Benefits of an Extended Development Workbench

Extended Workbench Development

Terms like extended workbench and software developers on demand have been around in Australia for many years but what do these terms really mean, and are there real benefits to be had from contracting out portions of your IT to an external app development company? Simply put, an extended workbench is a fixed body of personnel provided on contract to the receiving party. Typically, these contract teams are provisioned on six monthly or yearly terms and incur monthly fixed fees, which are billed based on hours of labor provided by the personnel assigned.

There a number, of benefits that can be obtained by clients from this model. First off software development costs for a given project are staggered on a monthly basis over longer periods of time. Customers are typically assigned named engineers to a project, which ensures continuity and stability. From a provider perspective, as revenue is recurring and personnel are committed to single client engagements, software projects tend to run more smoothly delivering best of both worlds.

Whilst a customer may have a preference, for an Australia based, agile software development model it is often very difficult for providers to deliver this when a fixed budget is also expected, and payment milestones set forth in an initial project brief. So, faced with the option of hiring resources locally and using an extended workbench why would you choose an extended workbench model? There are many very good reasons for this:

  • 1. The ability to scale up and down IT headcount without having to cut heads within a local workforce.
  • 2. Enterprise companies with big brands typically have complex HR rules and governance that regulate the hiring process and do not support the level of flexibility needed at times.
  • 3. The most talented app developers typically want to join technology heavy companies where career opportunities are widespread. It is therefore difficult for non-tech businesses to hire good engineers at the right price.
  • 4. A traditional app development company in Australia is typically far better equipped at managing IT teams (both on and offshore) and ensuring that deliverables are achieved.

Before deciding whether to employ an extended workbench approach to software development it is important to understand these factors and weigh these up against any potential cost differentials.

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