In-house vs outsourcing: a SWOT analysis to figure whom you should let develop your app

Having the right resources on board plays an integral part in building a successful team. When it comes to choosing the technology partners to build your mobile app, you can either build an in-house mobile app development team or outsource the project to a reputed firm that is certified in developing apps.

This article has a detailed analysis in store for you that aids you to take a call after estimating the pros and cons of both the approaches.

How to build an in-house app development team?

Building an in-house team is a daunting task. You need to hire a team of highly skilled professionals who are specialized in developing mobile apps.

  • UX architects
  • UI/UX designers
  • UX writers/content strategists
  • App developers and technology experts
  • Project managers/co-ordinators
  • Quality assurance (QA) specialists

Besides scrutinizing their candidature and previous projects, make sure to hire experienced professionals who have a demonstrated history of working in multiple technologies. They need to take complete ownership of the tasks assigned to them. Especially, project managers, coordinators, and team leaders need to work with integrity and commitment to deliver remarkable results.

Other key considerations while setting up your in-house team are infrastructure, work stations, office space, appropriate tools, and devices. The HR expertise spent on onboarding the team, operational costs, and other miscellaneous factors also needs to be taken into account. 

What’s it like to have an external team develop your mobile app:

Technology has brought the world closer than ever before. In the blink of an eye, Google can list the companies that can develop apps for you. We will see how to handpick the best-fit company to develop your app in the upcoming chapters. 

Outsourcing your mobile app development to a certified team has its own benefits. Here are a few: 


  • If you choose a reputed company to work on your mobile app, you can enjoy the benefit of ‘less personal time investment’.
  • While you let the experts take care of your app development, being rest assured isn’t just a dream.
  • You pay only for what you get unlike the unprecedented expenses with the in-house teams.
  • Outsourcing to a trusted team lets you be on top of things and hold an upper hand in getting things to work the way you want.

In a recent survey conducted among top firms, it was studied that 46% of small and medium businesses prefer to outsource their app development projects. And, 32% of them have plans to outsource their mobile app development projects before the end of 2020.

What follows is a straight-out comparison of the pros and cons of hiring an in-house team versus outsourcing to an external team.

To understand the fundamental and key differences between the approaches, take the following factors into account:


  • Time frame — If you choose to go with in-house app developers, remember that the actual project time starts from onboarding the entire team of app developers and includes the time taken for every phase until delivering the final mobile app. Whereas, when it comes to outsourcing, you may have to invest your time in choosing the right company for you. Otherwise, outsourcing is a relatively less time-consuming option any day.

  • Communication — In the in-house scenario, communicating with your app team isn’t a big deal, because you probably work in the same office at the same hours. Besides avoiding communication lags and misunderstandings, direct and face-to-face conversations improve transparency and efficiency.

When you choose to outsource your app development, make sure that your vendor has a system in place to keep you updated and informed of the app status. To avoid the grievances caused by working as silos, you can have dedicated project managers and coordinators who act as SPOCs (Single point of contact) to facilitate ease of communication.

  • Expenses — Sometimes, the project may take a couple of more months to get over, which means your in-house employees are paid and their manhours are billed for the buffering time too. This isn’t an easily affordable option for small and medium businesses. Moreover, you need to keep in mind that the salaries of mobile app strategists, senior developers, technology specialists are usually in six digits. There are other indirect expenditures like employee benefits, sick leaves, rent, taxes, software licenses, hardware, etc.


The mobile app development companies have their own in-house tools, resources, technical expertise, and skilled professionals who have rich experiences in multiple domains. This is the main reason why it is less expensive to outsource your app development project. If there’s an unexpected hiccup, a staff turnover, or a change in the timeline, your app development company will be able to afford it and this cost is not on you. Because, at the end of the day, you’re going to pay only for what you get, unlike the in-house scenarios.

  • Collaboration Imagine there’s a quick change you want to make in the design or you want to update your app with a new feature. Where do you think it is easy to get the fix done – in-house or outsourcing? It is definitely easier and faster with in-house developers.

But that shouldn’t stop you to reap the other benefits of outsourcing. Yes, if you have invested the right time in identifying your app goals and objectives, bugs and unexpected changes can be avoided. Also, you need to let your app vendor know in advance that there might be minor changes and hear from them how they usually handle these sorts of sudden changes.


  • Intelligence  Choosing to work with in-house teams is in a way confining your possibilities to work with limited talents that you have already hired. Also, it takes extraordinary effort in times of hiring to have the best resources in your in-house team.

    The outsourcing approach widens your arena and opens up endless possibilities to work with the best talents in town. The bit of hard work that you need to put is while you choose the best company to develop your mobile app. Acquainting with such best app development companies not only enhances your product but also helps you to explore the latest technologies in the mobile app sphere.

  • Value   Your in-house team can work their best on your mobile app development to meet your requirements and deadlines. Whereas, when you outsource it to a reputed company they not only meet your requirements but also add more value to your project. With their previous experiences, they can help you with more impactful insights and make your final product a stunning one. Besides providing end-to-end app development services, the right vendors can also handle the risk-management part for you.

    A SWOT analysis:

When you have choices that seem similar and confusing you can resort to a SWOT analysis to make the right decision. The SWOT analysis helps you to evaluate your options critically comparing their areas of strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat.

Here’s a snapshot of a general SWOT analysis for mobile apps:


  • The biggest strength of in-house teams is the ease of communication, transparency, and accessibility.

  • Besides being an economical option, outsourcing saves a lot of time for you.



  • Despite having multiple shortcomings, the main drawback with the in-house team is the lack of experts who can guarantee you assured and on-time results.

  • The outsourcing approach comes with its own drawbacks like hassles in communication and collaboration. But as discussed earlier if you have an appropriate status tracking system in place you can actually overcome this.


  • The room for improvisation is relatively very limited with in-house teams.

  • Whereas, when you choose to outsource your app development to a certified company, you get to work with the best talents in the particular technologies which empower you with a great opportunity and scope for improvement. Here, the possibilities of making your final product better are endless. 



  • The staff attrition and retention rate is a big threat to the project progress because it’s tough to keep the project going with on-time replacements.

  • There’s a threat to privacy, ownership, and intellectual properties when you partner with external vendors for your app projects. But if you have a clear-cut discussion upfront and dictate your terms in black and white, this threat could easily be addressed.

All said and explained, there has never been a ‘one-fits-all’ solution to any scenario. It is now on your court to figure out the approach that best suits your requisites. Mobile apps empower you with a great opportunity to reach out to your customers seamlessly at their fingertips. Ensure to choose the best and the most optimum option to develop your mobile apps.

In the next article, we will see emerging trends and new technologies in the mobile app development sphere.

For a free consultation on choosing your technology partner for building your apps, write to us at At Siam computing – the best mobile app development company, we have built hundreds of intuitive mobile apps for numerous clients using state-of-the-art technologies. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.