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6 Offshore Software Development Myths

6 Offshore Software Development Myths Busted!

The concept of offshoring projects entered the IT bandwagon in the late 80s and is still going strong. However, unpleasant experiences such as bad coding, communication failures, security violations, etc. faced by companies in the initial years after the advent of offshoring, have given rise to certain misconceptions.

These myths have led businesses to think that offshoring is not worth their time and money. Through this article, we aim to dispel such myths surrounding offshore software development and present you the real facts.

So, let’s begin.

Myth 1: Offshoring is meant only for big businesses

It’s wrong to presume that offshore software development is suitable only for big, well-established businesses. The reality is that offshoring fits businesses of all sizes, including startups.

Small and medium-sized enterprises can greatly benefit from offshoring, particularly when they need experts in a specific domain, say Artificial Intelligence. In such a scenario, they don’t have to spend money and time on hiring and training local teams for the project. 

Moreover, a long-term partnership with an offshoring vendor will be a boon for SMEs that are planning to scale up their operations in future.

Myth 2: Offshoring is difficult due to language and cultural barriers

Most critics cite language and cultural gaps to be the strong obstacles to successful offshoring. But with the world shrinking into our computer and smartphone screens, seamless communication and cultural awareness is possible for offshore software development.

Experienced offshore vendors have employees who are highly fluent in English and communicate with each other and with their clients via emails, Slack, Zoom and other similar platforms. 

Also, cultural differences can be overcomed by educating your remote team about your corporate culture and business values. Doing so will help both your offshore and local teams to blend in well and treat each other with respect.

Myth 3: Offshoring does not work fine because of time-zone differences

A few decades ago, working with a remote team in another country was a challenging experience owing to the difference in time-zones and the geographical distance; but not today. 

With the help of screen sharing tools, instant messaging and videoconferencing apps and the implementation of certain smart practices like utilization of overlapping hours, the effect of varied time-zones can be easily managed.

Offshore teams can conduct quick stand-up meetings with their client during the overlapping time (the number of hours when both local and offshore teams are available during working time) and the remaining hours (i.e. when the client sleeps) can be used for working on the project.

Myth 4: Offshoring leads to the creation of sub-standard products

Now, that’s absolutely incorrect. Quality of a product, be it built in-house or by an offshore vendor, depends on the quality of the professionals involved in the project and the effectiveness of the communication/collaboration channels in place.

That means, for your offshore team, you need to recruit the best talent – designers, developers, testers, project managers, etc. who have strong expertise in their respective domains and who understand your requirements very well.

You need to adopt proven practices like Agile which help in fine-tuning work processes and increasing the transparency between offshore and local teams. Also, using project management and collaboration tools like Trello, Jira, Slack, G-suite, etc. ensures that everyone on board gets a clear picture about the progress of the project.

Myth 5: Offshoring causes data security issues

Data breaches and security risks are common problems affecting businesses these days. Several software companies feel that their data is the most secure when stored in their private data centers; and this notion dissuades them from offshoring work to other countries. 

But, remember that your offshore development team is very much a part of your company. So, implement the same in-house security measures for your offshore team. Make sure you conduct periodic data checks and if needed, improve the firewalls and intrusion prevention systems.

To protect confidential information, insist your offshore team members to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and an Assignment of Intellectual Property with your company.

Last, but not the least,

Myth 6: Offshoring is the same as Outsourcing

Yes, this is indeed a big myth! While it’s true that offshoring and outsourcing deal with employing the services of a third-party vendor/company, the difference lies in how much accessibility a business gets in controlling and managing the overall product development process.

In outsourcing, an external company takes up your project/work on a contract basis and completes it within a fixed duration of time. This model, although cost-efficient, does not give your business a sense of ownership; in short, your ideas or views about how the product has to be designed and developed doesn’t matter much to the outsourcing agency.

That’s where offshoring scores; you hire a remote software development team that is completely dedicated to make your product a reality. And, the full control of the project rests in your hands, because you get to manage the remote team just like the in-house team.

Conclusion

Offshore software development is not just an IT model for building high-quality products at reasonable prices; it is a sure-short strategy to grow your business exponentially.

So, don’t let these myths pull you back from trying offshoring. You can hire a dedicated offshore development team for your next project and give your business the winning edge.

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Maria Lawrence
Assoc. Vice President - Marketing, Neuberg Diagnostics, South Africa

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