The planet’s leading technology companies are concentrated in North America and Western Europe. Being pioneers in their niches, these companies have grown into tech giants that boast the financial muscle and the know-how to keep pace with rapid technological evolution.
However, for others, the ongoing shortage of top tech talent means that the rules of supply and demand are positioned against them. For startups and other small companies, developing innovative digital products demands a different approach.
So how do you build successful digital products without breaking the bank? Let’s take a look.
1. Outsource It to Mexico
Whether it’s Western Europe or the United States, the problem is the same. Companies are continuing to struggle to find developers locally to build software products cost-effectively. This makes outsourcing software development a reasonable solution.
If we take Guadalajara in Western Mexico, for example, the communications and management tools available today coupled with similarities in culture and time zones will make nearshore outsourcing a seamless experience.
The same is true for enterprises trying to build highly customized applications (that trumps turnkey products any day) to optimize operations.
Nearshoring your software development projects to Mexico helps businesses of all sizes access a vast pool of highly skilled, talented, and experienced technology professionals at a lower cost.
For example, Mexico boasts some of the leading universities in Latin America that produce more STEM graduates per capita than the US. What’s even better is that these bright minds continue to live there.
2. Strive to Be Clear with Your Requirements
Even if you’re paying a software engineer across the border approximately $50 an hour, it can quickly add up if you’re not clear about what you’re trying to achieve. In any software development project, transparency with your requirements is key to keeping costs down.
Sometimes, it might help to get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your project specifications to ensure that there aren’t any gray areas or details that might be misunderstood.
Whenever vendors come across vague requirements, they can increase the proposed cost of software development by at least 30% to ensure that their expenses are covered.
So if you’re going to outsource your next software development project, it’ll be critical to clearly define the project’s scope.
In this scenario, you can leverage the following to minimize any guesswork from the vendor:
- User Stories
According to Pearl Zhu, Senior Advisor of Digitalization and author of the Digital Master book series, “software quality begins with the quality of the requirements.” In other words, if someone is left to assume what you want, you will increase the potential for error.
3. Prioritize Factors, Features, and Functionality
When you’re mapping out all your requirements on paper, you’ll have an opportunity to scrutinize every aspect of your customized software development project.
When you engage in this activity, you’ll quickly know if each feature is actually necessary. At this point, whatever is deemed frivolous should be eliminated from the project.
When it comes to enterprise application development, it can be something like supportive services that follow deployment. For example, you might have asked for more training than what’s required.
In this scenario, your company can save money by taking advantage of a short video training instead of hands-on live training sessions.
When it comes to functionality, this process isn’t always easy. If you just can’t make it work within the assigned budget, it’s best to begin with software development that’s necessary to meet the most basic business requirements.
The thought process here is to show value while spending the least amount of money. This will justify further investment down the road.
4. Employ Agile & Lean Methodologies
Once your software development team is ready to work on your project, it’s essential to employ agile and lean methodologies.
As software engineers in Mexico and Latin America are already familiar with agile development, they will be well equipped to communicate effectively and help solve the problem quickly and creatively.
In our experience at Digi117, startups tend to have flat team structures and are drawn to developers who are both flexible and independent.
This makes outsourcing a highly suitable option as these developers tend to be highly self-sufficient and work efficiently in results-driven cross-functional teams (that don’t require any micromanagement).
5. Keep an Eye on the Future
Technology is evolving so fast that it’s hard for any one of us to predict what the future holds. However, through each iteration, it will be vital to keep an eye on the future and try to predict what kind of features the business might want to add on.
In the fourth industrial revolution, it’s safe to say that no software development project will be “complete.” Instead, enterprises will keep making it better by adding new features and functionalities that can help improve their bottom line.
When we approach software development this way, we can lay the foundation to make it easier to add functionalities and make changes at a later date. This will help reduce the software development cost significantly in the future.
6. Choose Value Over Cost
Whether you choose to nearshore or offshore your software development project, it will help to treat your outsourcing partner like a member of your team. Whenever this is the case, they will have a better understanding of your business, and you can benefit from their extensive industry experience.
In the same vein, you should choose a vendor that you can work with for a long time. This will make it much easier when the time comes to make amendments or add new features.
As a result, when you choose an outsourcing partner, it’s vital to focus on value, not cost. This is because the most reliable team won’t be the cheapest option available.
While it might cost you a little more money in the short-term, it will save you a lot more in the long run.