Embedded Teams | An Alternative to Traditional Outsourcing

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Tips & How-To's | 0 comments

Photo by Elijah Mears on Unsplash

Today, under the heading of outsourcing, there are a large number of providers and competitors who satisfy the needs of customers for fast, flexible and individual solutions to employee shortages in the field of software development.

This is what they aim for.

Traditional outsourcing certainly has its justification and may be the right choice for some application areas. But from our experience in the day to day business, we find that the use of embedded software teams is much more flexible and the associated benefits largely outweigh.

But slowly, because that’s what this article is about, is traditional outsourcing the right choice or is it the use of embedded teams. We will find out in the following.

Understanding traditional software development outsourcing


Outsourcing software development to third level experts is in general a great way of gaining additional knowhow while staying cost effective. It helps large scale companies or startups alike to stay competitive and handle the abrupt demands of scaling the software development.

Companies usually follow a simple outsourcing approach, using the services of external contractors that deliver software developers on a project-specific basis. Upon completion of the project, the collaboration with these external parties is terminated. This method has proven successful and provides a viable solution for short-term project requirements.

But what about long-term collaborations, where the outsourced developers become part of the company and its values?


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Bottleneck of traditional outsourcing


When there are more diverse needs, the limitations of the conventional outsourcing method become apparent. For example, if you require a very specific tech stack (very likely), or even a whole team of them. Let’s suppose you have requirements such as an ever-changing stream of support requests, new feature implementations, bug fixes for ongoing projects, and the parallel addition of entirely new projects. This confusing blend of needs puts a considerable demand on existing staff and can lead to significant capacity issues that could threaten the reliability of the business.

Companies are aware of this challenge and recognize that a handful of contracted staff is not enough. What they really need are individuals who are intimately familiar with their work culture, tools, processes, colleagues and customers – individuals who are able to capably navigate every hurdle that comes their way.

Problems you might encounter

  • Identifying the right candidate demands time and financial investment
  • For each new project, the process needs to be repeated
  • Short-term contracts hinder productivity potential (see W. Tuckmans groupwork framework)
  • Less control over the outsourced team


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Embedded teams: an agile outsourcing approach

The embedded team approach to outsourcing delivers external, remote (software) specialists which integrate seamlessly into the existing inhouse team of a company. 

We highlighted external because the clue of having embedded teams is that they will share the goals, the company’s culture and responsibilities on a level that you can compare to inhouse teams. This essentially happens if you hire them long term. But it also happens when you repeatedly use the embedded team.

This will also happen to every other form of outsourcing talents? Sure, if you can make sure that the partner company provides you with the same developers every time. We heard it from our clients most of the time that’s not the case.

Embedded teams give you in-house like performance

The unique selling point is how the developers collaborate. Even if they’re not at the same location as you, they work together in one place, know each other, and have practiced working together. 

Here at codecombinator, our devs are employed in one of our global hubs in different time zones:

  • Eastern Europe 
  • South East Asia 
  • Middle East 
  • North America 

They can be provided on demand and scale to meet peak demand, similar to a traditional outsourcing, with the difference that each team member is not an anonymous resource, but a known person with specific skills and capabilities.

Basically, it’s the cheaper way to have an in-house development team (if you choose the time zone that works best for you, it’s very similar to having an in-house team). Take care that a core time you need a day is covered (for example 2-4 hours) and trust the ability of the team like you would your own.

Flat Fee: Bear in mind that the codecombinator way covers all of the expenses like fringe benefits, office and equipment costs which is a huge upside economically. 

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In times of economic uncertainty, waves of redundancies and a shortage of skilled workers, employee recruitment topics are more important than ever. Outsourcing helps to remain competitive, or to become as a start-up.

Embedded teams offer just that, while making your outsourced talent both more productive and more familiar with the in-house team.

We personally only offer pre-screened talent through our matchmaking system by delivering the right tech stack to you double-checked: At hub level and at talent level.

We hope that we could shed some light on the difference between traditional outsourcing and embedded talents. If you have any questions regarding our service, please feel free to reach out or see our FAQ

Thanks for reading,

Team codecominator

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