The Risks of Outsourcing Your Web Development Offshore

Scott Morris

Scott Morris

Head of Team Augmentation

Have you ever been tempted to outsource your web development offshore?

The promise of cheap hourly rates from offshore developers in India, China and the Philippines is a lure that many find hard to ignore. But what are the risks of outsourcing?

Many companies have attempted offshoring, and returned to quality Australian developers after being burned by their offshore suppliers. Offshore outsourcing carries risks that represent a cost for your business.

Indirect offshoring costs can include:

  • Your time writing and rewriting briefs
  • Wasted time waiting for overnight responses
  • Your time testing and retesting broken functionality
  • Reputational damage when your system doesn’t work as required, and is delivered months later than agreed
  • Lost customers when your site doesn’t consider SEO best practice
  • Additional cost implementing new features because code is not modular
  • Redevelopment costs when the system is not maintainable

Common issues reported by companies offshoring web development are as follows:

Communication Problems

One of the most common risks of outsourcing are communication issues.

Communication with the outsourcers was a nightmare, despite the fact the company in question had a contact in Australia. Unable to make direct contact with the developers working on the project, requirements were misinterpreted and the developers chased their tails for weeks resolving the simplest of issues.

As a result the project went over budget, wasn’t finished on time and once delivered, wasn’t what the client had asked for.

Poor Code Quality

Outsourced projects often have multiple developers working on a particular project. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, however as labour is cheap, many offshore suppliers just pile more developers onto projects to get them done quickly. Without thorough planning, coding standards or quality control, the end result suffers.

As a result, adding new features and functionality takes far longer (and costs more over time) than it should. The likelihood of bugs occurring and the system failing increases over time. This often results in the system needing to be redeveloped before it should.

Poor Testing

Often the testing carried out by offshore developers is not of a professional standard. This means you’re left spending your days and nights testing and retesting functionality that should have been correct in the first place.

Lack of Guidance

Offshore developers rarely if ever provide guidance on optimal solutions, or how to make use of web technologies to best meet your business objectives. Here at 4mation we take pride in not just blindly implementing whatever we’re asked to do – but providing professional guidance so you get the most out of your development investment.

For example, often SEO will be completely ignored, meaning your investment in a great website won’t reach your target market.

Code Security

How much do you trust a team of developers you’ve never met? Who has access to your code? Are you sure your solution that you’ve paid for isn’t being re-sold to others? Code security is another risk of outsourcing you should take into consideration.

So What’s the Solution?

This article doesn’t suggest that all outsourcing is bad. If you have very clear, documented, simple requirements for a non mission-critical system and a very limited budget, then the risks of outsourcing your web development project are low.

On the other hand, if you require professional advice and a solution you can depend on for years to come, developed for a fixed cost in a fixed time frame, then use a local developer with a proven track record.

Here at 4mation, we provide staff augmentation services, giving you instant access to a wide variety of skillset in web and software development.

Alternatively, all of our work is completed by our 45+ team of expert designers and developers at our office in Surry Hills, Sydney.

We provide reliable service, and we take the time to understand your business needs to deliver the best possible web solution. You can speak directly to the dedicated developers working on your project. They will complete the project on time, on budget, and will thoroughly test all of the work completed to ensure it works the way it’s meant to.

Speak to one of our friendly, local team today about your development requirements on 02 9213 1300.

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