An Introduction to Nearshore Outsourcing
The modern working environment is getting ever more fluid and globalized, with business teams spread across the globe. Outsourcing has emerged as an innovative hiring concept responding to the needs of many businesses, ranging from small software development budgets to those lacking adequate specialists with the needed rare skill sets in their locations. Within years of its establishment as a commonplace employment practice, outsourcing diversified into offshore and nearshore types. Each type comes with its specifics and suits different employers. Let’s clarify the differences and find out how you may benefit from opting for nearshoring in the pursuit of a software provider.
What is nearshore outsourcing?
First, it’s vital to understand what a nearshore software development company is to make the final hiring decision. When we speak about offshore outsourcing, such a model presupposes hiring a software development company in a geographically distant region or country. For example, when a U.S. company signs a contract with a Chinese firm for the development of its new Android app, it’s offshore outsourcing.
Speaking about nearshore outsourcing, we usually mean working with a vendor located close to the client’s country. A good illustration would be a Singapore corporation hiring a Chinese subcontractor, or an American company ordering web development from a Canadian software provider.
The benefits of nearshoring
According to experts of Devox Software, outsourcing overall is a highly beneficial business practice as it helps a business preserve the in-house focus on the core strategic tasks without distractions on temporary, though important, aspects. Besides, outsourcing is always a much more cost-effective solution than hiring a team in-house as it saves you from the trouble of organizing all the legal documentation for new employees, purchasing all the necessary hardware and software for their work, and taking care of staff management. Outsourced tasks may be performed similarly well by qualified vendors of specified services, while you don’t take any extra efforts to set up a separate software division in your office.
In addition to the general advantages that outsourcing brings with it, nearshore outsourcing proves particularly beneficial for some businesses. Here are the benefits you can reap by choosing a nearshore company:
- Cheaper and faster travel. In case your software vendor is half of the world away from you, you’re unlikely to arrange frequent business trips to supervise the software development process and get acquainted with your team. The trips may be too costly and may minimize the savings you otherwise wanted to achieve by outsourcing these operations. However, not visiting your team may also be a problem, especially with complex, long-term projects, as personal guidance may be much better than a thousand emails and online meetings. Visiting a nearshore team is much easier; you may give several quick visits to the vendor’s office to conduct onboarding, meet the developers in person, and establish trusting relationships with the staff.
- Time zone overlap. If you have an in-house team and a remote team working on the same software project, having only a couple of hours of overlapping working time may be detrimental to the product’s quality. People urged to come to work early or stay in the office until late at night will hardly be as productive and creative as you want them to be. Thus, working with a nearshore software development company in a neighboring country makes it easier to schedule meetings during the working hours and tracking each other’s progress in real-time.
- Cultural match. Though software development is culture-neutral, the coders working in your teams are not. Cultural differences may challenge the process of communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution. Representatives of different cultures hold different beliefs in terms of timing, punctuality, and open communication, so unexpected cultural problems may cause the project to stagnate. Working with a nearshore vendor usually helps avoid this problem as neighboring countries often share a similar culture and business values.
- Easier communication. Besides the cultural fit, teams may trivially lack a common language to build a rapport and work effectively together. Even if the outsourced vendor claims to have all English-speaking developers, the level of language proficiency may be low, which makes the process of communication and collaboration harder. It’s usually not the case with neighboring countries that have similar mother tongues and no language barriers.
- Cost-effectiveness. Last but not least, the cost of outsourcing always plays a role in hiring decisions. Ordering the software from nearshore vendors may be more expensive than dealing with offshore companies, but it will surely be the best combination of price and quality, given that you avoid the challenges discussed above.
How to choose a nearshore IT outsourcing partner?
As soon as you decide to opt for the nearshore software development company, it’s time to review several variants and choose the best one based on a set of criteria. Be sure to take the following issues into account:
- The company’s location (it should be located in an easily accessible location, like the country’s capital or a large hub)
- The company’s rates (it’s vital to find a vendor that doesn’t overrate its services; otherwise, you won’t save that much on the development to bother with outsourcing)
- The vendor’s portfolio and references (it’s always safer to work with a company that one of the people you know personally can recommend, after checking in their portfolio whether they have experience with the software you need)
- The number of staff (if the team is small, it may not be able to handle your project on time; look for the mid- and large-sized companies to ensure that they sufficient resources to handle your project properly).
All in All
As you can see, nearshore outsourcing has a set of benefits that companies across the globe appreciate. The combination of proximity to the client and affordability of rates is a precious balance that outsourcing can offer. Thus, when starting a large-scale, responsible project, be sure to check the nearshore vendors before opting for offshore companies – working with neighbors is always easier and safer.