Most companies today face similar pressures – they have to stay up to date tech-wise to be competitive. At the same time, they need to watch their bottom line, and in-house development can be very expensive, sometimes ludicrously so.
It also carries many hidden costs in acquiring talent, institutional knowledge, necessary licenses, and so forth. And the best part is – it’s not necessary, since knowing how to make a tool and knowing how to use it are not the same thing.
Outsourcing tasks and projects allow tech companies to be flexible in face of changing circumstances. And for companies that are not steeped in software development, it’s a great way to access all the talent, knowledge, and skills necessary to bring their project to fruition.
It is also very cost-efficient. Especially if you do it offshore, somewhere with a good talent pool, vibrant IT culture, and competitive pricing. With Eastern Europe being such a place, there are particular gems like Ukraine. To find out more, check out GBKSOFT’s report on Dedicated Development Team Ukraine, as we covered the reasons for it in detail there.
And getting a Dedicated Development Team can potentially be the most efficient and rewarding way to outsource. A dedicated development team is the model of outsourcing where the company hires a whole team tailored specifically for the project or a part of it and manages it almost as if it was their in-house division.
It has several important advantages over other models of outsourcing and can potentially provide a better product at a lower cost while translating invaluable experience to your organization, provided that your particular case fits certain criteria.
Why Is a Dedicated Team Model So Popular?
First and foremost – for cost efficiency. We live in an age of growing complexity. This complexity is demanding ever more specialization from the workforce and management. Accessing some of this talent, especially in western countries, can be demanding in terms of scouting and HR investment. In the market where most firms experience talent shortages, it is a significant problem.
Managing a software development team is also a specialized task that requires serious institutional knowledge, often lacking in smaller companies and companies outside the tech sector. And the demand for software engineers is at an all-time high, resulting in increased salaries for IT positions.
That is why In-house Development projects can easily bloat well out of proportion, and why outsourcing companies can deliver a similar product for a fraction of the cost. Vendors can specialize and utilize their specialists with greater efficiency. And there is an outsourcing scheme that provides solutions to all of these concerns – the Dedicated Development Team model. It offers:
- Building a task-oriented team that would suit a particular client and project the best;
- Plan and pace the project in the most cost-effective way;
- A flexible or part-time involvement of various specialists in networks, DevOps, UX, QA, legacy infrastructure, etc. that don’t have to be on task 24\7;
- A tested management team or skeleton crew to augment with your own, the kind of management that knows the intricacies of the development process and the dev team;
- A wealth of institutional knowledge in software development and deployment;
- A set of licenses for the software necessary to make your product that could;
- Specialists who could maintain your product in the future maintain or train your team that is going to be doing it instead.
But What About the Drawbacks?
Everything in life is a tradeoff, one way or the other. The Dedicated Development Team model requires much more involvement from the client. The project should be well-defined and mapped out from the get-go, and companies should be prepared to keep closer tabs on the development process.
It can Also get outshone by Fixed Price offers, especially when it comes to typical off-the-shelf solutions or small-scale projects like a business card website.
Dedicated Development Teams come into their own when a project entails some type of technical or design challenge like tricky API integration, ML or AI implementations, legacy infrastructure interfaces, cross-platform applications, pulling and syncing data from multiple disparate databases, and so forth. It’s also the way to go if your app, e-commerce project, or website has to stand out in some way with unique features or design.
A dedicated development team can also enhance your development process in a particular area of expertise as a part of the Distributed Teams development scheme. Although, it can be argued that augmenting your own teams with particular specialists would yield a better transfer of knowledge in the long run. But that is more of a concern for firms specialized in software development.
And while the Dedicated Development Team method provides for a great deal of flexibility, Its cost-effectiveness relies heavily on proper prior planning. Without a proper plan, the development process can easily bloat or drag on well outside initial parameters. In this case, it won’t be any different from the Time & Materials model in terms of possible feature creep and cost spiral.
And of course, there’s always a challenge of communicating with offshore teams. However, in our experience, it’s of minor concern. Most Ukrainian developers are proficient English speakers. We make sure to keep all of GBKSOFT’s technical documentation in English for our clients’ convenience.
However, this might not be true everywhere across the industry. Ukrainian business culture is also very compatible, and cautionary tales in this regard are extremely rare, especially compared to some other popular offshoring locations.
The other challenge of offshoring the development process – long-distance communication and work, is also rapidly growing out of relevancy. The outsourcing industry was one of the pioneers in this, and companies from other sectors got on the same page following the lockdowns quickly. Deconflicting schedules across time zones can be intimidating at first, but there’s nothing a little dedication can’t fix.
What else to keep in mind?
As we outlined previously and will flash out in more detail elsewhere, working with a Dedicated Development Team requires more involvement from the client to hit all the development goals in a timely and cost-effective manner.
And speaking from GBKSOFT’s decade-worth of experience in providing and running such teams, there are few things everyone who solicits an outsourced team is well-advised to do, outside of picking a competent and professional vendor that is:
- Plan well – a good vendor has to provide a detailed roadmap from the presale stage and flesh out even more later;
- Set up proper communication channels with your team, access to the internal development chat is a must here, and don’t be afraid to ask questions;
- Project management-wise, keep tabs on code-commits to the repository – that’s how you can gauge the amount of work being done;
- Set up weekly report procedures, set the goals that adhere to the plan but with adjustment to any circumstances encountered;
- Proper QA procedures and automated code testing can go a long way in ensuring the base quality of code.