Outsourcing App Development

A Comprehensive Guide on App Development Outsourcing in 2023: How To Find Offshore Mobile Development Team

In 2009, Apple published an iPhone 3g commercial with the catchy slogan “There’s an app for that,” which was trademarked by the company later in 2010.

During that time, there were over 250,000 apps in the App Store. Today, there are 7 million apps in the world, according to the information from the app stores both for iOS and Android products. Additionally, there is a third growing category of applications—hybrid apps. A hybrid app lets you write the app functionality in a single codebase and targets multiple operating systems, such as both iOS and Android.

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There are no exact statistics on the total number of cloud-based web applications in the world, but there are stats on the number of users. At the end of 2022, global spending on cloud-based infrastructure has grown to $57 billion, which also brought to the industry around $217 billion. Such numbers indicate how many cloud-based apps are in the world now.

Today, the “There’s an app for that” slogan has become a buzzword, meaning a response to someone else’s problems, as per Urban Dictionary. In other words, it is possible to solve any problem with an app today—and this is probably true.

There are mobile apps for almost everything and in any industry—be it real estate, healthcare, insurance, retail, or finance. And today, many big enterprises are embracing the power of cloud computing and migrating their ERPs and CRMs to the cloud.

There is a high demand for app developers in the United States, United Kingdom and Western Europe. One specific solution to the mobile app developer shortage is offshore development outsourcing.

In this article, we will highlight the benefits and risks of outsourcing mobile app development as well as explain how to minimize those risks. We will also give you some important points to consider if you decide on offshore mobile app development services.

Step 1

Prepare for the development of your mobile app MVP. Focus on the main feature, do not try to build-it-all. Before building the prototype, make sure you have talked to your target audience to learn that you will be building the MVP of the app they will actually use. After you’re sure of what the first version of your mobile app is going to contain, prepare the project description and timeline.

Step 2

Next step of outsourcing mobile application development is to engage an offshore app development team. Finding the right app development agency is probably the biggest challenge when it comes to outsourcing app development processes. Read more on vetting software development partners here.

That’s actually the step where if YouTeam goes in, we’ll be able to take all the sourcing in our hands and provide you with the best candidates in only 2 days, all ready to interview and start new projects ASAP. Our candidate search process is very agile, and we can make sure we’re making things easier for you.

Step 3

If you’re not working with a trusted partner like YouTeam, your job is to ensure all guarantees are foreseen. You obviously don’t want to lose your money, or—more importantly, according to many of our clients—lose time.

It is important that you establish leverage over the vendor in the early days of the partnership so that if they aren’t delivering quality output, then you can take action and, in a worst-case scenario, have a painless way out and can get your outsource app development cost back.

Benefits of outsourcing mobile app development

If you delegate the app development to an offshore team, you will get the following advantages:

Reduced costs

The cost of living in outsourcing destinations, such as India, China, or Eastern Europe, is significantly lower than in the US, UK, or Western Europe. Therefore, even the highest hourly rates in, say, Ukraine will be lower than the lowest rates in the US.

ExperienceThe USThe UKUkraine
Junior iOS developer$89,903$63,852$19,239
Middle iOS developer$136,457$81,462$33,605
Senior iOS developer$179,953$96,212$53,980

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Saved time

Mobile app development outsourcing is not only cost-efficient but also helps to save your precious time. when outsourcing app development, you will not spend much time hiring, training, and retaining employees. You will get a ready-made dedicated team that has completed many projects requiring a similar tech stack, built many complex apps, and can contribute to your project with their experience.

The high quality of work delivered

When you outsource app development, there are hundreds of reviews available for you about your potential software partner that can help you make the right hiring decision. You can browse websites such as Clutch.co, find application development outsourcing agencies across the world, and shortlist those that are highly rated by previous clients. Additionally, you can look up the dev shops’ websites and check references, testimonials, and case studies. Or alternatively, you could get a shortlist of dedicated offshore teams of mobile app developers in 48 hours or less with YouTeam.

We’re a Y Combinator-backed marketplace that works with 500+ pre-vetted outsourcing agencies from Eastern Europe and Latin America. We leverage a dynamic talent pool of 50,000+ vetted software developer candidates. If you leave your requirements,  we’ll be able to help you hire an offshore development team in less than a week.

Risks to consider when you outsource mobile app development

When it comes to outsourcing to offshore mobile app development companies, there are many misconceptions about the quality of service providers. Many tech businesses had a bad experience with outsourcing, and we know how hard it is to find the right team. Let us help you avoid the most common pitfalls of IT outsourcing in case you want to source the talent yourself.


Collaboration with offshore teams is typically remote, though the leaders of in-house teams sometimes visit the offshore destinations or vice versa. However, even those visits may not be enough to ensure that everything is understood correctly and not misinterpreted. Therefore, if you wish to outsource app development to another country, be ready to educate yourself about remote project management practices. Thankfully, with every year, it gets easier and easier to communicate thanks remotely to a large amount of project planning tools and remote communication tools, such as Slack, Zoom, and Skype.

Time zone differences

Offshore destinations—as their name suggests—are typically located very far away from the client’s country. Thus, both countries need to find a convenient time overlap to hold meetings and discuss important problems. And if an offshore team has an urgent issue that cannot be solved without an in-house development team, this issue can be quickly escalated. Besides, it can be difficult to control the quality of work because of those differences.

However, now there are special tools on the market that can help you control the time zone differences. And if the difference is extremely inconvenient for you, but you still want to outsource app development, you can try nearshoring—outsourcing to the nearest country or region. For example, it can be Latin America for the United States or Eastern Europe for the United Kingdom.

Cultural differences

Members of both the in-house and offshore teams have various cultural backgrounds and different approaches to work as well. This can result in a different perception of issues and even cross-communicational barriers—for example, developers in Asia tend to hush up any problems that they encounter because of fear of being punished.

Therefore, the company should have a clear culture code that the team members should adhere to. And, what’s more important, offshore team members should be treated the same way as the in-house ones.

You may want to read how YouTeam’s co-founder discusses the culture fit in remote teams. When hiring outsourced app developers, you don’t have to aim for the perfect fit as they are a temporary part of your dev team and may only communicate with one or two people in your company a few hours per day. But the cultures sometimes clash, so we can suggest you learn how to embrace frameworks of cultural differences when hiring remotely from other countries.

The leak of confidential information

When outsourcing an app development project, the client will have to entrust the outsourced app development agency with its sensitive data and, in some cases, even the sensitive data of its customers. To minimize those risks, the client company should take the corresponding legal and organizational measures, such as having offshore developers sign an NDA.

How to outsource app development without the risk

Before you outsource mobile app development or web app development, you can resort to certain measures that can help you reduce or eliminate any possible risks.

The first step that you should take is to engage an appropriate and high-quality software development partner. The second step is to make sure that all guarantees are foreseen. It is important that you establish leverage over the outsourced app development agency in the early days of the partnership. If they aren’t delivering quality output, then you can take action and, in a worst-case scenario, have a painless way out and get the money back. Further measures are as follows:

1. Ensure there is a Money Back Guarantee in place

Ensuring that you have money-back guarantee in place is super important. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the work, it is not fair for you to have to pay for it. Make sure you have a relevant clause covering this risk in the contract.

2. Trial phases & account management

As a client-side project manager, I often suggest doing a trial phase complete with a test assignment instead of paying large sums upfront. Try to set up a short trial period of 2 weeks to a month within which the outsourced IT company has to deliver their best possible services to you and demonstrate they are right for your project. In such a way, they can demonstrate that they are the right fit for your project.

If you are not that experienced with delivering software projects, but your management team decided, for example, to outsource android app development to either a nearshore or offshore software company, it makes sense to hire a client-side project manager to manage risks on an ongoing basis. Within the YouTeam business model, you are assigned an Account Manager who makes sure that communication, performance, and financial aspects of the project are taken care of. The account manager is a third party, and it is hence impractical to make sure projects are done in a consistent way.

When working with a team directly, if you hire not with our help, make sure you set up the rules for business communication before signing the contract. This should include the task assignment and reporting methods and timing, the quantity and length of meetings as well as their amount. Try to negotiate the necessity of extra meetings with members of your team for project explanation (if necessary), so you can plan with your employees beforehand.

3. Key the code on the client-side

Another basic and essential step is to set up your own client-side repository to take custody of the code immediately, which prevents the outsourced app development agency from not transferring you the code in the case of disagreement. It also ensures that you are not obligated to pay for poor-quality code.

4. Avoid paying out large lump sums early on

It is advisable to request as detailed a cost breakdown of the scope of works as possible, which will make Contract Management a breeze. Whilst the project is in its early stages, try to avoid paying out large lump sums. Until you’ve been working with a vendor for 6+ months, you can’t be too confident in their ability to deliver.

Vijay, Founder and CEO of SoftwareTestingHelp, argues we can not totally avoid these risks, but surely we can mitigate the impact:

The biggest risk is, whether the outsourced team is capable of handling the project. You should check the complete background and progress history of the outsourcing company. Start with small contracts and progress gradually by increasing the work. The second biggest risk is outsourcing costs. Check if the outsourcing contract is clear enough to handle increased workload, team size, and duration. There should be a clear agreement on all these things to avoid any additional cost burden and legal issues.

 5. Leverage the benefits of code and secure payment offered by outsourcing platforms

One of the major benefits of using one of the hiring platforms—YouTeam, Upwork, TopTal, and others is that they offer secure payment services, whereby your payments are only released when you are satisfied with the quality of the work.

On top of that, strict vetting procedures on these platforms allow you to outsource mobile app development without the risk of wasting money on unskilled talent.

Offshore mobile app development: FAQ

We’ll put things mentioned above briefly here, plus add a few new useful sources.

How to keep a remote development team productive?

There are several problems associated with remote working, such as language and cultural barriers, lack of communication, different time zones, and others. But there are also certain steps you can follow to prevent these issues from damaging your team’s productivity. YouTeam has partnered with Branding Consultant at Inc 500 company to prepare recommendations that will ensure that your development team performs at their optimum capacity. The full list can be found here.

How much does it cost to an offshore app developer?

The average hourly rate greatly varies from country to country. While the cost of hiring Latin American developers is slightly lower than in North America, Asian and African programmers are three or even four times cheaper than their American counterparts. However, the optimal choice is Eastern Europe, where the average hourly rate of software development services is around $43. To get a better idea of hourly rates in other countries, head over to our study on offshore development rates.

The bottom line

Today, apps rule the world, and there’s an app for almost everything. That’s why the demand for app developers is constantly growing, and due to the shortage of tech talent in the US and Western Europe, mobile app development outsourcing is becoming a trend.

Outsourcing app development to an offshore app development agency brings companies the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Saved time
  • The high quality of work delivered

At the same time, companies carry the following risks:

  • Miscommunication
  • Time zone differences
  • Cultural differences
  • The leak of confidential information

And here’s how to reduce these risks:

Once you have all the milestones in place and they have demonstrated their ability to deliver quality reliably then you will have a significantly better chance of establishing a win-win collaboration with your chosen software development firm.

YouTeam makes it easy and safe to find a perfectly matching team of offshore engineers for any type of project. Fill in the project info and get on a quick call with our representative. We start souring teams of developers immediately after that, and it will only take 48 hours for us to introduce you to a list of talented software engineers based in dev shops in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Most importantly, they will be able to turn into a new project in a week or so. Thanks to our dynamic database of 50,000+ engineers in the top offshore destinations, we can help you stop wasting time on sourcing and recruiting and get in touch with agencies immediately. The whole sourcing and interview process is completely free for clients working with YouTeam up until the hiring contract is signed. Then you sign the contract with the agency and pay using our platform to ensure safe funds transfer to your outsource team only after the project milestone is done.

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Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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