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The risks of building out an in-house IT software team

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By Taylor
10th Mar 2022
8 min read

As businesses look to digitise and refresh in line with evolving consumer demands, whether that’s through building a new web platform, realising the need to create an app, or upgrading existing enterprise software, one of the key questions leaders are faced with is whether to build out an in-house IT software team or outsource to an agency. 

As businesses seek custom solutions that perfectly address their unique needs, many are tempted to build up their own team of in-house software developers. This, of course, comes with its own set of perks. Some benefits for opting to assemble an in-house development team include perceived lower costs, access to developers with a deeper understanding of business requirements, stronger links to the organisational culture, and the greater long-term picture; increased authority over the software development team for business leaders; and greater monitoring of every step, with the opportunity and access to make immediate changes. 

Despite the benefits of opting to develop software in-house, there are also a myriad of pitfalls. And while yes, we may be an incy wincy bit biassed as a Software Design and Development Agency, there are reasons why more and more businesses are choosing to outsource their software strategy and development. Let’s take a look at a few of the risks of in-house software development that lead to the preference of many to outsource.

#1 – Lack of expertise versatility

When it comes to building an in-house team, one of the risks associated with it is running short of the depth and breadth of skills needed at every stage of software development. Software development agencies typically have more expertise across a wide range of fields. This is hugely beneficial in terms of being able to quickly deal with unusual problems that might arise and having access to the knowledge of specialists no matter what software you are looking to develop. On the contrary, with the in-house model, you are faced with the challenge of having to employ specific people for specific projects — meaning you are constantly having to hire new skills or go through the lengthy and costly process of training. With so many areas of software development and with it being such a competitive market, you’ll have a tough job finding someone who can do it all.

#2 – The cost of hiring

Following on from the risk of having a fixed skillset in the team is the hiring overheads associated with building an in-house development team. Trying to find the best software developers for your project is by no means an easy task. Firstly, the recruitment process of finding skilled talent can be a long one consisting of numerous rounds of interviews. Trying to distinguish the best talent who will add value to your business in terms of delivering on your software development projects can be a tough job — particularly if you lack technical knowledge. And this is even if you can attract candidates in today’s market. If and when you manage to find top talent, your next challenge lies in retaining them. With IT talents in greater demand than ever, you'll have to create the environment that is truly the best in order to retain the best.

#3 – Less flexibility around scalability

Adding to the above risks is the challenge of being tied into employment contracts with hires who may have turned out not to have met the requirements needed. Or maybe you hired them based on a specific skillset needed for a particular project which has now been delivered, and now you’re struggling to continue to make best use of their skills. This can obviously be extremely costly for your business. On the other hand, outsourcing to a software development agency gives businesses the freedom to be more flexible. If you need to expand the development team or cut back, this is easily done at any time during product development without the need to hire or fire someone. This scaling model is great as it’ll save you time and resources in the long run.

#4 –  Upskilling the team is your responsibility

The IT industry is one characterised by constant change, with a swarm of new technologies, tools and languages always just around the corner. To ensure your business stays relevant and ready to innovate at all times, you will need to invest significantly in time and resources to train your team members on the most recent and highly sought after skills. The very best software engineers are those who are continuously learning from new projects and gaining knowledge from the experienced colleagues around them. Software development agencies are a constant source of learning and development, with team members frequently working on a whole range of projects to develop and practise a variety of skills. By outsourcing your software development, you need not worry about having to find the time and resources to train your developers and can instead have access to a large pool of talent at your disposal, greatly accelerating the development process.

#5 –  Slower deployment

A bi-product of the risks we have already discussed (cost of hiring and lack of breadth of skills) is an inevitably slower time-to-market. For businesses who are in a race to deploy an innovative new product to serve their customers, choosing to outsource may be a better option. By leaning on the expertise of an agency, you are able to add features at any time in the journey, no matter the skills they require. You don’t have to worry about in-house problems such as having to search for the right skillset to do this. As such, you can expect a much quicker process around launching your new software. And in today’s hyper-competitive market, time really is of the essence!

How Rocketmakers can help

Rocketmakers is one of the leading software design and development agencies in the UK. We have a diverse portfolio of projects around the design, development, and deployment of award-winning apps, websites, and software for startups, scale-ups, and large innovative organisations. Whatever the size, requirements, and budget of your software project, we have a team of the brightest and most ambitious minds in the industry on hand to turn your vision into a reality. Reach out today to find out more!