Onshore, Offshore and Nearshore: Tips for Effective Outsourcing

April 15, 2016

By Steve Mezak

Software development skills for popular technologies are pretty evenly distributed around the world, but finding the right developers can be a challenge. You need to consider costs, cultural fit, accessibility and intellectual property protections, too. Effective outsourcing takes into account these concerns, when partnering with an outsourced software development team.  Here’s a few ways to choose how to outsource software development based on your needs.

Offshore Outsourcing: Cost Savings

You might just be starting out with nothing more than an idea, or you might not have the expertise to code it. This is where outsourcing can help you achieve your goals. Software developers aren’t cheap, and for a small company, may be too large of an expense. So where to you turn to? 

Numerous sites promise to connect you with cheap software developers. But that’s not always the smartest idea. Most of these sites don’t have a thorough vetting process, so chances are higher than you’ll hire a subpar developer. These sites also promote a task-oriented mentality, so the developer you hire is not that invested in your project.

If cost is a primary concern, outsourcing -- and especially ‘offshore’ outsourcing -- is effective. While rates in the U.S. might be too high (they average around $$95-$150/hr USD per hour), there are other options, and not just India.. Asian developers -- like those in VietnamChinaNepal or the Philippines -- typically cost anywhere from $30 to $40 USD per hour.

We understand however if working with a team halfway around the world doesn’t make sense in your current business model. If that’s the case, then “nearshore” may be an effective outsourcing model.

Nearshore and Onshore Outsourcing: Intellectual Property

Nearshore outsourcing still provides cost saving benefits, but with a workday overlap with your programmers. Startup life is hectic, but an early morning meeting to talk about the latest change to your user interface doesn’t have to be what keeps you awake. 

This makes Latin America an attractive option for U.S.-based companies. Most of Latin America is close time zones to U.S. companies, with a price that is still cheaper than keeping it in-house. Countries like Argentina – which was heavily influenced by Europe – have great cultural synergy with the U.S. Argentinian software developers understand how to work with others along their startup lifecycle, thanks to a burgeoning startup industry in the country itself.

Argentina isn’t your only option,  Bolivia and Uruguay are incredibly diverse countries with great software developers, while Costa Rica are making a concerted effort to build a thriving outsourcing industry. No matter where you outsource in Latin America, developers have excellent English skills, and are easy to travel to if you’d like face-to-face interaction.

Now, even with the benefits that nearshore outsourcing give to your work environment, you may have other issues, such as intellectual property concerns. While Accelerance ensures that all of our certified partners keep strict adherence to U.S. intellectual property (IP) laws, a onshore outsourcing arrangement might work best, or at least outsourcing to a country that respects our IP laws.

Nearshore and Onshore Outsourcing: Intellectual Property

Working with a team overseas might save you some money in development, but choosing the wrong firm could cost you in exclusivity even when you’re careful about protecting your IP. You can solve this by choosing to work with a firm close to home. Onshore software developers are an major asset if your project requires sophisticated technical knowledge or requires an in-depth understand of North American user experience (UX) design.

As part of NAFTA, firms in Canada and Mexico are also required to respect U.S. patent laws, too. This means that in either country, you have all the IP protection guarantees of an onshore programmer combined with the cost savings of an offshore software developer and the workday overlap benefits of a nearshore software provider. That’s a win-win-win.

Choosing the right outsourced software developer for your company or startup can be a daunting task. How do you weigh culture vs cost vs workday overlap? At Accelerance, that’s what we do. We hustle around the world finding the best software development teams and qualify them for you. Our partners are vetted, visited and verified – and best of all, Accelerance Rapid Referral service is free, so contact us for a free consultation on your outsourcing needs.

We’ve investigated 7,000 companies around the country so you can outsource with confidence.

Want to know which ones to trust? Talk to us.

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