Ola Jakubiak, Pawel Jackowski
6 Sep 2021 14 min to read

Offshore Software Development – Best Practices for Working with an External Company

In the current age of globalization and technological progress, offshore software development has become an important global business rule. More and more enterprises have moved offshore to take their business sky-high during the last few years. According to Statista, the IT outsourcing market value is expected to go beyond $413.7 billion by the end of 2021.

Till now, over 210,000 software development projects have been outsourced by leading American organizations, such as Samsung, Oracle, Cisco, etc., to countries with a strong positive reputation. By offshoring software development tasks, these companies optimize their product development processes while saving funds and time.

In this post, we’ll take a close look at what to consider when companies look for an offshore software development company. But before proceeding, let’s clarify what offshore software development is.

 

Offshore Software Development

In essence, offshore software development is a practice of delegating software development tasks or some of them to either a specialized company or a team operating in a region with cultural and time zone differences than the company’s headquarters.

Basically, it is a form of working together where a company entrusts a third-party service provider with implementing the project in another country.

As for the tasks for the software team, working using offshore software development can be diverse – from creating UI/UX design to developing a mobile or web app from scratch. Offshore software development is a great solution for many organizations that require particular prowess and excellent software solutions that are hard to find locally. Thus, businesses can use a wider pool of professionals to the good advantage that goes beyond their in-house teams.

 

Advantages of Offshore Software Development

A growing number of companies are inclined towards offshore software development to run their businesses. Considering the benefits it offers, this approach has become a significant business proposition in this day and age. So, what are the advantages of hiring an offshore software development team? Let’s take a look at them:

Optimized Cost

The leading attractive feature of offshore software development for many companies is the good amount of money saved. With offshoring, companies don’t have to spend money on overhead expenses. Going offshore to hire talented developers can cost much less since living in overseas countries is really less than in large countries like the US. So, with offshore teams, IT companies can hire equally experienced engineers and cut the production costs without impacting the final project’s quality.

 

outsourcing goals

Companies indicate that one of the main reasons for outsourcing is reducing costs and increasing flexibility in running projects. / source: www.microsourcing.com

 

Access to Specialized Skills and Advanced Technology

Hiring an offshore team is profitable for software companies that find it difficult to recruit developers with top competencies locally. Offshore software development enables companies to access a wider pool of skilled and proficient engineers with extensive experience developing international standards and quality software products.

The vendor provides its offshore software partner with specific professionals that it lacks, who have skills to work on and complete certain project phases. Along with the latest technologies, companies also get excellent procedures, documentation, and strategies when working with an offshore team.

Better Time Management

At times, project development can cause stress to the companies due to the shortage of time and lack of resources. With offshoring, remote teams with the required experience and skills can speed up the development processes and deliver the project by the defined schedule. Turning to an offshore software development company ensures that a qualified workforce works around the clock to deliver quality solutions and the developed product reaches the market sooner.

Convenient Team Scaling

During some phases, a company may need more IT professionals to work on and develop quality software. After achieving a certain level of maturity, it becomes unnecessary for them to continue with the same number of qualified professionals. At this point, shrinking the team or changing the job roles to a more operative level becomes quite complex.

Delegating all this to the offshore development centre (ODC) would save energy, time, and money in creating the development team. Cooperating with offshore development teams enables companies to ask for more staff or cut down some resources as per the project requirements. And when the project ends, the company and the offshore team can go their ways sans maintaining these workers full-time.

More Attention to Core Business Activities

With offshoring, companies have immediate access to skilled professionals and experienced offshore software development teams to work for their technical section. Thus, companies get ample time to focus more on their core business strategy, collaborate with potential clients, and expand their business without worrying about being unable to accommodate them.

 

How To Choose An Offshore Software Development Company?

Now that we have presented some major offshoring benefits, let’s quickly go over the list of the important actions that companies should take when choosing an offshore team:

Define Company Goals and Expectations

At first, the company should define its goals and needs, what technologies, technical knowledge, and methodologies it is looking for, and what it expects.

Choose the Partner with Established Security Policy

IT companies should look for an offshore partner with standardized security policies to keep their data and products safe. So, before reaching out, they should double-check if that offshore development firm complies with the following policies and procedures:

  • The international security standards, such as ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, HIPAA, OWASP, and more
  • Recurrent internal and external audits following the security standards and strict password security policy
  • The NDA agreements

Review the Client Testimonials of the Provider

While searching for the best software development companies, firms should focus on client testimonials and reviews to learn about their experience with the vendor. They should look for success stories, video testimonials, and references of the potential offshore company. In addition, companies should also visit provider’s websites, LinkedIn profiles, social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to find relevant information and check the ranking aggregators, such as Clutch, GoodFirms, Manifest, and others.

Go for Streamlined Agile Development Processes

Besides everything mentioned, the development methodology also contributes to the project’s success. Agile methodology has become most popular among global companies, thanks to the accelerated product delivery, lower cost, better time predictability, and improved ability to manage changing priorities. So, companies should look for offshore partners that apply Agile methodology and practices.

 

agile

Agile is today the most popular method of running projects in software development. / source: indevlab.com

 

Ensure There Is No Communication Gap

Before hiring an offshore partner, it is important to ensure that the provider’s software developers have good communication skills to run the development processes seamlessly and successfully. Moreover, companies must determine what tools will be used for communication and collaboration, reasonable response times, and the suitable way to stay in touch.

Explore the Provider’s Expertise and Experience

The skills and experience of the offshore team must be checked in various ways before forming any partnership. Check if the company has a great team of skilled workforce and specializes in various fields to build the best possible software solution for its partner.

Assess the Cost-effectiveness of The Offshore Partner

For cost optimization, companies should choose an offshore software development vendor that provides different pricing models and help them choose the one fitting their objectives. The three famous pricing models in offshore organizations are fixed-price, T&M (paying only for the work done), and dedicated development team model.

 

Why are European Companies Good Choice For Offshoring?

Europe has established itself as one of the world’s most promising regions for offshore software development. Engineers from European companies have comprehensive experience and expertise in different programming languages. The top destinations in Europe to establish an offshore team are Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, France, and Germany. These regions enjoy a great reputation worldwide, thanks to their growing talent pool, continuous progress in the IT industry, and cost-effectiveness.

best developers around the world

European countries, including Poland, are very high in the rankings of programmer skills. / source: https://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/

 

Companies operating in these countries understand the organization of the software development process very well and ensure the optimal productivity of their clients. Developers in these companies charge $40-$80/hour, depending on the experience and skills of an individual. This hourly rate, especially in Eastern Europe and Western Europe, is maybe higher than in Africa and Asia, but when compared to North America and Western America, the rate is still lower. This is mainly because European programmers are often hired remotely by big corporations, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.

 

Best Practices During Software Development Offshoring

Managing an offshore software development team is demanding. To face any offshoring obstacles successfully, companies need to follow a set of best practices discussed below:

Defining Clear Goals

Companies should establish actionable goals, share the vision with the offshore development team, and document everything in detail.

Just 16% of front-line employees have a clear understanding of their connection with corporate priorities.

source: Harvard Business Review

Establishing Regular Communication

Continuous communication is important to maintain with the offshore development team to check the project requirements and deadlines. They should be clear and concise with language and use an appropriate channel for communication.

Providing Frequent Feedback

Discuss the project’s progress and give constructive feedback based on real data collected in a reliable system.

Improving Working Conditions

Companies should improve the working conditions and provide training opportunities, professional development, and fair compensation to retain a qualified and talented workforce.

Arranging Team Meetings for Better Syncing

Regular meetings are good for software development companies that share work between different time zones. They help set the goals and agendas for the day and discuss any issues/obstacles. Moreover, these meetings greatly improve the workflow performance and ensure in-house and offshore developers are in sync. Such short meetings can be conducted via emails, calls, online meetings, or other collaboration tools, such as Zoom, Skype, etc.

Treating the Remote Team as An In-house Team

Companies need to treat their offshore developers as a part of their business to succeed.

Acknowledge their technical expertise, efforts, and time, get to know them better and ask for their suggestions on developing better solutions to solidify the connection with the offshore software development team.

Putting It Together

Offshore software development services are highly advantageous as they help companies achieve their business goals in the shortest possible time, within the defined budget, and with no additional staff hiring. Now that you are familiar with offshoring advantages and best practices hiring an offshore development company anywhere globally, especially in Europe, can become a great choice for your business.

 

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