In this article we’ll address a somewhat similar to outsourcing strategy theme – offshore software development, which is synonymous to outsourcing. The word “offshore” connotes delegating your company’s work to be done by a different team remotely in another country. Hiring a foreign team, let’s say Ukraine software development – Onix Systems, presupposes an insightful strategy for wise delegation as one sage put it:
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.
Difference between nearshore, offshore and onshore
First, let’s define some terminology. Offshore is similar to nearshore, the difference would be in the distance or in the time zone. If you are working in the US, then Canada would be a country where you would do nearshore business cooperation. Romania would be farther away from Northern America, that’s why it would be considered as an offshore. Conversely, onshore software engineering company designates that your partner company is based in your home country.
Various Appropriation Techniques for an Offshore Development
Here’s a roadmap for conducting successful offshore outsourcing:
1. Setting the quality standards
Clearly communicate your expectations as to the quality of the architecture and code standards and both the outsourcing and the foreign teams know what would be the litmus test for the work. These standards should be clearly communicated to all on the personnel – those near and those far off.
2. Outsourcing both IT application programming and maintenance
This is a step when a company is outsourcing all of its functionality (all the programming activity). That is to say: a company will take a full load of responsibility: app creation, app implementation, and app maintenance. That presupposes remote support. Nowadays many systems help to connect remotely. Choose the most optimal one for you.
3. Hiring a development team
Another way to approach it is by hiring a team of developers. In this model, a customer will have a project manager (PM) in their country checking the code developed in a different geographical location.
4. Assigning only some projects for the remote team
Some software companies allocate some parts of programming (project-based programming). That’s different from start to finish programming. When a project is finished, then the collaboration is over.
Roadblocks to the Offshore Software Development
There’s a certain dilemma here. On one side there’s a host of negative feedback on different forums, and on the other hand, there’s a vast army of programmers in offshore countries who are alive and kicking in their chosen cup of tea. So what are the challenges that should be overcome? The main two are:
As banal as it is, a lack of integrity breeds distrust and alienation. The offshore company might have some reservations concerning a particular clientele. Are they genuine enough? Most importantly, will they pay when the job is done? So long-term clients are most preferred with on-time paying history. It could backfire the other way round: the company can make a lousy job and make clients fly into a frenzy. Trust is a precious commodity these days. And character is what counts when all is said and done.
It could be on different levels. A client might not understand why the other software companies, for instance, found on Upwork offer to do the same amount of job for more cost-effective prices. That’s a huge problem when a company offers to do something which they’re utterly incapable of delivering or when they do some shoddy work while bragging about some discounts. So a client has to be discerning, selective and savvy enough to choose the right guys for the job who bring top-quality services. As a friend of mine was saying, “I’m not so rich as to pay for cheap stuff.”
3. Transparent price negotiation
Last but not least you’ve got to be crystal-clear on pricing. Bear in mind that the client wants it cheaper and the offshore company wants a higher return on investments. Both expectation poles have to reach the golden mean.
This list of tips is far from being exhaustive, is more a food-for-thought starter to get you going in the right direction. Rightly done offshoring operation could yield high dividends and be a self-promotion campaign for your company. The risks should be duly addressed as a considerable part of your business will be trusted to a foreign team. Admittedly, a lot is at stake, but:
By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst.
You choose your business friends prudently and go for it!