How to Outsource Mobile App Development in 2021?

How to Outsource Mobile App Development in 2021? ~ A Complete Guide

Outsourcing app development to specialized agencies is a hassle-free way of creating an app with an emphasis on performance & UI/UX. This economic solution comes with added benefits of aligning with industry experts and increasing market presence.

Updated on :
January 11th, 2021
Twinkle Kalkandha
Twinkle Kalkandha
Product Strategist

Companies have been outsourcing IT related solutions for a long time now. Mainly due to specialization and the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing but it has grown into a massive industry of its own and this comes as no surprise. As per Statista, a staggering 72% of businesses around the world outsource IT-related operations. In the current wave of digital transformation, mobile app development has taken the front seat.

Organizations have started to rapidly outsource app development in an attempt to increase market penetration, customer reach and conversions. This comprehensive guide will walk you through steps, benefits & common mistakes to avoid when going for application development outsourcing..

How to Outsource App Development?

The following 3 steps will walk you through everything that there is to know about mobile development outsourcing.

1) Create a rough wireframe

outsource app development

It is great to have your own design come to life. Any app developer will be able to create a design for the app but it is important that you have an idea of what you want.

Draw a rudimentary design for your application home page and a few in-app pages. This will pave a general direction for your application & make it easy for the developer to bring it to life.

If you are hiring a remote development team then this becomes even more crucial. If there is no decided structure, the finished product might not look like the one in your head.

Creating a wireframe, a map for the application gives a lot of clarity and a framework for your expectations.

When your mental image for the app is executed perfectly, you will be immensely satisfied with the end product and have a better sense of app design and user experience. This knowledge can be great in optimizing the application for a tailor-made customer experience once the application is live.

2) Budget for the project

This is the second step because the simplicity or complexity of the application design is a crucial aspect of development cost. Wireframes help in getting an accurate cost estimation for the project.

Carefully decide how much money you are ready to allocate for the creation of the app and the time for completion. When hiring a mobile app developer as per your budget, it is essential to give merit to quality developers too. After all, money spent on having a low-quality product built is money wasted.

Once a budget is decided, it is just a matter of choosing the best method of app development which falls into that budget.

3) Scout the market for app developers

There are many mobile development companies that accept both small and big projects. Finding the perfect one is all about going through their previous track record and finding a budget-friendly solution.

Don’t jump into a decision, do your research.

How To Select the Perfect Agency to Outsource Mobile App Development?

Go through a list of app development companies and screen on the basis of your expectations and requirements. The following points will help you filter companies based on your needs –

a) Domain experience- Companies that specialize in creating applications for your domain will be able to overcome glitches easily and develop faster.

b) Market presence– A mobile app outsourcing company that has made a strong reputation in delivering successful applications would like to maintain that reputation. Veterans in the game are a safe bet because they strive to maintain their quality and positive brand image.

c) Technology experience- There are many front end and back end development languages, each serve a different purpose and are used to create a different type of app. Understanding technology experience would give an idea about the technological expertise and relevance for you.

d) Cost of development– Companies cost depends on the complexity of the app, timeline and resources allocated towards it. Find the one that fits in your budget and understands your vision for the app.

e) Company stability & Employee Strength- If you are looking for a long term relationship along with application maintenance service then research a bit about the company and its financial health since its creation. A company that has invested in its own future is confident about its long term success.

Companies outsource app developers or set up a remote app development team to reduce long term hiring liability as creating an application can just be a one time project.

Pros & Cons of Different Mobile App Development Methods

When deciding on the best way to develop an application, you have a few options: hire freelancers, hire mobile app development agencies, utilize an off the shelf solution or develop a team of in-house developers.

Each of these has certain merits and demerits. Some are more suited for specific types of businesses than others. Have a look at some of the advantages & disadvantages of each of these strategies-

In-house developers

Hiring developers inside your company to create the application. These full-time employees can develop and maintain the app indefinitely.


  • More control on the app’s production.
  • Easy communication between the team and the responsible party (CEO,CTO etc).
  • Development process & maintenance are streamiled.
  • Time efficient


  • More expensive than other options.
  • Less flexibility due to the permanence of the hired resources.
  • It is very time consuming to hire a team of developers (Front end & back end developers).
  • Inadequate experience could also be an issue.

Mobile app outsourcing company

Many companies hire mobile app development agency. A specialized organization with focus on creating applications with the latest technology.


  • Specialization in technology and application.
  • Domain experience to predict & overcome obstacles.
  • Experience in UI/UX.
  • More cost-effective than an in-house team.
  • Time efficient


  • Can be a bit more expensive than freelancers & off the shelf option.

Freelancer development team

Hiring project-based remote resources to build an app. These remote developers can be hired across the globe.


  • A cost-effective solution for app development.
  • As geography isn’t an issue, amazing talent also becomes accessible.


  • There is low accountability for freelancers.
  • Can be difficult to manage due to different work-time or even different time-zones.
  • No guarantees and can lead to a bad experience & loss of time.
  • Limited technology and domain experience as compared to other sources.

Off the shelf solutions

When there is an existing app/software that you can purchase and incorporate in your business for ex- word, shopify etc.


  • An economic solution as the app doesn’t have to be created from scratch, it already exists.
  • Time-efficient because the app is ready to use with purchase.


  • The readymade app might not be the correct fit.
  • A generic design that might not cater to some audiences.
  • Presence of unrelated features.
  • Lack of detailed customization options.

outsource mobile app development

How to Outsource App Development Effectively on a Low-Budget?

There are many ways to turn down the cost depending on the type of mobile app required. Keep the following points in mind before commencing development-

1) Keep the app simple

Don’t load the application with unwanted features or options. Sticking to the point is always a good way to enhance customer understanding and experience. Every extra feature will add to the cost and total time of application creation. Keep this in mind before outsourcing.

2) Right Platform to create the app

When you understand what platform is largely used by your potential customers, you can begin creation by focusing solely on that platform i.e Android or iOS. If the idea is to create an application for both these platforms then you can consider one cross platform app.

Cross-platform can compromise on the performance a bit but it is cheaper than creating apps separately on native platforms.

3) Pre-built features for the app

You can opt for some generic existing services. There are a few features that are readily available with app companies and don’t need complete development.

For instance, opting for the Google cloud platform can help with 24*7 chat support with an added push notification feature.

4) The right outsourcing company

In the end, finding the right agency is going to be crucial. The right agency will ensure that quality is maintained and in addition to that, they may have pre-developed frameworks and designs that could further reduce the cost of production.

Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile App Development

outsource mobile app development

Companies outsource app development for a premium specialized product. There are many added benefits of outsourcing mobile app development-

A complete end to end service

App development has 3 basic stages – Pre development, development & post-development. Agencies that specialize in developing applications provide a holistic service from the beginning to the end, where end isn’t defined as app maintenance can be a consistent exercise of monitoring and updating features.

Pre-development- The phase of planning, breaking down tasks into time schedules and effectively distributing them between specialized developers. Giving a timeline to the company and pre-deciding delivery timeline.

Development- Creating the application using the most effective programming language. Ensuring application stability, UI/UX and proper functioning of all features.

Post-development- Beta testing on different OS and devices. Maintaining smooth functionality and fixing bugs. Modifying features as per customer feedback.

Experience that matters

People outsource mobile app development because designated organizations that create apps in various verticals and for different objectives have a real-time experience of turning an idea into a product.

Mobile development companies are experienced in forecasting technology trends and overcoming obstacles. Organizations outsource app development because of their trust in this experience.

Lesser Cost of Creation

Any talk about outsourcing benefits usually starts with cost and how it can save money in the short and long run. Creating an in-house team is a time extensive practice that costs a lot more money, as finding good developers takes time and resources. On the other hand, simply outsourcing this function will save time and money without compromising on quality.

People do hire a remote development team sometimes but this compromises accountability without significantly reducing cost. A risk that is not worth the reward.

Companies outsource software development projects and applications due to the cost flexibility structure that outsourcing agencies provide which depends largely on the scope of the project and the time factor.

Superior Quality

Most application development outsourcing agencies rely on client feedback to get business, hence it is extremely essential for them to deliver quality.
There are numerous quality checks in place to ensure that standards are met. Most of these development companies have a team of quality testers trained to look for loopholes, discrepancies, judge the user interface and the overall experience of the application, in order to fix and update pain points.

Beta testing is generally done by a large group of contracted testers that check all features of the application on different platforms and gadgets.

Time-efficient & Hassle-free

Organizations outsource app development because it saves a lot of time and effort. From contacting an outsourcing company, to the planning and development of the mobile app. Each step of the process is swift, smooth and scheduled.

There is no time lapse like in the case of hiring developers. Contacting app development companies, sharing expectations and vision is a matter of days. Outsourcing application development is extremely time-efficient and hassle-free.

A company can inquire about regular updates throughout the development process and provide feedback as and when required, saving time to focus on other functions of the organization. An ideal system for increased efficiency & smooth operations.

Design Expertise ~ UI/UX

The user interface is what connects the customer with the technology of the application. A user-friendly interface that is appealing and easy to understand creates an amazing user experience.

Customers align the brand image with the application experience. A very critical step in the development of an application. App companies interact with many clients and generally do stick around to observe customer feedback as well. This feedback loop is what gives app development companies the edge in design.

They know what kind of experience customers enjoy and what customers find complicated.

Popular App Outsourcing Contracts

Each development company has unique offerings but the most popular amongst them are – Fixed price contracts & Time-and-material contracts.
Although the outsourcing company that you reach out to will give an option to choose along with the individual merits of the contract, however, it is advisable to have an idea about popular contracts in the market in advance.

Fixed Price Contracts

In this contract, the cost of the project is predetermined. Regardless of any changes to the original development plan, the price will remain fixed.This can turn into a very inflexible approach to app development.

Outsourcing agencies will not be able to integrate any new feature or any UX related issues that aren’t covered in the pre-development planning phase.

This can be a good method to control costs but it restricts creativity.

Time and material contracts

The payment under these contracts depends on the effort and time put in the project.

This type of contract puts more value on quality and innovation. Not only is there unlimited scope to upgrade & modify, but these contracts are also flexible enough to accommodate any changes in market trends.

The development team is more involved with this contract and has more incentive to innovate & deliver.

What are the Biggest Outsourcing Mistakes?

Companies outsource mobile app development to get the best possible product. There are certain factors that companies should consider while going for mobile development outsourcing.

1) Undetermined expectations – When companies don’t communicate their expectation properly, project completion can get delayed. The key to a healthy work-relationship is pre-setting a timeline which also has a schedule for progress update. This helps in keeping things on track and mitigating any miscommunication on a later date.

Before aligning with a third-party company, look into their past experiences and specialization. If you want to work with another company, make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to vision and expectations.

2) Lack of quality parameters- Defining performance metrics and measures beforehand will make it easy to validate the application on completion.
Companies often ignore these parameters while heading out to shop for outsourcing companies.

These quality measures can be on the basis of performance, stability, design or just overall in-app experience. This is exclusive to the company’s expectations from the application.

3) Only Cost focus- One of the major reasons why many startups and small companies want to outsource app development is to save on employee and technology costs. This is completely understandable and makes good business sense but going for the cheapest option in the market might mean you are sacrificing a key ingredient of app development – “User Experience”.

Having worked in the industry, good outsourcing companies have customer sense and the know-how of what works well and what doesn’t.

A user-friendly interface with an exclusive design system creates a smooth user experience which is critical for a successful application. Avoiding common mistakes while hiring a mobile app developer can make a big difference between success and failure. It is best to go for an economic solution which isn’t too heavy on the pocket but also has a history of delivering “one of a kind” product.

Mobile App Outsourcing in 2021

If you are still wondering “Should I outsource app development?“ then know that application development outsourcing has become an effective answer to a previously expensive question. It has presented a solution that is cost-effective, time-efficient, and ensures superior quality. If you are hoping to approach an app development agency, you should have clarity about expectations and vision in order to get the most out of the deal.

You can outsource mobile app development very easily in 2021. Just make sure that you go for a company that understands your brand image, vision and expectations.

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