Advantages vs. Disadvantages to Offshoring Development 100%

In an era where technology makes offshoring software development the rule rather than the exception, it’s vital to keep in mind a few simple principles. It is crucial for your business to weigh the risks versus the advantages of moving development offshore before making any major decisions. 

There are a lot of questions to consider: What risks are associated with offshoring? What can be done to mitigate these risks? Is the quality of the software the same as it would be with an in-house developer? What are warning indicators that offshore work is going sideways? What different ways might exist to offshore?

A couple of obvious risks would be a language barrier. This is of course mitigated by working with a country such as Poland that has an extremely high standard of English among the educated workforce, even ranking above some countries that have English as a native language.

Another barrier might be workplace culture differences, but these are mitigated by clearly communicating in messages, e-mails, and briefs what must be accomplished and creating an open system of feedback between your company and the offshore company. 

First, any company that promises a “done deal” solution with no room for improvement or feedback is immediately suspicious. Second, “soft skill” problems such as work ethic or different work cultures’ approach to deadlines are largely mitigated by interviewing teams and looking at feedback from previous clients to understand that the team you’re considering has a strong track record of assignments completed on time and to the satisfaction of the customer.

While hardware and software differences used to be a problem, the standards of computers and internet connections have stabilised worldwide over the past ten years so this really isn’t as much of a problem as it might have been in, say, the early 2000s.

However, understanding these warning signs is a major step forward in terms of offshoring or outsourcing. The benefits of outsourcing are myriad, not least of which is cost-effectiveness. Furthermore, for countries that have a similar work culture, organizational structure, and willingness to frankly communicate plans, goals, and progress, the quality of work will often be equal to what is available for more money from an in-office team.

Add to that the top-level coding skills of people in countries such as Poland–ranked number three in the world in HackerRank’s Coding Olympics.

In the modern world, there’s no reason not to consider the benefits of geographic arbitrage and how this can not only benefit your company in terms of cost but also in terms of team flexibility and the happiness of the workers themselves, which will tend to make them more communicative, happy, and productive.

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