Outsourcing Software Development: Nearshore or Offshore?

Get the Best Software Development Team for Your Next Project

By now, every business in the world knows how important it is to implement tech-driven strategies into their operations. However, and as we’ve seen multiple times before, hiring the best software developers to make the most out of your digital acceleration journey isn’t an easy task. 

That’s exactly why both nearshore software outsourcing and offshore software outsourcing have become so popular across every industry. However, each of these has unique characteristics that make them work differently for everybody. So if you want to get the best custom software developers for your next project, it’s better to keep in mind what we’ll talk about in this article. 

what is offshore outsourcing
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Onshore, Nearshore & Offshore

Let’s start by taking a look at the three most common types of outsourcing custom software developers: onshore, nearshore, and offshore. These terms are linked to the location of the client and the vendor, and are commonly understood as follows:

• Onshore outsourcing occurs when a client hires software developers in their own country or region.
• Nearshore outsourcing takes place when companies located in countries with similar time zones start a partnership.
• Offshore outsourcing brings together clients and vendors in distant countries or continents.

For US companies, for example, this would mean that partnering with a Canadian company would be onshoring, and partnering with a Latin American company would be nearshoring. Everything else could be considered as offshore outsourcing. 

Let’s see how the three types of outsourcing compare to each other in a chart. 

Nearshore vs Offshore Software Outsourcing for US Companies

Here’s how these different outsourcing regions compare in the case of US-based companies. 

Category North America Latin America East Europe Asia
Up to
8 hours
Up to
8 hours
Up to
3 hours
Very High

How to Outsource Custom Software Developers

If you’re looking to add the best custom software developers to your team, then there are three main ways you can do so: Delivery Teams, Staff Augmentation, and Project-Based Outsourcing.

  • Delivery Teams

    Delivery Teams are, perhaps, the most popular form of outsourcing developers due to the many benefits they convey. A Delivery Team, also known as Dedicated Team, is an autonomous group of engineers that works in parallel with the client’s in-house team. Most of the time, the team is composed of an Engineering Manager, a Scrum Master, and any software development specialist required, including software testers and QA engineers.

    A Delivery Team is cost-efficient, fast, and delivers guaranteed high-quality results because it has the best developer profiles for your specific requirements. Some of the best software development companies can get you a tailored-fit team of custom software developers in about a week, jumpstarting your projects immediately.

    Your Delivery Team will rely on agile methodologies to tackle goals rapidly and efficiently. The PM will divide the project into sprints, and tackle backlog priorities as the cycle progresses. This way, the project will evolve steadily by adjusting the course based on feedback and new discoveries, which will lead to building over successful progress and leaving no errors behind.

    Delivery Teams are an ideal choice for companies who are to hire a fully-featured team of custom software developers to develop high-quality software, but don’t have the infrastructure or talent available to do so.

  • Staff Augmentation

    Staff Augmentation is exactly what it sounds like: adding new, select, and temporary members to your team. This is the preferred solution for companies that already have some form of software development team in-house. By “extending” their team, the client can get on-demand access to the best custom software developers in the market.

    The augmented team works in complete synchronization with the client’s in-house team, to the point where the outsourced engineers even attend daily meetings and report directly to the client’s managers. It’s up to the client to decide when to increase, decrease, or swap the specialist roles in its extended team, following the needs and progress of its project.

    In recent times, Staff Augmentation has increased in popularity because of one central truth of the IT industry: technology evolves too fast for business to keep up with it easily. Any business wants to have a right-sized team with the right expertise for their purposes. Staff Augmentation simply provides the speed, professional acumen, and flexibility needed to achieve this.

    Staffing bypasses every speed bump related to sourcing, recruiting, and retaining talented software engineers. This makes it the perfect choice for companies that need to quickly integrate outstanding software engineers into their team, whether it comes to hard-to-fill temporary positions, scalability, or efficiency of project development.

  • Project-Based Outsourcing

    You can go beyond hiring custom software developers and transfer all control of a project to a third party via Project-Based Outsourcing—or, as most people call it, software outsourcing. PBO is an end-to-end process in which the vendor commits to every single aspect of the software development process. All you need to do is put the idea on the table and give feedback every now and then.

    Outsourcing an entire project gives you access to the same global talent pool of software engineers that Delivery Teams and Staff Augmentation do, but gives you less of the responsibility so you can focus your attention on other pressing matters.

    Project-Based Outsourcing is a great alternative for enterprise-level solutions that have complex requirements and far-reaching goals. It’s also a very popular choice for time-sensitive projects, as transferring all control and responsibility to the vendor often results in faster development cycles. In any case, your partner company will also act as a consultant on project management, choice of the technology stack, and any other area from the client’s end that requires support.

How to Outsource Development Through Autonomous Delivery Teams

Wrapping Up

As we’ve seen, there are many routes you may follow when outsourcing custom software developers. However, the main takeaway we can get from this article is this: if you’re looking for value, then nearshore software developers are probably the best option for you. 

Whether you’re thinking of working with a freelancer, hiring a new team member, adding temporary talent to your tech department, or even outsourcing the entire software development process to a third-party, both nearshoring and offshoring have a role to play in your outsourcing strategy.

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