The outsourcing craze that permeated the last decade is coming to an end and companies are reassessing their outsourcing strategies. However, outsourcing can still be a cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house team.
Research shows that the perceived benefits of outsourcing often don’t materialize. First, the wage rate arbitrage that existed in the last two to three decades is going away. Price differences between markets are slowly becoming less advantageous. Second, industrial automation has decreased the need for physical labor which often means moving the production back to higher cost countries. Last, and probably most important reason is connected to the hurdles of managing the outsourced labor. Outsourcing can be a cost effective alternative to building an in-house team to handle your ASO, app and mobile optimization. This no longer means sending a part of your company’s workload to the far east, but instead it is merely a strategy to move a part of your workload to specialized contractors. Some of the main benefits of outsourcing are outlined below.
Understanding your customer is a core part of optimization
Outsourcing IT and other analytical tasks adds the risk of losing knowledge about your customers. Therefore your company would benefit by working with a mobile solutions partner, such as ASO partners, that has good transparency and communications about the information they gather for you. Ideally you would find an outsourcing partner with a local office or representation. This proximity factor plays a major role in choosing the right partner. Local and cultural insights ensure that issues such as cultural sensibilities, language barriers, and time differences are kept to a minimum.
Innovation through ASO, app optimization and data analysis
Innovation stems from a close relationship between your developers and the analytical body of your business. Implementing a monitoring and feedback system is important in helping your developer team foster innovation, ensuring high quality data analysis, and interpretation of data. Few businesses understand and embrace the fact that successful mobile and app development is dependent on this iterative process. In his book “The Lean Startup,” Eric Ries outlines an essential feedback loop. Ideas are built, released (gray shaded area of illustration) then measured and analysed, then new ideas can be extracted from the data. Outsourcing the data intensive analytics and ASO to a dedicated team or company can ensure that your developer team can shorten the turnaround time for improvements and implementation of new features. Development and analysis are two simultaneous and ongoing processes, this makes it difficult for one team to manage both.
When looking at the development process in this light, it is clear that choosing an outsourcing partner that has a long term vision for their clients relationship is immensely important. These partners can better work with you to build a solid knowledge base and a more sustainable relationship with your apps and brands. Countries such as India, where the turnover rates for outsourcing companies are high, might not be the best place to look anymore. For example, companies such as General Electric and General Motors, who were early adopters of IT outsourcing to India, are bringing IT work back home. A clear indication that proximity, high quality performance, and that “common sense” cultural awareness are valued higher than savings from lower wage rates.
Avoiding the developer bias
Another great benefit from outsourcing the analytics side of your app and mobile development & ASO, stems from the fact that developers are almost always biased. Developers build their app with certain personal assumptions, and can have too personal a connection with their work to assess it objectively. When you approach analytics with certain expectations and assumptions about the results, it’s easy to fall into the trap of either consciously or subconsciously manipulating the results of your analysis. By separating the development team from the analytics team you lower the risk of bias in research and development.
A great outsourcing partner dares to disagree
In Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk “Dare to Disagree”, she raises a common problem that haunts and paralyzes organizations, namely the fear of conflict. “The fact is that most of the biggest catastrophes that we’ve witnessed, rarely comes from information that is secret or hidden, it comes from information that is freely available … but that we are wilfully blind to because we can’t handle, [or] don’t want to handle the conflict that it provokes. But when we dare to break that silence… and create conflict – we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.” By using outside consultants, you can reduce the occurrence of major flaws in your mobile optimization process. The benefits of outsourcing your ASO and mobile analytics can outweigh the costs. Developing a long-term relationship with the right optimization partners can effectively foster innovation, enhance and speed up development, and remove bias from the analysis process.[/vc_column_text]