3 reasons to avoid outsourcing to an offshore app developer

We have many clients who opted to hire an overseas app developer — before then having to engage our team to clean up the mess. 

We hear it all the time: You need an application or software developed, and an offshore app company promises faster development, at a cheaper cost. And we get it. The price tag for building an app is always top-of-mind for our clients, as is how long it will take. It’s safe to say most of today’s most popular applications weren’t built in two weeks for less than $20,000.

In the first quarter of 2021, there were 3.48 million Android apps in the Google Play store and 2.22 million iOS apps available for download from Apple. If you want your app to be a contender in a highly saturated market, you can’t sacrifice on quality. And you also probably need adjacent services and business insight to successfully launch and market your app. 

You should be able to trust that your development team has advanced design, development and programming skills. They also should have the knowledge, capability and integrity to consider and address any potential security risks, as well as ensure local North American regulatory requirements are met. Finally, you want an experienced, business-savvy team who can provide strategic direction on the implementation and even use of your app. 

Apps don’t have to be uber expensive, but there are a few key reasons you want to avoid offshoring to save money and we’re going to explore them in this article.

Look for current, and cutting-edge development expertise

There are offshore development firms in every corner of the globe, from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, to India, and Latin America. There are absolutely some amazing developers in these locations, but they’re not likely to be the ones offering too-good-to-be-true pricing and timelines.

In addition, when you leverage an unknown overseas resource, it increases the need to gauge whether that company has the most up-to-date development expertise and skills. We have met great overseas devs who aren’t using current software, tools, programming languages and/or methods.

We’ve worked on — or fixed — apps that were started by offshore developers who had knowledge that was more than five years out of date.

Often, the result is an app that does not perform at the level it is required to. Usually the app  runs too slowly or inefficiently. 

And when you start with something that isn’t up to today’s standards, scalability becomes near impossible. In the end, fixes for these projects often involve significant or total rebuilds.

Ask about security best practices and local regulations

It’s imperative that your app is built with security that protects you, your company, and your users from risk. For instance, you want to ensure that secure communication, network security measures, permissions and data storage on the app are all following best practices

In addition to industry security standards though, there are also country-specific regulations that must be understood and implemented. For instance, in Canada, data privacy laws such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), set specific ground rules for how applications must “collect, use or disclose information about individuals in the course of commercial activities.”

We recently assisted a client with a complex app that was built overseas. They spent more than $100,000 and were promised it was fully secure. We checked it out and discovered no security measures were in place at all, leaving the client exposed to massive risk.

A great partner also delivers business insight and strategy

A successful app is not dependent on technical development alone. Throughout the scoping, research, design, development and testing process –– as well as before and during launch –– you need strategic business advice and insight to be available as well. 

[Related reading: Here’s everything you need to do to plan for app success]

A client recently came to us with an app that was developed offshore. They didn’t want to fix the code, but instead get counsel on how best to onboard 200,000 users. Because the developer was strictly a developer, they lacked insight on how to manage the people that will ultimately use the app. They also lacked experience launching an app for a large enterprise and couldn’t support internal teams with direction on user flow and usability

The strategy and rollout of an app takes way more than good code, so ask for details about support options when you are picking a developer.

Getting a development resource you can trust

Our team begins every project by getting to know you and your business problem, so that we develop a product that provides you with strategic, measurable –– and if relevant, profitable –– solutions that you can then immediately take to market. 

If you want to do some research before starting your app journey, here are some common questions we get:

Still need help? Reach out and we can answer any questions you have.