Check out our latest service -UX/UI Audits!
web application

Application Development Outsourcing Guide (2023)

James Sullivan
James Sullivan
November 15, 2023
Application Development Outsourcing Guide (2023) | OneSeven


As the market for mobile apps continues to expand, the need for efficient and timely app development is greater than ever. Many companies meet this growing demand by outsourcing their mobile application development to skilled specialists in countries with lower living and labor costs.

In this article, we will explore various aspects of app development outsourcing, from understanding its core benefits to learning how to outsource app development effectively. We will also discuss the cost of outsourcing app development and how to reduce risks.

Let’s begin!

What is Application Development Outsourcing?

Mobile application development outsourcing is a business practice in which a company contracts a specialized firm to handle all the technical elements involved in creating a mobile app. This strategy is particularly beneficial for companies that require specialized development skills for a project but need more capabilities in-house.

If you're considering outsourcing mobile app development, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of what this process entails to determine if it's the right choice for your business. Many companies search for agencies with the expertise to assist with their projects and then outsource their app development to these agencies.

Outsourcing vs. In-House App Development

When it comes to building an app, you're generally faced with two primary options: hiring in-house developers or outsourcing app development to an external agency or freelancer. The decision between these two routes often hinges on factors like budget, team size, and the level of control you wish to maintain over the development process.

If you're operating on a tight budget or have a small team, outsourcing app development can often be the more cost-effective choice. By doing so, you can tap into a pool of specialized skills without the overheads associated with hiring full-time staff.

On the other hand, if you have ample resources or the capital to invest, setting up an in-house team may be more aligned with your business needs.

Your choice will also depend on the timeline and budget constraints you've established for your project requirements, as well as how much direct oversight you wish to have over the app's development. For instance, if meeting a specific deadline is critical, the speed to market often associated with outsourcing could be beneficial.

If you're new to mobile app development and need help figuring out where to begin, outsourcing can offer a quick and efficient route to market. Not only does this option save time and money, but it also allows you to direct your focus towards enhancing the overall user experience of your app, which is crucial for its success.

Benefits of Application Development Outsourcing

Mobile app development outsourcing offers a streamlined avenue for creating high-quality mobile apps without investing in training an in-house development team. Utilizing this strategy, you gain the advantage of a team of experts from reputable mobile app development companies.

For many small businesses or individual entrepreneurs, this provides access to a range of specialized skills that would otherwise be hard to come by.

Now, let's look at the numerous benefits that you can gain from outsourcing your mobile app development:

1. Cost-Efficiency

One of the most compelling reasons to outsource application development is the cost savings it can offer. When you have a limited budget, focusing on your core business becomes more feasible as you save on the costs associated with hiring skilled in-house developers.

According to a study by Deloitte, cost-efficiency is a leading factor encouraging companies to outsource, corroborating the financial advantages of this approach.

2. Access to a Larger Pool of Talent

Many businesses choose to outsource mobile app development because it enables them to tap into a broader range of technological expertise. This ensures they can find the right professionals with the skill set that matches their project needs, often at a more affordable rate.

As of 2023, countries like India, Ukraine, China, Poland, and the Philippines are among the top providers of outsourced services, offering a diverse range of talents.

3. Faster Time-to-Market

Outsourcing app development often results in quicker delivery of quality solutions compared to what in-house teams might be able to achieve. External service providers are more efficient and innovative. At the same time, in-house developers, who may be accustomed to working on repetitive projects, might miss out on small but crucial details that users appreciate.

4. Scalability

Imagine having an internal team of developers who are already stretched thin on existing software development projects. If you suddenly require additional resources to meet a looming deadline, outsourcing offers a flexible solution. You can easily scale your development efforts up or down based on your current needs without any hassle.

Application development outsourcing not only enables you to build your app more quickly and affordably, but it also opens the door to specialized expertise and scalability. If you're looking to develop an app but need help figuring out where to begin, outsourcing could be an ideal option.

Outsourcing App Development Cost

Understanding the cost of outsourcing app development is vital for budget planning and making informed decisions.

Costs can vary widely based on several key factors:

1. Complexity

Simple apps with basic features can cost as low as $10,000 to $50,000. In contrast, complex applications with more advanced functionalities and integrations can range from $50,000 to $250,000 or even higher.

2. Platform

If you plan to develop for just one platform, say iOS, your cost could be around $25,000. But if you aim for iOS and Android, this could easily double, starting at around $50,000. Cross-platform development tools could offer a cost-effective solution, bringing down the cost to potentially $40,000 for both platforms.

3. Location

Location matters, especially when it comes to cost. Developers in countries with lower living expenses might offer services for as low as $20 per hour, while developers in more expensive countries could charge a $150 hourly rate.

4. Experience

More experienced software development teams may charge more, let's say $200 per hour, but they often complete the work more efficiently, potentially saving you time and money in the long run. Less experienced teams might charge $50 per hour but could take longer to deliver the project.

5. Design and UI/UX

A good UI/UX design could add approximately $5,000 to $20,000 to your overall cost. It’s an essential investment for user satisfaction and can't be overlooked.

6. Testing and QA

Quality assurance is often overlooked but is vital for the app's reliability and security. This can add another $5,000 to $15,000 to the overall budget.

7. Additional Features

Adding extra features such as in-app purchases, real-time chat, or geolocation can increase your costs. Each additional feature can range from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on its complexity.

8. Maintenance

Post-launch, it’s wise to budget for ongoing maintenance and support. This can add an extra 20% to 25% of the initial development cost per year.

By being aware of these factors, you can accurately plan your budget and make informed decisions when outsourcing your app development project.

How To Outsource App Development?

Outsourcing app development requires a well-organized approach to ensure your project's success.

Below are four critical steps that outline how to outsource app development effectively:

1. Create a Plan

The first step in any outsourcing venture is to establish a clear plan and vision. Your business goals for the end product must be well-defined, along with what you expect to achieve with the project. A detailed roadmap can provide much-needed guidance as you embark on the outsourcing journey.

2. Define a List of Features

After establishing a plan, the next step is to detail the list of features you deem essential for your app. This should encompass user stories, user journeys, and data flows, among other functionalities like payment gateways. These features should not just exist in isolation; they need to work in harmony to offer an excellent user experience. Consider elements like context-awareness to enhance the overall functionality of the app.

3. Define Budget

Determining your budget is a crucial step that should come early in the process. As you pinpoint your development and design needs, gauge whether your existing budget or funding streams can accommodate them. Financial planning is vital to avoid unexpected costs that could arise later.

4. Consider What to Do In-House

An important aspect of outsourcing is knowing what tasks to outsource and which to keep in-house. Non-core tasks like creating an app icon or marketing assets could be ideal for outsourcing if you lack the in-house capability for those tasks. Conversely, more significant elements of your app that align closely with your business strengths might be better managed in-house to maintain control and possibly reduce costs.

By following these steps, you can approach app development outsourcing in an organized and effective manner. This will help you maintain better control over the project and also ensure that you achieve your objectives while staying within your budget.

How to Reduce Risks of Mobile App Development Outsourcing?

Mitigating risks in mobile app development outsourcing is important for establishing a successful and secure partnership.

To avoid potential pitfalls:

1. Choose a Trustworthy Partner

Look for an outsourcing company with a robust reputation and proven expertise in mobile app development. Client reviews and past projects can serve as good indicators of their reliability.

2. Define Project Objectives

Be explicit about what you expect from the project. Clearly state the business goals, needs, and specifications in a detailed project scope. This approach minimizes the chance of misunderstandings and scope creep later on.

3. Ensure Legal and Security Compliance

It's essential to confirm that your outsourcing partner is compliant with legal and security guidelines. Address intellectual property rights and confidentiality clauses in your contract to protect your business assets.

4. Open Communication

Maintain a regular dialogue with your outsourced team. Prompt and honest communication can resolve issues swiftly and help keep everyone on the same page, reducing risks of delays or budget overruns.

5. Quality Assurance

Set specific quality standards for the project. Conduct regular quality checks that include both code reviews and comprehensive testing. This approach ensures that the end product meets your expectations.

6. Performance Metrics

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your outsourcing partner's performance. These metrics will help you keep track of progress and hold the outsourced team accountable for meeting project goals.

7. After-Launch Support

Ensure that your agreement includes post-launch support and maintenance. This helps you address any issues arising after the app is live, ensuring a smoother user experience.

8. Disaster Recovery and Contingency Plans

Be prepared for unexpected scenarios by having disaster recovery and risk-mitigation strategies in place. Having a backup plan can save valuable time and resources should anything go wrong.

By employing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with mobile app development outsourcing, leading to a more successful project outcome.


After exploring the various aspects of application development outsourcing, from the benefits and costs to risk mitigation strategies, it's clear that this approach offers a viable solution for many businesses. With proper planning, you can leverage the expertise of external teams to produce high-quality apps, all while maintaining cost efficiency and risk control.

If you're interested in taking your app from an idea to a fully functioning product, OneSeven Tech is here to help.

Feel free to get in touch for a consultation or to explore our range of services. Whether you need a software development agency or are seeking to build a comprehensive mobile app, we offer a wide array of solutions tailored to your needs.

Those interested in MVP development can also find specialized services to bring your product to market more quickly.

Explore OneSeven Tech now, and learn how we can assist you in realizing your application development goals.

Ready to Build Industry Changing Software?

Click the button below, tell us more about your project and book a discovery call with out CEO.

Related Posts