Complex Made Simple

Nearshore vs. offshore software development

Remote workers facilitate a lot of the innovations found across many businesses, especially with software development

What do Skype, Whatsapp, Buzzfeed, Google, and Alibaba all have in common? They all outsourced software development at some point When you use nearshore development, you’ll be working with teams close by. This has many benefits, including streamlining communication When it comes to saving money through outsourcing, offshore development is often your best bet

By Malcom Ridgers – Tech Marketing Specialist at BairesDev, a leading Nearshore Outsourcing Software Development and IT company

What do Skype, Whatsapp, Buzzfeed, Google, and Alibaba all have in common? Aside from being wildly successful companies, they all outsourced software development at some point. In fact, many continue to do so and some even were built on outsourced work. This comes to show that remote workers facilitate a lot of the innovations found across many businesses. 

But to enjoy that, companies looking to outsource have to consider several things. For instance, there are several different models to choose from, including onshore, offshore, and nearshore development.

Offshore and nearshore development, in particular, are gaining popularity since they give businesses access to an enormous global pool of talent. So, which model should you choose if you’ve decided to outsource or are considering doing so? Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of each.

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What’s the difference between nearshore and offshore software development?

Both offshore and nearshore development involve outsourcing labor to workers in another country. The key distinction is where those countries are and what they bring to the table. They’re often more cost-effective alternatives to onshore development, which involves working with teams in your home country. If you’re in the U.S., this can end up being very expensive, even if you don’t hire in-house developers. 

In the case of offshore outsourcing, you’ll partner with companies and developers from a distant part of the world. For example, if you and your business are in the United States, it might mean working with teams in countries such as India or Ukraine. Usually, you’ll be in a significantly different time zone.

Nearshore development means you’ll be working with teams in countries that are closer to your own in terms of geographic proximity. They’ll also be in the same or similar time zones. So, if you live and work in the U.S., you might be partnering with developers in South or Central America, including countries like Argentina and Mexico. 

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Benefits of nearshore development

• Geographic proximity

When you use nearshore development, you’ll be working with teams close by. This has many benefits, including streamlining communication, since your working hours will be the same or very similar. Phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication can take place in real-time. Moreover, you could even facilitate visits onsite and have face-to-face meetings, allowing the team to gain a greater understanding of your needs and the results you’re looking to achieve

.• Cultural similarities

If you’re in the U.S., outsourcing to a country halfway around the world can often lead to issues arising from language barriers and cultural differences. However, these barriers are minimized when you use nearshore developers. Generally, these developers will have a better understanding of your culture, given their proximity, and will have a stronger ability to grasp your specifications and requirements. This also means potentially faster results and turnaround, because you won’t be bogged down in communication issues that could slow down the project.

Benefits of offshore development

• Cost-effectiveness

When it comes to saving money through outsourcing, offshore development is often your best bet. Prices for development teams in Asian and Eastern European countries are generally somewhat lower than nearshore options and significantly lower than onshore fees due to the nature of the economies in these areas.

Still, it’s important to keep in mind that there are sometimes hidden costs associated with your project, so you need to be careful about taking other fees into account and communicating clearly about the total cost of your project before committing to an offshore developer. For example, timelines can be lengthened due to miscommunication and other factors, and developers might charge you extra fees for the additional working time. 

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• Global pool of talent

There are many skilled developers all around the world, and by outsourcing to offshore teams, you can choose from a wide array of talented organizations and workers. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll achieve better results, it does indicate that you’ll have a larger selection upfront and can carefully vet candidates for the job to find the best match. 

Both offshore and nearshore development options have some benefits and drawbacks. Which option should you choose? That depends on your needs. If your project is complex and demands teams that understand certain cultural nuances to complete it quickly and efficiently, then nearshore may be the best option. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest option, offshore is often your best bet.

In either case, it’s important to research your options carefully to choose the best team for your project. Review the software development team’s previous work to help ensure that it has experience with projects like yours. Conduct interviews and read reviews. Outsourcing means you have a wide range of choices, so it’s important to ensure you’re picking the best developers for your needs.