Outsourced Product Development: What You Need to Know

May 15, 2024
  • Outsourcing can be vital in areas like IT development where external expertise improves quality, efficiency, and profitability.
  • Outsourcing provides strategic advantages such as scalability to adjust team sizes and skills as needed. It helps internal teams focus on strategic goals while external experts boost product security, crucial in areas like cybersecurity. Additionally, outsourcing accelerates development and improves execution quality, effectively managing complex projects.
  • Choosing the right outsourcing partner requires assessing their expertise and long-term value, ensuring they have the flexibility to adapt to changes, and possessing deep industry knowledge to tailor solutions effectively to your specific market and needs.
  • A well-selected partner grows in value over time, anticipating needs and solving problems proactively.
  • ProfitOptics is highlighted as an effective provider, noted for flexible, scalable solutions in technology.

There are times when clichés can lead us astray. 

The old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself,” is a prime example — because there are plenty of cases where trying to execute complex tasks without outside assistance is setting yourself up for failure. 

Sometimes, outsourcing the work to an external resource can be a genuine life-saver. 

Even if you’re a highly respected neurologist, you probably shouldn’t attempt to perform your own brain surgery.

IT development is another area where extra sets of hands can deliver dramatic benefits in terms of quality, efficiency, and profitability.

Why Should You Consider Outsourced Product Development in IT?

Let’s acknowledge from the outset that short-staffed IT leaders in a time of talent scarcity are already stretched thin — which can tax their ability to think strategically, perform beyond expectations, and shoot for the moon to pursue new opportunities, markets, and goals.

Given all the responsibilities that in-house IT teams have today, they have their hands full just keeping the lights on and the trains running on time. The reality is that to keep the business functioning, one must come ahead of the kind of blue-sky thinking that can enable the biggest forward leaps.

It’s also challenging for an in-house IT team to stay up to date and on the leading edge of the complex and constantly changing technological landscape. That’s where experts working with multiple clients across industries can supply invaluable perspective and insight.

What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Product Development?

Here are some of the most substantial rewards that outsourced product development can yield:

Scalability: Outsourcing technological product development allows you to scale up your team for big projects and scale down in between while giving you access to the right talent and skills to realize each product successfully.

Focus and Prioritization: It’s crucial to ensure that the forward-thinking projects your business depends on don’t get pushed to the side by more quotidian concerns.

Bringing in experienced partners to assist with product development means they can give 100% of their focus to your product development goals — without being distracted by the everyday challenges of IT maintenance. This lets you achieve the best of both worlds by supplying the vision and leadership internally while ensuring you have skilled and dedicated hands to execute without losing momentum.

Cybersecurity: Security is one of the most complex and challenging areas for any IT team to manage, especially in this era of sophisticated malware and ransomware attacks. 

But when product development is concerned, there are also proprietary IP issues to consider. You simply can’t afford to compromise the security and integrity of your product development process. This is an area where it pays off to bring in the top-level expertise provided by teams that make security their primary focus every day.

(See trust.profitoptics.com for example)

Accelerated Development and Better Execution: Many hands make light work — but when it comes to technology, you can’t skimp on the necessary experience, talent, and training to execute the work with quality and precision. To speed up the development process without sacrificing quality, you need the ability to expand your team in a way that strengthens its capabilities. This makes finding the right product development partner — one who understands your business and your industry, as well as your vision and goals — of the utmost importance.

Related: Can Custom SaaS Save You from Customizing Your ERP?

How to Identify the Right Outsourced Product Development Partner

It’s important to take the time to vet outsourcing candidates carefully and thoughtfully. The best providers will welcome this scrutiny and the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience. Ideally, you’ll be choosing a partner for the long term. Thriving partner relationships deliver compounding dividends over time.

As the relationship matures, you save time by not having to explain the background to them so that you can jump right to the essential part of any conversation. The right partner will grow to understand your organization and your goals well enough that they can offer solutions to thorny problems before you realize you need them.

Here are a few other considerations while searching for the One:

Avoid platform bottlenecks. A common pitfall is falling in with a vendor whose expertise is exclusively focused on one technology platform. So they can’t accommodate you if you need to go in a different direction or solve interoperability problems with platforms outside their specialization. 

That means you’ll want to look for providers who have a deep understanding of multiple platforms and, ideally, know how to make them work well together if needed. Ask them to tell you about a client engagement in which they solved an interoperability problem.

Look for flexibility. In addition to being versatile and adaptable about technology, it’s important for the business relationship to be breathable and flexible. All too often, we hear from our clients about providers who offered low introductory rates, only to spike the rates after a year or so, once the partnership felt locked in. Transparency and trust are crucial.

You want a partner who can scale up, scale down, and accordion-flex with you as you travel the road together — whether in scope, functionality, or unexpected disruptions.

With that in mind, ask questions about what the arrangement might look like several years down the line — and if possible, seek direct feedback from other long-term clients to verify that the candidate is good at creating healthy long-term partnerships.

Look for knowledge of your industry and your market. For best results, you want a partner who understands technology and has a strong working knowledge of your industry. 

It’s a good sign if they’re already familiar with the industry-specific acronyms and terminology that will inform many of your conversations together. And it’s an even better sign if they exhibit an understanding not just of your industry but of your market and the customers you need to reach. That’s crucial regarding their ability to design, develop, and deploy technology correctly to create value.

Look for the ability to bring fresh perspectives. It’s a win if they come to you with a shared knowledge base so you can speak a common language. But you’re also looking for their ability to bring you new insights based on what they’ve learned from working with other clients in other engagements and their technical expertise. Ask them to share use cases where they could deliver new strategies and solutions that helped change the game for their partners.

The ProfitOptics Approach

At ProfitOptics, we have a solid track record of providing superior outsourced product development to help our clients bridge the talent gap in technology — and bring their vision to life when they have more ideas than people to execute them.

Our approach to technology consulting and development is rooted in almost two decades of developing flexible, scalable, and fully integrated software solutions and products. We pride ourselves on understanding the intricate balance between managing costs, ensuring quality, and achieving desired business outcomes.

Contact our team if you want to learn more about our services.

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