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10 Types Of Offshore Software Development Centers – Definitions, Benefits, Comparison

Zobaria Asma

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Offshore Development Centers

In today’s digital era, businesses are always on the lookout for ways to stay ahead, work smarter, and provide outstanding products and services. 

One powerful strategy they’re turning to is setting up offshore development center models. These centers offer solutions to various challenges.

In this post, we delve into what is an offshore development center is, the types of offshore software development center models, and their respective benefits.

So, let’s dive in!

Offshore Software Development Meaning

Offshore Software development is when a company hires a team of skilled software developers from another country to work on their projects. 

These developers work remotely and are often located in places where labor costs are lower.

This method enables companies to access an extensive talent pool of skilled developers from various corners of the globe. 

Simultaneously, it aids in cutting down development costs while maintaining a consistently high level of work quality.

The offshore development process typically includes stages like defining the project scope, choosing the right team, and managing the project effectively.

By outsourcing software development offshore, companies can concentrate on what they do best and leave the software development tasks to a trustworthy and experienced team located in a different part of the world.

Offshore Development Center Meaning & Definition

An Offshore Development Center ODC, is like a dedicated team of skilled software experts in a different country. 

It’s a smart move for companies looking to save costs and tap into a wider talent pool. 

These teams are managed by the offshore development company, handling everything from setup to productivity.

Whether you’re a big player or a growing startup, ODCs offer a flexible and efficient way to expand globally. 

They let you access top-notch IT talent while keeping expenses in check. 

Many successful companies, like Google, have already adopted this model, often setting up teams in places like Eastern Europe for its rich resources and opportunities.

Main Types of Offshore Development Center (ODC)

Various ODC models are available for different business requirements. It’s important to choose the right model that aligns with your goals. 

Each model is designed to address specific needs, assisting companies in successfully offshoring or outsourcing their software development tasks.

Here are the primary types of offshore software development centers:

#1 Product Engineering Model

This means bringing in a dedicated team to manage your project from start to finish.

It requires significant resources due to its complexity and research needs. It’s perfect for non-technical leaders who want expert help and flexible development.

#2 Customer Model

This model involves establishing a customer-owned ODC by relocating or hiring a team.

While it provides control and flexibility over projects, it also brings higher costs as you fully own and manage the resources and infrastructure.

#3 Contractor Model

Delegate management to an external vendor to cut costs and save time.

Your in-house team collaborates with the ODC’s Project Manager, allowing you to concentrate on essential tasks while outsourcing specific development tasks.

10 Types of Offshore Development Center Models -Comparison

What models are used in the IT Offshore Development Center ODC 01

#1 Dedicated Offshore Development Center

A dedicated offshore development center (ODC) is like having a specialized team of IT experts working from a remote location. It’s a flexible setup that suits both startups and big companies. 

With an ODC, you can add skilled software engineers to your existing team without a long-term commitment. This means you can adjust the team size as needed for your project.

Plus, the ODC takes care of everything from infrastructure to quality testing, giving you a dedicated hub for your development needs. 

It’s a smart way to tap into top talent without the hassle.

This approach is seen as an advanced solution for IT businesses, offering more advantages than traditional outsourcing because it involves having your own team abroad.


  • No initial setup costs involved 
  • Hire highly skilled professionals with rare talents. 
  • Receive full commitment from dedicated developers.


  • Not ideal for short-term projects 
  • Not a good choice for a rigid, non-negotiable budget.
  • Finding the right talent can be time-consuming.

When to use

The dedicated team offshore development center model is best suited for long-term collaboration, offering stability and expertise for extended projects. 

It provides full control over the development process and is ideal for complex, large-scale ventures that require specialized skills and confidentiality.

#2 Fixed-price Offshore Development Center

Under the fixed price model, the client and the offshore software development center agree on a set price for the entire project. 

This model suits short-term projects with clear requirements and scopes. While it ensures budget predictability and lowers risk, it may not be the best fit for long-term projects that may need iterative adjustments.

It offers cost predictability and reduces risks. However, it lacks flexibility and may not be the best choice for intricate or long-term projects that demand ongoing adjustments.


  • Cost Certainty: Provides a clear and predictable project cost.
  • Clear Scope: Well-defined project scopes help prevent scope creep.
  • Reduced Risk: Minimizes financial risks for clients.


  • Limited Flexibility: This may not accommodate significant scope changes.
  • Scope Constraints: Best for projects with well-defined requirements.
  • Quality vs. Cost: Balancing quality within a fixed budget can be challenging.

When to Use

This model is most suitable when you have a project with clear, well-defined scopes and requirements. 

It’s ideal for situations where you want cost predictability and minimal financial risk. 

If your project can maintain a stable scope and you prioritize budget certainty, the Fixed Price ODC is a strong choice. 

However, it may not be the best fit if your project requires frequent scope changes or if you are willing to trade some flexibility for the benefits of cost predictability.

#3 Project-based Offshore Development Center

The project-based model also known as the ‘fixed price’ or ‘time and material’ model, involves enlisting an offshore development center for a particular project or task, complete with a set timeline and budget. It’s a great fit for short-term projects with clear requirements and goals. 

In this model, the ODC takes charge of resource management and ensures the project is completed according to the agreed-upon milestones


  • Well-defined scope: Clarity in project scope minimizes misunderstandings.
  • Cost Predictability: Budgets remain stable with predetermined costs.
  • Reduced Client Engagement: Clients require less hands-on involvement.


  • Limited Adaptability: Inflexible for scope changes during the project.
  • Quality Concerns: Possible issues if the offshore team lacks experience.

When to Use

Consider a project-based offshore development center when you have a well-defined project scope, want cost predictability, and can reduce client involvement. 

It is suitable for projects with stable requirements.

#4 Hybrid Offshore Development Center

The hybrid model combines aspects of both the dedicated team and project-based models, offering a flexible approach to ODC collaboration.

In this setup, a dedicated core team handles long-term projects, and extra resources are brought in for specific tasks or short-term projects when necessary. 

This allows you to easily adjust the size of your offshore development center to match project demands and timelines.


  • Well-defined Scope: Projects have clear, specific scopes, reducing misunderstandings.
  • Cost Predictability: Clients know project costs upfront, aiding budget planning.
  • Reduced Client Engagement: Clients can focus on core tasks as the ODC manages the project.


  • Limited Adaptability: Less flexibility for changes in project scope.
  • Potential Quality Concerns: Quality may suffer if the offshore team lacks experience.

When to use

Consider the Hybrid Offshore Development Center model for short-term projects with well-defined scopes and limited client involvement. It’s suitable when cost predictability is essential, but less adaptable for projects with evolving requirements or complex tasks.

#5 Contractor Offshore Development Center

 In the contractor model, the main office provides detailed project requirements to the offshore development center. A dedicated team is selected to fulfill these requirements, managing tasks like analytics, system design, software development, and coding.


  • Access to Talent: This model provides access to a pool of skilled IT professionals, allowing you to assemble a team with the right expertise.
  • Cost-Efficiency: It often leads to cost savings as offshore development can be more affordable than in-house hiring.
  • Popularity: The contractor model is widely adopted by businesses seeking to leverage offshore talent.


  • Management Demands: Managing a remote team requires effective coordination, communication, and oversight.
  • Coordination Challenges: Ensuring seamless collaboration between onshore and offshore teams can be challenging.

When to Use:

Consider the contractor offshore development center model when you need specialized skills, and cost savings, and are prepared to manage remote teams effectively. 

It’s particularly useful for short-term projects or when you require specific expertise not readily available in your local talent pool.

#6 Software ODC Trust

This model is designed for clients with stringent security requirements in their design models. It’s ideal for unique and confidential software projects.


  • High Security: Provides top-level security for sensitive projects.
  • Confidentiality: Ensures the privacy of unique software concepts.


  • Potentially Higher Costs: Enhanced security measures may increase project expenses.
  • Limited Team Flexibility: Focuses heavily on security, which can limit project adaptability.

 When to Use:

Consider the software trust model when you require the highest level of security and confidentiality for your software development projects. 

Also when your projects involve one-of-a-kind, sensitive, or proprietary software that demands strict privacy measures.

#7 Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Model

The BOT model involves building an offshore software development team in partnership with a local provider. The team is eventually transferred to the parent entity when it’s deemed ready.


  • Gradual Transition: Allows a gradual transfer of control.
  • Local Expertise: Benefits from the local partner’s expertise.
  • Risk Mitigation: Minimizes risks during the team-building phase.


  • Complex Process: Involves intricate coordination and planning.
  • Transition Challenges: Potential challenges during the transfer phase.
  • Resource Commitment: Requires dedicated resources for successful implementation.

When to Use:

Utilize the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) offshore development center model when you:

  • Want a gradual transition of control from a local partner to your organization while building an offshore team.
  • Seek to benefit from the local partner’s knowledge and experience in a new market.
  • Aim to minimize risks during the team-building phase and ensure a smoother transfer of responsibilities over time.

#8 Build-to-Scale Model

The Build-to-Scale model suits companies aiming to create larger teams of experts in a foreign country. Typically, these firms have succeeded with small offshore teams and now seek to expand. It often involves transitioning from nearshoring to offshoring.


  • Scalability: Ideal for expanding teams to meet growing demands.
  • Expertise: Access to a wider talent pool.
  • Cost-Effective: Often results in cost savings as teams grow.


  • Management Complexity: Requires effective management of larger teams.
  • Transition Challenges: Potential challenges in moving from nearshoring to offshoring.
  • Resource Commitment: Demands investment in infrastructure and resources.

When to Use:

Consider the Build-to-Scale offshore development center model when your company aims to expand its workforce in a foreign location to meet growing demands. 

This model is ideal if you’ve had success with smaller offshore teams and now wish to scale up your operations. It often involves transitioning from nearshoring to offshoring.


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#9 Time and Material

In this model of offshore software development, the client pays based on the actual time and resources used by the offshore software development center. 

It’s a good choice for projects where the scope, requirements, and timelines are uncertain or expected to evolve. 

This approach offers a high degree of adaptability, allowing adjustments during development.


  • Flexibility: Easily adapt to evolving project requirements.
  • Transparency: Detailed tracking of costs and progress.
  • Continuous Improvements: Allows for ongoing enhancements.
  • Skilled Resources: Access to specialized expertise.

Challenges :

  • Cost Uncertainty: Expenses can exceed initial estimates.
  • Client Involvement: Requires active monitoring and management.
  • Potential Scope Creep: The project can expand beyond the original plan.

 When to Use:

Choose the Time and Material offshore development center model when your project:

  • Has evolving or unclear requirements and requires flexibility for ongoing changes.
  • Benefits from specialized skills and expertise.
  • Demands close client involvement and transparency in cost tracking.

#10 Product Engineering

The Product Engineering model is suited for companies looking to expand their in-house team and accelerate work progress. It often involves establishing a product development team with skilled in-house management.


  • Rapid Team Setup: Quick formation of a dedicated team.
  • In-House Expertise: Access to skilled in-house management.
  • Focused Commitment: Ideal for short-term, urgent team needs.


  • Limited Long-Term Scope: Typically a short-term commitment.
  • Resource Intensive: Requires dedicated resources for quick setup.
  • Potential Integration Challenges: Integrating with existing teams may pose challenges.

When to Use:

Choose the Product Engineering offshore development center model when you need rapid progress and in-depth expertise in product development. 

It’s beneficial for companies with a pressing need to expand their product portfolio, improve existing products, or bring new products to market swiftly.


In the world of software development, choosing the right Offshore Development Center (ODC) model is crucial for project success. We’ve analyzed various ODC models to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

There are different ODC models, each catering to specific needs. From the cost-effective ‘Dedicated Team’ to the structured ‘Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)’ model, it’s important to align your choice with project complexity, budget, and long-term goals.

If you’re looking for offshore software development services, try out CodeNinja.

It provides three tailored outsourcing options for startups:

  • Staff Augmentation: Skilled programmers seamlessly join your team, filling skill gaps and ensuring project efficiency.
  • Dedicated Development Teams: Custom-built teams exclusively focused on your project’s needs, aligned with your goals.
  • Project-Based Model: Ideal for projects with clear scopes, offering flexible time, material, and fixed price options.

These models help startups streamline their development process and reach their goals effectively. Choose the model that suits your project and see it thrive.

Zobaria Asma

Technical Content Writer

Zobaria is a Technical Content Writer at CodeNinja – scaling businesses in the SaaS, Quick Commerce, Food-tech, Data Analytics, Healthcare, Ed-Tech sectors through SEO & Content Marketing.  For the last 5+ years, she’s been working with both local and international marketing agencies.

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