The health industry is currently undergoing a massive digital transformation. The healthcare IT market size is expected to reach $390.7 billion by 2024 from $187.6 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period.
Fueled by the need to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery, increase the quality of patient care, and combating the growing costs associated with healthcare, hospitals and healthcare organizations, both big and small are looking towards adoption of innovative technology.
The biggest dilemma that healthcare organizations face when custom developing software is whether to go for in-house software development or should they outsource development to another company.
In this piece, we will discuss the primary advantages of in-house development of software by healthcare organizations. We will also compare the pros and cons of in-house healthcare software development and how it compares to outsourcing your software project.
Primary Benefits of In-house Healthcare Software Development by Healthcare Organizations
1. Complete control over the project details
Right from the people you want to hire, to the team size, scope of project and the development timeline that you want to follow, in-house development gives you complete control. While vetting and hiring an in-house software development team to work on your healthcare project is no easy task, it does keep you at the top when taking any project-related decisions.
2. Better engagement and cultural fit
Since the software specialists that you choose to work on your project are permanent employees, there is greater engagement in the company. In-house employees are also more motivated to deliver value and feel a sense of connection with the company by being a part of the company culture.
3. Seamless communication among all the stakeholders
Healthcare software development requires communication between all the stakeholders involved. The business side needs to be in constant touch with the development team so that any feedback can be incorporated into code. While there are a number of project management tools and collaboration software that teams can use, the clarity that all the stakeholders huddled together provides is unmatched. Lack of communication gaps also results in accelerated development and cuts down the costs at the same time.
4. Increased agility
Software development teams are increasingly realizing the benefits of Agile development in healthcare. An in-house team can fix bugs and other issues that crop up in the development faster. Since the feedback is communicated at the end of each sprint, any changes that need to be incorporated take place at a faster pace.
5. Post-launch development and maintenance needs
The launching of your software is just the beginning, the maintenance phase is equally important as well. Having an in-house development team can get the updates and fixes rolling out quickly. You also don’t have to spend extra on maintenance charges as your in-house team of developers would be in charge of that.
Disadvantages of In-house Software Development by Healthcare Organizations
1. High costs
In-house development is more costly than partnering with an experienced and reliable vendor to outsource your software development. This is a huge barrier if you are planning for a small scale project. Unlike outsourcing where the software developers are on the outsourcing partner’s payroll, having an in-house team requires you to look after additional benefits as an add on to the compensation package which increases the costs in the long run.
2. Resource intensive
Vetting and hiring an in-house software development team for your project is a very resource intensive activity. Not only does it take considerable time and effort to find someone who is a good fit, but you are also competing for talent with other employers. Unless you have expertise in technical hiring, hiring an in-house team can turn out to be very taxing.
In contrast, when you outsource software development, the onus is with the outsourcing partner to hire the right people. Additionally, since the developers have experience of working with each other on numerous healthcare projects together, they also tend to work well in tandem.
3. Upscaling and downsizing issues
The field of software development is constantly evolving. In case the existing team does not meet the requirements, you would need to hire a new resource to fill in the gaps. Similarly, once the development is done, effective resource utilization becomes a challenge. Once a permanent hire is no longer needed, do you task them with a different project or do you let them go? Upscaling and downsizing both come with a unique set of challenges when it comes to in-house software development.
In-house vs Outsourced: what works best for healthcare software development?
As a healthcare organization, unless the project scope is huge, or you have back to back development projects lined up, in-house software development ends up bloating your budget while being time and resource-intensive at the same time.
While in-house development does have the advantage of complete project control and gives you complete visibility over every aspect of the development process, when done right, outsourcing can help you reap the same benefits, at a fraction of the cost.
Instead of vetting numerous candidates, you just have to find the right company to outsource your project to. Here’s how you can get it right.
Find a company that specializes in healthcare software development
The healthcare niche is bound by several restrictions and regulatory requirements. A company that specializes in healthcare software development is likely to be well versed in the compliance requirements which would give you an added advantage.
The experience of working on healthcare projects in the past also becomes a benefit for your project. When in the process of vetting an outsourcing partner, look at the portfolio of the company to get an idea of the projects they have worked on and their capabilities
Get to know the team
Once you have spelled out the project requirements, and got an estimate about the approximate timeline according to your budget, the next step is to know who will be working on the project and how will the communication take place.
Under Agile, there needs to be a product owner who will keep you updated on the development progress after every sprint, and ensure that any feedback that you have gets incorporated into the next iteration of development. The outsourcing company should also be able to give you an overview of the collaboration tools that they use to keep their clients in the loop and keep the communication going.
Find out if your outsourced team will simultaneously working on other projects
When outsourcing your project, you want to ensure that it remains a priority. Knowing whether the members of your outsourced team will be working solely on your project or will they be working simultaneously on other projects as well is very important. Be sure to ask about this when making the final decision.
Outsourcing, when done right, offers numerous benefits when it comes to healthcare software development. Well established process and application development expertise can accelerate the time to market for your software while keeping the costs in check.
If you are looking to get started on your project, we are here to help!
With more than a decade of specialized experience in the healthcare niche, our team of developers have worked on a diverse range of software products ranging from telemedicine software to surgical workflow programs and patient engagement software.
Get in touch with our consultants to discuss your project specifications today.