Andrew Sirianni

In recent years, businesses have looked to outsource the development of websites and/or web-applications to organisations outside Australia. But when I ask people why the outsource, the only reason I am give is cost. Having worked with outsourcing agencies before; been involved in projects with an outsourced component; been solicited by outsourcing companies; and having to fix outsourced solutions - I question whether or not outsourcing is always a valid option for Australian businesses.

While I agree that up-front costs may be cheaper when outsourcing IT developments outside Australia, I'm yet to see an off-shored website developed for a cheaper price than a locally developed product (when the project is delivered achieving ALL its deliverables).

Often you may save costs in the beginning, but I've found the following can often be the case:

  • The website is built poorly and requires regular maintenance and fixes;
  • The website is not as scalable and often includes redundant code (off-shore web applications are notorious for using a large number of developers that often do not work together and create a mis-match/repetition of code);
  • The website takes a considerable time to build - compared with local developments;
  • In most cases, the website fails to address the requirements/brief of the project - requiring another local developer to fix; and
  • The solution is often insecure and contained many security vulnerabilities that leave the business open to hackers.

We have often fielded proposals from off-shore developers to "cut our costs". But when looking at fixed prices for projects (rather than hourly rates), the total costs end up being similar to what it would be to design and develop in-house in Australia.

When reading emails from overseas companies soliciting outsourcing work, I often look to their own websites as a testimony to their web development abilities. And I am far from impressed. Poor coding, coding errors and outdated solutions are common place across these outsourcing companies and provide little support of their advertised credentials.

However the icing on the cake for me is the number of clients we are currently working with to "fix" an off-shored solution. At present we are working with several large companies on re-developing/fixing software that was developed off-shore and is now failing; no longer working as it should; not scaling correctly; or still not meeting the original objectives of the system.

I'm sure that this is not ALWAYS the case, but my experience tells me that off-shoring IT development is not always the best (or most cost-effective) approach.

So if you're looking to develop a website or web application, make sure that you look to the qualifications and deliverables of the developers rather than simply the costs involved. You certainly get what you pay for, and often the cheapest solution is cheaper for a reason.

Here at DCODE GROUP, we specialise in building custom online systems - from websites to online software. If you need assistance in building a website or building an online solution, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance - we're always keen to work on new projects.


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