and how you want to be billed. Using agile has its benefits if you’re interested in seeing how good your vendor really is. The sprints will prove the expertise and devotion of your vendor. If you notice that your partnership isn’t working, it’s better to find another company to work with. After all, the success of your business is at stake.

However, choosing one methodology over the other is never simple so we at Share IT have decided to incorporate the best of both worlds and operate on two different models:

  1. Time & materials
  2. Fixed prices

At Share IT, we use agile and non-agile methodologies. We even combine different methodologies if we see your project could benefit from it. Also, we work in full compliance with GDPR.

Here’s what we’re talking about:


The reasoning behind this: giving our customers full flexibility and enabling them to work in a way that makes them feel good about trusting us with the work.

There are thousands of outsourcing companies in the world, all of them have their way of operating. However, not all of them deliver truly high-quality service and it’s up to you, the customer, to figure out all the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of a potential vendor before you commit to their service and start working on your app.

For those who are looking to get the best service for their resources, it’s imperative to carefully choose the provider based on the tips we’ve provided.

We at Share IT are always at your disposal. We have years of experience in the app development world and our team is made out of experts who take pride in the work they do. We are a customer-first company and our main goal is customer satisfaction. So, if you’re thinking about building your app - we would love to hear from you and help you, if nothing else, properly scope it. Feel free to reach out here and we can set up a meeting to talk specifics