In the modern-day age, businesses have grown to become very dependent on the expertise of software developers whether in-house or external. If we go back a couple of years, the online presence of many businesses wasn’t really necessary for their growth. However, things have changed drastically over the past few years and today, most businesses go under if they fail to capitalize on online opportunities. Even if the business decides to make a website or a blog to market themselves, they still need to consistently upgrade and modify their online presence. This requires someone with expertise in software development to look after the ever-changing needs of the business. This brings us to address the fundamental question of whether it’s prudent to hire a software developer or an in-house team for the business.
If you ask a legal question from a lawyer, their default response is always “it depends”. Similarly, the brief answer to this question is “it depends”. So what I mean is that this decision depends on a lot of factors. Ultimately, it depends on the exact needs and nuances of the business and to determine what would be in the business's best interests. However, I will list down some of the major pros and cons of each option.
- Costs and liabilities
Hiring an in-house team costs time and money. Your business would have to spend a considerable amount of time training the in-house developers. Moreover, they would also have to pay for resources, their social security, benefits, and other miscellaneous expenses that arise in an in-house department. In addition, the business would be liable for its employees’ actions and products and therefore, this would result in an additional layer of responsibility for the business.
On the other hand, your business would not have to spend tons of cash or any effort on a software developer. Since the developer would be primarily using their resources to complete the project, the business would not have to worry about ancillary costs (salaries, benefits, social security, etc.) that are a precondition for in-house teams.
2. Focus and attention
The best thing about in-house teams is the fact that since you would have invested time and energy to train them, they would be entirely focused on the needs of your business. The entire team would be at the business’ disposal which, under the right leadership, can yield extraordinary results. However, since the developer would have several other projects too, they will not be able to give your business their entire attention. Sure, they might tend to your needs for the requisite project, but their entire focus would be on building their expertise and not boosting your business’ online presence.
It would be much easier for the business to communicate efficiently with the in-house team in comparison with the developer. For obvious reasons, communicating with the developer, no matter how frequently you communicate with them, would still be very hard, especially if working in different time zones. On the other hand, since the business would have complete control over their in-house teams, giving directions, communicating, discussing potential ideas, and brainstorming would be much easier.
4. Selection of the team
Another great advantage of the in-house team is that the business gets to pick and choose its in-house developers. They can carefully choose people who are competent but also adaptive; hence, choosing people who would fit into the business setting would be much easier in in-house teams.
The software developer would have their team and you would not be able to control who gets to work on the assigned project. The developer’s team would get to decide who is to work on your project and therefore, the business would have less control over selecting the exact people who get to work on the project.
Many other pros and cons depending on the nature of the business. For some businesses, software developers are best suited because they might not require the expertise of developers on a day-to-day basis. Then other businesses constantly require someone to look after their software and therefore, for them, an in-house team would be best suited. In the end, after carefully analyzing the type of business and their exact needs, only then a definitive determination can be made as to which of the two options would best suit their needs.