A significant amount of resources are required if you ever wish to update your legacy systems or develop new software apps. Larger organizations usually boast of in-house IT departments that can help develop or update whatever software they require. Smaller businesses, on the contrary, usually have a scarcity of resources. This is one cardinal reason why most businesses outsource their software development. However, when smaller businesses decide to outsource their software development, they usually have only two options. Either outsource to an onshore development service or to an offshore development service. Here it is important to carefully understand the pros and cons of both options. This would help evaluate the solution that would best suit your company’s distinct software development needs.
What Is Onshore and Offshore Development?
Onshore development is when a business outsources their web, mobile, or custom software development to a company that is located in the same native country as that of their business. This was primarily the only feasible option for many years. Now that the world is much more connected, owing to the robust internet and technology, offshore development has also become a realistic possibility. It is adopted by innumerable companies across the globe, and as the name suggests, here the software development is outsourced to foreign vendors.
Benefits of Onshore Development
- Real Time and Face-to-Face Collaboration – One of the major perks of onshore development is that it guarantees similar business hours. This streamlines communication for all parties involved. When both of the organizations share a mutual home turf, then it’s easier to communicate both in person or via video calls that could be easily scheduled. The parties work on the same page. Also, it’s a completely hassle-free process. One doesn’t have to wait for hours or days to solicit email responses, as can be the case in offshore development.
- No Language Barrier – When you opt for agile onshore development, then there isn’t any language barrier. This means that the parties can freely exchange their ideas, thoughts, and more, thereby producing stellar end-to-end solutions with the most effective and efficient communication.
- Fewer Iterations Required – In the case of onshore development, both of the organizations usually work in close sync with each other, communicating at each juncture in the development process. This ensures that the end product requires fewer iterations as there is usually a meeting of the minds of both the parties involved.
Drawbacks of Onshore Development
- Higher Costs – Onshore development is undoubtedly a lot more expensive and it could burn a hole in your pocket because experienced software engineers would charge a hefty sum for their services. An onshore team that is hired in the United States may charge somewhere around $300 on an hourly basis, whereas in the U.K., the quote may go up to $325. Also, a typical project that requires around 500 person hours would cost anywhere between $145,000 to $162,500. Onshore development is quite expensive. However, having that said, it offers great bang for your buck as it provides better quality software solutions compared to its counterpart offshore development, which may be cheaper but lacks the necessary quality.
- Limited Talent Pool – In case of onshore development, you can only have access to a very limited talent pool of skilled engineers for the development of custom solutions. This would be time consuming as you would have to scout around and hone in on the best developers. Also, those developers would then charge exorbitantly for their services because lesser competition in turn means that their skill would become more valuable.
Benefits of Offshore Development
- Lesser Bill Rate – Companies who have a smaller budget and wish to cut down on their development costs should opt for offshore development as it is more affordable. It is important to note that India stands tall as the ultimate destination for fine offshore development. This is because of cheap resources and the immense talent of our proficient software engineers who make products that scintillate magic on all mobile and web ecosystems.
- Quick Delivery and Deployment – Offshore organizations usually boast of larger workforces as compared to the limited talent pool of the onshore companies. Also, developers in such companies are usually very talented. And these developers can charge less than half of onshore developers. This enables organizations to have larger teams that work tirelessly, and to ensure quick delivery and deployment. Offshore development thus offers a quick turnaround time, thereby finishing a project at lightning speed.
- Access To A Wide Array of Diverse Skills – Offshore development enables a business to harness and leverage the finest skill from across the globe. The talent pool in offshore development is limitless. Businesses can hand-pick the best software developers for their project.
- Preferable for Long Term Maintenance Of Apps – In-house app and software maintenance departments are usually beyond the scope of most small businesses as it is quite an expensive process. Offshore development thus comes to the aid of all such small businesses who need to have their apps maintained. This otherwise grueling process becomes easier with offshore development as companies have access to developers from across the globe. These companies can then get the basic maintenance done as and when required.
Drawbacks of Offshore Development
- Language Barrier – Language barrier is one of the biggest hindrances in offshore development. This is especially true if you opt for an offshore company located in a nation where English isn’t the primary language. Communication in such cases becomes really difficult. This is something that you must be wary of, or else your end product could be brimming with countless snags, owing to a communication gap. You need to ensure that you have hassle free communication with your offshore company at all times.
- Cultural Differences – Cultural differences are another snag in case of offshore development. There may be a few unsolicited hindrances because of this as each culture has a distinct way of interpreting a problem and thereby working on its solution. Consequently, cultural differences can greatly influence the design, development, and overall outcome of a software development project.
- Variation in Time Zones – While communication was already one of the most pressing drawbacks in offshore development, a difference in time zones just adds to the trouble. This can indeed be quite difficult and challenging to deal with. If you wish to get in touch with your offshore company that is operating in some other time zone, then this would be a tedious task. You would have to repeatedly undergo a long process to get in touch with the concerned person.
- Incongruent Quality – Well there are quite a few pressing issues that would significantly impact the quality of your end product in offshore development. Primarily, you are not in control of who your software developers are. You are thus dependent upon the offshore company to hire qualified individuals for your project. However, in case they hire random software engineers at lesser cost, then it would undoubtedly mar the quality of your end product. Also, if your offshore company turns a blind eye and doesn’t comply with the relevant copyright and IP laws, then that would be incredibly problematic for you to deal with.
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