7 Proven Steps to Outsource App Development in 2024

July 24, 2023

Finding the right app development talents can be challenging for a company, especially due to the technical skills gap. 

And, even if you can find the right developers, employing and retaining them can be costly. 

This is where outsourcing comes in. By outsourcing your app development you can save costs, gain access to a larger talent pool, and achieve faster time-to-market. 

That said, finding a company that aligns with your vision and meets your specific requirements can be daunting. There are thousands of app development companies out there, making it overwhelming to decide which one you should choose.

Given these challenges, this comprehensive guide presents seven proven steps to outsource app development effectively in 2023.

7 Steps to Outsourcing App Development

Outsourcing app development can be an effective way to save time and resources, leverage specialized expertise, and focus on quality assurance (QA). But you cannot go and delegate this task to anyone; there's a strategic approach to finding the right app development company for you.

Follow these steps to ensure a successful outsourcing process: 

#1. Define Your Project Requirements

Clear and well-defined requirements are a foundation for a successful collaboration between you and the app development company you will outsource to. 

Begin by listing down your project’s goals. At the same time, identify your target audience and the problems your app will address. 

Having clear project requirements and a timeline can guide the outsourcing process because the development team will be able to better understand what you want from them.

For example, you should outline the core functionalities and features your app should have. This is going to be specifically important down the line if you decide to build an MVP for your product, regardless of whether it's an MVP for a mobile app or a web app.

#2. Decide on a Budget

One of the biggest factors to consider in app development is the cost. But, calculating the exact app development cost can be challenging. 

Many factors, including the app development timeline, the number of features the app will have, the project's complexity, etc., can influence the total costs.

That is why, deciding on a budget before you outsource your app development is vital. 

Your app development budget can also impact other aspects of the business. For instance, if you spend all your money on app development, no budget will be left for marketing your product.

By establishing a budget, you set clear financial limits for the project. This helps prevent unexpected expenses and enables better cost control throughout development. A well-managed budget ensures that resources are utilized efficiently and reduces the risk of overspending.

There are several other reasons to decide on a budget before outsourcing development. Budgeting can help you with:

  • Project Scope Definition: A well-defined budget helps you identify the features and functionalities you can afford to include and prioritize them based on their importance.
  • Vendor Selecting and Contract Negotiations: With a budget, you can select a vendor that aligns with your financial capabilities and also negotiate the contract accordingly.
  • Risk Management: Budgeting helps you plan for unexpected expenses and ensures that the project remains on track.
  • Quality Control: While it's essential to avoid cutting corners to save costs, having a budget can push you to seek the right balance between quality and expenditure.

You should start by researching market rates to create a budget. Once you have the market rates, break down the development lifecycle and understand how much it will cost. Based on the information you have gathered, decide on a budget range.

#3. Select a Service Model

The next step in outsourcing app development is selecting a service model. There are three different service models to choose from:

Project-Based Model

The outsourcing company agrees to complete a project within a predetermined timeframe and budget in the project-based model. The client outlines the project requirements, and the outsourcing company delivers the final product upon completion. 

This model is suitable for short-term projects with well-defined scopes and deliverables.

Pros - Cons

Clear deliverables and fixed budget - Limited flexibility

Reduced management burden - Lack of control

Lower financial risk - Potential communication issues

Dedicated Team Model

In the dedicated team model, the outsourcing company provides a team of skilled professionals who work exclusively on the client's project for an extended period. The client maintains full control over the team's activities and collaborates closely throughout the development process.

Pros - Cons

High flexibility - Higher cost

Direct communication - Managerial overhead

Long-term partnership - Dependency on the team's expertise

Outstaff or Extended Team Model

The outstaff or extended team model is a hybrid approach that combines the benefits of in-house and outsourcing teams. The client hires additional professionals with specific skills or expertise to complement the existing in-house team. The client maintains full control over the project and its development.

Pros - Cons

Complementary skills - Integration challenges

Full control - Time zone differences

Cost-effective - Potential for team fragmentation

Each service model has its pros and cons, which means that it all depends on finding the one that is best for you

For instance, a project-based model is ideal for small, short-term projects, because they have a clear budget, well-defined scopes, and lower chances of delays.

#4. Research Potential Outsourcing Partners

This is the most crucial step of outsourcing app development, as it directly impacts the success of your project. 

Selecting the right partner, like Make IT Simple, can ensure a seamless development process, timely delivery, and a high-quality end product. On the other hand, choosing the wrong partner can lead to delays, cost overruns, and subpar results.

When researching potential outsourcing partners, consider all the points covered above. For instance, select a partner that can:

  • Help you achieve your goals and objectives
  • Agree with and work within your budget
  • Offer the service model you have selected

Start by looking up app development companies where you can outsource your project through search engines, social media, and professional networks. Once you find some names, read their reviews on platforms like Clutch, Upwork, or Glassdoor to gather feedback from previous clients.

You should also evaluate the portfolios of the companies you shortlist to see if they have experience in developing apps that are similar to yours. All these will help you narrow down the list of potential outsourcing partners.

#5. Conduct a Thorough Screening Process

Since the success of your app largely depends on the team you choose to outsource development, it is vital to conduct a thorough screening process. The screening will help you assess the team's technical expertise, skills, communication and language proficiency, development process, and more.

For a thorough screening process, you should ask as many relevant questions as possible to get all the information you need to select an outsourcing partner. Such questions can include: 

  • What technologies, development frameworks, and programming languages do you specialize in?
  • Can you provide examples of similar apps you've developed in the past?
  • How many developers, designers, and QA professionals will be assigned to our project?
  • What development methodologies do you follow?
  • How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration during the development process?
  • How do you manage project timelines and ensure timely delivery?

#6. Sign Legality Agreements and Set Clear Communication Channels

Signing legality agreements is vital for further proceedings because app development is subject to several legal issues. 

For instance, legality agreements like Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) help protect your intellectual property rights. Similarly, having well-researched contracts can clearly define the scope of work and outline the roles and responsibilities of each party involved in the app development process.

After signing the agreements, the next step should be to set and maintain clear communication channels. Proper communication ensures that you and the outsourcing team are on the same page at all times. 

It will also keep you in the loop throughout the development project.

Designate one person from your team as the primary point of contact. This person will relay information, answer questions, and provide feedback to the outsourcing team. Also, decide on the communication tools you will use. Common options include email, instant messaging platforms like Slack, and video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

#7. Define Milestones and Timelines

The last step to outsourcing app development is to set milestones and timelines. The best way to do this is by creating an app development roadmap

This is a strategic document that includes all the milestones and timelines for the entire app. This means it will outline all the goals you want to achieve and by which date. It also communicates what actions should be taken during the app development process.

Breaking down the app development process into significant milestones is crucial for project management and progress tracking. These milestones represent completed and functional portions of the app. For example, the first milestone could focus on app design and wireframes, followed by core functionality development, testing and bug fixes, and ultimately, app deployment and launch.

Close collaboration with your app development partner is vital when estimating timelines for each milestone. They can provide insights based on their expertise and the development team's capacity. Be sure to consider factors like development time, testing, potential revisions, and any unforeseen delays that may arise.

It's also wise to incorporate a contingency plan to account for uncertainties and unexpected challenges. Allocating some buffer time for unforeseen issues will help maintain the project's progress despite difficulties.

6 Tips to Find the Right Outsourcing App Development Team

Now you know the steps you need to take to outsource app development. That said, finding the right app development team may still give a hard time. 

So here are some tips that can help you further:

#1. Know What You Want From the App

Before embarking on the journey of outsourcing your app development, it's crucial to have a clear and well-defined vision of your app's purpose, functionality, target audience, and overall goals. 

This clarity will help you communicate your requirements effectively to the outsourcing team and serve as a guiding compass throughout the development process.

While outlining your requirements, think about the app's scalability and future growth potential. Consider whether you may need to add new features, accommodate higher user loads, or expand the app to different platforms in the future. If you're building a mobile app, this is when to decide whether you want a native app or a web app.

A forward-thinking approach ensures that the app's architecture and design can support future enhancements without requiring significant rework.

#2. Look for Relevant Experience

A team with relevant experience brings valuable insights and expertise, increasing the chances of creating a successful app. Hence, finding a team with the right experience is vital. 

To begin the search, look up app development teams that have worked on projects similar to your app's concept or within your industry.

When examining their past projects, pay attention to the complexity and scale of the apps they have developed. A team that has successfully delivered complex and large-scale apps demonstrates its ability to handle challenging projects and meet deadlines. This also indicates the team will be able to handle any potential scalability your app may have.

#3. Ask Questions

Asking questions is fundamental in selecting the right app development team, as it can provide you with valuable insights. By asking the right questions, you can better understand the development team's expertise and establish effective communication from the outset.

Here are some tips that can help ask the right questions to the development team.

  • Start by inquiring about the team's experience and expertise.
  • Ask about their preferred communication channels and how frequently they will be updating the app.
  • Inquire about the development process they follow.
  • Ask about the team's availability and how they manage workloads.
  • Inquire about the team's approach to testing and quality assurance.

#4. Request a Project Plan

To improve your chances of finding the right partner for outsourcing app development, you can also request a project plan. 

A well-crafted project plan provides a roadmap of how the development team will approach your app's creation, including timelines, milestones, and deliverables. It gives you a clear understanding of the company’s development process and allows you to assess the team's organization and planning capabilities.

When requesting a project plan, provide the development team with all the necessary information about your app's requirements, features, and objectives. The more comprehensive the information you provide, the more accurate and tailored the project plan will be. 

This is also an opportunity for the team to ask any clarifying questions and ensure they thoroughly understand your vision for the app.

#5. Check Client Reviews and Testimonials

Checking client reviews and testimonials is essential in evaluating an app development team's reputation and performance. 

For instance, you can gain insights into the experiences of previous clients who have worked with the development team. This can help you make a more informed decision.

Start by searching for client reviews on various platforms. You can also go through the development team's website. Many app development companies add their previous work samples to their website. For instance, Make IT Simple has a section with previous work samples on its website. You can go through them to evaluate our past work.

You can also contact the development team and ask for references from their previous clients. Directly asking past clients allows you to ask specific questions about their experiences, the challenges faced during the project, and how the development team handled them. 

A candid conversation with references can provide valuable insights that may not readily appear in online reviews.

#6. Consider Time Zones

Time zone alignment is an often overlooked yet crucial aspect when outsourcing app development. The geographical location of your chosen development team can significantly impact project communication, collaboration, and overall efficiency. 

While outsourcing to a team in a vastly different time zone might seem like a cost-effective option, it can also introduce challenges in real-time communication and project management.

Having overlapping work hours, on the other hand, can streamline communication and foster immediate responses to urgent queries and concerns. It allows for regular meetings, updates, and discussions, which is essential for promptly addressing project-related issues.

6 Reasons to Outsource App Development

According to recent data, around 60% of organizations outsource app development. The number increases to 72% in the financial services sector. These numbers show the increasing demand for outsourcing app development projects. 

But why is everyone looking to outsource app development?

Here are six reasons why companies might choose to outsource their app development:

  1. Cost Efficiency: One of the primary reasons for outsourcing app development is cost reduction. Building an in-house development team requires significant investments in hiring, training, infrastructure, and retaining talent. By outsourcing, businesses can often find skilled developers at more competitive rates in regions with lower labor costs, resulting in potential cost savings.
  2. Focus on Core Business: Developing and maintaining apps can be time-consuming and distracting from a company's core business activities. By outsourcing app development, businesses can concentrate on their core competencies, strategic initiatives, and day-to-day operations, leaving the technical aspects to external experts.
  3. Access to Specialized Skills: Outsourcing allows businesses to tap into a broader talent pool and access specialized skills that may not be readily available within their organization. Whether it's expertise in a particular programming language, platform, or domain, outsourcing can provide access to experienced professionals who can deliver high-quality results.
  4. Flexible Scalability: App development demands can vary over time. Outsourcing offers the advantage of scalability, enabling businesses to adjust development resources as needed. During peak periods, additional developers can be easily engaged, and when the workload decreases, the team can be scaled down accordingly without hiring or laying off employees.
  5. Faster Time-to-Market: Experienced app development companies have well-established processes and workflows. They can efficiently handle app development projects, leading to faster turnaround times and quicker time-to-market for the application. Speed is often crucial in the competitive app landscape.
  6. Access to Innovation and Best Practices: App development companies stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices. By outsourcing, businesses can benefit from this knowledge and incorporate innovative features and functionalities into their apps, ensuring they remain competitive and relevant in the market.

12 Benefits & Drawbacks of Outsourcing App Development

Like every other IT-related business decision, even outsourcing has its benefits and drawbacks. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of outsourcing app development you should consider:

7 Benefits

  1. Faster Time to Market: Outsourcing allows you to leverage the expertise of experienced developers who can streamline the app development process, resulting in quicker time-to-market than in-house development.
  2. Enhanced Scalability and Flexibility: External app development teams can adapt to your project's changing requirements and scale resources as needed. This ensures you have the flexibility to handle varying workloads efficiently.
  3. Better Risk Mitigation: By partnering with a reputable outsourcing company, you can mitigate certain risks associated with app development. Established firms often have experience handling various types of projects and can apply the best practices to minimize risks.
  4. Faster Learning Curve: Professional outsourcing firms typically possess vast experience across various technologies and industries. This enables them to quickly grasp the unique aspects of your app project, reducing the learning curve.
  5. Efficient Post-Launch Support: A reliable outsourcing partner should provide ongoing support and maintenance services after the app's launch. This helps address any issues and ensures the app continues to function smoothly.
  6. Reduced Management Burden: Outsourcing allows you to focus on your core competencies while leaving the app development process in the hands of experts. This reduces the managerial burden on your internal teams.
  7. Simplified Access to Enhanced IT Infrastructure: Outsourcing companies often have access to cutting-edge technologies and infrastructure, which may not be readily available in-house. This can positively impact the quality and efficiency of the development process.

5 Drawbacks

  1. Increased Communication Challenges: Dealing with an external team may lead to communication difficulties, such as language barriers and different time zones. This can potentially slow down the development process and create misunderstandings.
  2. Reduced Quality Control: Ensuring consistent quality across an outsourced app development project can be challenging. That’s why you must establish clear quality standards and effective monitoring mechanisms to maintain the desired level of quality.
  3. Varied Linguistic and Cultural Differences: Different cultural norms and communication styles may impact collaboration and understanding between your team and the outsourcing partner.
  4. Increased Dependency on External Providers: Relying on an external team means you depend on their performance and availability. Any delays or issues on their end can affect your project timeline and success.
  5. Complicated Contract Loopholes: Inadequate contracts and legal agreements could lead to disputes or disagreements regarding deliverables, intellectual property rights, or payment terms.

Where Can I Find an App Development Team?

There's no denying that finding an app development team is crucial, but where do you find them? There are many channels to look for an app development team for outsourcing. 

Here are some of the most popular ones:

#1. Search Engines

Use popular search engines like Google to find app development companies or teams. Simply enter relevant keywords, such as "app development team" or "mobile app development company," along with your location if you prefer local options.

When you use search engines, you can find the websites of app development firms and connect with them through their "Contact Us" page. App development agencies also write relevant blog content that you may come across while searching for the right keywords. Quality content that resonates with your company and project needs may be a good starting point for finding the right development company for you. 

#2. Freelance Platforms

Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr allow you to connect with individual app developers or entire app development teams. 

You can browse profiles, check reviews, and hire based on your project requirements.

#3. Business 2 Business (B2B) Reviews and Rating Platforms

Websites like Clutch, GoodFirms, and AppFutura provide reviews and ratings for app development companies. These platforms can help you gain insights into the quality of services different teams offer.

You can also go through the app development company's reviews from these websites. As mentioned earlier, reviews are crucial when deciding which firm to select for outsourcing your app development project.

#4. Social Media Platforms

Professional networks like LinkedIn can help you find app development companies or freelance app developers showcasing their skills and projects. 

Alternatively, you can post a job listing or ask for recommendations.

#5. Online Business Listings

Platforms like Google My Business and Yelp often list local businesses, including app development teams. You can search for local app development companies and read reviews from their clients.

#6. Networking Events and Meetups

Attend industry-specific events, conferences, or local meetups focused on technology and app development. These gatherings provide an excellent opportunity to meet potential app development teams in person and discuss your project requirements.

Most app development companies are available on multiple channels. For instance, we at Make IT Simple are available through search engines, B2B review platforms, and social media platforms.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource App Development?

To provide rough estimates, a basic app could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. More complex apps with advanced features, backend integration, and custom designs can range from $50,000 to $200,000. Enterprise-grade applications can require budgets exceeding $500,000.

However, these figures are rough estimates, as the price can vary widely based on several factors. For instance, the higher the complexity of the app and the more features and functionalities required, the higher the cost.

Likewise, the platforms you want to develop it for (e.g., iOS, Android, web), the location of the outsourcing company, and the level of experience and expertise can all influence the cost of outsourcing app development.


Outsourcing app development in 2023 is a proven strategy to thrive in the mobile-driven market. By partnering with a reputable company like MakeITSimple, businesses can ensure successful custom mobile app creation and deployment.

We at MakeITSimple have the right expertise to help you with all your app development-related needs, whether app design, web app development, mobile app development, or custom software development. Our experts have profound knowledge and expertise in multiple programming languages and development methodologies, allowing them to build software in your preferred technology.

Contact our experts today to learn how we can help you take your business to the next level with mobile app development.

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