Is Offshore vs. Onshore Software Development Better?

You’ve decided that it’s time to upgrade your WordPress site, or maybe you need to build entirely new project management software for your team. Whatever your software project is, you need the help of a software development team, and you’re trying to decide who’s best for the job.

As you start your search, there’s one dilemma that you’re immediately facing: Should you hire an offshore vs. onshore software development team? Your colleagues all have different opinions, and now you’re just at a loss as to what your next move should be.

The honest answer is that there is no “one size fits all” solution for any organization, but one of the two options is certainly going to be a better fit for your organization than the other. To help you find the answer, let’s explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Defining Offshore vs. Onshore Software Development

Before we dive into the benefits and drawbacks, let’s clarify the definitions the two types of teams. Without getting too deep into differentiating offshore and onshore, the most indicative factor is location. 

An onshore software development team is going to be closest to home, as they are on the same continent as you. That means, if you’re in the U.S., your onshore team is also. While they may not be in the same state, they likely speak English as their first-language and aren’t too far off from you in terms of time zones.

On the other hand, your offshore software development team is going to be from overseas, as implied by the name. These days, most offshore software developers are from countries like India or the Ukraine. Many developers from these countries speak English fluently, although time zones alone can still provide a barrier to communication. 

The Drawbacks of Offshore vs. Onshore Teams 

Now, let’s take a moment to dive a little deeper by taking a look at the “cons” of each type of team. 

Since we already mentioned it, the most obvious con for offshore teams is that they will be on the other side of the globe, making them more difficult to communicate with for a multitude of reasons. When communication is a roadblock, there’s a higher chance that you won’t receive the product you were envisioning. Moreover, as most offshore developers are in third-world countries, you also face the potential for a loss in quality. 

While an onshore team can offset most (if not all) of these issues, it’s going to come at a price, which brings us to the first con of hiring an onshore team. Onshore developers often cost triple, if not quadruple, the price of an offshore team on a per hour basis, making your team difficult to scale. Likewise, there are a select few developers to choose from in the U.S. to begin with.

The Benefits of Offshore vs. Onshore Teams

While there are negatives to hiring either type of team, there are “pros” too.

Starting with onshore teams, the main benefit is going to be that your team will be easy to communicate with. Beyond this, however, they will be more likely to provide you with the highest quality product and in the shortest amount of time, as U.S. developers have access to better educational and training opportunities, but this comes at a price (as we mentioned above). 

When it comes to offshore teams, however, you’ll receive greater cost savings. Because of those savings, you will have an easier time scaling your project with more team members. Plus, not only is it less expensive to hire more talent, but there is a larger pool of talent available when it comes to offshore developers.

Who’s the Winner: the Onshore vs. Offshore Team?

As noted, there is no cut and dry answer for what team is going to serve most organizations best. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to take this information and decide what type of team will be best for you.

What we can say is that, if you decide to work with an onshore team, they’ll be more likely to provide you with a quality product and more quickly, as well as be easier to communicate with. On the other hand, if you hire an offshore team, you’ll be able to maximize your budget, as well as more easily scale your project and team. 

Rather than play the offshore vs. onshore software development game, you can try out a third option: With a blended model, your team will have both offshore and onshore software developers, which ensures that you receive quality while cutting costs. At ClikGlobal, this model has allowed us to provide our clients with great products for a lower price. 

For more information, contact us today.