Why would developers or other technology-driven companies hire a development firm? It happens more often than you think, and maybe not for the reasons you would expect. Some developers (by which we also mean in-house teams at technology companies) always use outside software developers because they do not actually build stuff in-house. More often than not, however, we find that companies with in-house software engineers find themselves in need of outside help for a variety of reasons, five of which we’ll address here.
Letting the In-House Team Focus on Their Project
Occasionally, a tech company may outsource to a development firm when they find that their product roadmap is better served by contracting outside expertise rather than trying to bring an internal team up to speed on software technology that they may not have to use again (or soon enough to make it cost effective). Say, for example, that Company X has a software product with a well-established customer base. End-users download, install, and use their software any time there is a major update, and so they have an internal team dedicated to managing and maintaining that software product. They might find that it’s far more cost-effective and efficient to work with a software development firm that can build their validating software rather than shift an internal engineering team away from their main product.
Hiring a Development Firm Can Be More Cost Effective and Efficient
Another company, which we’ll call Company Y, might have a proof of concept (POC) that they know works and can be developed, but they just don’t have the in-house staff to evolve their POC into a viable product. Company Y’s strength within their industry relies on their ability to come up with bleeding edge, visionary solutions that sometimes fall outside the skillset of their in-house developers. They might turn to a software development company in order to connect with engineers who have specific expertise with a particular technology or industry or with a unique type of hardware integration. Hiring a software development firm then helps Company Y focus on their theoretical work while the development firm concentrates on the requirements of productizing their software application.
Easier to Use a Development Firm Than to Coordinate between Siloed Teams
Company X and Y might also have the same traits as we find in our third example, Company Z, wherein different products are developed by siloed teams. It’s not unusual for companies to have development teams working in different areas on different projects and, even though they might have the expertise for one department to assist another, getting that kind of work to coordinate might prove too time-consuming or costly for either department’s objectives. Rather than having two siloed development teams try to find a way to coordinate their schedules, availability, and processes, it ends up being more cost-effective and efficient to bring in a software development company that can ramp up quickly on a project and concentrate on the needs of a specific team.
Need Specialists in a Particular Software Platform or Industry
Even within companies that don’t have siloed departments, there are times when a tech company just needs the help of a specialist. A pro-audio company, for example, might need the help of a team of developers with experience porting software from Windows to Mac (or Mac to Windows), and it helps to work with software engineers who not only know how to work with both platforms who also have extensive experience with pro-audio software development as well as working with pro-audio hardware in the real world.
A Software Project Can Benefit from a Fresh Perspective
Yet another reason a tech company might look to an outside development firm is just to get a fresh set of eyes on a project. Much in the same way that a writer benefits from an editor, software development can benefit from the kinds of insights you get from talented software engineers who know how to look at code, evaluate it, and come up with real recommendations on how to improve it.