A Comprehensive Guide to Outsource App Development in 2024

Avantika Shergil By Avantika Shergil  |  Mar 22, 2024  |  App Development Outsourcing
Outsource Mobile App Development

Mobile applications have become a necessary business tool since its addition as a new dimension for businesses to address the user’s problems and bring substantial gains. This is why, when individual entrepreneurs or large enterprises come up with a unique app idea, they dream about a million-dollar success.

The global mobile application market size was valued at USD 228.98 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.3% from 2024 to 2030.

Joining the gold rush is a good idea to make the products or services available on the device that target customers use the most. However, app development is not a work of an average Joe. Businesses need technical experts to make quality, high-performing apps enter the market in reduced time and cost. All of these checkboxes are ticked by the outsourcing option.

App development outsourcing is driving a transformation change with a prime focus on quality, innovation, accelerated development speed, and reduced cost while lowering the development-related burden.

That’s why Revenue in the Application Outsourcing segment is projected to reach US$121.60bn in 2024 and grow to US$129.90bn by 2028 at an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 1.66%,.

The guide describes how businesses can make the most out of app development outsourcing to an expert app development service provider with its benefits, process, and cost demystified. Let’s dive in!

What is Mobile app development outsourcing?

Mobile app development outsourcing involves hiring a top app development company businesses to build a mobile app without much ado. The app development company acts as an outsourcing company that provides its resources having specific tech skills to work on business client projects.

Businesses look for outsourcing options when they don’t have IT teams or lack tech experts to complete the mobile app project, their app development outsourcing comes into the picture.

The outsourcing company is a one-stop solution to get all the team members with different tech-how that help the businesses achieve their goals. The project manager creates the plan, manages the team, and provides project-related updates to the business in a timely and organized fashion. The 24/7 communication and process-oriented approach keep the app development firm and the client on the same page followed by NDA signed that ensures app idea confidentiality till the app is not launched.

How to Outsource Mobile App Development: 9 Main Steps   Steps to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

Know Your Goal

We have discussed earlier that people outsource mobile app development projects to save costs, but it’s just one reason: there are many other reasons to outsource. What do you want to achieve with outsourcing? Whether you want to cut operational costs, access to the best talent or others. Once you define goals for your mobile app development projects, you will be able to find the right outsourcing mobile app development companies.

Choose Outsourcing Region

Now, choose the region based on your goal. For example, if you are looking for outsourcing companies that offer cost-effective development services for mobile apps, you need to choose the region offering minimum hourly charges. Apart from this, you need to decide if you are considering onshore outsourcing or offshore outsourcing. It will depend on your goal. Select the region based on your needs.

Top Countries for Outsourcing Mobile App Development Projects

Check Communication Skills

When you want to outsource your projects to countries like the USA and UK, you do not face the hurdle of communication as English is their native language, and they can easily understand your project scope. However, if you choose countries like the UAE, Ukraine or India, you need to check the mobile app development companies have teams with good communication skills. Better communication builds trust and creates a better teamwork environment, leaving no space for misunderstanding and misaligned expectations.

Define Costs and Budget

Cost is the fundamental reason why businesses choose to outsource mobile application development. But this should not be your ultimate goal. The better way to achieve this is to define your budget first, then search for a forklift partner who provides quality project development cost-effectively.

Explore Expertise

What if you outsource mobile app development projects to a company with no expertise in the work you do? They will mess up with your projects. So before you choose a company for outsourcing IT projects of any type, ensure the company has experts and experience for the work you need.

Explore Case Studies and Work Portfolios

Whether you want to hire a remote team to work on your project or as part of your in-house team, or you simply outsource the entire or some part of your mobile app development projects to another region, testify their work first. You can explore their portfolios and case studies and even ask the team to explain some of them.

Having a Solid Plan

There is an old saying that ‘A vision without a plan is just a wish’, the same philosophy applies in the realm of mobile app development as well. Your efficient outsourcing mobile app development company will provide you with the best plan by doing in-depth research and analysis, but this will be of no use if you don’t have your expectations crystal clear. A clear plan will not only help you to find your desired outsourcing app development partner, but you will also be able to impart your vision to them in a more synchronized manner.

Businesses need to understand that miscommunication can be fatal for the overall result that they want from their mobile app. Thus, be clear on the most basic and important aspects such as

Your aim with the app;

  • Pain points of the targeted customers that you wish to work solving on
  • Nature of the app (Native or Hybrid)
  • Features (basic and so on)

Do your Homework Well

With the expansion of technology, you will have a plethora of app development service providers from which you have to churn out what is best for you. At TopDevelopers.co, we have created a full-throttle and aptly researched list of the top-rated mobile app development companies that can bridge the gap and help you find your desired outsourcing partner.

There are mainly three types of app development service providers viz: onshore, nearshore, and offshore. You need to decide on the fact that what kind of organization would be best for your product. It will help you to decide the location of the company, which is very critical when it comes to communicating with the developers if such a need arises.

  • Onshore companies work in the same country as yours.
  • Nearshore are the companies that are located in the country near yours.
  • Offshore companies are farthest in terms of distance, and they will be working in a different time zone than yours.

If you choose to outsource mobile app development in India or in companies belonging to Asia, it will be very cost-effective. This is because, the per-hour development rates of companies in Asia is far less as compared to their American or European counterparts.

Be very clear about your requirements and what you are getting in return for the money you pay for app development.

Gauging them Perfectly

Before finalizing your outsourcing app development partner, be sure to check their capability and communication skills if you feel the need to do so. In addition to this, you must go through their portfolios to see their previous works and check if the company holds any experience in developing an app similar to which you are hiring the service provider.

Examining every aspect beforehand in this manner will help you analyze the potential of the app development firm. Thus, you can take a look at the top mobile app development trends and come up with the pitch-perfect mobile app to stay ahead of your peers.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile Application Development

Benefits of Outsourcing Mobile App Development

When it comes to app development, businesses prefer to delegate app development to IT outsourcing companies. Since it has been followed by a lot of businesses it is now a practice since there are a lot of advantages to outsourcing app development, it is the best bet to place for businesses. Outsourcing app development can have many benefits, including:

Rapid Growth

When the word outsourcing comes into mind, businesses outsource for cost saving, but 60% of businesses outsource for different reasons. One of the reasons is to maintain rapid growth. To make your office profitable, you might feel the need to hire an additional team to work on your project. But, hiring full-time employees for particular projects can be a costly affair, and that’s where outsourcing comes into play.

Flexibility to Retain Team

Every business, in some way or the other, faces an employee crunch. And it is also possible that businesses may not require the same level of staffing all year round. But, you will not get the talents when you need them or temporary basis when you need them. That means businesses are compelled to hire them full-time. Outsourcing can provide you with the flexibility to hire as you need. If there’s any busy season, you can outsource or hire a remote team from a reputed company without the financial commitment of in-house employees.

Access to the Talent Pool of Skilled Programmers

You will often find that the best employees go to the largest firm as they pay and provide benefits that many companies may not offer. It will do nothing but limit your ability to achieve the best result for particular projects. If you have a project that requires skilled expertise, outsourcing can help you get the experts for no extra cost or financial commitment, nor do you have to pay the amount that the big company pays them. So, outsourcing is opportunity for businesses who want to hire talent for best results.

Stay Focused with Core Business Objective

With outsourcing, you free up resources, and you can utilize those resources with other important internal tasks. You save time by outsourcing your project, and you stay focused on your core business objectives. For example, if you have a mobile app to build, you choose to outsource some part of the development that will consume the most time of your in-house team. You outsource it, and you save good amount of money while saving time for the team to stay focused on your core development part.

Reduced development cost and time

Businesses with limited budgets want to launch the app in a short timeframe, then outsourcing is a good alternative. Outsourcing app development eliminates the need to invest heavily in hiring, training, and retaining employees followed by infrastructure setup and hardware/software expenses.

The outsourcing companies provide a complete team including- developers, designers, testers, project managers, and marketers that are scaled up or down based on app requirements. The businesses just need to pay for the hours consumed in app development and get the app developed within the timeframe. Hire remote developers to enjoy cost-effective development in reduced time.

Saves you from staff management

Some project requires tech specialists that are rare to find. When it takes too long to recruit tech experts, the project may suffer and deadlines are missed. Additionally, the employee turnover rate is another issue associated with in-house development. On the contrary, outsourcing development makes it the responsibility of the company to hire tech experts and get the work done as defined.

High adaptability

Outsourcing companies have pre-established teams that have worked together for years on various types of projects. The concrete understanding and strong connection among the team members make it easy for them to work on the project collaboratively. Plus, the experience of working with different processes and workflow enables easy adaptability to the new working environment where different practices will be followed.


As discussed above employee turnover is the case with in-house development where employees can switch to other companies when they get good opportunities. On the flip side, the outsourcing team is more accountable towards the project as they are liable to complete the project within time and budget as defined. Outsourcing teams are more stable and strive hard to satiate the clients.

Project control

The businesses have more control over the in-house team working in the office from start to end as they follow the processes the way they are defined. Presently, businesses have control over the resources provided by the outsourcing company through project management systems. The PMS allows business clients to keep tabs on the allocated team members’ tasks and their completion status.

Make intelligent suggestions

The outsourcing team won’t work like- following what the master orders. The team provides valuable suggestions to the client to make the design appealing, functionalities influencing, and user experience breathtaking with powerful tech stack selection. The seamless communication and collaboration of new ideas make the project remarkable that bring outcomes that are more than expected.

How to Outsource App Development That Helps in Achieving Goals?

Tips to Outsource App Development

Outsourcing mobile app development is a big endeavor as it involves the investment of bundles, valuable time, and effort that goes in vain if everything is not strategically planned and executed. Here’s the checklist to hire the right outsource mobile app development partner.

Outline project needs

Before the project goes on the development floor, the app idea, its purpose, features, platform support, target audience, and deadlines should be explained to the development team to make them clearly understand the project scope. Afterward, based on the project understanding, the development team documents the project scope along with some additions and subtractions of the specifications to keep the app in rhythm with the latest technologies and trends.

The process of providing project scope ensures that both parties have the same understanding of the project, which prevent the issues of scope creep.

Set budget

You have created a detailed outline of your app and the milestones in which the app needs to be developed, but it all depends on the budget you have. Having a rough estimate is a good thing, but it’s crucial to weigh all the options such as advanced features, UI/UX design complexity, architecture, tech stack, and specialists’ requirements.

Initially, it’s good to go ahead with the MVP development option. Do not try to build-it-all option as testing water is better than reinventing the wheel when the target audience won’t like the app idea’s uniqueness. The MVP launch helps you know users’ response and save you from building that’s disliked by the users. This approach stays away from the risk and allows businesses to know how to diversify their investment in app development that brings breakthrough success.

Find developers

When you begin the hunt for the best outsourcing company, the search gets impacted by location and communication. Essentially, outsourcing app development comes under three categories based on location are- nearshoring, onshoring, and offshoring.

Onshoring means choosing a company that’s located in the same country which eliminates the risk of communication, cultural, and time zone differences. Also, meeting in person is feasible.

Offshoring companies are located miles away, where time zone differences make it difficult to work with the employees. however, it’s managed somehow.

Nearshore companies located in countries that are near the border of the business client’s countries where the chances of cultural differences are the least.

Narrow down the choice

When you found the developers based on your preferences for location and communication, it’s time to go ahead for curating the best developers. When the list of outsourcing companies claiming to be the best is refined by asking a couple of questions including- for portfolios, checking the team’s capabilities, screening team members, and communicating with existing clients would help in making the right decision for developers.

Get connected with development companies

When you found one company that fits the bill, it’s time to partner with them by clarifying all the project details, knowing communication channels, identifying ways they upskill the team, and asking for other information that’s relevant to judging app development proficiency.

How to Search for the Best App Development Agency?

The sure shot ways to find outsourcing companies to get started are:

  • Through a Google search, you will get the best possible options in the top 10 search results. But, don’t limit the search to the first page as there are many companies that won’t come up in the top 10 list. Try to search for the company with a different set of keywords.
  • Freelance websites like- Upwork, Truelancer, or Freelancer are the best portals to find the ideal outsourcing company for your project. Also, the reviews, ratings, and links to the portfolio showcase the quality of services the company offers.
  • To get organized information about outsourcing companies worldwide, the B2B directory such as TopDevelopers could help in enlisting the list of IT companies based on the hourly rate, geography, reviews, and industry niche.
  • Posting the outsourcing needs of specific groups on social media also works. The social channels help in finding the best options to go with.

According to your app outsourcing needs, geography, hourly rates, reviews, and ratings, when you have narrowed down the choice for a few companies, it’s time to check the authenticity of the portfolio and reviews displayed online. It can be identified by directly getting connected with the previous clients or by downloading and then assessing the application.

This practice is good to shortlist the companies that sync well with the project development needs, but it cannot serve as the basis for making the 100% right decision. The final choice is the first step towards a development journey that must be made judiciously, so more filters are required to be added.

How to Mitigate Risks Associated with Outsourcing Mobile App Development?

Mitigating The Risks Of Mobile App Development Outsourcing

In the fierce competition, finding a reliable and trustworthy company is not a run-of-the-mill job. It’s challenging to search and partner with a company that helps in driving expected results especially if you are looking to hire startup app developers. Here are a couple of tricks for outsourcing mobile app development company selection and reducing the risks in outsourcing company selection.

Verify the company’s expertise and experience

Do the necessary homework before you proceed to sign a contract with the outsourcing company. The research and analysis help in identifying the facts hidden in plain sight. You can visit the company’s website and ask for a portfolio to see their work and how they managed to handle technical challenges. Businesses can even ask for the employees’ profiles and interview them individually to avoid future risks.

Sign NDA

Application outsourcing means the involvement of a third party which runs the risks that the app-related confidential data can be shared with anyone. Signing the NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) addresses the data safety challenge. Backing the agreements with legal measures is a good practice because any type of disclosure of valuable assets by the company after signing the deal will put them into court settings and litigations.

Ask about communication

Making the outsourcing team sit thousands of miles apart with language differences and cultural differences to understand the app idea to the core is difficult. It runs the risk of understanding the app idea but perceiving it in a different way from what the client has communicated. To avoid the mismatch in expectations and delivery, and ensure collaboration, both parties should stay connected and communicate at a pre-defined frequency and timing using a particular communication channel.

Know about project management methodology

When there’s no project manager to manage the team and development processes, the consequences are worst.

Flawless project management plays a vital role in bringing success to the project. There are various project management methodologies that allow businesses to know the roadmap with all the steps involved in the project development. It helps an accountable project manager to get the project completed before the deadline.

Among thousands of project management methodologies, the Agile development methodology stands out as the best methodology that has helped development companies to turn the idea into full-fledged solution in reduced time, cost, and risks with sheer transparency.

Turning your million-dollar app idea into a pro-solution using agile development methodology and flawless requires a step-by-step and procedural approach.

Don’t make payment in advance

Outsourcing companies demand payment in advance but making huge payment runs the risk of getting trapped. Avoiding huge payments in advance helps in staying protected from fraudulent companies. Keep the practice of making payments in installments as the builds are delivered by the company.

Time zone differences

Outsourcing the work to an offshore destination certainly creates time zone difference issues that make it difficult to communicate with the team, which leads to a communication gap. Businesses can turn the risks of the communication gap into an opportunity by making the most out of the time overlap.

Both parties when sit and find out the convenient time overlap during which meetings are conducted or issues are discussed with the team. The team can complete the assigned work and send it to the business client at the end of the day so that key stakeholders can check in a whole day and provide feedback, which becomes available to the team the next day when they start working.

Avail of the payment escrow

Hiring platforms such as Upwork, TopDevelopers, and others offer escrow services where business clients make payments only when they are approved for app quality. In the same vein, the strict vetting procedures of platforms help businesses not run the risk of hiring unskilled or untrained developers.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Mobile App Development?

The exact expenses can never be defined for mobile app development irrespective of the app development approach used. The outsourcing app development cost largely depends on the location of developers as the hourly rate varies from nation to nation. For instance, South Asian developers’ hourly rate is 3-4 times lower than their American counterparts.

When you outsource app development, the team will help you know how many development hours are consumed in features development, interface designing, backend architecture, API integration, and more. when you multiply the total development hours by the developers’ hourly rate, you will get the exact cost of developing an app.

Outsourcing thoughts!

Mobile app development is ruling the world with apps launched every day to fill the gap and take the user experience to the next level. The growing need for app development and the shortage of skilled developers is met by outsourcing options.

The benefits that the outsourcing trend brought to the table- quality, cost-effective and time-savvy development ensure that outsourcing mobile app development is here to stay. The associated challenges are addressed using the best tactics and technologies. Get help finding the perfect team of engineers for your next app development project for the best results.

My two cents: Before jumping on the app development bandwagon, you should research about types of app development, development stages, planning, budgeting, and post-development support. Go through the complete guide for app development to achieve better results when you outsource the app development project.

Avantika Shergil Avantika Shergil   |  Mar 22, 2024

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.


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