Enterprises have been outsourcing software and application development for many years, and it has proven to be a solid business model. This is because outsourcing can help companies access top tech talent, reduce development costs, and remain competitive.
Outsourcing can be divided into categories, namely, nearshoring and offshoring. While both models enable businesses to outsource app development, they do come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Nearshoring can be described as the practice of outsourcing the development of digital products (like mobile apps and software) to a country nearby. This can be the country next door or a country within the same continent or time zone.
The key advantage here is the fact that you’ll share a similar culture, data protection laws, and low-cost travel. This approach allows for more control of the whole development process and enables you to react quickly when things don’t go according to plan.
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When the time difference is pretty close, it’s easier to schedule meetings (especially when you need to schedule a face-to-face conference on the same day). As the nearshoring country is located close by, you can even fly over (if you have to) and get back home within the same day.
When you don’t have to deal with too many language and cultural barriers, you can significantly reduce the risk of miscommunications. As you’ll share similar financial and legal constraints, you can be sure that your idea is secure with your outsourcing partner.
However, nearshoring doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be cheap. For example, if you’re nearshoring your development from the U.S. to Canada, it’s not going to be as competitive as outsourcing your project to South Asia.
Offshoring can be described as outsourcing your app development project to a country on the other side of the planet. For the most part, established businesses and startups take this approach when they’re looking for the cheapest option.
However, offshoring can be challenging as you have to manage significant time differences, language barriers, and cultural differences. All this can result in delays throughout the development cycle.
As the product is being developed far away, travel to and from the offshoring country isn’t going to be cheap. You might also have to set aside days just to make the trip. So it will be difficult to quickly respond to any potential problems that may come up down the road.
As a result, in the end, the cheapest option might not always be affordable as costs can add up when there are problems. If the offshoring country doesn’t share similar laws and best practices, you might also risk losing your idea to a competitor.
Regardless of whether you nearshore or offshore, you have to ensure that the company actually exists. Over the years we have heard some horror stories, so it’s always best to do your homework.
So whenever it’s possible, it will help to fly over there and pay them a visit. This will also provide an excellent opportunity to check out their development tools and ascertain if they’re following industry best practices.
Before committing to an outsourcing partner, you also have to look at the political landscape to ensure that the government is stable. The last thing you want is for your project to get derailed by political unrest.
For businesses in the western hemisphere, nearshoring and offshoring are good options to outsource app development. But when quality and time to market is critical, the safer alternative is to nearshore the whole development project.