In-House Team vs. Machine Learning Outsourcing: Making the Right Choice

In-House Team vs. Machine Learning Outsourcing
In-House Team vs. Machine Learning Outsourcing

When starting a new artificial intelligence project, business leaders often face a decisive choice between an in-house team vs. machine learning outsourcing. This decision relies on cost, expertise, and project scope to determine the best approach in AI long-term projects.

The fact that 85% of AI projects fail emphasizes the significance of machine learning outsourcing. It is a better choice in the initial stage of project development because wrong decisions can result in substantial financial losses and failure.

Let’s compare the two options and see why you would benefit more from a machine learning outsourced team than an in-house team.

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In-House Team vs. Machine Learning Outsourcing

The expertise and specialization needed for an in-house team vs. machine learning outsourcing varies significantly.

If the project demands knowledge in a specific industry or domain, in-house teams may be better suited. On the other hand, outsourcing provides a broader perspective and innovative solutions because that team comprises experts with extensive experience who have worked with various companies and industries. 

Here is a comparison of the in-house and machine learning outsourcing teams.

In-House Machine Learning Team

An in-house machine learning team is the initial part of the business where you hire a group of data scientists, software engineers, and other professionals with the necessary skills and expertise.

This approach offers more control over the project and allows for better collaboration within the organization.


  • Complete ownership and control over all aspects of the project.
  • Ability to customize solutions to fit specific business needs.
  • Easier communication and coordination with other departments and teams.
  • Long-term investment in building internal capabilities for future projects.


  • High costs associated with hiring and maintaining a team of experts.
  • Limited resources and expertise compared to specialized outsourcing companies.
  • Longer development time due to the need for training and onboarding new team members.

Outsourced Machine Learning Team

Outsourcing for machine learning means having specialized experts who develop and implement AI solutions. They have a wide range of experience in different industries and complex projects.  


  • Specialized expertise and resources that may not be available in-house.
  • Faster development time due to the company’s existing knowledge and experience.
  • Ability to scale up or down depending on project requirements.
  • There is no need to hire ML engineers separately; an outsourced team will have all experts.
  • Cost-effective compared to hiring and maintaining an in-house team of experts.


  • Less control over the project due to working with an external team.
  • Potential communication and coordination challenges between departments and the outsourced team.
  • Possibility of an outsourcing company’s lack of understanding of specific business needs and goals.

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Which ML Team Should You Choose?

Making the right choice is necessary as once the team is decided and the project starts, there’s no backing up. It’s crucial to consider the project’s scope, budget, and long-term goals. Therefore, here are the factors for you to consider when making this decision:

  • Level of expertise and specialization required for the project.
  • Budget constraints and long-term financial goals.
  • Time frame for project development and implementation.
  • Level of control over the project.

Ultimately,  in-house team vs. machine learning outsourcing will depend on each organization’s unique needs and resources. But if you want experts who have solved and developed different industry projects, choose a machine learning outsourcing team.

How Do You Find a Machine Learning Outsourcing Team?

Outsourcing for machine learning expertise can appear challenging but manageable with the right approach. To ensure a smooth process, consider these steps:

1. Partner Selection and Due Diligence

Selecting the right machine learning outsourcing team is essential; choose a team with diverse industrial experience and successful outcomes. Conduct research in backgrounds, expertise, and track records in machine learning. 

Review case studies and ask for feedback from companies. Make sure experts align with the company’s values.

2. Project Definition and Scope

The first step is to define your project’s objectives, requirements, and expected outcomes. That way, the business and machine learning outsourcing teams get along to have a clear goal. 

After explaining details, specify the scope of work, the data involved, desired machine learning models, and any particular technologies or methodologies you prefer. 

3. Project Management and Collaboration

Any successful machine learning or other project’s key element is collaboration. Establish clear communication channels and regular check-ins to monitor progress. Have transparent and real-time updates if any problem is encountered in the project.

4. Evaluation and Transition

Regular evaluation is essential for a common goal to align with the company’s requirements. It will help in adjustments if required. Once the project nears completion, plan for a smooth transition.

How does a Machine Learning Outsourced Team benefit you?

An outsourced machine learning team offers a unique mix of adaptability and expertise, beneficial for businesses of any size. Their versatility shines in handling various tasks and projects, effectively meeting diverse needs and objectives.

Outsourced teams usually consist of data scientists, engineers, and ML specialists with varied skills. They can handle projects across areas like natural language processing, computer vision, or deep learning, eliminating the need for a specialized in-house team.

It provides adaptable engagement models, permitting resource scaling to match evolving project demands. This flexibility is especially beneficial for startups and businesses with variable workloads, as you can optimize costs by only paying for required expertise when needed.

How to Hire the Right Team for Your ML Projects?

Recognizing the right team for outsourcing machine learning projects involves a comprehensive evaluation process. Here is what you should look for in an outsourced machine-learning team for your projects: 

  • A diverse portfolio with experience in different industries and projects.
  • Communication skills are excellent, and they can understand your business needs clearly.
  • Proven track record of successful machine-learning implementations.
  • They offer support and maintenance services for long-term project success.

Final Thoughts

Machine learning outsourcing is highly recommended for the majority (90%+) of AI use cases. While an internal team may appear more stable, it’s better suited for longer-term projects spanning over the years.

Moreover, it’s an ideal fit for complex developments of any duration. Even after the initial project is completed, outsourcing firms can efficiently maintain the solutions they’ve contributed to with just a few hours a week. This makes machine learning outsourcing a better choice in terms of both time and cost-effectiveness.

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