Running a business comes with all sorts of challenges. Particularly with software development, your rivals are always bringing newer and more innovative products to market. This means that the need for an exceptionally talented workforce (i.e. one which can deliver excellent software at a steady rate) is at an all-time high.
Especially in the US and Western Europe, recruiting local developer talent isn’t easy. Most of the times, stuck between managing the core and non-core functions of the business, leaves one feeling flustered. Growing an in-house engineering team is expensive, while outsourcing to a third party vendor invites all sorts of other issues.
So when is the right time to invest in an offshore development model?
Your costs are getting out of hand
Employee wages account for more than half of the fixed costs of the average business in Western Europe and the US. Reports suggest that engineers are the most highly-paid workforce today. When you hire expensive local talent with eye-watering salaries, you risk spending more on payroll of employees than is typical for your industry.
And that’s one of the main advantages of going offshore: save money, increase your margins, and do it without compromising on your output quality!
By following an offshore development model in a country like India, where the cost of living is lower and the disposable income is higher, you get access to highly-qualified engineers – without that eye-watering cost.
You’re turning down growth opportunities
Imagine business is booming. You’re growing like never before, and receiving inquiries from potential clients which would be game-changers for your business. Unfortunately, because of your limited capacity, you can’t accommodate them. You’re turning away profit-generating, growth-enabling business.
This is exactly the situation where investing in an offshore development centre could be an ideal solution. You’ll have access to a huge pool of qualified engineers – engineers whose mentality is all about delivering top-quality products – at a fraction of the cost. And since this is an offshore team (not simply outsourced talent) they will be a part of your business for years going forward, enabling you to take on more work and generate higher profits on the way!
Of course there are plenty of other reasons to invest in an offshore development model, but if your business is able to grow and it wants to thrive, then it’s a no-brainer.
However, before you can sign a contract with an offshore software development company and start building your own team of engineers, you need to analyse whether you’re actually ready to move ahead.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re considering embracing an offshore development model.
1. Do you put enough emphasis on technical documentation?
Documentation is a fundamental part of building software. It’s arguably more important than the source code itself.
Technical documentation makes sure that information related to the development and maintenance of specific products is all stored in one place. By focusing on all the components that contribute to building the software, not only can you keep a track of them, but you can also work towards improving the quality of deliverables as well.
When working with offshore developers, keep in mind that adequate technical documentation is crucial. Only when this is in place can your offshore team gain knowledge about the different server environments, business rules, databases, files and the progress of a project. This helps them understand how your development processes work so they can contribute to building quality software.
2. Do you leverage modern communication tools?
While communication between developers of your in-house team is essential, establishing efficient two-way communication between your in-house team and the offshore team is even more critical.
Poor communication will cripple any attempt at managing an offshore team. If you’re currently stuck shouting instructions across your office space and jotting down messages for your teammates on the whiteboard, you’re not ready to offshore your development.
Communicating with an offshore team requires a certain level of organisation. There is a plethora of communication tools like Skype and Slack which allow you to leave messages for your team or call in real-time. Irrespective of logistical challenges like time zones and geographical locations, you can always be in touch.
Only by leveraging these modern communication tools can you successful manage your offshore development centre!
3. Do you have a task management system in place?
Your in-house team and your offshore team will have a common agenda: build amazing software. This doesn’t mean they’re going to work perfectly in conjunction with each other every step of the way. Without a task management system in place, neither team will have any idea what the other is working on.
A spreadsheet outlining the various tasks of each employee and their progress is a good start. A cloud platform where tasks, progress reports, roadblocks, and everything else is tracked in real-time is even better! This will allow for the transfer of tasks and processes between teams, regardless of who is in which office.
4. Do you know what kind of candidates you want to hire?
Your hiring process throws light on the kind of candidates and developers that you are looking for. Ask yourself, if you have a recruitment strategy every time you hire a candidate for your business. Are you looking for experienced developers or do you encourage self-learning? Communicate this with the offshore software development partner that you are looking to associate with. These factors are crucial in moulding the foundation of your offshore team.
By knowing precisely what your hiring requirements are, you are clear about the vision for your company. A perspective like that makes investing in an offshore development model that much easier.
5. Do you encourage cultural diversity?
If you’re looking to offshore to countries like India, you’re going to come across developers whose culture is different from yours. They may consider different approaches to tasks and problems, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise when that happens. Instead, you should be able to understand their thought processes and give room for them to be heard.
So, before you look into the offshore development model, ask yourself if that is something that you can work with? Do you encourage developers from different countries and cultural backgrounds to be a part of your team? These questions are incredibly crucial as they determine how smooth your partnership with an offshore team will be.
If your answers to most of these questions are ‘yes’, then you’re probably in a great position to start working with an offshore development company.
If you have any more questions about the offshore development model, you can schedule a free call with one of our consultants who will be happy to provide the answers. We can’t wait to hear from you!