Hire or outsource? WTC - what’s the cost?

You’ve done it! All the competitors are left behind and the project is yours! When euphoria subsides you’ve got one question at stake: hire an in-house team or outsource? Will your staff cope with it or you’d better rely on strangers?

You need high expertise within your budget terms, no wonder you’re full of doubts. Let’s analyze which option is yours.


In-house team:



  1. You know each of them inside out. You can choose the best from the best on your own.
  2. They’re close and can make demos, stand-ups any time you need.
  3. They’ll feel under control and will work harder.  
  4. They long for improving the company’s image as well as you do as that’s where they work.
  5. They’re aware of the bigger goals of the company and they’ll do their best to integrate this project into them smoothly.
  6. You don’t need to invent any infrastructure to follow the project’s evolution. You use your company’s processes and systems of control.
  7. You don’t spend time for hiring interviews to choose the team you need.



  1. Your specialists may lack some skills in programs you will need for this project.
  2. They’re able to devote only part of their time to the project as they have some larger goals to achieve.
  3. You need to select the best communicating means for your team members.


When you’d better outsource:

If the below is your case:

  • lack of expertise in this particular field;
  • strict deadlines;
  • low budget;

If you opt for outsource, here is what you need to know:


Outsource team:


  1. Near-shore outsource team: these are teams which are located in EU countries close to your country. The advantage you get is that team specialists can visit your company in case you need it. Besides you’re in one time zone and it will reduce costs for hourly payment.
  2. Off-shore team: team which is located either in non-EU country or much farther, like Ukraine – the USA. The greatest disadvantage influencing the cost is different time zones. But it can be compensated by much lower payments to specialists from low-budget countries.



  1. Outsource developers are used to working with various companies in various industries. So, they can bring this experience in your company and they are used to quick interjecting their skills and expertise to any product and company.
  2. Software expertise: outsource teams share the insights and exchange the ideas which may influence other team members’ work. One provider can have about 50 developers at such meeting and thus you have an increased expertise at hand.
  3. Flexibility (you choose the number of team members and add or reduce personnel during the project)
  4. Geography: you can cut costs in two by choosing developers from certain countries;
  5. Efficiency: 
  • One team works only on one project at a time;
  • You have full control and priority;
  1. Cost-effective:
  • No hiring;
  • No hardware and software certifications;
  • No infrastructure;
  • If it’s a near-shore team the costs are even lower;
  • No investing in training your staff;



  1. The outsource team has no idea of the leading goals of your company; they’re concentrated on this particular project. In cases when this project must be integrated properly it may constitute a problem.
  2. You will spend some time for interviews and selection of team members;
  3. You don’t know the outsourcers as well as your own team, you can rely on their portfolio and references from other clients, but you don’t know their working style;
  4. The estimates will increase if you have different time zones with your developers as it will mean the increase of cost for time spent. Besides it prolongs the response time especially if you have 9 hours between you and your outsource team. It will lead to misunderstandings between you and thus it will result in numerous re-makings.


Factors which influence the cost of software development:


1.    Type of programming you need:

  • some skills are more common and others are more rare: Wordpress developers are easier to find as they need to be skilful in PHP, HTML and CSS. If you need a specialized C assembly or C++ developer it will cost more. Always check scalability, usability and good design.


2. Scope is very important as it has a great impact upon the time it takes to create a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). It consists of:

  • Hosting environment (whether your programs are free or require paying for license);
  • Database: if you need a database design;
  • API: whether you need any external API  and whether it requires a paid subscription;
  • Mobile compatibility, if it’s necessary;
  • Engineering: whether you will need to engineer new solutions, if yes, it will mean additional time and costs;
  • Application size – a major factor cost in development.     


3.    Geography:

  • Pros: you can cut costs in two by choosing developers from certain countries;
  • Cons: the estimates will increase if you have different time zones with your developers as it will mean increase of cost for time spent. Besides it increases the response time especially if you have 9 hours between you and it lead to misunderstandings between you and thus it will result in numerous re-makings.


There are also some points you have to take into account preparing for first interview with your future dream-team.


Basic advice for choosing your development team:

  1. Don’t focus on price only. Don’t go to extremes by selecting too cheap or too expensive developer. Try to take into account professional characteristics. Also don`t forget about the importance of the project manager.

  2. You should ask for:
  • Portfolio;
  • References from clients;
  • Success stories across various markets;
  • Success stories of development of software in various businesses;


Try to assess:

  • Their potential for success, their strengths;
  • Their processes;
  • Are they agile or DevOps?
  • Do they keep up with the latest technologies and standards?
  • What are their procedures to ensure business continuity?
  • How do they ensure security?
  • What about risks management?
  • What are their actions in case of force-majeure?
  • How is QA and testing made? Ask about regression testing, static testing, dynamic testing, white-and black-box testing and visual testing. Make sure they know what you mean and that they can provide it.


One more important issue is how to choose the right technology for your project, look for answers in our article - Check-list: choose the right tech for your app.

    As for outsourcing, professionals say: “Do what you love and outsource the rest”. So, if you feel someone can help you out, do it better and even enjoy it – hire him. If you can cope yourself - rely on your team and plunge inside. Whatever you decide make sure your business benefits.

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