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Most Common Problems of Outsourcing Software Development & How to Avoid Them

Aug 25, 202314 min read
by Murtuza Kutub
Most Common Problems of Outsourcing Software Development & How to Avoid Them Hero

Ever wondered why more and more businesses are turning to outsourcing their software development needs?

Why it's a booming trend?

Well, outsourcing is a concept that brings several benefits to the table - saving money, tapping into global expertise, and upping your efficiency levels are just a handful. 

Still not convinced?

Check this out, some eye-opening data for you. As per Statista, the worldwide outsourcing market is pegged at a colossal $92.5 billion. IT Outsourcing alone has sales of $66.5 billion. Impressive numbers, aren't they?

However, before you join the outsourcing bandwagon, it's crucial to be aware of the potential outsourcing software development challenges you could encounter. Like any other strategy, outsourcing isn't without its share of hiccups.

Keep reading to learn about these challenges and the ways to bypass them.

Common Problems of Outsourcing Software Development

Shifting to outsourcing software development can significantly benefit your business, presenting inventive solutions and avant-garde technology. Yet, during the shift from in-house development to the outsourced model, you might hit a few bumps, known as software outsourcing challenges.

Being forewarned about these hurdles can help you stay ahead, deal with them proactively, and ensure a streamlined outsourcing procedure.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of these common issues and explore the possible remedies.

1. Communication Challenges

Communication is the lifeblood of any thriving business endeavor. It gains even more importance when you're outsourcing software development. Misunderstandings, missed deadlines or project discrepancies can stem from poor communication, derailing your project. 

Here are some common communication-related problems with outsourcing software development:

Time Zone Differences:

Picture this, you're based in New York, while your outsourced squad is in Bangalore, India. The time difference of nearly 10 hours could throw a wrench in your communication plans. It may lead to late replies, missed appointments, and even a decrease in productive hours.

Not only this, but overlapping work hours might just be enough time to exchange pleasantries rather than get real work done.

Language Barriers:

Ever heard of the phrase, "lost in translation"? 

That's precisely what happens when you and your outsourced team aren't on the same language wavelength. Simple instructions can turn into complex puzzles, leading to errors, rework, and frustration.

Lack of Clear Communication Channels

Not having set platforms for discussion, file sharing, or issue tracking can cause chaos and inefficiency. This can lead to important information slipping through the cracks, further complicating the project.

You might say A, but they could hear B, and before you know it, your dream software looks like an abstract piece of art.

Tools like timezone converters, translation apps, and project management software can help bridge these gaps. Moreover, setting clear expectations, establishing robust communication protocols, and using technology to your advantage can keep these outsourcing software development challenges at bay. 

2. Quality and Reliability Issues

Just imagine this – you hire a dedicated software development team to build your dream application. You've invested, and you're ready for the ride, but the rollercoaster suddenly takes a scary take.


Because of quality and reliability issues, are two of the most notorious outsourcing software development challenges.

Does this mean you should never hire a software development team? Not at all! It simply means you need to be prepared for potential hurdles and know how to clear them. Let's unpack some of these issues and find ways to prevent them:

Poorly Defined Project:

Ever tried to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture without instructions? It's a nightmare, right? 

Similarly, without a well-defined project scope, your outsourced team might struggle. The ambiguity surrounding the hiring offshore developers could lead to misunderstandings, necessitate rework, and result in increased offshore software development costs. A clear project brief with explicit goals, requirements, and deliverables can help avoid this issue.

Lack of Control over the Development Process

Letting go can be tough, especially when it's your business project. If you feel like you're losing grip over the development process, it can cause unease and mistrust. Regular check-ins and progress reports can help you stay in the loop and maintain control.

Inconsistent Code Quality

Outsourcing your project doesn't mean you have to compromise on quality. However, a common issue is inconsistent code quality. This might be due to the skills gap, lack of quality control, or simply a misalignment in coding standards. Regular code reviews, agreed-upon coding standards, and constant communication can keep this problem at bay.

While these outsourcing software development challenges might seem challenging, they're not insurmountable. By taking a proactive approach, you can hire a dedicated software development team that delivers high-quality work without stretching your budget. 

3. Cultural Differences and Work Ethics

Let's picture this, you're at a local barbecue, and you've got the juiciest steak on the grill. But then, your neighbor comes over and starts flipping your steak around, insisting that his way of grilling is better. Not a pleasant scenario, right? 

Similar situations can arise when dealing with outsourcing software development challenges, especially when there's a clash of cultures and work ethics.

Now, does that mean you should never outsource? No! 

It just signifies that cultural differences and work ethics are crucial aspects to consider when diving into IT outsourcing. 

Different Work Cultures and Practices:

If you're in Texas, and you've outsourced your IT project to a team in Japan. They might follow different work hours, holidays, or even communication styles. Understanding these differences and finding common ground can help prevent miscommunication and delays.

Conflicting Approaches to Problem-Solving:

Back to our barbecue scenario, remember how your neighbor had a different grilling method? Similarly, your outsourced team might have a unique problem-solving approach. 

Open dialogue about problem-solving strategies can ensure that you're on the same page and working towards the same goal.

Misalignment of Expectations:

It's like expecting your steak to be medium-rare, but it comes out well done. If you and your outsourced team have different expectations about project deliverables, it can lead to dissatisfaction. A clear, comprehensive project plan can align everyone's expectations, keeping frustration and problems with outsourcing at bay.

While the above outsourcing software development challenges might seem overwhelming, they can be effectively managed with understanding and communication. By respecting cultural differences and aligning work ethics, you can foster a successful relationship with your outsourced team. 

Moreover, a seasoned partner like F22 Labs, with its expertise in Software Development, can help you circumnavigate these potential hurdles. So why wait? Kickstart your outsourcing journey today with F22 Labs, and let's work together to overcome these challenges and create a product that you'll be proud of. 

4. Security and Confidentiality Risks

You wouldn't leave your house doors wide open when you step out, would you? No way! 

We all understand the importance of safeguarding our homes from potential threats. In the same way, when you hire a dedicated software development team, protecting your data and intellectual property becomes paramount. 

Unfortunately, security and confidentiality risks are among the key outsourcing software development challenges that businesses often encounter.

Let's break down these software outsourcing challenges and find the keys to tackling them:

Data Breaches and Cybersecurity Threats

Imagine this - you've just finished creating the blueprint for your next big product, and boom, it's leaked online! This nightmare scenario can occur if cybersecurity isn't taken seriously. 

It's crucial to ensure your offshore team has robust data security measures in place to avoid such issues.

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

You wouldn't want someone to steal your grandma's secret apple pie recipe, right? Similarly, your unique business ideas, processes, and designs need protection. 

When you hire a software development team, ensure you have legal agreements that protect your intellectual property rights.

Ensuring Compliance with Data Protection Regulations:

Think of it as obeying the speed limit when you're behind the wheel. Disregarding the rules could end up with sanctions. Diverse nations uphold different data protection laws, and falling out of line could result in significant penalties and harm to your reputation.

Hence, comprehending and following these laws is crucial when it comes to outsourcing software development.

5. Project Delays and Budget Overruns

Have you ever planned a road trip, expecting it to take a couple of hours, only to find yourself still on the road after sunset because of unforeseen traffic? 

Frustrating, isn't it? This is similar to the project delays and budget overruns that are often part of the outsourcing software development challenges.

Does this suggest you should steer clear from going on a road trip or hire a software development team? Not at all, it just implies that you must be ready for potential hiccups on the journey.

Let's pinpoint some of these possible hitches and how we can sidestep them:

Unclear Project Timelines and Milestones:

Just like not checking the traffic report before a road trip can cause delays, unclear project timelines and milestones can lead to your software project being late. 

Having a clear project plan with well-defined timelines and milestones can keep your project on track, and your team well-organized.

Hidden Costs and Unforeseen Expenses

Ever been halfway through a road trip and realized you didn't budget for tolls or rest-stop snacks?

Similarly, hidden costs and unforeseen expenses can inflate your offshore software development cost

A comprehensive budget, accounting for potential unexpected costs, can help you navigate this financial roadblock.

Inefficient Project Management

Think of this as trying to navigate a road trip without a map or GPS. Inefficient project management can lead to confusion, wasted resources, and delays. Using project management tools and regular check-ins can keep your team coordinated and prevent these problems with outsourcing software development.

So, are you ready to hire a dedicated software development team, map in hand, and prepared to tackle any challenges that come your way? Because with the right preparation, you can enjoy the ride and the destination.

5 Strategies to Avoid Outsourcing Software Development Challenges

You're ready to get rolling on your next big project. The problem is, you don't have the internal resources to handle it. 

The answer? 

Outsourcing software development. But just like tending to your backyard garden, outsourcing isn't as simple as it may seem at first glance.

You might find yourself wrestling with a handful of outsourcing software development challenges, ranging from communication issues to finding the right folks to bring your vision to life. These hurdles shouldn't make you second guess your decision to hire a software development team. 

There are effective strategies to dodge these challenges, and that's what we're gonna explore today. Ready to dive in?

1. Pre-Outsourcing Preparation

To avoid the common problems with outsourcing software development, you need to start with some solid preparation.

Defining clear project requirements and objectives

This is like the recipe for your cake. You wouldn't want your hired team wandering, unsure of what they're supposed to achieve. That's why clear project requirements are essential. 

Ensure that your objectives are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The more detail, the better. It's a surefire way to eliminate confusion and keep the offshore software development cost within your budget.

Selecting the right outsourcing partner

Imagine hiring a pastry chef to grill a steak. That doesn't sound right, does it? 

Much like how each chef has a signature dish, every software development group brings to the table their expertise and background. It's vital to ensure that you hire a dedicated software development team that aligns well with your project.

Search for a team like F22 Labs with a track record in the kind of software you aim to create and don't hesitate to ask for referrals or samples of previous work.

Setting up effective communication channels

Communication can be one of the trickiest software outsourcing challenges to navigate, especially when dealing with different time zones or languages. 

So, how do you make sure everyone's on the same page? 

By setting up clear and effective communication channels. You could use project management tools, regular video calls, or even simple email threads. The objective is to guarantee everyone is in the loop, aware of the next steps, and clear on their roles.

By outlining your project clearly, hiring a dedicated software development team that aligns with your demands, and establishing robust communication, you're paving the way to conquering the outsourcing software development challenges. 

2. Building Strong Relationships

Alright, now you've leaped and decided to outsource. Excellent choice! 

But remember, it takes time and effort to foster a productive partnership. The second stage to address the outsourcing software development challenges involves building strong, solid relationships with your outsourced team. 

Let's dive into how you can accomplish this.

Cultivating trust and transparency

You gotta be upfront about your expectations, provide complete project details, and share any constraints that might come up, be it budget or time. In return, encourage your team to be transparent about their progress, challenges, and any potential problems with outsourcing tasks they might encounter. 

This open communication goes a long way in cultivating trust and reducing IT outsourcing challenges.

Fostering a collaborative working environment

Do you remember those school projects where everyone was fighting to be heard and no one was working together? A nightmare, right? Well, to avoid similar outsourcing problems and solutions, it's crucial to promote a sense of collaboration. 

Empower your outsourced team to share their ideas and inputs, and make sure everyone feels included in the decision-making process. This not only boosts team morale but also leads to innovative solutions and a more successful outsourcing software development experience.

Regularly reviewing progress and addressing concerns

Ever planted a seed and then just forgotten about it, hoping it'll grow into a beautiful plant?

No, you should water it, protect it from pests, and sometimes, even talk to it! Similarly, when dealing with problems with outsourcing software development, regular check-ins are important. 

These regular meetings offer a stage to assess progress, tackle any issues, and modify plans as required. Frequent feedback can spot potential issues early on, sparing you a great deal of stress later.

By investing time in nurturing relationships with your offshore team, you're not just preventing outsourcing software development challenges, but also laying the groundwork for future endeavors.

3. Implementing Agile and Scrum

Now that you've got the hang of outsourcing software development and you've built some sturdy relationships, it's time to look at the actual work process. 

You should follow a plan and a system before starting the process. In the world of software development, that system is often Agile and Scrum.

Adopting Iterative Development Processes

Ever heard the saying, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket?" 

Well, that applies here, too. 

Instead of developing your entire project in one go (which could lead to some major problems with outsourcing software development), it's smarter to break it down into manageable chunks, or iterations. 

This method gives you the flexibility to make changes or corrections without disrupting the whole project. It's a lot like growing your crops in batches, so a problem with one doesn't ruin the entire harvest.

Emphasizing Adaptability and Responsiveness

To be successful, you have to adapt quickly. The same is true when dealing with the challenges associated with outsourcing. The Agile and Scrum methodologies emphasize adaptability and responsiveness. 

This way, your team can swiftly respond to any changes, feedback, or IT outsourcing challenges that come up during the project lifecycle.

Enhancing Project Visibility and Accountability

Visibility and accountability are key to overcoming outsourcing software development challenges. Agile and Scrum methods offer tools like sprint planning and daily stand-ups that can keep everyone informed about project progress. 

This makes it easier to spot any potential problems with outsourcing and ensures everyone knows their responsibilities.

Implementing Agile and Scrum when you're outsourcing software development can be a game-changer. It helps you manage your tasks more efficiently, respond to changes quickly, and ensure everyone knows what they're doing.

4. Ensuring Data Security and Compliance

Now, what’s next on our adventure into the land of outsourcing software development? Ah yes, data security and compliance. It's an essential part of overcoming outsourcing software development challenges, and here's how you can tackle it.

Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

You wouldn't want your secret grandma's pie recipe getting out, right? The same goes for your valuable project information. One way to ensure that your outsourced team handles your data with care is to have them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. 

It's a commitment that they'll keep your information confidential and not use it for any unauthorized purposes. This is a key step in managing the challenges associated with outsourcing software development.

Implementing a Robust Security Plan

You need robust security measures to protect your project data. Talking about security measures like firewalls, encrypted systems, secure servers, and robust access controls is an essential part of your team discussion. 

Ensuring that all your team members are on the same wavelength is a great way to circumvent potential hiccups that can arise when outsourcing software development.

Regularly Auditing Compliance with Regulations

Your software development project might need to adhere to certain regulations, particularly depending on your business sector.

Conducting frequent audits can keep your project in the clear with these rules and help stave off any future difficulties that could occur during the software outsourcing challenges.

And there you go.

By prioritizing data security and compliance, you're not only dodging outsourcing software development challenges but also creating a robust groundwork for your project to thrive.

5. Setting Realistic Timelines

Creating a feasible schedule is an essential component of any venture, especially when it comes to outsourcing software development. Imagine this scenario: You've cooked up an amazing concept for an app. You're enthusiastic, your team is buzzing, and you're all geared up to take off at full speed.

But then, you hit one of the big outsourcing software development challenges: the timeline.

You've got your eye on the finish line, but you're not quite sure how long the race is.

Sound familiar?

Unexpected bugs, communication delays, and even time zone differences can throw a wrench in your plans. So, how can you avoid these software outsourcing challenges?

Conducting thorough project planning

You know that old saying, "Failing to plan is planning to fail"? 

Well, it's spot on when it comes to outsourcing software development. Think about it. If you don't know exactly what you want your software to do, how will the folks you're outsourcing know? They ain't mind-readers!

A detailed project plan outlines what you want, how you want it, and when you want it. It's like a roadmap for your project. Without it, you're just wandering around in the dark.

Identifying potential risks and mitigation strategies

Every project comes with its fair share of risks. Identifying these risks early on and coming up with strategies to mitigate them is like having a secret weapon in your back pocket.

It can help you overcome those pesky problems with outsourcing software development that sneak up on you.

For example, let's say one risk you've identified is that your outsourced team might struggle to understand your vision. A potential mitigation strategy could be to invest more time, in the beginning to communicate your expectations. 

Maybe even create a detailed design brief or host a couple of brainstorming sessions with the team.

Incorporating flexibility for unforeseen circumstances

Here's the thing about plans: They rarely go exactly as planned. That's why flexibility is key when it comes to outsourcing software development. After all, life happens. Bugs happen. Delays happen. And you need to be prepared to roll with the punches.

You can do this by building some buffer time into your timeline. That way, when unexpected issues pop up (and they will), you've got some wiggle room. No need to panic. You've got this.

And there you have it, folks! With thorough planning, risk identification and mitigation, and a dose of flexibility, you can avoid the most common problems with outsourcing software development.

Choosing Between Onshore, Offshore, and Nearshore Outsourcing

Ever tried to decide where to go for dinner? One person wants pizza, another one is craving tacos, and someone else is in the mood for sushi. It's tough to make everyone happy, ain't it? 

Well, that's kind of what it feels like when you're deciding between onshore, offshore, and nearshore outsourcing. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. It's one of the main outsourcing software development challenges folks come across.

Let's break it down in a simple way. 

Onshore Outsourcing

Offshore Outsourcing

Nearshore Outsourcing


Hiring a team in your own country

Hiring a team in a far-off country

Hiring a team in a neighboring country


Easy communication, same time zone

Lower costs, larger talent pool

Lower costs, similar timezone


Higher costs

Communication challenges, different time zone

Slightly higher costs than offshore, possible language barriers

Best for

Complex projects needing a high level of interaction

Cost-effective projects with less time-sensitive

A balance between cost and ease of communication


Same as yours

Different, could be opposite

Similar, but possibly slightly different


Generally smoother

May face language/cultural challenges

Better than offshore, but not as smooth as onshore




A balance between onshore and offshore

Cultural Alignment


Low to medium

Medium to high

Final Thoughts 

Choosing to outsource software development is a big step. It might look tough and even confusing at times. If you've got your preparations well-organized and understand the scope of the project, you can make a sound choice that aligns with your project's goals.

Remember, you're not tackling this task single-handedly. There's always room for guidance and advice. A tech-oriented group like F22 Labs is always on standby, eager to step in and lend a helping hand.

Our commitment is to deliver first-class software, no matter the path you choose. Don't hesitate to reach out to us today!

Author Detail

Author-Murtuza Kutub
Murtuza Kutub

A product development and growth expert, helping founders and startups build and grow their products at lightning speed with a track record of success. Apart from work, I love to network & Travel.


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