Digital implementation requires internal (in-house) and external (third-party) resources or both. A business must analyze their internal team and their capabilities when deciding if they want to execute the entire project in-house or if they need support from an external third party.

In most cases, businesses with less digital implementation experience choose to outsource to an external third party. If a business wants to use an internal team, they must have a capable team. They can hire new employees while retaining their digital talent.

Internal teams

Some businesses try to develop and recruit people with the required skills to create an internal team thinking that an ecommerce site is a continuous development process that can be expensive if the project development is done with an external (third-party) entity.

To develop an internal team, businesses must focus on having the right people in the team with the required skills and capabilities.

Benefits of an internal team include:

  • Effective and easier communication
  • Increased legal protection
  • More product ownership from the business and team
  • Easier collaboration
  • Same culture

The following list includes examples of when businesses decide to use an internal team:

  • When the business has a highly secured business environment where all the information is sensitive and confidential and cannot be shared with a third party.

  • Technology that the business is working on is patented and could create legal issues when working with a third party.

  • Budget constraints that limit a business to using an internal team.

  • Products being sold are highly innovative, such as hardware and software, which cannot be shared with an external team.

There are a few drawbacks of operating with an internal team. For example, there is no guarantee that the team members understand the importance of the project, efficiency, self-motivation, understanding of the product, or productivity.

Overall, internal teams have several benefits. S business needs to ensure that they have the right people working in the team who are self-motivated, skilled, and have the required capabilities.

External teams

When businesses don’t have the required internal team, they must hire external teams (also known as third parties). Businesses hire external resources for a limited time, where the external team has the required experience, knowledge, subject matter experts, and implementation skills.

While developing the project, external teams also help enable internal teams so that they can handle the platform after the external team completes the project.

External teams include consultants, payment gateways, SEO/SEM-related activities, and marketing. Businesses must analyze and determine what their internal teams lack so that they can hire the required third party. Like any other resources, third parties also have advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of an external team include:

  • A specialized organization has more experience in delivering similar ecommerce projects compared to the internal team, which produces economies of scale.

  • External team members are more experienced. Platform experts know about all platform features and can suggest best practices that the business can use to maximize their use the platform.

  • Consultancy companies push their resources to be up to date in terms of technology and industry trends. Consultants have a flexible working style and have a lot to offer; not only in terms of knowledge and experience but also culture.

  • Third parties can provide people to work on a project as resource needs change, which provides a more scalable team.

  • Working with external teams requires the business to be more disciplined in project planning, communication, and execution.

  • The quality of third-party deliverables is always better than internal teams because they are experienced and have the knowledge to apply and build the requirements of the business.

  • Payment gateways are managed and more secure because the third party is responsible for providing support and security.

Disadvantages of an external team include:

  • Can be quite expensive in the long run.

  • The project timeline could fall back, or it could not meet the required expectation.

  • There is always a risk of sharing confidential data and security.

  • Contracts with external teams can be rigid, which can cause issues during the project.

  • There can be friction between what the business expects and what the team can provide within the guidelines of the contact.

Overall, businesses must identify their needs and what suits them best. Businesses that have little or no experience should choose an external team that can implement the ecommerce site and train their employees to handle it after launch.


When a business seeks to implement a digital transformation, they need to consider a lot of factors, including resources, budget, skills, and capabilities. Some businesses choose a hybrid model. A hybrid model consists of both internal and external teams that work together.

In a hybrid model, the external team usually carries out the more complex parts of the project with the support of the internal team. Meanwhile, the internal team is responsible for providing all of the content, information, and integrations to the external team to successfully implement the system.

During the project, the external team trains the internal team so that the internal team can manage the site after launch. In a hybrid model, the external team becomes an extension of the internal team, which allows for better collaboration and communication.