Outsourcing of application development is increasingly seen as a preferred option to support growth, rapid delivery, and to ensure that companies remain focussed on their core competencies.
Before progressing with this approach a company needs to consider a number of factors such as — when to outsource, what to outsource and then find the right company to work with. Some companies also bring in contractors, but this can be difficult to justify with the potential that exists to have a ‘company for the cost of a person’.
As a leading provider of bespoke software development, Enable provides outsourced application development and has found the following approach as key to delivering high quality solutions that deliver return on investment for its clients. An outsourced approach to application development has the following advantages over using contractors.
1. A project team is allocated to each project — not just one developer
- Team approach — To deliver a high quality solution a range of skills are required and one person cannot be an expert in all of these areas. A typical project requires a dedicated team of developers that can work effectively together. Additional resources can be added when required.
- Methodology — The skills profile of the team will vary by project from database/architect through to UX design, and everything in between. But skills alone are not enough. Enable has a proven methodology that has been fine-tuned over 13 years to maximise performance.
- Flexibility — Enable has the ability to offer resource where it is needed. For instance, a number of developers will be required to build the system, but then once it goes live developers will only be needed when support and changes are needed. Due to the economies of scale, we can offer this flexibility, which could not be offered by employing someone.
2. ‘A company for the cost of a person’ — Enable’s outsourcing services are price competitive and provide a faster delivery pace, at a reduced level of risk
- Price competitive — Enable can provide a fixed price and fixed timescale for projects undertaken and the rates offered are similar to the rates offered by contractors. You are getting a company for the cost of a person.
- Reduced risk — By using Enable, organisations also reduce the risk involved of utilising contractors, where development could come to a halt if developers are ill or take leave. Enable can usually bring more skills to bear, and offer a faster delivery pace.
3. The ‘project team’ approach provides a broad range of the best analytical, design and development skills available
- Iterative improvement — To deliver excellent projects requires the right skills in place and a process of iterative improvement. Enable delivers a continuous iterative improvement process through a high level of cross-pollination of ideas occurring between projects and clients. This is less likely to occur when the team is employed directly by the client.
- Analysis — A key requirement for any project start-up is the ability to conduct concise and accurate business analysis on current and potential requirements. This is a key strength of the Enable team that the majority of contract developers do not have an in-depth experience of.
- Development skills — Enable has close relationships with leading technology vendors like Microsoft. We offer developers a career path with CPD and qualifications. We provide the chance to use the latest technologies and work on a diverse range of projects. All of this maximises our ability to hire and retain the best talent. It is difficult compete with this in a company environment that is outside the software development industry.
- UX design — Most developers are not capable of implementing a world-class user experience. Enable takes care of every detail in the systems it builds. Design is not a separate function or team member. Within Enable, the user experience is ingrained in the culture and everything we do.
4. Continuity of ongoing development and support
- Training — If you hire developers then you need to invest in training. To stay at the cutting edge a sizable percentage of each year needs to be dedicated to training. Enable’s clients benefit from the training and research we are undertaking at no additional cost.
- Continuity ensured — What happens when your developer moves on to his or her next job? The nature of contracting is that the contractor is always looking for the next job and could leave at any time. Better offers come along all the time!
- Support — For each software solution Enable maintains a core team of at least 5 who are intimately familiar with every detail. We have a backup team of more than 20 on stand-by. Who would be responsible for supporting your bespoke system when your contractor is on holiday?
Enable covers the whole software development project lifecycle — from concept to delivery and the ongoing support required thereafter.
So when thinking about the future application bespoke development, consider these key factors to move forward with the highest quality, most efficient route, and above all, to ensure a successful outcome.