For many years, companies based in the U.S. have taken advantage of outsourcing software development projects to save costs. The initial growth of development outsourcing was focused on offshore outsourcing. Indeed, the apparent savings of working with contractors in India and Asia have been attractive for years. More recently, however, the hidden costs of working with offshore developers when compared to nearshoring projects with more local contractors are causing many companies to rethink their outsourcing strategies. In this article, NearShore Technology discusses some of the relatively expensive costs of offshoring.
Cultural and Language Barrier Costs
Software development requires much more than raw technical skills. When offshore developers do not have personal familiarity with the business culture of U.S.-based companies and their customers’ needs, it can be difficult or impossible for developers to properly understand how software products should perform and what a quality user interface should look like. Additionally, many offshore contractors are not fluent in English, which leads to communication difficulty during development and products that are not well-suited for English speaking users and consumers.
Read also: Nearshore vs Offshore Software Development
By comparison, nearshore contractors are typically fluent, or native English speakers and are usually familiar with common Western business and social culture. Using nearshore contractors for outsourced software development helps ensure that all team members will approach projects with a mutual understanding of customer needs and the purpose and scope of the work to be done.
Day-To-Day Efficiency During Working Hours
Software development typically requires rapid and efficient communication to progress efficiently. It is common for evolving workflows to be based on continuous feedback and updates between outsourced team members and in-house staff. Using offshore development contractors usually leads to costly delays and redundant communications because of the time zone differentials involved. Contractors working in India or Asia are literally on the opposite regular work schedule than U.S.-based companies. Multi-hour delays in responses to communication and the lack of real-time conferencing means that even the best communications take up to a full day to relay between team members. The likelihood that time will be lost because of misunderstood communications or the need for followup questions is the more common outcome from delayed conversations.
Nearshore developers work in the same set of time zones as U.S. companies do, and communications can take place in real-time much more efficiently. Nearshorers can be available on a video conference, chat protocol, or on a regular phone call throughout the workday to keep things moving and everyone on the same page.
Travel Expenses and Difficulty
Many large projects and long-term outsourced relationships are going to require some travel for in-person meetings and work. The travel expenses and logistical costs of traveling to meet on the other side of the world can be prohibitive. The expenses are multiplied when it would be useful to have contractors travel to the U.S. to work onsite, and the process of obtaining work visas takes time and involves uncertainty.
Working with a nearshore team means that travel is much easier and involves shorter distances and far less time disruption. Additionally, under the new USMCA trade agreement, the work visa process for Mexican citizens is streamlined and simple when it is beneficial to have nearshore developers travel to a U.S. company’s office to work on projects.
About NearShore Technology
NearShore Technology is a U.S. firm headquartered in Atlanta with offices throughout North America. The company focuses on meeting all the technology needs of its clients. NearShore partners with technology officers and leaders to provide effective and timely solutions that fit each customer’s unique needs. NearShore uses a family-based approach to provide superior I.T., Medtech, Fintech, and related services to our customers and partners throughout North America.
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