The Choice Between Nearshore Software Development and Its Onshore and Offshore Alternatives Depends on a Range of Factors
What is Nearshore?
These days, everyone and their granny know what nearshore means if they are part of the IT industry.
Basically, you can spell the term out as a reliable and much less expensive software outsourcing arrangement, found relatively “next door” (as opposed to some other, more faraway outsourcing options). This arrangement can be easily controlled and/or allows you to build a good rapport with the members of your external development team. The latter can be achieved both by means of frequent travel (promoted by your partner’s geographic proximity) and due to the ability to always find your team members online and available for a conversation due to a convenient time zone.
When is Nearshore Software Development a Better Option?
It is up for debate whether nearshore outsourcing arrangements generally work better than offshore ones, but one has to admit that there is a huge number of those who believe they do (or, at least, fit their software outsourcing needs better than some far-off, more exotic alternatives).
In our reckoning (and we have been a provider of nearshore services to several Western-European technology firms for what should be no less than 7 years now), nearshore software development is, indeed, an often preferable option for those businesses, which do not consider the development speed a critical priority (you can’t, as a general rule, have one more team working on your project “nocturnally”) and want to be actively involved in the development process. Certainly, they must also be lucky enough to be located next to a suitable nearshore location that can provide the required technical talent and is culturally close to their home country.
While there are, probably, many suitable nearshore outsourcing locations worldwide, we will take the example of Kharkiv, Ukraine as one we are well-familiar with to help you determine whether nearshore outsourcing would indeed be more fitting in your case.
So, you will, probably, benefit from a Ukrainian nearshore outsourcing arrangement and find it preferable to other options if:
You are a business, based in Western Europe, Turkey, or the Middle East.
You are fairly happy with your current development costs, but wouldn’t be against paying 30-40% less.
You want to be personally in control of your project’s implementation. You think that face-to-face communication is essential.
No problem, the time difference of 1-2 hours and the ability to reach your dedicated team by taking a 1 hour flight makes Ukraine as nearshore, as it gets.
Talking of instances, being part of different software development teams during our careers, we have seen Austrian and Scandinavian clients come to visit their Kharkiv-based developers on a monthly, and, even, bi-weekly basis. Some joked they saw more of the friends they made here than of those they had back home.
You have a major project that needs to be worked on simultaneously by a large number of software developers and other experts.
In this case, a nearshore option, such as Ukraine, can be the only viable one for you. For example, the time differences between the Western-European countries and some of the other well-known offshore software outsourcing destinations can reach up to 6 hours (such as, for example, in the case of the Philippines). It’s plain to see that some of the mission-critical routine interactions between your different teams would be hampered severely, or, even, made impossible.
You want the members of your in-house team to have a friendly relationship with the members of you nearshore team. You believe that this will impact your development process positively.
No sweat, with the air fare in the region of EUR $ 55 -150 (here we are talking direct flights like Vienna-Kharkiv, Kharkiv-Dortmund, Kharkiv-Tel-Aviv, and others- the internal Ukrainian flights you could use are, even, less expensive) and 3-5-star accommodations at the price of $ 50-100, you would most likely be able to send, from time to time, even several members of your in-house team to mingle with those of your nearshore team.
Please note that in this sense nearshore works both ways and whenever our Western-European clients need our on-site assistance, our developers and BAs can visit them promptly and easily.
You are currently on the lookout for a nearshore or offshore development outsourcing option, but, in the long run, you are planning to have remote R & D facilities of your own.
Well, in this case, nearshore is, obviously, a lot more preferable, unless you and your in-house employees fancy regular, several thousand mile-long flights and bouts of jet lag.
You want your external development team to share the same mentality as yours. You don’t feel like you are on firm ground, or ready for conducting business in an environment with a different type of business etiquette.
Well, while there can, certainly, be some exceptions, in the case of Western Europe and Eastern Europe, “nearshore” stands for the same mentality, ways, and numerous similarities in how people do business or approach business tasks.
Notably, there are also numerous Ukrainian software development companies that provide nearshore software development services to business counterparts in the Middle East. This includes, mostly, Israel, and, so far to a lesser extent, the UAE.
You Have Opted for Nearshore Software Development: How to Start?
Supposing you have decided that nearshore is better in your case that the onshore and offshore alternatives you have. How does one start?
If your project is not a very major one and has a relatively small duration (say, up to 6 months), you can just find a suitable nearshore location and a nearshore provider that meets your requirements.
If your project is a major affair with a duration that significantly exceeds the above one and it involves a large number of software developers, you should, probably, first visit your nearshore partner-to-be in person. So, if Ukraine takes your fancy as a software outsourcing destination, find a company that meets your requirements and put in an appearance. You may well come across a partnership that will become a true game-changer and help you succeed faster and a great deal more cost-effectively.