There is an intense debate in the industry and the marketplace about the pros and cons of outsourcing mobility projects versus keeping them in-house. Some of the factors that drive this debate include:
- Is the mobility project related to the company’s core business?
- Is it a revenue generation model (profit center) or a non-core IT asset (cost center)?
- What is the availability of human resources for the project?
- What is the agility and flexibility of current employees to learn and master new paradigms and new technologies?
- What is the ability to provide post production support?
- What would the cost of failure be?
Despite these questions, outsourcing mobility projects does provide some clear-cut advantages. Here are the top 10 reasons outsourcing mobility projects is better than keeping them in-house, as identified by Rauf Adil, director of technology at Virtusa Corporation.
Click through for 10 reasons your organization should consider outsourcing its mobility projects, as identified by Rauf Adil, director of technology at Virtusa Corporation.
Organizations need a mobility strategy in place to prioritize their use of resources, identify areas of the enterprise that need to be mobilized, provide consistency and branding for mobile applications and to re-use the platform, framework and assets that get built. An outside mobility partner can help accelerate the development of mobility strategy, thereby lowering total cost of ownership (TCO) for such programs down the line.
Most organizations start mobility projects by creating a mobile-friendly version of their website. As a result, many lines of businesses, divisions and departments spend their time and resources building things that others in the organization duplicate rather than re-using. An external vendor or partner has the expertise and experience to identify, build and leverage a mobility platform that will help define the path of future reference in compliance with the overall mobility strategy.
A mobility partner has knowledge from past work with clients about the do’s and don’ts of implementing a program. This knowledge often contributes largely to the success of the program.
An outsourced partner may have solutions, frameworks and methodologies that can be used to accelerate the time it takes to develop a custom application or a mobility solution. Examples of solutions and frameworks in mobility include payment solutions, mobile wallet solutions, voice-based interaction framework, QR and bar code interaction frameworks and solutions.
In large organizations, many different lines of businesses come up with their own set of UX and visual designs for mobile apps. Some of these applications also end up in public app stores. Each of these may have a different look and feel, UI and visual design, causing inconsistency and confusion among the app users. To solve inconsistency issues, an outsourced partner will help to build solutions using consistent UI and UX design guidelines, policies and governance.
Backend services are also re-engineered or a layer is built on top of them for mobile enablement. This is good, but many different LOB’s and departments have no visibility on what others in the organization are working on or have already built, resulting in duplication of effort and fragmentation of the service layer. A partner will help organize and consolidate services into a single unified web service gateway and manage the backend APIs by using API management tools.
Mobility governance assures you have sound policies, including UX and visual design, architecture, BYOD policy, application distribution and management. Also, complying with all the desired diverse features and functions of such applications (like an enterprise app store) is hardly possible with an in-house team. Outsourcing this function to a third party ensures that a thorough audit will be performed to make sure there is policy compliance.
It makes sense to have a team outside of design and development to test the application. If you built the application in-house, it makes sense to outsource the quality management to an external firm. In fact, many successful mobile applications have been built by firms that outsourced development and quality management. In this case, competition drives efficiency.
Utilizing all the mobility resources in-house is an issue as they may be over-used. Outsourcing them to an external partner eliminates the challenge of having a lack of qualified resources and overusing those that work.
External firms may have key partnerships with vendors and solution providers. This combined knowledge and collaboration will accelerate development of your mobility programs and projects while avoiding critical mistakes that you are likely to make when you do it alone.
Lastly, the cost factor determines why outsourcing may be a good option. Mobility resources are not cheap. If they are over-utilized, the organization runs the risk of attrition or decline of productivity. If you hire more people to satisfy current and future requirements, those resources may remain underutilized down the road. It makes sense to have a small core set of people in-house while outsourcing the major portion of the work to a trusted partner.