Nearshore offshore IT outsourcing

Nearshore VS Offshore IT outsourcing:
how to select the best option for you

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to IT outsourcing.

Are you looking to reduce costs? Speed up development time? Access a skill set you don't have within your own team? The outsourcing partner you choose will depend on your technical requirements and priorities.

Here are three practical factors you need to consider before deciding whether to partner with a nearshore or offshore IT outsourcing provider for your next project.

Question 1 – What are the hidden management costs?

Don't make the mistake of just focusing on the headline cost of outsourcing. Instead, think about what it'll actually cost you in time and internal resource spent managing your external developers.

These hidden costs can make a significant difference when it comes to getting your project delivered on time and within budget.

Minimise these costs by choosing a provider that has:

  • Specialist technical experience and resources that complement your team and minimise disruption
  • A European mindset – are their developers analytical and solution-focused rather than simply delivering what's asked of them, regardless of the implication and quality of the end result?
  • A visible team – do you get to build relationships with the developers who've been assigned to your project? Is there a low staff turnover? Are there are opportunities for you to meet the team?

Question 2 – How easy will it be to communicate with the developers?

Next, you need think about your development project and how important team integration and control are to you.

Is it a mission-critical programme? If so, will you be able to wait a working day before you're able to discuss any problems? If you choose an offshore developer a 5 to 7 hour time difference means you're likely to face that length of delay on a regular basis.

How much contact will you need to have with your development team over the lifespan of the project? How realistic is it for you to organise daily scrums?

In addition to factoring how time zones will impact your interaction and agreeing the best methods of communication (Skype, email or both?), do you have the necessary fluency in the common language for both parties to be able to communicate effectively?

Question 3 – How much does your developer care about your objectives?

Developers definitely care about code. The added value comes when they recognise and buy into your larger objectives for the software.

That recognition makes a significant difference to finishing your project on time and on budget, because everyone involved can see the bigger picture.

Here are some ways to determine whether you're getting the right level of commitment:

  • Will they carry out the work themselves or outsource it to contractors?
  • Do their developers integrate with your team, report to you and adopt your working practices?
  • How well do they pay their developers?
  • Do they prioritise quality or speed? If you focus on speed you often end up with delays because code doesn't work the first time.
  • How up-to-date is their technology and accreditations?
Whether it's nearshore or offshore you settle on, taking the time to explore the merits of both options will pay off in the long run, delivering results that are aligned with your visions and goals.