Best Practices for Successful Offshore Software Development

Digital transformation is growing by leaps and bounds, no two ways about it! And frankly, I won’t be surprised if you are willing to jump in with both feet to embark on the journey. However, many of you might find it new and hard to grasp, and that’s why I am here to the rescue! The following post talks about What offshore software development is and how can you speed up your online presence. More or less, it sums up a few details of offshore development best practices to conduct a successful software development project.

Often seen as trouble, offshore software development is no longer an option. It has become the new norm, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past decade, the concept seems to have been quite prevalent showing no signs of slowing down. One of the core reasons is the rising labour costs in western countries. Apart from this, with unpredictable challenges businesses are now more aware of the significant risks involved in an infrastructure-dependent workforce. Also, one cannot ignore the fact, organizations are evolving at a higher pace.

Table of Content

  1. The Concept of Offshore Development – Why it is the Best Option Right Now!
  2. Are There any Risks While Offshore Software Development Services?
  3. Best Practices to Offshore Development
  4. Conclusion

1. The Concept of Offshore Development – Why it is the Best Option Right Now!

In simple words, outsourcing or offshore team is said when you happen to sign a contract with the development team from another continent. Cost-effective, streamlined procedures, access to a wider talent pool of software developers are some of the major reasons why businesses have been looking for offshore software development teams.

Now many of you have this misconception that offshore and outsourcing are the same. Well, actually they are not! Before proceeding any further, it is extremely crucial to understand the difference between offshore and outsourcing. Outsourcing is one method used by companies to transfer part of their work to external service suppliers rather than internal. The purpose of outsourcing usually involves cutting costs and reducing internal infrastructure. For a better perspective, click here.

Whereas nearshore, offshore and onshore are subsets of Outsourcing. This means outsourcing is not offshore development. Let me explain by an example, Apple offshore outsources their software development services or projects to Vietnam.

Now further below I would like to mention a few scenarios that justify contacting an offshore development company.

  1. If an organization wants to cut down on its software development expenses – This one resembles more of small and medium-sized businesses especially when we know how expensive hiring software developers can be. Offshore development offers a cheaper alternative, providing you with an opportunity to work with talented software engineers on your project while staying within your budget.
  2. If organizations want to expand their global exposure – The technology landscape is growing and expanding. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, natural language processing and many more changing how industries operate. More or less, they get enough global exposure and a chance to create powerful software by leveraging disruptive technologies.
  3. If local resources are not compatible with a businesses development project –  Companies often tend to work with offshore development when they don’t receive flexibility. This makes more sense compared to hiring a full-time software developer for a short-term project. With offshore developers, your obligation to them ends once they have completed the project.

Why Choose a Development Team for Your Upcoming Software Development Project?

Without any further ado! Let me get straight to the benefits achieved by conducting an offshore project.

1.1 Cost-Effective

The main advantage behind choosing an offshore team is its cost-effectiveness. In simple words, you get to hire dedicated software developers at quite reasonable and affordable rates.

On and all, by doing so in some way or the other you end up maximizing profits. Apart from the monthly savings on operational overheads, it helps you to save big on setup cost and capital expenditure. All R&D activities will cost your company much less than your competitors, meaning that you can scale faster, defining the market rules. Also, you no longer require to hassle regarding personal space, HR team, and other laborious tasks. Pay as long as your project assignment is under development. Isn’t that amazing?

1.2 Huge-Talent Pool

The more, the better! Always remember this, developing software is no one-time show. It is a process requiring a team of best programmers, testers, designers, developers, project managers. So one should acknowledge the benefit of having access to a huge talent pool worldwide. From general programmers to those who have specialized in the development, you are free to choose your offshore team.

Also, going offshore is an excellent way to test out the available resources that will help the organization before making any huge commitment. Ultimately, the organization will realize that the outsourcing partner adds value in the long run.

1.3 Focus on Your Core Business Activities

Working with an offshore team enables you to focus more on your core business functions. I mean businesses no longer need to worry about managing those complex and time-consuming process of website or mobile app development. What happens when you associate yourself with an offshore team for development purposes, you get professionals who will work for you. All you have to do is coordinate with the project manager. This will help your company to focus on core practices without the additional stress of running and managing the development of your product.

Therefore, with less burden and extra focus, your in-house team can leverage their strengths and work towards the augmentation of your business.

Besides these, there are myriads of other lucrative benefits of working with a development partner. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any controversies. Let us uncover the other side of the offshore coin.

2. Are There any Risks while Offshore Software Development Services?

Unfortunately, yes. But nothing major! I mean just as there are risks when you buy something online. However, this doesn’t stop you from online shopping, does it? But if you are well aware of the potential risks while conducting a project offshore. However, they can be eliminated with time being! Here’s how!  But before that, you need to get through certain factors to take into account while hiring offshore developers.

2.1 Steal Your Idea!

What if! This could be probably the worst thing that could happen with your offshore team. So while discussing all the development project requirements just make sure to share all the details of your idea so that it becomes crystal clear for your potential tech team. But at the same time, it could be one of your worst nightmares to find out that the development company has released their own product based on your idea.

So what can be done is, make your offshore team sign an NDA. This ensures your development team won’t be able to plagiarize or use any of your ideas or share your crucial data among your competitors. If so, consecutive actions can be taken!

2.2 Slower and Complicated Process

Though this fear can be justified. Since we are talking offshore, I mean overseas – time difference issue will always remain a major concern. So chances are pretty high of your contractors to turn off their computers when you wake up and vice versa. What can be done is, try scheduling all the chats and development project based meetings well in advance. Also, when the tech team needs your approval for an action, they no longer have to pause work and wait until the next day for your answer.

2.3 Communication Gap

Communication is quite a challenging factor. They say, long-distance relationships never work but looking at the present pandemic times do we have any better option? Probably not! Chances are pretty high that communication from your potential offshore team may surprise you which is not positive in every case. For examples, lots and lots of misunderstandings missed deadlines and a rise in irritation and frustration.

Well, huge communication gaps can be taken care of with smart planning and project management. Just try finding the best development company for your needs.

Now before you choose a development partner for your project, here I would like to mention some of the best practices to take into account before doing so.

3. Best Practices to Offshore Development

Since you no longer have to maintain infrastructure or spend time recruiting in-house employees, you can follow the below-mentioned offshore development best practices. I am pretty sure that each one of them will work wonders for you!

3.1 Choose Your Partner Carefully

Of course, now this is something important. Clearly not choosing the right offshore team for your project can cost you an arm and a leg. It is truly said if you take the first step right then half of the development battle is already won. Similarly, choosing the right offshore partner is the stepping stone for your success. So be very careful while exploring all the development service providers and evaluate them individually. Make sure to choose one who understands your business needs, has prior experience in your industry, and employs robust project management and development methodologies. Always check for references, understand their communication model especially offshore, and carefully study their SLAs.

3.2 Provide Specific Details and Set Clear Goals

One of the best practices is to provide as many projects related information as you can to your offshore team. By doing so you are more likely to get the exact product expected. All this can be done in the given time frame without exceeding the budget. Just make sure to describe tasks the offshore team is expected to solve. Apart from that, Make a list of functions and mark their priorities, highlighting the most important ones, choose a relevant platform for your software (ask the team for relevant project recommendations), etc.

3.3 Clear Communication

One of the most preferred practices is communication. And it’s not just about conveying or receiving a message accurately. Communication is more kind of good feedback and understanding – this is what even more important than your technical expertise level. After all, we cannot overestimate the significance of successful project implementation via regular video conferences and personal meetings.

Even 10% lacking in regards to communication can lead to the work productivity drop by 50%. And vice versa, a little increase in communication efficiency can lead to a substantial development process acceleration. Business deals often fail when both parties are unable to demand loyalty communication and motivation since they know nothing about each other.

3.4 Solid Project Management

Creating software is not a child’s play – one of the common issue faced while conduction such ventures are the management or reaching deadlines, sharing information across teams, keeping team members on the right task at the right time, keeping everything organized regarding software, etc. So make sure as an offshore development team you possess solid management skills.

Ideally one should always look for a software team that has a project manager. They are no less than a ringmaster for your venture. By regularly communicating with your developers, your project manager will work to guide them in the direction that best meets your and your project’s needs. As a result, the project manager will keep your team’s level of organization, timeliness, and accuracy in check.

4. Conclusion

When you search about an offshore app I am sure you may end up encountering several myths. I hope with the help of the blog I happen to dispel at least some of them. Still not sure whether offshore is the best strategy for you? Let us be your guide! Feel free to get in touch today!

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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    1. Roger

      I must say you are correct there are some risks too as mentioned by you in offshoring the software development requirements. But if planned correctly you can avoid them. And the offshore development best practices shared by you really helped me a lot in planning my next offshore software development project. Thanks!

    2. Nathaniel James

      I was looking for the practices that I must adept to avoid any risks while offshoring development requirements and I stumbled upon your post. You have provided each and every offshore development best practices with precision and in detail. It completely cleared all the doubts and hesitations I was having regarding offshoring. Thanks for sharing this article.