In the last few years, the offshore software development industry has grown manifold, with more and more companies looking for solutions to scale their business sustainably, without having to pay through their nose. By associating with offshore development countries in emerging tech nations like India, companies gain access to an extensive talent pool, cost-effective operations, and a whole world of opportunities to grow their business.
However, more often than not, there are many stigmas surrounding offshoring. The expectations of working with a virtual team, often overshadow the reality of working with one. Horror stories and reviews from peers makes it even harder not to expect the worst outcome from going offshore. This, in turn, has generated a lot of bad press around offshoring. In this blog post, we’ll draw a line between the two – the differences between expectations and reality, so you can know what’s true and what’s not.
You’re Going to Hire Developers at Ridiculously Low Prices
Often, hiring developers in a third-world country like India is seen as a way to save as much money as possible. However, though offshoring to these countries is undeniably cost-effective, the primary reason for this is the cost of living. The cost of living in India, for instance, is significantly lower than the West and thus becomes the primary factor in determining the payroll of the developer.
The reality: After San Francisco and Singapore, Bangalore, in India, is one of the world’s most highly-prized R&D locations. This means that engineers are not going to be available at dirt-cheap prices, just lower than the West. The fact that salaries are usually lower compared to Euros and the Pound is a bonus!
‘Offshoring’ Means Building Your Own Team
A plethora of companies on the internet uses the words ‘offshoring’ and ‘outsourcing’ interchangeably as if they were the same. However, outsourcing your software development to a vendor, and building your own team are two entirely different concepts.
The reality: Outsourcing is engaging external contractors to deliver the capacity that you cannot meet internally. Though this means more flexibility and low cost, it also means that you’re exposing the business to risks such as loss of ownership, hidden costs, and lack of customer focus.
However, offshoring is where companies build a remote software development team to augment the existing workforce with skilled professionals. The crucial difference is that the offshore team is yours. They share the vision of the company, are fully integrated into the business, and work under the same management – they’re your team in every sense.
You’re Going to Work With Substandard Engineers If You Outsource.
One of the biggest mistakes any business can make is to underestimate the value of their offshore team. This relates back to the previous points: if you’re going offshore with the goal of chasing the lowest price, and you end up engaging with under-qualified contractors, you are not going to get quality output at the end of the day.
The reality: Quality offshore software development is about leveraging top-tier talent to scale your business. For instance, India produces 1.5 million engineers every year, and finding the creme de la creme is where your attention should be focused on. Whatever your industry, the key is to successful offshoring is dedicating enough time to recruiting, onboarding, and building a truly top-quality team. If you make that effort, there’s no reason to think your team will deliver sub-standard work, or that your investment was useless. If you’re patient, and if you invest in top-quality talent, your offshore team will be a perfect complement to your existing team.
Logistics Will Hamper the Success of Your Offshore Development Team
Another extremely common expectation from going offshore is that the geographical distance and different time zones are going to make your offshore development teams unproductive.
The reality: A decade or two decades ago, the complexity of long-distance communication made working with remote and virtual teams a significant challenge. A UK company with a team in India faces a time difference of at least 5-6 hours. With the minimal overlap between their working days, clear communication is crucial. However, today, there are numerous internet-powered apps – enabling instant messaging, screen sharing, and video calling. By the time your in-house team is at work, your remote team has already done a full morning’s worth of work! There is also enough time for the essential stand-up meetings, check-ins, and reviews. Being based halfway across the globe is now nothing more than a minor inconvenience that can be overlooked.
You Need Substantial Capital Even to Consider Offshoring
Small to medium-sized businesses often assume that offshore software development is impossible without significant cash assets or dedicated funding.
The reality: The cost of building an offshore team entirely depends on your business requirements. The country, the size of your team, the desired quality, third-party services are all contributing factors. When done right, offshoring offers a great way to cut overheads and keep producing great work at the same time. You’re investing in a bigger team, but you can also meet higher workloads and generate a bigger margin. Offshoring is less of a ‘quick win’ and more of a long-term, growth-oriented strategy that can realistically be leveraged by any business.
And that’s it – some of the big offshore software development expectations and why they’re not to be taken seriously. By trusting in the experience of offshore development experts, your team can be set up in no time at all.
At the end of the day, they’re called ‘expectations’ for a reason. By putting in the right strategic effort, you can build an offshore team to deliver top-notch products and services for your clients.