Building a virtual team in another country may seem ‘ambitious’ especially when you hear exaggerated stories of failed projects, security breaches, and poor communication.
On the other hand, you hear big tech giants outsourcing their projects like Facebook, Amazon, Whatsapp, etc., which gives you the confidence to go for it.
The offshore software development company is getting top-tier talent at half the price in order to scale up and grow your business.
Underestimating the true value of your offshore development team is one big mistake.
In order to avoid such mistakes, here we will share how offshore software development companies operate, team structure, engagement models, top things to consider, and some myths which are absolutely not right.
Offshore Software Development: The Concept and Significance
Offshore development is an outsourcing model that involves hiring an external team of developers to handle some or all aspects of a company’s software development. Usually, companies employ a mix of onshore and offshore developers.
Some of the trending software development services for offshore outsourcing are software design, user interface, coding, project management, and testing.
In the last two years, there is a phenomenal increase in outsourcing software development practice and there are signs of it staying since it’s cost-efficient, access to the global talent pool and no need to worry about infrastructure set-up can kickstart a project in days literally.
Offshore development, unlike onshore development, is a type of development work where the project is developed in a different country and usually on a different continent. There come challenges like time zone differences and management of remote teams. However, remote team management and video conferencing tools are popular more than ever since the growing need.
Nevertheless, when you plan to launch new product/app/software, there are trillion things like team management, hiring technical resources, setting up infrastructure, admin and HR tasks, etc. Offshore hiring saves all your time and costs by up to 70%. Source – Deloitte
Related Article: What is Software Development Outsourcing? Basics, Comparisons, Costs
How does Offshore Software Development Company Work?
One of the hardest questions is what the team structure in a software development project should be. Outsourced teams are often structured by the client by telling how many resources he needed, sometimes technical consultation is offered for assistance by the software development company.
The composition of teams could be done in three basic categories:
The team has a broad range of expertise and has senior developers on board who could deliver from zero to completion that is, end-to-end project development and delivery.
Specific Framework or Tech Stack Development
Projects with specific needs where developers with specific skillset are required. If the skillset is rare finding the right talent is even harder, offshore helps in such scenarios to a greater extent.
Long-term, Complex Project Development
There you need full stack development along with specific tech stack development.
Development teams usually have:
- Front-end Developers
- Back-end Developers
- Full-stack Developers
- Mobile App Developers
- Desktop Developers
- Data Engineers
- Dev-Ops Engineers
- Software Architects
- QA Testing Engineers
- Information Developers (Technical writers)
- Support Engineers
- Business Analysts
- Project Managers
- Delivery Managers
- Scrum Master
Time and Material
A business model where the client only pays for the time spent on the project and the number of developers/resources deployed on it. It supports agile methodology where changes or iterations are performed as per the client’s demand.
The model allows more control over the progress and cost of development, with no need to rely on educated guesses on eventual expenses. Go for the time and material model if you don’t have a clear project scope/ requirement.
A business model where the time and requirements of the project are fixed. Since the scope of the project is clearly laid down, the model isn’t that popular as agility is missing in the model.
The core benefit of this model for a client is that he can set an exact time and budget for his project (obviously consulting the software development company.
A whole range of developers, designers, managers, and business analysts can be hired at once from a single vendor or multiple ones. A dedicated team is allocated to one single project for a given time period.
Acts more like an in-house team since the team can be controlled directly by the client. Also, it covers the infrastructure costs.
3-How do Offshore Development Companies Help in Organizing the Best Software Development Teams?
The answer depends on the project scope and the complexity. In small-scale projects, one manager is sufficing. In large-scale or enterprise-level projects you need a dedicated project manager and a delivery manager to ensure every milestone is achieved successfully, on time, and on budget.
Top 7 Things you Should Consider While Choosing the Offshore Development Company
1-Must have Done Similar Projects in the Past
In order to decide if the offshore development company has true experience in the tech stack you are looking for, you must identify whether they have an extensive knowledge base. You can check their portfolio often displayed on their landing pages online and shared on demand if you contact them.
2-Reviews and Recommendations
Just like buying anything online, you look into reviews and recommendations, do the same here. Often old clients leave very honest reviews, and you get to know if there are any red flags there. You can reach out to their client to do their background research.
3-Build an Understanding of the Latest Technologies, Tools, and Methodologies
If you know about working methodologies like Waterfall, Agile, etc., the latest language frameworks, and their version changes, it will prevent you from getting mugged at the hands of shady vendors.
4-Documentation on Project Scope
Ensure the software development partner and you are on the same page. One ideal way is the documentation of project requirements. This helps in segregating tasks and timelines into doable milestones. Do check out if the offshore software development company will offer backup services, customization, and post-launch support.
5-Language and Time Zone Differences will Exist
Offshore software development means you will face language/communication challenges one way or another plus potential time zone differences. Whereas on the flip side, you get a reasonable developer who delivers quality code without spending on infrastructure. Keep the requirements of the project very clear from the start.
6-Cost Differences, do your Comparisons
Approach multiple software development vendors, see their price quotations and compare who is offering quality with added value. While looking into the above factors, never opt for low-cost development services, you can suffer from poor code quality.
7-How change orders will be Handled
Many companies charge even for doing minor change requests/orders which one way or another related and part of the scope. Slight deviations from the initial project scope can be compensated. However, change requests affecting project delivery timelines significantly must be avoided.
Related Article: Offshoring Software Development – When to Outsource & How to Manage?
Some Myths Regarding Hiring Offshore Software Development Companies
Low-cost Development, Poor Code
Almost all technology giants like Facebook, Whatsapp, Amazon, etc. Deploy offshore development teams for quick features development and launch.
Overlooking NDA Agreement, Formal Documentation
Get everything in writing that includes a number of allocated resources, timelines, project requirements, and additional tools used.
Offshore Development is Slow
Quick product development updates can only be handled well by an in-house team. Quick development with less ambiguity. If offshore developers communicated well with clear requirements, the same results can be accomplished easily.
Poor Communication, no Command of the English Language
Well, offshore developers may not be as fluent as the natives, but they can communicate pretty well. Also, while doing evaluations and vetting software development companies, you always have the option to onboard the ones with better communication skills.
Transparency and Honesty Issues
If a proper NDA is signed, and you hire an offshore development company and not a freelancer, you will get value. Companies care about their reputations and do whatever they can to deliver the best of their work from project initiation to delivery.
Companies all over the world want to stay competitive and for that, they are cutting their overheads. Offshore development is one way of doing it. Using resources strategically for a positive ROI. Offshore development cuts hiring costs, helps you launch quickly, local talent gap could be filled, has no infrastructure costs, and more.
The tricky question is ‘how to tell if the offshore development company you are picking is the right choice for you. Do run your checks like going through company profiles, reviews, recommendations, past projects, and most important of them all if they are working in the tech stack you want for your project.
Let CodeNinja help you. We’re not selling ourselves here, you can have a free consultation call set up and see if we can convince you.