Turning to a third-party IT outsourcing company is a very risky business that carries both risks and benefits. Neglecting the intricacies of problems with outsourcing IT services issues can lead to project failure or wasted resources. However, being aware of the most common pitfalls can unlock the potential of your startup and turn it into a unicorn. This article serves as a guide that sheds light on the critical outsourcing problems in software development and providing solutions. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to approach outsourcing strategically, create successful products, and maximize the benefits of your partnership.

Who is this article for?
IT professionals, business owners, and startups exploring or facing problems outsourcing IT.
Key takeaways
  • Solutions to protect data from risks.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of IT outsourcing.
  • Examples of IT outsourcing problems.

Why do businesses and tech companies outsource software development?

Businesses and technology companies are turning to outsourcing software development for various reasons driven by the ever-changing business landscape. IT outsourcing is a widespread practice involving engaging third-party vendors to manage previously performed in-house projects. The main motivations are to overcome the challenges associated with IT outsourcing, such as a lack of local talent, tight deadlines, and the need to reduce costs. Companies face challenges associated with outsourcing IT services, which include risks such as loss of control, communication barriers, and potential quality compromises. However, the benefits of outsourcing are no less notable: a shift in focus, access to specialized skills, quicker onboarding, and scalability. By navigating the complexities of outsourcing IT problems, companies strategically leverage these opportunities to ensure successful partnerships and optimal project outcomes.

Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower-cost goods and services, causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment, and increases productivity and job creation.

Larry Elder

Pros and cons of IT outsourcing

In a rapidly evolving business environment, the importance of a reliable IT infrastructure is undeniable. However, not all companies have the necessary in-house expertise and resources to keep up with the times. This makes IT outsourcing an attractive solution to fill talent and skills gaps. However, before embarking on this path, it is crucial for management to evaluate the pros and cons of IT outsourcing carefully. A thorough analysis is vital to avoid potential problems in outsourcing IT services and ensure successful partnerships.

Advantages of IT outsourcing

  • Global access to talent: Using IT outsourcing expands your talent search horizons beyond geographic limitations. This makes it easier to collaborate with experts worldwide, offering access to specialized skills critical to your project’s success.
  • The diverse portfolio of services: Software providers offer important functions such as data storage and security monitoring in addition to freelancers. Outsourcing allows companies to seamlessly integrate advanced software services into their infrastructure, expanding their overall capabilities.
  • Flexible staffing solutions: Navigating the problems of outsourcing IT staff becomes more manageable through outsourcing. This approach simplifies recruitment processes, allowing the team to scale to meet project requirements.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Outsourcing means high cost and time savings. Without the burden of recruitment and training costs, companies get access to specialized expertise at an optimal price. This proactive strategy minimizes the challenges associated with problems with outsourcing IT services and ensures an optimized and cost-effective project delivery.

Disadvantages of IT outsourcing

  • Problems with control: Outsourcing entails relinquishing control to a third party, posing inherent problems in outsourcing IT. Despite the provision of guidelines, maintaining the same control as with in-house teams proves challenging. This underscores the importance of selecting trusted vendors to mitigate potential outsourcing IT problems.
  • Communication barriers: Outsourcing vendors may not respond promptly, leading to communication gaps and impacting business performance. Effective communication procedures are vital to resolve potential problems with outsourcing IT services and ensure project success.
  • Quality trade-offs: The success of outsourcing depends on delivering the expected Quality, but unreliable vendors may not live up to expectations. Choosing your partners wisely and clearly communicating the required quality standards is essential to avoid problems outsourcing IT.
  • Security risks: Relying on a third party to handle sensitive data creates security risks in outsourcing. Ensuring that vendors adhere to the highest standards of security and protection of sensitive data is paramount to protecting against potential problems outsourcing IT and upholding organizational integrity.

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Top Problems of IT Outsourcing and How to Manage Them

Data Security Risk

One of the most serious challenges companies face when outsourcing IT services is the threat to data security. A significant breach can lead to losing confidential information and potential cyberattacks. Intellectual property, a company’s most valuable asset, is also at risk. Leaks of confidential customer information to third parties, misappropriation of code and intellectual property, and lack of compliance certificates all put both your and your customer’s data at risk from cybersecurity risks.


Safeguarding against the inherent problems with outsourcing IT services requires a comprehensive approach. Ensure that your outsourcing partner adheres to industry policies and regulations. Standards such as ISO/IEC 27001, NIST SP 800-53, HIPAA, GLBA, and Sarbanes-Oxley set strict requirements for data protection. In addition, give preference to suppliers who are willing to sign non-disclosure agreements, which are legal protections against information theft and cybercrime. Vigilant adherence to these measures ensures that your data and assets remain safe in an outsourced environment.

Time Zone Difference

Time zone differences are a prominent challenge among the most common problems with outsourcing IT services. It complicates remote team management and communication, creating a potential barrier to seamless collaboration. With teams working across time zones, coordinating tasks and ensuring effective communication becomes challenging. Synchronized workflows and clear communication structures are essential to overcome the disruption caused by time zone differences in the outsourcing landscape.


Effectively addressing the challenge of problems with outsourcing IT services due to time zone differences requires a strategic approach. First, be clear about time zone differences, especially when dealing with remote offices. Schedule times when all team members can easily reach each other via email, phone, or video chat to facilitate real-time communication. Frequent check-ins and regular feedback sessions are vital in mitigating the impact of time zone differences, boosting team morale, and ensuring continued alignment with project goals. Choosing vendors that have extensive experience working remotely further simplifies the collaboration process.

Language and Cultural Barriers

Language and Cultural Barriers compound the inherent problems with outsourcing IT services. Effective communication is challenging even with in-house teams that speak the same language and share the same culture. Remote outsourcing teams, regardless of where they work – onshore, offshore, or offshore – compound this problem. While outsourcing expands access to a global talent pool, it also creates challenges related to different languages and cultures. 


Mitigating the challenges of problems with outsourcing IT services arising from language and cultural barriers demands a proactive approach. First, familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations that affect contracts and external relationships. Consider cultural differences by conducting thorough research and establishing mutual agreements to overcome differences in work styles. Set clear standards for English language proficiency to ensure mutual understanding and prevent misunderstandings. Insist on audio or video calls to assess fluency, as relying on written communication alone can indicate potential problems and disagreements.

Quantity, not Quality

The temptation of low prices can often lead to the trap of prioritizing quantity over quality in IT outsourcing. Choosing the cheapest company without assessing technical capabilities can lead to poor project execution. To avoid problems with outsourcing IT services, prioritize interviewing engineers, evaluating technical expertise, and choosing a software development company based on their ability to deliver quality projects, not just on cost.


When dealing with the problems of outsourcing IT services related to quantity over Quality, take a strategic approach. Instead of being guided solely by cost, interview engineers and assess their technical qualifications. Choose a software development company according to project requirements, prioritizing experience over affordability. While experienced vendors may cost more, their ability to manage the process, prevent delays, and resolve issues ensures a quality outcome, reducing the risks associated with prioritizing quantity.

Cost of Services

While outsourcing promises significant budget savings, careful planning is crucial to prevent the wastage of resources. Accurate cost estimation becomes difficult without clearly defined requirements, timelines, and resources. Cost estimation is one of the most difficult problems with outsourcing IT services, requiring clear project specifications.


When dealing with the challenge of accurate cost estimation in the realm of problems outsourcing IT, establish clear project requirements. Engage experienced firms or freelancers to help define the specifications. Carefully review the pricing model, ask relevant questions, and communicate budgetary constraints to minimize misunderstandings and surprise fees during outsourcing.

Dependence on a Third-Party Provider

A critical aspect of the problems with outsourcing IT services is the potential reliance on a chosen third-party provider. The dilemma is apparent – choosing a small firm may hinder scalability, while a large enterprise may sacrifice a customized approach and inflated prices. Achieving the right balance becomes the key to solving this problem.


It’s important to find the right balance when considering problems outsourcing IT. Objectively assess your company’s size, growth potential, and budget. Avoid extremes – a large outsourcing company can be overwhelming for a startup, while the cheapest provider creates risks. Balancing these factors will ensure a harmonious and effective partnership with a third-party provider.

Lack of Control & Customization

Among the numerous problems with outsourcing IT services, a prevalent challenge is the perceived loss of control and customization. Handing over a project to another company can lead to accidental neglect or over-management, making it difficult to strike the right balance.


Overcoming the challenges associated with the problems outsourcing IT begins with meticulous planning. Clearly define responsibilities and levels of involvement before choosing a service provider. Develop a comprehensive plan, define the expected processes and deliverables, and document the timeline. After selecting a vendor, finalize the plan with a detailed project breakdown. Establish communication protocols, agree on reporting mechanisms, and track key performance indicators for a more informed and controlled approach to project oversight.

Lack of Industry-Specific Knowledge

Among the myriad problems with outsourcing IT services, a significant concern is the insufficient industry-specific knowledge of developers. Vendors may overestimate their proficiency in programming languages, leaving your project at risk. Contractors often lack the experience to create the specific solutions that are required. Don’t let your project become a testing ground for an inexperienced team by carefully vetting vendors’ real-world experience and ensuring that their expertise is relevant to your project’s industry needs.


Addressing the challenge of problems outsourcing IT, meticulous vetting is essential to ensure industry-specific knowledge. Carefully review vendor statements and evaluate the level of expertise of their developers in the required technologies. Avoid becoming a testing ground for an inexperienced team by choosing vendors with proven expertise that meet the specific requirements of your project. Clear communication of industry nuances and expectations helps reduce the risk of a lack of industry knowledge in outsourced IT projects.

Ficus Technologies’ approach to outsourcing IT services

Ficus Technologies’ core expertise lies in delivering first-class IT outsourcing services tailored to the diverse needs of our clients. As a trusted partner, we offer a range of IT outsourcing solutions designed to address the challenges commonly associated with software development. Whether it’s solving IT outsourcing problems, navigating IT outsourcing challenges, or ensuring a smooth outsourcing process, our dedicated team strives to achieve excellence in their work. We pride ourselves on providing a secure and regulated environment for industries with stringent requirements. Our approach includes careful planning, transparent communication, and a commitment to optimal project outcomes, making us the preferred choice for businesses looking for reliable and efficient IT outsourcing services.

Final thoughts

In short, IT outsourcing is a double-edged sword, offering both unprecedented opportunities and inherent challenges. By proactively responding to these challenges, companies can unlock the full potential of outsourcing, fostering innovation, global collaboration, and sustainable growth.

Successful outsourcing depends on turning potential obstacles into catalysts for success. Adopting the right strategies allows organizations to take advantage of the benefits and effectively manage the nuances.

What is the major impact of outsourcing?

The main benefits of outsourcing include optimization of business processes, cost-effectiveness, and access to specialized skills. By delegating certain tasks or functions to external service providers, companies can focus on their core competencies, reduce operating costs, and increase overall productivity. Outsourcing allows organizations to tap into a global talent pool, gaining access to expertise that may be lacking in-house. In addition, outsourcing promotes flexibility, allowing companies to scale resources according to demand. While outsourcing offers significant benefits, effective outsourcing requires careful management to mitigate potential challenges such as communication barriers, data security risks, and adherence to quality standards.

What is the most commonly used method of outsourcing?

The most common outsourcing method is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). BPO involves the transfer of certain business functions or processes to external service providers, allowing companies to focus on their core business. Common BPO services include customer support, data entry, human resources, and financial management. Information technology outsourcing (ITO) is another common method involving IT-related tasks, such as software development and maintenance. BPO and ITO are often combined in integrated outsourcing strategies to maximize efficiency. This approach allows organizations to leverage external expertise, reduce costs, and streamline operations while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

Sergey Miroshnychenko
My company has assisted hundreds of businesses in scaling engineering teams and developing new software solutions from the ground up. Let’s connect.