Weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing software development


The software development lifecycle, which encompasses everything from planning and development to testing and maintenance, is complicated to navigate. At each stage of the life cycle, IT and business teams encounter difficulties. One step may take too long and delay the entire project, or the internal team may lack the necessary expertise in a specific area.

It may be tempting to mitigate or even circumvent some of these challenges by outsourcing one or more activities. Software development outsourcing options are plentiful. But when is it a good idea? This manual examines the pros and cons of outsourcing software development, in whole or in part.

Certain phases of the software development lifecycle are easier to outsource. Testing is the most common use of outsourcing, such as when a company focuses its staff on development work while an outside group performs testing in parallel. Other phases can also be eliminated. Work on requirements, design and even planning can be outsourced to a vendor. As development expert Matt Heusser writes, these decisions can accelerate and fill knowledge gaps. Still, a company will want to define the project so that the results meet expectations.

Also included here are articles that examine the pros and cons of software development outsourcing from other perspectives. What, for example, should an outsourcing contract specify? And what are the specific benefits and risks a business should expect when outsourcing phases of its DevOps process?

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