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Do you ever wonder why companies—even those with in-house software teams—outsource their software development to companies like Bluefruit?  

Well, wonder no more; we’re going to share the main reasons international, industry-leading tech companies choose to partner with us on their projects. 

They are, in no particular order: 

  1. Greater speed
  2. Capacity
  3. Culture
  4. Learning
  5. Reduced risk
  6. Specialist skills
  7. Lower cost
  8. Compliance 
  9. Testing
    BONUS: The common factor behind outsourcing 

Let’s get started…

1.      Greater speed

In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies face intense pressure to launch products, features, or updates within a specific timeframe. These deadlines could be driven by:

Strategic objectives: These could be business or marketing objectives. E.g. “The product needs cloud functionality added by Q4”, or “We want to launch in European markets by 2025”.

Immovable events: For businesses with seasonal products, such as heating and air conditioning, the vast majority of sales are made during a relatively small window. New products must be ready in time.

Coordination with other disciplines: If sales and marketing have spent thousands—or even millions—on a scheduled product launch, nobody is going to be very pleased if the product in question isn’t ready.

Investor expectations: Investment rarely comes without strings attached. There are usually deadlines to meet in order to prove progress and unlock additional funds.

By leveraging an external team of experienced developers, companies can accelerate development cycles. This allows them to meet deadlines, bring their product to market faster, gain a competitive edge, and/or capitalise on fleeting market opportunities.

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

– Douglas Adams

2.      Increased capacity

A bigger development team doesn’t just increase speed, it increases a company’s production capacity.

When a cash-rich business anticipates strong market demand and a strong return on investment (ROI) for a product, it makes sense for them to scale up product development. However, internal development teams may not have the capacity to handle this growth.

By partnering with an external team, companies can expand their development capacity without the risks of permanent recruitment, discussed later in this post. This flexibility empowers them to capitalise on anticipated growth, ensure efficient product development, and ultimately maximise their return on investment.

3.      Culture

Software developers thrive in a work environment that fosters creativity, problem-solving, and ownership. This often translates to an empowered culture where developers have a significant degree of autonomy and decision-making authority. This is something that Bluefruit strongly believes in providing.

However, some businesses—particularly those in the manufacturing sector—may find themselves struggling to align with these ideals, even if they want to.

Some of our clients work with us in order to bridge this gap. By partnering with a development team that has an empowered culture, companies can benefit from a more agile and innovative approach to software creation. The introduction of external expertise can help to cultivate a more development-friendly culture within the organisation over time, leading to improved collaboration and software quality.

4.      Learning

When it comes to software development, knowledge transfer is a two-way street. Clients provide the specific requirements and domain expertise for their projects, and outsourced partners bring a wealth of experience gained across multiple sectors and technologies.

This exposure allows for “cross-pollination” of ideas and practices. For example, insights gained from implementing rigorous medical compliance practices in a software project can add significant value to projects in the aerospace industry, even if the specific functionality differs.

5.      Permanent hiring is a risk

Outsourcing offers businesses a range of benefits, but it’s also driven by a desire to mitigate risk. Hiring permanent developers is time-consuming, expensive, and doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with a functioning team.

Companies will often outsource for:

  • Short-term needs: Hiring permanent staff for temporary projects or fluctuations in demand, such as managing a deadline or R&D requirements, can be a costly gamble. Building a high-performing team takes time, and there’s no guarantee that new hires will integrate seamlessly. Outsourcing specific tasks can be a more efficient solution for businesses whose core competency doesn’t lie in team building.
  • Experimentation: Businesses exploring new technologies, like AI, may be hesitant to commit to permanent hires in an area with uncertain benefits. Outsourcing allows them to access expertise without the long-term financial commitment of permanent staff.
  • Team performance: Building a high-performing team takes time and effort. There’s always a risk that new hires may not work well together, leading to inefficiencies or a longer ramp-up period. Outsourcing specific tasks ensures access to specialists who are already a cohesive unit.
Chart showing the real cost of employing a software developer. Hiring in-house is shown to be riskier but, reduced to a daily rate, is only 18% cheaper.

While hiring in-house developers costs slightly less on a day-to-day basis. it also carries greater risks.

6.      Lower cost

Many businesses have unrealistic expectations for developers. They expect them to be “hero devs” who can handle everything from coding to testing and customer communication. This leads to a revolving door of hiring and firing as companies struggle to find these mythical developers.

However, when you factor in the total cost of ownership, outsourcing can be cheaper than hiring internally.

The blended day rate of external software teams might seem expensive at first, but it includes everything. You don’t need to factor in recruitment fees (which can be as high as 25%), time spent getting a new hire settled in and up to speed, or the risks we’ve already discussed.

7.      Specialist skills

No matter how talented your team is, they can’t be experts in everything. And it’s not always feasible for them to upskill.

By bringing in an external team to support in-house developers, projects can quickly and affordably gain the specialist skills they require while benefitting from the two-way learning we discussed earlier.

This can help organisations of all sizes but is particularly beneficial for smaller businesses that may not have the resources to employ specialists in these niche areas in-house.

8.      Compliance

In-house teams might not have the culture or ingrained processes necessary for projects requiring strict regulations—especially in critical fields like medical. And this isn’t just about technical skills; it’s a whole different mindset. For instance, Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a practice that ensures teams focus on quality from the very beginning of a project. All of Bluefruit’s teams are trained to do this. But it’s a practice many developers haven’t adopted.

Example: A company developing lab equipment has decided to pivot towards medical-grade devices. The technology itself might be similar, but adhering to medical regulations such as IEC 62304 demands a different approach to development. There’s a high likelihood that their existing team does not have an ingrained culture suited to such a project. Outsourcing to a team with a strong compliance culture can bridge this gap and ensure projects meet the necessary standards.

9.      Testing

Traditional software development often relegates testing to a separate stage after coding is complete. This ineffective approach can lead to delays and rework when bugs are eventually found.

Outsourcing offers a solution. Some providers, such as Bluefruit, integrate testers directly into development teams. This collaborative approach fosters early communication and allows for quick fixes, saving time and resources throughout the project lifecycle.

In addition to embedded testers, we also have dedicated Verification and Validation (V&V) teams. These teams act as an independent check, providing an extra layer of quality assurance. This two-step process ensures projects meet the highest standards, especially crucial for critical applications or those with strict compliance requirements.

BONUS: The common factor behind outsourcing

What do all of these things have in common? They’re each ultimately about maintaining quality.

If any of the nine things we’ve discussed is neglected, software quality is put at risk. And, depending on the application, this could lead to serious consequences—for a product, its users, and the company’s reputation.

Bluefruit has spent 24 years honing its quality practices to ensure software is as good as it can be. Organisations might seek us out for a number of reasons, but they continue to come back to us because they recognise the value of our quality-focused development.

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