The Geography of Software Development Outsourcing

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The Geography of Software Development Outsourcing
August 30, 2017

In our ever-globalizing world software development outsourcing is gaining traction. Many companies can not afford an in-house team or require faster results and turn to offshore developers for assistance. Let’s take a closer look at the IT outsourcing possibilities, their advantages and disadvantages for your projects.

The Three Geographical Options of Outsourcing

Whether your home office is located in the USA or Europe, there are several outsourcing options you can pursue, depending on your budget and specific requirements of your company and project. You can hire a development team from:

  • Western countries. These include the USA, Western and Northern Europe, Canada, etc. This is the most expensive option, however, it comes with certain advantages, like higher quality, no language and cultural barriers.

  • Nearshore countries, like Latin American or Eastern European states. This category has the perfect quality-price ratio. However, you might run into some misunderstandings due to communication barriers.

  • Far offshore countries. This category includes China, India and other South Eastern Asia states. Working with such companies can be extremely cheap, but can come with a price of low quality, cultural misunderstandings, and a huge time difference.

So before you make your final choice, consider the list of important factors that will affect your cooperation with an outsourcing team on an everyday basis.

The Four Factors of Successful Software Outsourcing Experience

Developer Skillset

A decade or two ago Western European countries and the USA had the best developers, but the IT geography has evolved a lot since those times. Today there are hubs of highly educated, skilled and experienced developers in India, China, South America and Eastern Europe. Countries like Ukraine, Belarus, and Brazil are now becoming more desirable software outsourcing locations. Local companies offer cheap development costs without compromising quality.

Security Risks

Software development outsourcing implies sharing your code with team members across the globe. This poses serious security and confidentiality risks, unless you work on an open source project. Otherwise, avoid the countries without working governmental institutions and judicial system. Companies run in states with high corruption levels expose you to the risk of losing your project’s code and proprietary data.

Time Difference

Of course, most of the communication with your offshore team can take place via email, but sometimes, real time discussions need to take place. Instant messaging and video conferences can be hard to organize if there is no overlapping work time between your in-house and offshore teams.

On the other hand, if you employ two or more offshore teams in different time zones, the work on your project can continue round the clock without interruptions. This way you can complete and release the project much sooner, but it will require superb organizational and time-management skills.

Communication Barriers

Clear communication is important for the success of your project. Unless your requirements are fully understood, you can never be sure the finished product will accurately reflect your vision. To avoid confusion and loss of time and resources, make sure your offshore team has a good command of English. Most developers have rudimentary knowledge since many programming languages are English-based, however, you should go over the semantics with a project manager. Ensure you are on the same page about the importance of deadlines, quality assurance, and responsibility.

When choosing between a Chinese company, a team based from the Philippines or a Ukrainian software development partner, consider your needs and requirements, take into account the four important factors of software outsourcing, and you are sure to make a right choice.

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