The Differences Between In-House vs Outsourcing App Developers

4 min read
Sep 4, 2018

So, you have decided to bite the bullet and create an app? That’s great if you have asked yourself all of the necessary questions to ensure you are on the right track! However, it’s possible you could still get stuck on the million dollar question: should you work with an in-house team or outsource the task to an agency? There are pros and cons to both sides, and careful deliberation is needed to ensure that you make the best decision for yourself and your app.

In-House versus Outsourced App Development

Whether you are a startup, a large enterprise or an independent worker, you need to prepare for any long-term risks, costs, and time delegations to decide the preferred and beneficial route that works best for you and your organisation. In this instance, it’s important to understand that an in-house team will always come with the risk of attrition as it can be difficult to work with less team members, especially if you’re a small startup that lacks the relevant technology/services (which is a very commonly high risk within the IT industry in general).

Similarly, in the case of outsourcing app development, there is the risk of scope creep. During the process of app development, you might find you need extra features for your app, or a completely new UX/Design to the one you initially agreed upon. Due to a variety of different expert opinions, your app’s design can be changed and influenced compared to its initial design. With these types of changes in scope, this can increase the cost of app development significantly when you are outsourcing as you would be paying more money for an outsourced team when priorities and ideas continuously change. The remedy to this issue is to  ensure that you adopt an agile methodology, where you pay an agency for a certain number of sprints before you decide on the specific features and UX of your app.

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When you have an in-house team, communication can often be a lot easier, which ultimately means faster approvals and a quicker turn around for any changes that needs to be made to your app. You can call impromptu meetings, discuss any urgent changes, and get straight to work on it there and then. In the case of an outsourced agency, communication can be quite tricky, especially if the agency you hired is in a different time zone.

It is easily remedied, though, with the help of modern productivity tools. When outsourcing app development work to an agency, ask them about their project management and client communication processes and see if they are up to par with how you see best fit for your process. 

There are pros and cons to in-house and outsourcing your app idea, and careful deliberation is needed to ensure that you make the best decision for yourself and your app.Click To Tweet

Talent & Teamwork

When you are putting together an app development team, finding the right talent can be tough. More importantly, the talent you hire will, most likely, come from varied backgrounds in terms of work experience as well as culture. App development requires co-operative teamwork between designers, developers, testers, and managers. A, in-house and relatively new team might take a while to get accustomed to each other’s work style, which could prove as a disadvantage if you are restricted for time.

An outsourced agency, on the other hand, will most likely already have a team in place that works on mobile app development all day everyday. Thus, when you hire an agency for the job, you get specialised knowledge that might prove helpful that you didn’t know before. In addition, you get a fully-functional team that knows how to work together, collaborate on a variety of tasks and deliver high quality apps on due dates.


When creating an app, it is impossible to specifically predict how much money you’ll need to put aside for budgeting. For example, you could initially begin your budget at around £1K, but most often you’ll end up spending much more than you originally intended due to sudden changes, or understanding the actual costs of implementing new features into your app. In addition to this, when putting together an in-house team, this could start off in rather small numbers. But, both of these fundamental factors will inevitably increase and fluctuate depending on the scale of your app.

Finding the right mobile app developer for you, on average, can be quite a stressful process. When using an In-House team, you are essentially in charge of the entire HR process, which includes you being fully involved during interviews and conducting necessary background checks on who you choose to hire. While it is a great thing to be in control and see first-hand who you are hiring, it can ultimately be a very time-consuming process. That’s why when you outsource to an agency like ourselves – for example – you are saving yourself a lot of time and money as we come prepared with the relevant knowledge and high-skilled services to help kickstart your app straight from the get-go. Outsourced agencies are be able to work and adapt to the majority of app development issues and conditions.

The Verdict

There is no right or wrong choice between In-house and Outsourced app development. But, we do believe that if your core business is dependent on a mobile app, it would be a good idea for you to consider collaborating with an Outsourced agency so that your app can gain all of the benefits, skills and services provided by a knowledgable agency in a time-efficient manner. An in-house team would be beneficial if you are confident that your team has all of the required knowledge, tools and skills ot achieve your goals. If you have an app idea and you’re considering working with an outstanding agency, Talk To Us today and we can help you kickstart your app career successfully!

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