How to Get the Best Results From Your Offshore Software Development Company

Decision-Making in Offshore Software Outsourcing

Many companies need to outsource their software development tools such as internal applications, mobile apps to help employees stay productive or to help customers shop, and web-based tools for their customers. Once they’ve made the decision to hire an external software development firm, there is another decision to be made: where the firm should be located.

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Why Hire Offshore Software Developers?

For U.S. companies, the most cost-effective option is often to hire a company outside the country – that is, to offshore this service. In addition to low cost, companies decide to use offshoring for numerous reasons:

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    They want the job to be done right the first time
    While many companies have competent in-house IT teams, these teams may not have the skills required to perform software development. In other markets such as Latin America, governments and educational systems are set up to turn out exceptionally talented developers.
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    They want flexibility
    Offshore development agencies often hire specialists in different areas of expertise. A company may need a developer with a specific skill set that can’t be found within their own country, or the skills are more developed in an outside region.
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    They want to speed up time-to-market
    If a company provides apps or other software as products, their revenue depends on publishing new ones as often as possible. Having people in other countries doing this work means having development proceed around the clock, resulting in faster completion.

Offshore Development Benefits

Offshore software developers bring many advantages to every client they serve. Knowing that their software development is being taken care of by competent professionals, hiring companies can focus on core business activities, such as planning, R&D, manufacturing, and marketing. 

Businesses that use offshore software development can compete with other companies that might have a team with similar skill sets in-house. And, given that those who hire offshore developers enjoy better flexibility for ramping up or down work as needed, they’re likely to be more agile and able to adapt to changing market conditions. 

Custom software is developed specifically for each company’s needs. Therefore, companies get exactly the functionality they need with no extraneous bells and whistles to bog down the application or confuse users. Often, users are brought into the development process, so developers can understand and develop based on how they want to use the software. 

When companies use offshore software development services, they get all of the above benefits and advantages with no additional infrastructure investment. That’s because software development firms provide the needed equipment and tools, typically the latest and greatest, adding yet another benefit to the mix. 

How to Get the Best Results

Despite these benefits, offshoring software development also entails some risks. For example, if an outsourcing firm switches developers mid-project and the previous team didn’t adequately document their progress, the new team might have some problems picking up where they left off. 

This scenario could end up costing the customer more money. Even worse, in the unlikely event that the provider isn’t able to finish a project, the company that hired them could be left with a completely unusable half-finished product.  

Lack of control over the outsourced team can become an issue if the team doesn’t take the time to understand project needs upfront or communicate their progress in a timely manner. This issue becomes especially problematic with vendors in distant countries, especially in different time zones. 

For all these reasons, it’s important that you know how to get the best results from your offshore software development company. Here are some tips for what to do and not do to ensure your project is a success:

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    Know what you want

    Before seeking out an outsourced software developer, know exactly what you want the end result to look like, including features and even user interfaces. This exercise doesn’t limit you to these parameters as the project moves forward. It just gives you a good starting point so you can explain your needs to potential vendors.

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    Know what you’re getting

    Different companies provide services in slightly different ways, so know what you want in a vendor and be prepared to ask for it. Examples include check-ins on a particular schedule (such as weekly), training on the finished product, and support after it’s deployed.

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    Be aware of differences

    One of the great benefits of offshoring is getting to work with and getting to know people from another place. However, if their personality, working style, culture, or language are too different, you may encounter productivity problems. Have multiple meetings with each vendor you’re seriously considering, if possible in person, to ensure a good fit.

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    Reevaluate throughout the project

    Of course you’ll be having regular meetings with your vendor. But also have check-ins with your internal team to discuss how you think the project is going. If you decide something isn’t happening according to plan, don’t be afraid to bring the matter up with the vendor to give them an opportunity to fix it.

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    Protect your ideas

    An unfortunate truth is that vendors can steal your ideas and your data. Make sure you protect both by limiting permissions and including a non-disclosure agreement along with any contracts they may present.

Consider a Nearshore Option

Offshoring can be further divided into farshoring, which is hiring an agency in a country far from yours, and nearshoring, which is hiring a vendor in a country near yours. In addition to all the advantages of offshoring generally, nearshoring provides developers who have excellent proficiency in your language, a similar culture, and the same working hours. 

For companies in the U.S., BairesDev, located in Latin America, is an excellent nearshoring option. We provide all the resources needed for successful nearshore software development, whether you simply need to scale up your team with talented engineers or support your business with an entire engineering team. Either way, we offer world-class software product development services from requirements gathering through deployment and support.

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