Offshore Software Development: Meaning and Benefits

Offshoring Software development teams
Software development teams Photo by NESA by Makers

In-house hires can be pretty daunting task for a new startup or a business operating under tight budget. As a company you may not have the resources to hire and train a team to work on your projects. Even when you do, employees keep leaving for better opportunities once they have acquired skills.

But technology advancement today offers a solution to these problems in the name of offshoring. Internet is a global equalizer and has significantly changed access to opportunities. This provides the option to hire a team dedicated to software development from remote locations.

Offshoring Defined

Simply put offshoring involves getting work done in a different country. An organization or individual may hire a software development team overseas to provide a service. The main reason for this need is because it’s cost efficient as you save on overhead cost such as office rent, recruitment fees, insurance, among others.  

Benefits of Offshoring

Here are some benefits you gain from offshoring your software development projects:

  • Saves on time as there is no need to train new employees as you select teams that already have the skills you are looking for.
  • Access to a pool of talents to select from. It’s expensive to hire various people each with the skills you want. But with a dedicated team you select one made up of the skills that fit your project.
  • You don’t stress on project management as the vendor company will provide the service.
  • Gives you time to focus on more important tasks or the core functions of your business.
  • No conflict of interest as may happen in onsite.
  • You’ll be contributing to global tech education as this provides developing countries an opportunity to make use of acquired skills.
  • Easy to upscale. When you need more developers to work on your project, the agency can easily add more to the team and take care of the training and task allocation.
  • Access to latest technologies. To remain relevant in the market the agencies keep refining their skills. This doesn’t cost you unlike an onsite team that would cost to have them study new skills.

How to Ensure Success from an Offshore Software Development Team

Before hiring an offshore team, you need to have first defined your goal clearly. Know what exact skills you are looking for, your budget, research on different offshore location in term of their timezone, culture, and pricing.

Also keep in mind that this also doesn’t come without challenges. The lack of face to face communication may affect how long it takes to pass the intended message. The timezone difference is another challenge especially if you want to synchronize tasks. Because  during your work hours the hired team may be asleep. Luckily, there are timezone management tools available online to help you deal with this challenge.

Another hurdle is choosing the right team as there are so many available teams or agencies offering the services online. There is a need to build trust between you and them and them with you.

Having established all these here are some issues to ensure the success of your project:

  1. Check for the track record of the agency and clients they have worked with. It’s better if you could even find their recommendations.
  2. Ensure the team and you are on the same level, that they understand what your project is about. A team that only agrees with everything you say and don’t offer suggestions may not be the right team.
  3. Understand the workflow of the team just in case your project needs more time or workforce than initially planned. Is the team flexible?
  4. Find out the pricing and preferred modes of payments before starting on the project.
  5. Make use of collaboration tools such as Trello, Slack, and others for communication and project progress tracking

Agencies that Offer Offshore Software Development Teams

Even with all the information, you need to start somewhere. Here are a few of the recognized agencies here in Africa that offer offshore software development teams:

  1. Ablestate – Based in Uganda and offers qualified developers or instructors for your team of developers. Check them out if you are looking for cloud engineers, back-end developers, front-end developers, and data scientists.
  2. Andela – Promises to solve shortage of Tech talent and has root in different locations including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Egypt and Ghana.
  3. Tunga – Mainly based in Uganda, Tunga was set up with an intention to help youths participate in international software development teams and projects.
  4. iSolve – iSolve Mobility is based in South Africa. The firm focuses on  iPhone & Android mobile app development.
  5. Microverse – An online school for remote software developers that also helps the students get jobs.

Parting Shot

Software development is expensive and time consuming if you choose to do it or hire an inhouse team. But, with technological advancement it’s possible to hire a set of available skills offshore to do the task at a lesser cost and much faster.

If your company needs to offshore software development projects we have a pool of talented software developers for hire. Check out the employer section on our site.

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