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Outsourcing application development in the era of Cloud

Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services or create goods that were traditionally performed in-house by the company's own employees and staff. Outsourcing is a practice usually undertaken by companies as a cost-cutting measure.



Outsourcing application development is nothing new. Most of us are aware of asking for competitive bids, comparing proposals and choosing an implementation partner that fits the bill.


It doesn't matter whether you are a big enterprise or a small business, a proper due diligence is a must before choosing a vendor for outsourcing. The recent technological advancement have made the process relatively easier for you to check before outsourcing to vendors.



CAPABILITY


This one is easy, or is it really? Capability is not just number of experts or number of years in business. While you can ask for case studies or previous experience in implementing similar solutions, the truth is, this is old school.


In the age of Cloud mere documents, glorifying previous implementations, as collaterals aren't enough. Today, there are numerous tools that can help convert the requirements into a fully functional prototype. There are coding platforms that can take your requirements and get you an MVP (minimum viable product) within a few days!


Ask for a working prototype to check the capability of the vendor you are going to engage with.


If the vendor is able to use your unclear and incomplete requirements and still come up with a prototype then you know he is your right partner. Gone are the days when you were required to have endless meetings and conversations with your vendor explaining your expectations.



INNOVATION


Big word 'innovation', ain't it? But it is relevant and important while evaluating a vendor. You can start with checking for tools proposed to be used to develop the solution. Check how much reusability is being promised.


Many vendors reinvent the wheel for you and you end up paying for this reinvention.


Reuse saves time and increases productivity. Did you hear savings?


Innovation can be in multiple forms. It can be the technology being using or it can be the process that the vendor claims to have defined. It can also be a combination of the two. Whatever it is, the newness should ultimately be able to provide you measurable value.



ENTERPRISE GRADE?


Even if you are a small firm ask for enterprise grade implementation. The solution should be scalable as your business grows. It should be easy to integrate it with other systems. Data masking and encryption should be part of the design. Role based access should be easy to implement.


The design should be fluid. You should be able to extend it using APIs. The solution should be nimble - database and cloud agnostic.


All the above are easy to implement these days and are essential for your systems to scale up and be relevant.



EASE OF USE


How simple is the implementation? The vendor should be able to explain it to you in simple terms.


"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" Albert Einstein.


A complex explanation should sound an alarm for you. It is important that an easy to implement design is chosen. Your vendor should not use exotic programming languages and frameworks as these require hard-to-find experts during implementation and during maintenance.


In most cases the vendor hands over the application over to your team for use and maintenance. It is important that your team is able to understand the application design and functionality implementation easily.


How easy will it be to make changes and enhancements to the application?


This is one aspect that usually gets ignored. The focus is mostly on the cost of development. But if a complex application is delivered to you, maintaining it is also going to be challenging and costly. Merely getting an application built is not the end for you.


Be clear that the implementation is not so complex that you will be forced to go the vendor for small changes or enhancements. You do not want to be 'locked in' with your vendor.



RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN?


Are you going to get responsive web design? Responsive web design is about creating web pages that look good on all devices!


A responsive web design will automatically adjust for different screen sizes and viewports.


If this is not the case then you will be forced to develop mobile applications separately. Most of the times this is an overkill. It will add up your cost of development as well as maintenance.


Imagine having web, iOS and Android versions of the same business functionality. If you have responsive web design, you need only one web application. In most cases this is sufficient.



It should be noted that a lot has changed about application development over the past few years. If you even vaguely know what you want, there are vendors that can work with you to develop your idea fully and deliver an implementation to you within budget and stated timelines.


At FeldsparTech we combine the best of low code and custom development. This ensures timely delivery of your solution with cost savings. It also offers you the flexibility of choosing your features and functionalities.


If you would like to know more please reach us at: info@feldspartech.com