The Pros And Cons Of Offshore Development

The Customer's View

We have the huge experience of working with really hard customers which is afraid of ordering outsourcing development services. Most of them become happy and patient after the first release when they see that outsourcing devs don't want to steal their money. That's why we decided to ask one of our customers explain his experience of collaboration with outsourcers from all around the world. Enjoy reading!

What is Offshore Software Development 

At times, we have found developing new software can be difficult, and result in a technological roadblock. Our developers must pay attention to the latest options, deadlines, generally require more employees than we have available, and their work schedule is tough. We found one of the best ways to successfully deal with these challenges is offshore software development. Their approach is both unique and fresh. The definition of offshore software development in working with developers in another country, a great distance from the United Kingdom. The difference between offshore and nearshore is nearshore develops software in our time zone, and their proximity is much closer. Onshore developers are in the same country we are. 

Offshore Outsourcing Software Development Company 

We sometimes outsource our software development to a third-party developer. In addition to software development, we have used their services for web development, mobile app development, and application development. Software development is complicated and covers a lot of different areas. We have found many of the other cultures have a different way of using technology and often come up a solution we missed. We generally choose to outsource when the project is extremely large, to take advantage of the lower costs, for the various types of expertise, or because we can decide if we only require a single freelancer or an entire team. 

offshore soft development

Pros and Cons of the Offshore Development 

There are both pros and cons for offshore software development. The pros include:

  • The software developers in the United States and Western Europe have much higher costs. Since the cost of living in countries offshore is so much cheaper, their fees are much lower, and we get a more cost-effective price.
  • We eliminate the hassle of hiring and training new employees because this is done by our partners. They pay for the specialized equipment and training necessary to keep their employees well into the future and ensure the success of their business. 
  • Our operational costs are decreased since we don’t require nearly as much office space, our administration cost drops, and purchasing new peripherals and computers is no longer necessary. 
  • The number of employees we need is always changing due to the hectic pace of software development. Outsourcing enables us to align the number of employees with the amount of current business. 
  • We have found the quality of their work is excellent. The training they provide their developers is cutting-edge, and their employees are talented. We appreciate a lower price for work of the same quality our own employees provide. 
  • We can complete our research much sooner because the development of our software is no longer an issue. Outsourcing additionally enables us to complete more projects within our deadlines. 
  • We have found offshore software developers are extremely focused. Their qualifications and skills are above reproach. They are also a lot faster than our average team. This frees up our resources, so we can use them where they are most needed. 

The cons of offshore software development include:

  • The communication is not as fast as with our employees, and it is more difficult to explain what we need on the phone or through a chat. The different time zones have caused some problems. When out software developer has questions and must wait, it can cause frustration. We have found using video calls and instant messages help. 
  • Inputting our feedback is harder because we are not there to see what is happening. We can’t see the code the developer is writing or catch any little mistakes before they become much larger. 
  • We are required to sharpen our coordination skills and increase the number of our checkpoints and meetings to ensure the software is being developed according to our standards. 
  • We must thoroughly research the company we choose to outsource to protect ourselves from any possible fraud or services below standards. 
  • There have been instances where the shifting political climate in the country has put our project at risk.
  • The difference in culture can slow down the completion of a project due to differences in business ethics and language. 

pros and cons of software outsourcing

Offshore Software Development Trends and Tools

An offshore software outsourcing company generally provides excellent tools and is familiar with the most recent trends. Their tools enable the creation of visual roadmaps, and they can share files, create boards and assign tasks successfully. Their tools are designed to be transparent, so we can monitor our projects. Many of the recent trends encompass the latest technology to decrease costs and maximize efficiency. Their IT solutions are becoming more centralized, and they are focusing on innovative software development. Value has become more important than cost, and offshore developers have increased their knowledge to more accurately respond to exactly what we need. 

The Security for Offshore Software Programming 

One of our biggest concerns has always been security. The latest offshore trends are emphasizing advanced security, security analytics, threat intelligence and automation. We have seen a compliance with our technology and methodology. We believe in software, data and programming are being well protected. The developers are providing tougher solutions, eliminating weak points, using protected tools, and taking the Internet of Things into serious consideration. We believe this will help effectively cope with any new vulnerabilities or threats in the future. 

Offshore Programming Services and Machine Learning

The new services are no longer relying on web and desktop applications, and are encompassing cloud-based platforms. We feel this is one of the outsourcing trends with the most significance. The cloud offers scalability, privacy, and security. The solutions are a better fit with our software development requirements. The efficiency of every project we outsource is increased, and our IT teams gain the ability to respond faster and easier. Offshore developers are additionally using machine learning to lower their costs, increase speed, and improve the quality of their operating processes. We believe this is an effective guide regarding which solutions must be handled personally, and which can be successful with automation. We have also seen an upswing in both agility and efficiency. 

legality of software

The Legality of the Agreements

We want our contracts for outsourcing to have a legal base regarding our specific requirements including materials, deadlines, pricing, and the scalability of the development. A one-size-fits-all contract does not work for our business and must be personalized to some extent. This concept has not only been accepted by the offshore developers, it has been embraced. A solid contract increases our faith in the company and decreases the risk of failure. 

The Most Critical Aspects of an Offshore Software Development Company

  • We have found through trial and error there are specific ways to ensure we outsource the right company. These tips are detailed below:
  • Prior to hiring any offshore developer, we do our research. We investigate the background and capabilities of the company to ensure they meet our requirements.
  • We check all references to eliminate any false projects claimed by the company.
  • We search for specific details regarding completed projects and the technology used.
  • We search out client testimonials and speak with the client whenever possible.
  • It is critical the company understands exactly which features we need in our software. We explain every feature in extreme detail.
  • We must adhere to any issues regarding regulations, and these must be understood before any development.
  • We provide a clear roadmap for the developer. This includes specific areas and goals that must be reached within a specific time frame. 
  • We provide a mockup of our project including sketches and wireframes. We ensure the developer has the skill, capability, and technology required to ensure we receive what we need. 
  • We have a contact person for every project. This eliminates a lot of confusion because all communication regarding our software is through the same individual. We ensure our contact is always available to hasten the speed of the work and any necessary decisions. 

The Most Effective Ways to Ensure Success

  • Most offshore software development companies have a blog where they discuss coding. Checking the information to ensure accuracy is a crucial step. 
  • We look at the social media presence of any potential outsourcing and focus on their skills and experience.
  • We look for similar projects the company has completed, and any consequent review by the client.
  • Once we have completed our qualification process, we consider how long it took to receive a response once we have made contact. We will not consider a company with a lengthy response time because we feel this represents a company with more work than they can efficiently handle. 
  • Once we find a company we are seriously considering, we clarify the most important aspects of the software we need to be developed. We take the questions they ask into consideration along with their understanding of our requirements and concepts. We have learned it is important to pay close attention to the individuals' reactions. 
  • We ask detailed questions regarding the current technologies the company uses. This includes their tools for software development, project management and communication. This helps us understand their practices, and how they manage their workflow.
  • Due to the extreme distance between our business and the offshore company, we clarify the way we want our communication handled from the beginning. We set up times for collaboration, regular meetings, and assign a specific individual for contact. Our contact has a thorough understanding of our business and requirements, so they can make decisions and help ensure our deadline is met. 
  • We understand many companies do not have an understanding of our market, but they must understand the software we need, all requirements, and have the resources and technology necessary for proper development. 
  • We insist on an NDA, or nondisclosure agreement. We believe this helps protect our ideas, products, and design. 
  • We ask for a sample project, so we can test the way the developers will work with our team. We consider the communication factor, the effectiveness of the coordination between the teams, and ensure their code meets our exacting standards. 

These steps have enabled us to complete numerous, successful projects with ease, simplicity, and a significantly lower cost without sacrificing the quality we require. 

The Best Practices for Working with an Offshore Development Team

Although the distant location of the development team presents a challenge, this complexity can be overcome with solid communication and coordination during the project. The key to overcoming the issues of a different time zone is flexibility on both sides. An effort must be made to find a time when both teams are available, so appointments can be set and kept. These dates should be confirmed with calendar reminders and noted on the calendar of everyone involved with the project. We ensure all progress is tracked through a messaging program and consistent meetings. This way we are certain the basics of our project are on time and running smoothly. Since a lot of the information from meeting with the developers can easily be forgotten or overlooked, we use tools to keep track of what has already been completed, and the steps that still need to be completed. 

Once the Project Has Reached Completion

Sometimes we uncover small bugs not discovered by the offshore software developers. For this reason, try to get our developers to grant us six months of support after completion. This enables us to resolve any bugs or issues we find simply and without any hassle. We have settled for two or three months of support which is adequate, but we prefer six whenever possible. We have had our share of difficulties with outsourcing some of our software development, but have found the advantages usually outweigh any possible disadvantages. We reduce any associated risks by undertaking careful research regarding any company with potential, keep all our communications transparent, provide a clear view of our requirements to prevent any misunderstandings, and strive for good communication between the teams. These practices have made offshore software development beneficial to our company.

09/01/2018