Is DIY overtaking outsourcing, thanks to increased access to information?

Just the other day I needed to service my car. As a norm, I would usually go to my usual car dealer, get a quotation and then book the car in for service; which is what I think is the best thing to do because you know that your dealer would probably do the best since he knows the car better. Now, the issue about this particular time was that I was a bit low on cash and I had to look at other options even though I really needed my car to be serviced. So what I did was to go to the dealer and got a quotation as I usually would, after getting the a list of all the parts needed and the amount allocated for labour, I then thought to myself, but what if I bought the same parts (same brand) at a different retailer, and then serviced the car myself? I must admit, it was a bit of a scary thought for me because I had not serviced any car before. The question is, do I DIY or do I outsource?

Well, I took my chances. I went and shopped around for the same parts at a lesser cost, and I went online to try and find out what tools I would need to ensure that the service process runs smoothly. After taking note of the specific tools needed, I went and bought the tools as well. So now I have the tools and I have the parts. It was now time for me to do some DIY, so where do I start? 


I went to and I searched videos showing exactly how to service my car. Some videos were not that detailed but some were exactly what I needed. The person in the video explained every little detail and demonstrated as he explained. I then followed step by step and after few hours, I reset the service light, also with the help of videos, and my car was back on track, and ready to hit the road for another 15 000 KM until the next service. 

To celebrate, I took my wife to dinner that evening. It was really fulfilling for me to know that I saved more than half of the money I was charged by the dealer, and a great fulfillment I guess came from the fact that I did it myself, learning a lot in the process. Ever since that day, I never looked back. I always service my car myself. Unless it’s really beyond my capacity. 

You might ask yourself where am I going with this? well, as a developer/programmer this really challenged me to say, if I can do this, How many other people are doing the same thing out there? In essence, DIY means more and more people are doing it for themselves instead of getting a company to do it for them (outsourcing). As a result, more companies are losing out on business. 

We live in the digital age, and almost every day we are led to interact with one app or another. We are in need of systems or websites that we can use to promote our businesses and/or make the business processes much more interactive and interesting, to help cut down cost and increase revenue. 


How DIY affects business agencies?

The reality is that when clients feel a need to develop solutions in-house resources instead of getting another company – e.g. an agency – to do it for them, there’s some company out there losing out on business. 


Why do companies feel a need to DIY?

It’s not every company that trusts in-house developers to be able to deliver cutting edge systems, websites or apps. But the influx of tutorials, how-to-do-it videos on the internet and blogs explaining step-by-step processes on every subject imaginable make some companies believe they can do it in-house and gives them [companies] the confidence to believe they can DIY. The temptation to save costs is getting stronger, especially with the understanding that you can just google everything you need to know and get answers instantly. 

Source: 2016 Content Report

What should agencies do to secure business?

While there are still companies that believe in outsourcing, it is still extremely important to understand the market in this digital age and study the consumer behavior extensively. 

Agencies have no choice but to up their game. Every system and/or app that an agency develops should surpass the standard of an app a company could buy online and customize, or build in-house. The standard should definitely be high and the difference between a system developed in-house and outsourced should be vivid.  

If agencies are average in their developments, business will be lost to the in-house developers. This also means that agencies should do their best to secure return business by making sure that they take care of existing clients giving them the beyond-average-service and going an extra mile for them. Something the in-house development team will probably not do because of their level of comfortability within the company. 


How do agencies secure consistent income?

Agencies should have their systems or platforms that users can subscribe to, either on a monthly basis or once-off. It should be a system that users will need, a system that will be groundbreaking and cutting edge, a system that can be rolled out to a global market. Facebook, Google, and WhatsApp being the best examples of such. 

This becomes a challenge to all the development agencies out there – systems and applications development, graphics and multimedia designing, digital marketing and any other related agencies. In order to decrease the DIY syndrome, agencies need to provide an unresistible desire to outsource. 


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