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Outsourcing Options: Onshore vs Offshore Software Development

These days, custom software application development services are in high demand. Businesses from all industries, all over the world, are striving to stay on top of the latest technological trends. They want the best possible software solutions with as low costs as possible.

In-house software development can be a huge expense for most businesses, especially those for whom software development is not one of their main business functions. Therefore, many businesses consider hiring a third party to develop software for them. This phenomenon is called outsourcing. There are two options that businesses commonly consider for outsourcing: onshore and offshore development.

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Let’s go over the specifics of these two types of outsourcing and shed some light on their pros and cons to help you decide which one you should choose for your business.

What Is Onshore Software Development?

Onshore software development refers to the practice of outsourcing the creation of your app to a software development services company that operates within the same geographical region as your business.

Pros and Cons

Onshore development has certain positives and negatives.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of onshore development is that it allows real-time communication between you and your software partner. Since you and your software provider are based in the same region, you are both operating in the same time zone. It is quite likely that you will have the same work hours, making correspondence quick and immediate. There is a chance of maximal overlap of available hours. This makes communication clear and lowers any chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Secondly, when you hire a software development services provider that is based in the same city, country or general geographical region that you are based in, there is no physical barrier between you and the development team. If you need any resource(s) to be physically present on-site or you want to go meet the developers in person to discuss the project, a meeting can also be easily arranged without incurring any additional extravagant travel costs.

Another benefit of onshoring is that you and your development team would already be aware of each other’s language and culture. Even something as little as speaking the same language lowers the risks of misinterpretation. This cultural familiarity also establishes a special kind of bond with your partners where you both are able to understand little things unspoken. It would encourage more open and honest communication. There could also be certain legal advantages, such as existing knowledge of and familiarity with the region’s trade laws or financial regulations.

Coming to the downsides of onshore custom software development services, the most glaring disadvantage is the high cost. If your business is based in any of the developed countries, you would know how expensive these services can prove to be in those regions. The developer teams that are based in these regions possess vast valuable experience in the tech sector. Thus, they offer superior standards of work and follow industry best practices. This quality work, however, often comes with a hefty price tag.

What Is Offshore Software Development?

Offshore software development services involve hiring a third party software developer beyond the geographical region that you operate in, such as one in a different country. Ever since the world turned into a global village, with remote communication and collaboration becoming possible, offshoring all kinds of services has become quite commonplace.

Pros and Cons

Just like onshore software development services, offshore services also have their advantages as well as downsides. Let’s discuss the pros first.

The biggest selling point of offshore software development services is that they can be much cheaper than onshore services if you choose the right location. There are many regions of the world, such as a number of countries in Asia, where labour costs are low for almost all sorts of services, including software development. Therefore, clients from developed countries often outsource their work to these regions to cut down their development costs quite significantly. In these regions, the competition is also very tough, and the market is flooded with skilled developers. This factor also plays a part in driving down costs even further.

Another advantage of offshore development is that since costs are generally lower, you can even experiment a little and hire multiple teams in multiple regions to handle various stages of the development cycle. This can ensure some element of quality while keeping your costs in check.

The removal of geographical barriers also opens up a world of new and unique opportunities for both you and your potential custom software development services partner. You can access a much wider talent pool in virtually any location in the world. For example, if your project is based on a certain new technology X and you cannot find any developer in your state who has enough experience with it, you can look into regions where experienced X developers are based.

Now, let’s talk about the negatives.

While offshoring is cheaper, you might have to deal with a significant absence of quality control. Countries offering some of the cheapest rates for custom software development may not have the most competent tech professionals due to numerous reasons, such as restricted access to the latest technologies or qualifications.

Furthermore, to obtain fruitful results of custom software application development services, it is incredibly important that you communicate your project requirements very clearly and timely to the development team. Selecting a software development services company that is located in the opposite corner of the world is bound to bring about a difference in culture, language, and time zone.

When conversing with someone who does not speak the same language that you do, a lot of dialogue can be lost in translation. This can prove to be a critical problem because if your requirements are not communicated clearly, your entire project might have to be done from scratch, giving you no advantage cost-wise. The barrier to communication can also show itself in the form of a lack of overlap of work hours. If at any point during development or after the launch, your software runs into a critical error that needs to be immediately resolved, your offshore team might be out of reach because… they’re all sound asleep!

Which Is Better: Onshore vs Offshore Development

The debate on whether onshore development is better than offshore or not can only be settled by you. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Your choice of custom software development depends on what your priorities are.