Outsourcing is a tried and tested growth strategy and itâ€™s proving more effective in todayâ€™s highly competitive enterprise software solutions development. Add to that the fact that .NET developers are some of the most skilled and highly sought-after developers in the industry today with salaries and benefits out of reach for typical growth-stage businesses even in developed markets.
In this post, we cover important topics on developer outsourcing with a focus on .NET, such as where to find good offshore .NET developers and firms, factors to consider, outsourcing upsides and so much more.
Outsourcing .NET development refers to contracting external .NET development vendors to undertake portions or entire .NET software engineering projects work rather than handling the entire process in-house. It involves sourcing software development talent from outside the organization, often overseas, to carry out projects at a reduced cost or supplement internal capabilities.
Outsourcing software development is not a new thing. The practice began in the 80s and 90s when companies first started using international talent to offset local skill shortages and reduce salaries. Over the years, it has evolved to become a mainstream strategy to deliver projects efficiently and within timelines.
In recent years, we’ve seen larger shares of .NET work going to major outsourcing destinations like India, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and Latin America. Competition for top software dev talent has increased globally which makes outsourcing .NET development an increasingly appealing strategic option for companies of all sizes.
â€œThe high demand for top software developer talent, according to data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) will continue at a much faster rate (25%)Â than other occupations. â€œ
Outsourcing .NET development as a business growth strategy has many upsides if well-planned and executed. Of course, the primary benefit or upside is the amount of operational capital you can free up for your core expansion activities. Other advantages include access to the vast and varied global talent pool, increased efficiency and so much more.
The estimated cost-savings from outsourcing for non-customer-facing operations according to research by various think tanks are above 65%.Â Please note that .NET development is a non-customer-facing operation for many businesses so it is quite logical to take advantage of the well-established .NET developers outsourcing market for optimal business growth.
Why Outsource .NET Developers?
Outsourcing .NET development is a proven business strategy with numerous well-known benefits for businesses that execute it well using industry best practices. A straight answer for you, if you are on the fence, is the cost of attracting and retaining top .NET developers in the current labor market.
Many .NET developers are highly trained and experienced professionals who exclusively work within Microsoftâ€™s software ecosystem handling large projects. The average .NET developer salaryÂ in a city like San Francisco ranges between $105k to $150k per year according to Indeed, way above the reach of growth-stage small mid-sized businesses.
The following are some of the main reasons you should consider outsourcing as opposed to hiring .NET developers in todayâ€™s talent market include:
1.Â The cost savings of .NET developer outsourcing
Cost savings are one of the biggest direct advantages of outsourcing .NET development versus maintaining in-house teams. Letâ€™s discuss some of the major costs you can avoid and how they impact your business growth:
In-House Hiring CostsÂ – The average cost to hire a software developerÂ in the US is over $4,000 when accounting for recruitment process overhead. For a 100-member team, this translates to $500,000 in avoided hiring costs through outsourcing.
.NET Dev CompensationÂ – The average .NET developer in the US earnsÂ over $124,000 in salary and benefits based on Indeed.com data. The fully loaded costs for an in-house team can be 2-3x salaries. The same work can be outsourced for nearly half the price.
.NET Dev Recruitment CostsÂ – Ongoing recruitment spends for sourcing, background checks, interviews, etc. add up for in-house teams requiring constant new hiring as turnover happens. Outsourced teams avoid these redundant costs.
Training and DevelopmentÂ – Keeping in-house teams trained on the latest .NET skills requires sizable training budgets. Outsourcing partners can handle this themselves as part of service delivery.
Infrastructure CostsÂ – In-house teams need dedicated office space, equipment, licenses, IT support, etc. amounting to thousands per engineer. Outsourced teams utilize vendor infrastructure optimized for scale.
Administrative, HR CostsÂ – In-house teams necessitate administrative staff, HR, facilities management, and other non-engineering overheads. Outsourcing shifts these expenses to the vendor.
Risks of Staffing ChangesÂ – Firing and layoffs involve severance, lawsuits, etc. which you can avoid with outsourced teams that have no fixed employee status.
Letâ€™s take this hypothetical example of a company outsourcing .NET development:
A 250-member in-house .NET team with fully loaded average cost per engineer of $125,000 will have an annual expense of $31 million.
Transitioning this work to an outsourced team in India with 60% cost savings would bring the annual costs down to $12.4 million.
Over 5 years, the cumulative cost avoidance from outsourcing is nearly $100 million even after factoring in transition expenses. This does not account for other savings like training, infrastructure, and overheads which make the benefits even more substantial.
The order of magnitude in cost reduction illustrates why outsourcing is compelling for companies to leverage versus maintaining exclusively in-house .NET development staff.
2.Â Minimized Uncertainties by Leveraging Vendor Experience
Outsourcing .NET projects to experienced vendors reduces your business risks and uncertainties. This is because offshore vendors have established processes, best practices, and trained resources to deliver .NET projects smoothly. A good relationship minimizes potential issues that can arise with in-house development like skill gaps, inadequate processes, or lack of specific .NET expertise.
For example, working with a mid to large-scale .NET development firm in India means you get access to their years of experience managing large-scale .NET application development that you canâ€™t get as a new business. From a business perspective, this helps mitigate project risks in more ways than one.
3.Â Expedited Product Launches Through Proven Delivery Models
Outsourcing partners have project management and software development processes refined over years of delivering .NET projects. This enables faster time-to-market for .NET applications versus inexperienced internal teams. Vendors utilize approaches like agile and DevOps to accelerate .NET deployments. Many can use integrated methods to deliver .NET projects for a client 50% faster than internal efforts.
4.Â Global Talent Database to Find Qualified Developers
Top nearshore and offshore outsourcing providers maintain large databases of pre-screened .NET developers with verified skills. This grants them access to qualified .NET talent that may be scarce locally or in your location. For instance, platforms like Andela and Upwork enable hiring pre-vetted .NET contractors from Africa, Eastern Europe, etc. within days. Such global talent reach is hard to match in-house.
5.Â Skipping Lengthy Local Hiring and Retention Costs
Building in-house .NET teams involves expensive recruiting and ongoing salary/benefits costs. Outsourced .NET teams are hired, managed, and retained by the vendor. This avoids sizable HR expenses for clients. As mentioned earlier, the average cost per internal .NET developer is usually over $100k versus $50,000 for an outsourced resource in normal market conditions.
6.Â Eliminating extensive internal training programs
External .NET development firms keep .NET developers trained on the latest skills on your behalf, saving you large internal training costs. Â Itâ€™s not uncommon to find firms that invest $100+ million annually in .NET training programs and further education for their talent. You can thus focus budgets on core activities rather than upskilling. If you are a smaller firm especially, outsourcing is more practical than building in-house .NET training infrastructure.
7.Â Minimizing Idle Resource Time Between Projects
.NET development outsourcing provides you access to on-demand talent pools minimizing downtime between projects. Good external development companies can efficiently rotate resources across clients and account for periodic gaps in demand. This is harder to manage with internal fixed employee costs. A good example is how some online .NET development companies offer hourly-rate .NET developers on flexible terms.
8.Â Leveraging Vendor Infrastructure and Licenses
Outsourcing .NET development shifts the costs of supporting .NET infrastructure like data centers, servers, tools, and software licenses to another entity. You can leverage this to avoid large CapEx investments required in-house. External development firms are also better positioned to negotiate better license deals.
9.Â Affordable engineering teams in low-cost regions
.NET outsourcing to regions like India and Eastern Europe provides quality development at lower price points versus Western teams. This does require offshoring but the cost arbitrage is substantial – up to 60% by some estimates. It allows you to create larger .NET teams while staying within budget.
10.Â Streamlined operations without redundant facilities
Outsourced .NET developers are managed by their employer- the .NET software development company. This eliminates overheads of operating dedicated development facilities – office space, equipment, IT support, etc. – for in-house teams. Because of this, you can focus facility spending on core areas and streamline operations.
11.Â Pay-as-you-go arrangements with flexible pricing
Leading .NET outsourcing companies/vendors provide flexible pricing models – hourly, monthly, milestone-based, etc. This optimizes your spending according to needs versus fixed in-house employee costs. Some also offer outcome-based pricing where fees are contingent on success like cost per defect-free line of .NET code delivered.
12.Â Niche Capabilities on Emerging Technologies
External software dev companies build specialized competencies on trending .NET technologies like Blazor, ML.NET, ASP.NET Core, etc. In most places, access to such niche skills can be limited internally. Eastern European and Indian providers for example have proven .NET expertise in areas like blockchain and IoT.
13. Rapidly Ramp Teams Up and Down Based on Needs
Staffing in-house teams can lack flexibility and have hiring-firing lags. Outsourced .NET teams with vendors in other countries or even locally can be scaled up or down within weeks to align with changing project pipelines and budgets. As a rapidly growing company, you are likely to find this agility difficult to replicate internally unless your core business is software development.
1.Â Emphasize Your Core Offerings, Outsource the Rest
Focusing internal resources on core products/services and outsourcing ancillary .NET needs optimizes utilization of top talent. Areas like legacy .NET application maintenance can be outsourced while directing in-house developers to high-value activities. Many Fortune 500 firms strategically adopt this model.
2.Â Follow-the-sun development with 24×7 productivity
Globally distributed outsourced .NET teams allow follow-the-sun development to achieve 24×7 productivity. When work finishes at the end of the day for one outsourced team, it can be routed in the same time zone. Such round-the-clock productivity is challenging to obtain via a single in-house team.
Factors to Consider When Outsourcing .NET Developers
The following are some key factors to consider when outsourcing .NET development especially if you are looking at offshore development companies and remote teams:
1.Â Skills and Expertise
Look for outsourcing partners with proven .NET software design and development competencies like ASP.NET, C#, .NET Core, SQL Server, Azure, etc. Â To make sure they are the best match, you may need to also screen for experience in your specific domain like finance, healthcare, etc. depending on your needs.
Here is an example, if you are a fintech firm, you should be looking at outsourcing vendors with .NET skills in blockchain, payments, security, etc. having delivered similar projects before. Such specialized experience is difficult to build in-house quickly.
Technical capabilities and expertise are the most important when evaluating a .NET outsourcing provider. Some of the key pointers to use in the process to ensure you are getting the best provider include;
Technical competenciesÂ – Assess skills in core .NET frameworks like ASP.NET, Entity Framework, C#, .NET Core, etc. Seek specializations in your domain like healthcare, finance, e-commerce, etc.
Size and structure of .NET teamÂ – Larger pools with 100+ .NET developers indicate scale while smaller boutique firms provide focused partnerships. Select a firm with an idea size based on your needs.
Training and certificationÂ – Look for organized training programs to develop .NET skills. Certified .NET developers demonstrate a higher degree of proficiency.
Coding practicesÂ â€“ You can examine how they implement OOP concepts, design patterns, architecture best practices, etc. in .NET projects as this reflects fundamental development standards.
Technical leadershipÂ â€“ Find out the experience of .NET team leads. Senior .NET developers with 10+ years of experience are ideal if you are looking to develop competitive software solutions for your growing business.
Code samplesÂ â€“ Some .NET outsourcing firms provide anonymized code snippets to showcase real-world .NET development abilities. Work with an expert to evaluate the snippets for suitability.
Past problem resolutionsÂ – Understanding how they tackle complex programming challenges reveals technical expertise.
Setting up tech discussions with architects and developers from prospective vendors provides the best signal on overall technical suitability. The goal is determining not just superficial .NET competencies but also identifying true design and delivery strengths.
2.Â Portfolio and Experience
As part of the provider evaluation process, you should thoroughly review case studies and testimonials for prospective vendors. For instance, a provider having developed the .NET platform for a reputed brand demonstrates proven capabilities.
Long-term clients and test cases of meeting project KPIs reveal execution excellence. Â We advise targeting vendors with .NET experience aligning with your needs – app modernization, product engineering, QA services, etc.
3.Â Communication and Language
English fluency is essential for clear requirements discussion and progress updates. Ideally, the account management team should be nearshore allowing real-time communication versus offshore-only vendors.
4.Â Time Zone Compatibility
Optimal overlap between onshore teams and offshore .NET development teams’ working hours enables seamless collaboration. For US clients, nearshore LATAM locations provide full alignment versus Asia with a 12-hour difference. For example, 2 two-hour overlap between EST and Eastern European time zones still allows for substantial real-time discussion daily versus minimal interaction with ASEAN vendors.
However, you can come up with a schedule that is optimal for teams in any geographical location including Asia and Africa. Engage an expert or use coloration software to help streamline and optimize work scheduling for teams in any location.
Other Considerations you can consider when choosing a .NET development partner include:
- Cultural alignmentâ€“ find a company that you share work ethic and values
- Priceâ€“ Identify Competitive but not suspiciously low bids to avoid bad outsourcing providers
- Scalability â€“ Identify a company that can ramp up/down software development efforts quickly and efficiently
- Methodology â€“ We advise going for Agile and DevOps-aligned practices as they are best suited for .NET software development outsourcing.
- Information security – Make sure the .NET development firm you choose to work with has robust data protection policies. Stringent security policies, data encryption, and role-based access are important when outsourcing .NET work involving sensitive systems or data
5.Â Quality and Process Maturity
Review the .NET development vendor’s SDLC, project governance, and code quality procedures. Mature processes like CMMI and ISO certifications are used to demonstrate dependability.
For instance, a good .NET development company should indicate that they follow robust SEI CMMI Level 5 processes with strict quality controls and audits around adhering to .NET development best practices. Such process orientation results in predictable and reliable outcomes.
The software development lifecycle (SDLC) practices and process maturity of .NET development companies influence the quality and reliability of their .NET work. Some of the key aspects to examine include:
SDLC ModelsÂ – Mature providers follow proven models like agile, iterative development, and DevOps that enable predictable outcomes. Seek evidence of structured SDLC adherence on past .NET projects.
Process CertificationsÂ – Look for process rigor demonstrated through certifications like Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 5 or ISO 9001. These require audited procedures for quality software delivery.
DocumentationÂ – Robust documentation around specifications, architecture, testing, and release management indicates systematic discipline versus ad hoc execution.
Code Quality ProcessesÂ – Well-defined coding standards, code reviews, static analysis, and refactoring processes reveal a commitment to clean, maintainable .NET code.
Testing MaturityÂ – Rigorous QA covering unit, integration, performance, and security testing reduces defects and technical debt in .NET applications. Automated testing enables agility.
Compliance – Adherence to regulations, privacy laws, and standards like HIPAA demonstrate the ability to meet the compliance needs of regulated industries.
Training SystemsÂ – Consistent training, mentoring programs, and skill development methodologies indicate high personnel quality.
Strong quality DNA ensures outsourced .NET work meets stringent performance, security, and compliance requirements – leading to smooth handover and customer satisfaction. It demonstrates the company or individual developerâ€™s sincere focus on engineering excellence versus solely cost-cutting and arbitrage.
Popular Outsourcing Destinations for .NET Development
Software development as a service or development outsourcing destinations keep expanding every year. However, some countries and regions are more established in software development than others. Letâ€™s briefly discuss some of them:
India is an established .NET outsourcing Destination
Several large US and European companies like Microsoft, HP, and SAP have been steadily increasing the amount of .NET work they outsource to India. For example, Microsoft has development centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore employing thousands of engineers that work on various .NET projects.
Small and mid-sized companies are also getting into .NET outsourcing, using vendors in India and its neighbors like Pakistan and Bangladesh to tap global talent and reduce costs for projects or to supplement their in-house teams.
Eastern Europe is an emerging .NET outsourcing destination
Eastern Europe has emerged as a top destination for .NET outsourcing, with countries like Poland, Ukraine, and Romania having strong supplies of skilled .NET developers. Amazon, for instance, has development centers in Poland and Romania working on .NET-based products and services.
The Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore
In the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, the .NET development outsourcing industry has grown substantially over the past 5 years. These countries offer an affordable talent pool proficient in English and .NET skills.
South and Latin America
Countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina have become viable destinations for nearshoring .NET work from North America, with quality vendors and developers available at favorable costs. .NET outsourcing by US firms to Latin America has steadily risen.
Africa is a new entrant as a .NET development destination
While still a nascent destination, Africa offers an appealing blend of Western cultural affinity, advanced technical acumen, and cost competitiveness. Africa has a young demographic and growing technical labor pool and it is attracting increasing interest as an offshore delivery location for .NET and other digital work.
Countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa have a sizable pool of skilled .NET developers available at competitive rates. Africa also provides sizable cost advantages over other outsourcing hubs, with hourly developer rates often 30-50% lower for equivalent skills.
Many companies globally are outsourcing growing portions of .NET work to leverage specialized skills and cost advantages available internationally. This trend is expected to continue as more firms embrace outsourcing as a core development strategy.
Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Outsourcing .NET software development comes with its challenges that you need to address for optimal results. Here are some examples:
Outsourced teams often operate with different cultural norms around work styles, communication, and hierarchy which can lead to misalignment. Bridging cultural gaps via practices like values & ethics training, frequent informal discussions, and visiting offshore facilities periodically can help you. Also, be sensitive and respectful of differences to prevent issues.
Language gaps, lack of context, and time zone distances can hamper effective communication. To mitigate this, schedule regular meetings/calls, designate onshore coordinators, daily status updates via tools like Slack, and visit offshore centers to minimize barriers. Investing time upfront explaining business context and requirements is a great strategy too.
Poor Knowledge Transfer
Inadequate knowledge transfer between onshore product owners and offshore delivery teams often affects execution. Structured documentation, SPDs (Software Design Proposals), wireframes, regular demos, and issue-tracking systems can help you facilitate transparency. Rotating team members across locations also enhances knowledge transfer.
Protecting IP and Data Security
Sharing code, data, and IP with third-party vendors may pose risks to your business. Â Make sure you have in place stringent security controls, policies, NDAs, and background checks to safeguard this. Companies like EPAM offer secure collaboration via private cloud models to alleviate concerns over IP protection.
Lack of Governance
Insufficient governance on priorities, processes, quality, and communications may hamper outcomes. A good strategy to mitigate this is establishing robust project management with KPI monitoring, periodic audits, proper oversight of outsourced teamsâ€™ delivery, and clear escalation protocols to boost governance.
Addressing some of these challenges requires upfront investment in relationships, knowledge transfer, communication infrastructure, and security protocols. The right management and collaboration practices can effectively minimize outsourcing risks in .NET development.
Tips for a Successful Outsourcing Partnership
A successful partnership in .NET development outsourcing should lead to the development of software solutions that not only meet your needs but also give you a competitive advantage. You can only get to this by working with the right partner and investing in working systems.
The following are some expert tips for a successful outsourcing partnership for .NET development:
- Create comprehensive project briefs covering objectives, requirements, milestones, constraints, etc. to set clear directions. Provide sufficient context into business needs
- Have regular status calls/meetings for updates and feedback loops. Daily 15-minute video check-ins can solve many problems early.
- Establish project governance protocols like recurring demos, document reviews, audits, and issue escalation workflows. This enables oversight of priorities and progress.
- Enable and promote collaboration between in-house and outsourced teams with visits, team-building activities, and naming offshore resources on accomplishments. This builds mutual ownership.
- Have an onshore coordinator to serve as the liaison and single point of contact to streamline communications with offshore teams.
- Set expectations on quality, documentation standards, communications, and other aspects upfront so no surprises crop up later.
- Invest in knowledge transfer upfront through rigorous documentation, wiki creation, and developer exchange visits between onshore and offshore.
- Support outsourced teams with proper tools, infrastructure, and access to business users. Lack of access hampers their productivity.
- Protect IP and data security with stringent policies and controls right from the start. Don’t underestimate risks.
- Budget some onshore overlap with the offshore team to enable real-time collaboration for at least a few hours each day
Frequent communication, tight collaboration, and earnest relationship building are proven strategies to enable productive partnerships for outsourced .NET work. You can also implement a spirit of shared purpose and culture to prevent delivery gaps.
Outsourcing .NET projects can enable you access to global talent pools at reduced costs versus in-house teams. The major benefits include accelerated timelines, specialized skills, greater scalability, and increased focus on core activities.
If you do it right, Outsourcing .NET development can provide you the flexibility, cost savings, and access to niche capabilities difficult to replicate internally. That said, make sure you thoroughly evaluate providers and establish tight coordination and governance.
Please review the examples and best practices provided in this post to make informed decisions on outsourcing parts or all of your .NET development work. There is no doubt that outsourcing can become a source of strategic advantage if well executed.