Think of a Web developer’s control over the Internet as the same sort of control a player has over their virtual landscape in Sim City. The world is literally in the palm of their hands; well fingers to be exact.  It’s no argument that code is the secret sauce behind the Internet, and great coders are in constant demand.

For Canadian businesses, hiring a good in-house developer does not come cheap. The average salary of a full-time Web developer is $47,000, and $88,500 respectively if you hire in from the US (www.money.usnews.com).

Not to mention how competitive the hiring market has become.  Doris Keller, a project manager for Palo Alto-based software provider IntApp, admits the issue is due to an overall disconnect between available hires and ever changing technology. “The shortage of qualified candidates reflects the explosive growth in social media, apps and cloud-based computing, even as most sectors of the economy continue to languish,” Keller told Mecury News.

So what can a small or medium business in Canada do to ease the cost and still be epic?

Right now, beyond grants, not too much. But the forecast based on what other industries are doing, means the future is bright and crowd-sourced. All thanks to the growing number of online project-focused services like www.utest.com, www.loadimpact.com and www.websitepulse.com.

In the app and development outsourcing market, there are a few up-and-comers to watch, including www.guru.com and Toronto’s own www.developer4lease.com.

Like with any new technology, there will be a fair share of risks involved with leasing web development projects:

  • Transparent communication about brand and product knowledge

  • Protecting your data and consumers’ data

  • Picking the right third party company and worker (fraud, broken promises, security threats)

  • Project posts say a lot about what your business is up to. Are you opening yourself to competitor data mining?

Some food for thought for companies looking to make a break in this market, most people are still scared of handing over their keys to a valet parking attendant. What are you doing to do to make them feel safe about handing over the passwords to the back-end of their website and in-house systems?

For Canadian businesses, now is the time to start thinking about outsourcing and leasing services like Web development and testing. Especially the budding start-up communities in Vancouver and Toronto.  So what can you do before the technology wave hits? Start talking to your advisory board and lawyer(s) about due diligence, including putting in place the right NDA’s to help protect your business and brand.  And before you sign up for any of these types of services, read the terms of service first.

Just like mom and dad used to say, better safe than sorry.

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