Outsourcing is a fast, cost-efficient method of software development. Through partnering with an already established software development team, companies freeing them from having to invest in an infrastructure or support system that comes with building the software on their own.
Offshore Software Development
Most companies outsource their software development offshore with the intention of lowering project costs. Logistically, offshoring is facilitated through the interconnectivity of the internet, which makes communication instantaneous and allows testable objects to be moved quickly between locations. However, outsourcing to an offshore software development team isn’t without limitations.
Time zones play a major role in outsourcing software development, such that, with greater separation in time zones the more narrow the communication time-window between clients and developers will be. Even though the internet allows for instantaneous communication, this doesn’t resolve the restrictive nature of business hours and peak production. Having breaks in communication channels can introduce mistakes into development, pushing back deployment and raising costs.
For example, traditional business hours in the United States are between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This can be problematic for a software development team located in India because Monday 9:00 am CDT in the United States is Sunday 10:30 pm IST in India. This is a loss of an entire business day. In industries with high levels of competition, or companies whose software manages highly sensitive information, this loss of a business day can make all the difference.
The Advent of Nearshore Software Development
Nearshore software development fuses the cost-effectiveness of offshore outsourcing with the accessibility of a team that is inline with the client’s company, bringing development closer to home. For companies located in the United States, countries like Mexico bring an enormous value with a highly skilled workforce at a low cost.
According to Brown-Wilson Group Inc. nearshore outsourcing is the most underutilized form of outsourcing, yet remains the highest in company satisfaction.1
Mexico has more than 120 universities and technical schools that graduate about 65,000 students with IT-related degrees every year. Business culture in Mexico is similar to business culture in the United States – customer oriented, focused on tangible results, emphasis on collaboration and communications, and embracing flexibility.
What to expect with Nearshore
Bringing on a nearshore software development team is fast and cost-efficient because it offers clients more meaningful communication and greater directional control:
Rebekah Campbell, CEO of Posse, wrote a blog post for the New York Times about a positive software development experience she had with a team in the Philippines.2 Rebekah had previous bad experiences with software development teams in India where she felt her software was of low priority. She also didn’t have many opportunities to interact with the team, resulting in a “buggy product that crashed constantly, a disaster we had to scrap.”3
The next time Rebekah outsourced, she went with a team in the Philippines. She found that opportunities with the team came easier, resulting in a more motivated software development team that created high-quality products that surpassed her expectations.
Having open channels of communication has proven to be invaluable to Rebekah. It helped the software development team better understand her needs with consistent feedback and exchanges of ideas. She found the quality of communication to be much higher, making each exchange between herself and the team more productive.
Greater Quality Control
Since, clients have more communication they can better control the way their software is being developed. Software development teams that don’t communicate frequently enough with their clients aren’t given a proper understanding of the client’s needs, leaving room for mistakes to come into development. This may lead to issues of quality in the software being developed, which then could create a number of issues for companies in industries with strict regulations on how to store or handle sensitive information.
As Rebekah mentioned in her blog, having meaningful communication means more direction and control over the software’s development.4
Agile Methodologies in the West
One of the growing trends for software development firms in the United States and Latin America is the adoption of the Agile methodologies.5 Agile methodologies were founded by Dr. Winston Royce as a method of merging progress made by software developers with the vision of the client through an “inspect-and-adapt” approach.6 Nearshore software development companies have achieved monumental success by using this method because it seamlessly creates a higher-quality product that meets the exact needs of the client.
Tiempo Development uses Agile methodologies in our software development in centers located in Guadalajara, Hermosillo, and Monterrey Mexico. For more information about how Agile methodologies facilitates efficient software development with quick and usable results, read our whitepaper about the Tiempo Quality System (TQS).
- A Look at Outsourcing Vendors & Locations. Brown-Wilson Group In. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-blkbook_chrtbk0807-11.html?printVersion=true
- Rebekah C. “What I learned (the Hard Way) About Outsourcing”. The New York Times. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/what-i-learned-the-hard-way-about-outsourcing/?_r=0
- John J. “Survey: Is agile the new norm?”. TechBeacon. http://techbeacon.com/survey-agile-new-norm
- “Agile Methodology”. Agile Methodology. http://agilemethodology.org/