Is Outsourcing Mobile App Development Safe? Should I Opt It?

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

It has been a growing trend to outsource app development projects in our time thanks to an array of advantages such as access to a diverse talent pool, the scope of enhancing business agility, boosting efficiency with fast-paced development and cost advantage. 

But at the same time, outsourcing app development can also expose the projects to several risks and vulnerabilities that any company must consider before opting for it. Several potential hazards can have a negative impact on the bottom line of a business. 

According to experts, the key to successful app projects lies in the advanced preparations, and in that respect, outsourcing an app development project is no exception. The company should identify particular business objectives behind the project and ensure it is managed efficiently throughout its timeline. 

Here we are going to explain many risks and vulnerabilities that outsourced app projects encounter. 

Gaps in the Contract

Sometimes outsourcing contracts fail to come with clear expectations on both ends to cement the relationships of the client and the development company. The contract should be elaborate as a record to refer to frequently. The contract will come up with all specifics about payment, intellectual rights, various expectations, roles and responsibilities, as well as a clear strategy to facilitate cooperation and coordination. There should be a legal review before signing the contract.

If the vendor company fails to adhere to the quality expectations within the specific time frame, there should be options in the contract for termination of the agreement. The contract should also clearly mention dates for the renewal to allow you to choose to continue with the vendor or not.

In many countries, a legal contract is the only binding agreement between parties for a development project. For example, developers in India give utmost importance to legal contracts for any outsourcing projects. Based on the most successful outsourcing contracts signed by leading companies, here we are providing a list of risks and vulnerabilities that you should address in your legal documents. 

  • Not adhering to project timeline or inability to deliver declared services within time.
  • Not adhering to the committed service standards. 
  • Interrupting performance or slowed down development. 
  • Violating laws impacting the client.
  • Not complying with privacy and security compliance as stated by the contract. 
  • Intellectual property violation.
  • Lack of communications between the vendor and client. 

Risks and Vulnerabilities Related to NDA

The significance of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) cannot be stressed more for any app development or software outsourcing project. It is a critical building block in the measures to deal with software outsourcing risks.

The NDA is the binding agreement signed to protect the client’s intellectual property rights and do away with all sorts of outsourcing risks undermining the core app idea. Generally, well-known software development companies offer their NDA policies validated by their lawyers. So this comes as a bilateral agreement. 

In spite of all these, NDAs alone are not sufficient to protect the intellectual property rights for an app project. Lastly, most reputed companies are unlikely to steal an app idea or engage in direct competition with their clients.  

Watermarking and Fingerprinting Data 

Protecting sensitive data is of utmost concern for any outsourcing vendor. IT clients often take recourse to digital data protection techniques such as watermarking and fingerprinting to ensure this. These technologies administered upon relational databases comprising customer data can easily help detect any data leakage source. 

Some recent developments with these methods allow clients to implement fingerprinting and watermarking faster based upon permutation or insertion. This will further reduce the scope of errors or corruption with the data. 

High-Level Data Encryption

Data encryption comes as the most effective data security technique that certain app projects can use. However, the encryption application is limited in scope because it can only fit in projects where the outsourcing company is not required to access the sensitive information protected by encryption. 

In any app outsourcing project where data encryption is used, it is mainly used for protecting critical and vulnerable information such as SSNs, credit card numbers, etc. By using public-key cryptography, such information can be protected. 

Lack of Quality Control and Security Testing

This comes as another major security challenge for outsourcing app projects. Despite their tall claims, too many development companies do not provide extensive quality assurance guarantees and security testing. On the other hand, outsourcing companies being completely stranger to the actual user contexts while using the app, may not test the app fully covering the entire usability attributes. 

When it is about security testing, there is hardly an exception to such raging concerns. While clients always want full-proof assurances for efficient data processing methods and protection for intellectual property, the concern cannot be meted out just with a run of the mill QA process and statutory security testing. 

As an increasing number of outsourcing app projects fall victim to security attacks, there should be more focus on the security policies of the hired development company. The outsourcing development company should have well-defined risk management plans backed up by a meticulous plan to deal with all kinds of security incidents when it comes to data security. 

Conclusion 

From ensuring optimum efficiency to guaranteeing intellectual property rights to the enormous task of safeguarding the project from security risks, the challenges are too many for outsourcing. But with the awesome advantages such as cost and access to the talent pool, app projects cannot do away with the outsourcing model. Therefore, when opting for an outsourcing company, address these challenges and issues right from the start. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.