IT Team Management Tips

Pros and Cons of Offshore Software Development

Find out why so many companies choose offshoring over other cooperation models and see whether you can benefit from it.

Starting a software development project is rather challenging, especially if you do not have a team of professional developers in-house, and that is exactly why outsourcing your project to a team of experts might be your best bet. Outsourcing has become increasingly popular within the past decade thanks to the many benefits it offers to businesses worldwide. Thanks to outsourcing, you can access a global talent pool, save money, and hire people faster and more conveniently. There are three main types of outsourcing: onshoring, nearshoring, and offshoring, with each having its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Today, we are going to focus on the advantages of offshore software development as well as its drawbacks to give you a full picture of what you are going to get if you decide to go with this option.

What is Offshoring?

Simply put, offshoring means delegating your project or other tasks to a dedicated team of software developers located in a far-off country, often on the opposite side of the globe. In contrast to onshoring, where you delegate your project to people in your country, and nearshoring, where you hire developers from nearby countries, offshoring gives you access to a much broader selection of talents. So, if you are located in the US, hiring people from somewhere in Europe would be considered offshoring. Choosing this cooperation model has its benefits and flaws, so stick around to find out exactly what the pros and cons of offshore software development are. 

Advantages of Offshore Development

To begin with, let us see what the main benefits of offshore development are and why so many companies around the world choose this approach. Outsourcing as a whole has tons of benefits to offer, and many businesses in developed countries opt for hiring developers from developing countries. This is mutually beneficial cooperation because the businesses can save money while getting superb services and the developers get a chance to make more money than they would make working for the local companies. Of course, there are more benefits to uncover.

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Cost-Efficiency

A significant capital goes into innovative and creative software solutions, and the companies invest millions in keeping their IT ecosystems relevant, which is why many are willing to hire people offshore thanks to the cost efficiency of this model just to save some money. Developing software is a rather pricey endeavor in its own right, and if you consider the price of developing software, you would surely want to save up some of that budget. When you decide to delegate a project to a software development company, your main goal is to get a top-notch product, but you should also think about the financial viability of this approach. As said earlier, developers from developing countries charge less than your local developers in the US. The US and Western Europe-based developers charge anywhere from $60 to $200 per hour, while developers from Central Europe would charge somewhere around $50 per hour, which is why you are sure to save up some of that budget money with this approach. 

Convenient Recruitment

Let’s say your domestic talent pool is rather drained and you experience serious troubles hiring professionals for your in-house team whether in your own country or your neighbouring countries; that is where offshoring is the best solution. Basically, with offshoring, you can now hire people from anywhere around the world, as long as their expertise fits your project specs. Of course, such a vast range of choices leaves you with loads of vendors to filter, so you need to be careful here to choose the one who can give you the results you need. A good vendor can get you an entire team of professional software developers in a matter of a couple of months to get your project going ASAP. Here at Intersog, we can cut that down to just several weeks and give you a full team of expert developers even faster thanks to our vast talent pool spanning across the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

Innovative Potential

Involving a wider talent pool is great for expanding your innovative potential. People from diverse environments can bring forth their unique mindsets and ideas to benefit your business. Working with a diverse team of experts each of whom brings something valuable to the table can give you the edge over the competition confined within the local talent pool, which is always a good thing for the business trying to stay on the spearhead of innovation.

Focus on Your Business

One of the benefits of hiring an offshore software development company is that it leaves tons of time for you to focus on other essential aspects of your business. If you are not a tech-focused company, there’s no need for you to invest too much time and energy into getting all the nuances of software development – just leave it to the people who know what they are doing. There’s no need for you to be closely involved in the project; you can just hire an entire team of offshore developers who will get your product from the ideation stage and up to the market release. If your in-house development team is underequipped and lacks people to do the job, you can augment your team with offshore developers who will aid your in-house developers. Alternatively, you can assign essential tasks to your in-house team and leave non-essential tasks to your offshore team. Considering that you won’t be talking to them too often, it is best to offshore tasks that do not impact your business in a critical way. In the meantime, you’d have enough time to organize the functioning of your business and focus on other essential tasks.

Managed Teams

When you hire people abroad, you do not really need to manage the team and tend to all of its needs yourself. Here at Intersog, we give you offshore teams working in Central Europe and the Middle East, as well as onshore and nearshore teams in the US, Canada, and Mexico. As for the offshore teams, we take care of managing the development teams and make sure they have everything they need to do a great job for you. We provide our developers with comfortable workplaces, make sure they have all the necessary equipment, take care of all the administrative issues such as accounting, taxes, payroll management, sick leave and vacation days compensation, insurance, and even corporate parties. We also take care of all the local legislations and make sure all the developers work under local provisions and are compensated accordingly. We want to rid you of all the administration-related headaches and give your developers everything they would need for comfortable and effective performance. 

To sum the benefits of offshore development up, it is a rather efficient model that saves you time and money while giving you little to no headache. Such a cooperation model will surely reduce the cost of hiring the development team as well as the recruitment timeline, which is exactly what you need to save up some money and get your product ready for the market launch faster. 

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Disadvantages of Offshore Development

Despite all the perks of offshore software development, there are some flaws to it you should keep in mind when choosing the right outsourcing strategy for your business. There is no universal or perfect approach that suits all the companies and gives answers to all of your questions, and there always are some flaws to consider when making the choice. Remember, the choice is yours, and this choice must always be an informed one.

Time Zone Differences

One of the first and the biggest issues that come to mind when you consider working with people in a far-off country is the time zone gap. Working with a partner on the opposite side of the globe means that there will be a considerable gap between you and that your team will work when you sleep and vice versa. Unless your partner is committed to staffing night shifts to match your working hours, you will have some serious communication delays. In case you need any clarifications or just want to contact your team, you will have to wait for their response until their shift starts, and that can result in further delays in the project delivery. 

Even if you decide to visit your partner, this will cost you time and money to simply get to their location. If regular and timely communication means a lot to you and your project, offshoring might not be your best option.

Language Barrier

Apart from communication delays, you might encounter the problem of the language barrier. Of course, most developers speak at least some English, but if their language proficiency is not on par, you might experience serious communication breakdowns. This may come down to unpleasant situations where your developers do anything but what you’ve asked them to do just because they did not understand you in the first place. Add a time zone gap on top of that, and you will spend days clarifying and solving the issues. The developers usually focus on their technical skills, and though they would surely learn some English, it is rarely their main focus, so the communication might not be as smooth as you’d like.

Cultural Differences

Even if the language barrier and time gaps do not concern you, there’s a problem of cultural mismatch. People in different countries have different attitudes towards their work and authority, which may cause some unpleasant interactions between you and your developers. You can add national holidays here as well – most countries have up to 20 official holidays, and these holidays rarely coincide from one country to another. So, working with a foreign team, you’d sometimes find all of them offline just because there’s some traditional holiday in their country. These peculiar features might be exciting to explore as a tourist, but when it comes to business, these cultural differences might cause major inconveniences and even conflicts. 

Us and Them Mentality

If you augment your in-house team with offshore developers, you may face a really unpleasant issue of blame-shifting and escaping responsibility by throwing others under the bus. Of course, your in-house team is the center of operations and your personal attention – you know these people, you might be working in the same building, some of them might even be your friends, so in case anything goes wrong, it is quite likely that the remote team will become a scapegoat. It may work the other way around and the offshore developers might try to blame your in-house developers for the project’s failures. This is an unfortunate scenario in which nobody wants to take responsibility, and it can critically hinder your progress.

Quality Control Issues

Offshore development has this stigma of poor quality around it. Well, there’s a grain of truth to every stereotype, and controlling the quality of the code delivered by the offshore team is notoriously difficult. These developers often are isolated from your team because of numerous factors, including time zone delays and language barriers, so it takes serious effort and dedication to control their performance each step of the way. 

This problem might be further amplified by the poor working conditions, lack of modern equipment, and the attitude toward the project; all of this results in the final product not being what you’ve expected nor what you’ve paid for. Of course, the development companies are interested in delivering a decent project as their reputation is at stake here, but it is rather challenging to manage the performance of the team located in a far-off country. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing a cooperation model for your project is not easy, and with offshore development, it also becomes rather challenging to choose the right partner for your project. The problem here is that there are tons of software development companies out there, and each of them would promise great results at a low price. This makes it even harder to make the right choice. 

Offshoring has its benefits and flaws, that is for sure, and you must consider all of those pros and cons to see whether it is the best option for you. You get cost reduction and a major convenience of not having to deal with the project on your own, but on the other hand, you get yourself a team that is almost entirely beyond your reach and control. Do the pros outweigh the cons for you? That is your decision to make but the most important thing here is to choose the right partner for your project and get yourself a team of truly professional developers who can handle your project and deliver the results that match your requirements. 

Your IT success partner
Intersog has been recognized as a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has been providing tech consulting, staffing and software development services for Fortune-500 companies, tech startups, and SaaS enterprises for more than fourteen years.