How to decide whether to select a local software development firm or an overseas outsourcing team for your custom software project
When it comes to leveraging external expertise for an investment in a new software based project, it’s important to choose the right partner. Whether your company is looking to offer a new product to customers, or building a complex automated data management system for an internal need, the decision of outsourcing overseas manpower over a local firm might be a little tricky.
The main benefit of a company deciding on an overseas partner is simple, cost. Though going overseas may offer a significant saving in wages, the quality of work may not be guaranteed and recourse for solving deficiencies is not as simple as a phone call. It’s very common to receive a sub-par product that meets the documented requirements.
Typically, software built overseas is developed on spec and lacks the essence of critical thinking that can lead to a higher quality product. For instance, if designed and developed with many environmental variables in mind, the developed software should appropriately scale to increasing customer demand, and include a robust backend that is efficiently capable of mitigating evolving security threats by an internet accessible system.
Typically, software that is developed using overseas outsourcing firms is developed on spec. That means that the developers simply account for the documented features and functions and will not take into account any future or external factors that can affect a particular feature.
With remote workspaces becoming more popular, an overseas partner may seem interchangeable with local talent but this is not the case. Logistical differences could impact work flow simply as a result of the extreme difference between time zones. Time zone differences equate to much more than a difference in when people work, making it difficult to find immediate solutions to new challenges to the project as they arise. Cultural differences may also play a factor in the difference between high-quality software and building on spec. Many overseas outsourcing firms are located in emerging countries with deep rooted societal hardships and immature innovation ecosystems.
In essence, you get what you pay for. What appears to be savings in the short-term may become expenditures down the road. By working with an overseas firm, you may end up spending more on correcting an inferior design that could have been avoided by working with a local partner experienced in high-quality custom software projects.
Keeping it local
In addition, even though workplace management apps (such as Slack, Keybase’s Teams, and Facebook’s newly developed Workplace) have curtailed a great deal of the obstacles common to working remotely, they make a poor substitute for a premium team able to deliver quality solutions that take more into account than your budget, scope, and schedule.
Another key benefit to investing locally is relatability. This means your team will not only share the same working hours, and more than likely won’t need to plan around off-set holidays. Additionally, the benefit with a local team is that they have a narrower ability to share the same insight into local markets and up-to-date best practices. From similar costs of living to familiar cultural norms, going local checks off all the right boxes that lead to a high level of quality for today’s software product markets.
“…if designed and developed with many environmental variables in mind, the developed software should appropriately scale to increasing customer demand, and include a robust backend that is efficiently capable of mitigating evolving security threats by an internet accessible system.”
Know your goal
An overseas outsourcing firm may save you money in man hours but selecting a local team at a premium will yield a higher quality product that requires less ongoing maintenance. What it really comes down to is a few simple questions.
- What is the key value proposition in the software that you are looking to develop?
- What does your product life cycle look like?
- In what scenarios are you willing to build and rebuild the product?
- Is your Return on Investment measured on short or long-term goals?
Your answer to these questions will help guide the appropriate plan of action. As a seasoned custom software development firm, our philosophy is based on understanding our customer’s current goals, valuating their potential needs trajectory, and diligently applying that forethought into every aspect of the design. 100% of the time, before a single line of code is written, the forethought and applied critical thinking in the Zyris process results in delivering a high-quality software product at an affordable price.
Plan of attack
So you know your present goals, future goals, and have determined your measurable key performance indicators that will define an acceptable ROI for your software, what now? The answer is simple, the factors that increases a software developers wage is based on their level of education, experience, ingenuity, track record, and ability for critical thought. Now, imagine that your software requires more than one person with the highest level of standards for those factors. Furthering the point that education in the software industry is important, most overseas outsourcing firms from emerging countries will be more reluctant to give you the team profiles of the developers that they will assign to your project. It is very important to understand not only the previous work history of the software development firm, but also those that are on the team. There is a clear difference in a junior software developer with 2 years of experience, and one who has more than 10 years of experience.
Your best option is to choose a team that can provide the most robust product possible based on your long-term goals. Decisions and factors in a software project that might seem like they should be common sense, only ever come when an experienced and well experienced educated team of developers have the ability to think beyond an outlined set of feature specifications.
When software longevity is a measurable goal for your product lifecycle, local and innovative talent will always be your smartest bet. A dependable software development firm in this scenario not only delivers a quality product on spec, on budget, and on-time, but also ensures added value that can only be delivered from a team that has the propensity for innovative critical thinking because it is engrained in the team’s culture.
“Decisions and factors in a software project that might seem like they should be common sense, only ever come when an experienced and well experienced educated team of developers have the ability to think beyond an outlined set of feature specifications.”
When possible, look to partner with a firm that is experienced in innovation and critical thinking. The current and projected standard of living plays a significant role in these factors. The familiarity of work-culture, demographics, policies, and political stability will always favour quality. This isn’t to say going overseas is a complete risk, but fact finding and reputation is even more important as the development team will need to be familiar with the market need that your product will ultimately address. A local custom software company that delivers professional unfailing results, on time or ahead of schedule, is the partner to choose.
A long-term return on investment always benefits when a company selects in the right talent rather than cost savings based on a per hour dollar rate. Even with a robust market of project management solutions, applications, and plenty of overseas partners, it’s difficult to trump a well-versed dependable neighbour that is familiar with ingenuity and critical thinking. These are the true determining factors that define a quality custom software product versus something that fits the bill based on a predefined specifications document.