Application Development Outsourcing Guide

Application Development Outsourcing Guide
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: February 27, 2023

As the market for mobile apps grows, so does the demand for companies that can build those apps efficiently and on time.

To meet this demand, specialized companies are outsourcing their mobile app development to specialists in countries with lower costs of living and labor.

This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about application development outsourcing, including how it works, the benefits of outsourcing your app development, and tips to make sure your project is successful.

What Is Application Development Outsourcing?

Mobile application development outsourcing is a business practice where a company hires a firm to take care of all the technical aspects of building an app for them. Additionally, it's when a company has a project that requires a specialized development team, but they don't have those skills in-house.

Companies looking to hire an app development partner search for agencies that can help with their project and outsource their mobile app development capabilities. But before outsourcing your mobile app development, you need to understand what this process entails and if it's right for your business.

Now ask yourself: does your business need to outsource or hire an in-house talent to develop your mobile app? Take a look at these pros and cons.

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Outsourcing vs. In-House App Development

When you’re looking to build an app, you have two main options when it comes to getting the job done – you can either hire in-house developers or outsource app development to an agency or freelancer.

If your budget is tight and/or your team isn’t very large, then outsourcing may be a better option. However, if you have plenty of resources within your company or if you have the capital available, then devote to hiring an in-house team.

It all depends on what kind of timeline and budget constraints you have set out for yourself and how much control over the process of building an app matters to you.

If you want to create a mobile app, but don’t know where to start, it may be a good idea to outsource your project. This can save time and money while allowing you to focus more on improving the overall user experience of your product.

Here are more benefits you can enjoy when you outsource your mobile application development.

How To Outsource App Development in 4 Steps

Here are four essential steps when outsourcing app development.

  1. Create a Plan
  2. Define a List of Features
  3. Define Budget
  4. Consider What to Do In-House

1. Create a Plan

You have to be clear on what you want the end product to be before you start your search. This means that you must have a plan and vision in place before looking for any kind of help. Your goals should be clearly defined, as well as your expectations from the project.

2. Define a List of Features

Once this is done, it's time to make a list of features that are important for the project and how they will contribute to its success or failure. The list should include things like user stories, user journeys, data flows and other important parts of the app's functionality over time (such as payment gateways).

Think about how these features should work together to create an excellent experience for users - think about context-awareness and how it fits into this equation!

3. Define Budget

Next up: defining budget requirements.

As soon as possible after zeroing in on what exactly needs doing with regards to coding/designing etc., then determine whether or not there are enough funds available within existing budgets/funding streams at don't want any surprises later down line when bills start coming due.

4. Consider What to Do In-House

The first thing to keep in mind when you’re outsourcing mobile app development is to think strategically about what to outsource and what to keep in-house.

For example, you may want to consider offloading non-essential development tasks such as creating an icon or marketing assets if you don’t have in-house resources who can make those things happen.

On the other hand, deploying a big component of your app could result in higher costs and poor results since a company will be working on it instead of focusing on their strengths.

Get connected with the right app development agency for your project.

Why You Should Outsource App Development

  1. Cost-Efficiency
  2. Access to a Larger Pool of Talent
  3. Faster time-to-Market
  4. Scalability

Mobile app development outsourcing allows you to create quality mobile apps without investing time and resources into training in-house developers.

With this strategy, your app is designed by a team of experienced mobile app development companies. You'll have access to a variety of expert skills that could otherwise be out of reach for most small businesses or individuals.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the benefits you can enjoy from outsourcing application development:


If you have a limited budget, deploying your mobile application development will allow you to focus on your core business. This means that you don’t need to spend money on hiring skilled developers and can outsource it instead. According to Deloitte, cost-cutting is a top outsourcing trend as many industry players attest to this benefit.

Access to a Larger Pool of Talent

A lot of companies are looking to outsource their mobile application development projects because they know that tapping other companies or people helps them access a larger pool of technological resources. This means that they can find the right people with the right skill set for their project at affordable prices.

With the right team, you'll have access to different types of skill sets and talent that can help you create a better product than if you relied on an in-house team alone (and who might not be as experienced). A well-rounded knowledge base can provide a much better result for your company.

As of 2023, the top countries offering outsourced services are India, Ukraine, China, Poland, Philippines, Brazil, Romania, Taiwan, Czech Republic, and Argentina.

Faster time-to-Market

Outsourced service providers are often faster when it comes to delivering quality solutions as compared to in-house teams. Outsourced service providers offer efficiency and innovation in their work, whereas in-house developers may not always follow the same approach as these employees may have been working on the same app or product over and over. Thus, in-house developers tend to not see small details that users will need.


Let's say you have an internal team of developers working on a project but suddenly realize more resources are required so that the deadline can be met. The problem is that either there aren't any extra people on your staff or they already have other projects they're responsible for finishing within the same time frame as yours.

The bottom line? Your app gets built quickly and affordably so you can move on to other things. If you want to build your own apps but need help getting started, tapping other people to work on your app may be a better option.

Looking for the best app development companies?

How To Outsource An App Development Company For Your Project

If deciding whether or not to outsource app development is something that interests you, it's important to keep these things in mind:

  • What kind of project do I need?
  • Is there an existing budget for this type of work?
  • How much time do I have available for creating a mobile application?
  • Do I have access to any developers who could assist with this effort?

Once these questions are answered, then it's time for some research! Find out which companies offer these services and compare their prices based on similar projects in order as well as what types of staff members they can provide (backend vs frontend vs design).

Evaluating Application Development Outsourcing Providers

As part of your evaluation process, you should determine what level of expertise the provider has in the following areas:

Programming language experience. Make sure that they have experience using your preferred programming language(s).

Platform-specific experience. Are they familiar with the platforms you're working on? If so, which ones?

Industry-specific knowledge. Do they have any experience working in your industry? If so, do they know how to handle all aspects of application development for that industry (e.g., healthcare)?

You'll also want to evaluate the cultural fit between yourself and them; this is one area where many clients get tripped up and end up dealing with issues like misaligned expectations or poor communication later down the road.

It can be easy for developers from another part of the world (or even another part of our country) to simply assume that we mean something different than we actually do when discussing technical terms like "beta testing."

For example, one developer may think "beta testing" refers only to internal testing by employees within an organization; another might believe it means running a limited number of tests among end users before releasing publicly available products into production environments—and both could be correct depending upon their experiences!

This kind of misunderstanding leads either party into making incorrect assumptions about what's happening behind closed doors during development processes.

How to Reduce Risks of Mobile App Development Outsourcing

To establish a successful relationship, risk mitigation in mobile app development outsourcing requires a systematic strategy. To avoid potential pitfalls:

  • Choose a trustworthy partner: Select an outsourcing business with a solid reputation and expertise in mobile app development.
  • Define project bbjectives: In a precise project scope, clearly state project needs, goals, and expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Ensure legal and security compliance: Ensure that the partner follows legal and security requirements, including addressing intellectual property rights and confidentiality in a strong contract.
  • Open communication: Maintain regular and honest communication with the outsourced team in order to handle concerns quickly and stay aligned.
  • QA: Set clear quality standards and perform regular quality checks, including code reviews and testing.
  • Performance metrics: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the partner's performance, allowing for progress tracking and accountability.
  • After-launch support: Include in the agreement post-launch support and maintenance to address problem patches and updates.
  • Disaster recovery and contingency plans: Prepare for unforeseen disasters by developing risk-mitigation strategies.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Mobile App Development

The cost of outsourcing app development varies depending on a range of factors.

Simple apps with basic features may cost as low as $10,000 to $50,000, while more complex and feature-rich applications can range from $50,000 to $250,000 or even more.

Here are the primary factors influencing this cost.

  • Complexity: The complexity of your app significantly impacts the cost. Basic apps with limited features are cheaper, while complex apps with advanced functionality or integrations are more expensive.
  • Platform: Developing for multiple platforms (iOS, Android) can increase costs. Cross-platform development tools offer a cost-effective alternative.
  • Location: The geographic location of your outsourcing partner plays a crucial role. Developers in countries with lower labor costs typically offer more competitive rates.
  • Experience: Highly experienced and skilled development teams may charge higher rates but often deliver higher-quality results efficiently.
  • Design and UI/UX: Quality user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design can add to expenses but are vital for user satisfaction.
  • Testing and QA: Testing and quality assurance processes are necessary for reliability but contribute to the overall cost.
  • Additional Features: Features like in-app purchases, geolocation, real-time chat, or complex databases increase the cost.
  • Maintenance: Ongoing maintenance and support for updates, bug fixes, and improvements post-launch should be budgeted for separately.

Application Development Outsourcing Takeaways

Mobile app development outsourcing is a viable business strategy. It can help you generate revenue, gain access to professional expertise with lower costs, and reduce the time to market for your products.

The best way to succeed in this endeavor is by hiring an experienced company that has worked on similar projects before, or one that specializes in specific niches like UX design or iOS apps.

Receive proposals from top mobile app development agencies. It’s free.
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