Is Nearshore Software Development Right For You? A Checklist

Is nearshore software development right for you? In a previous blog post, we discussed the concept of nearshore software development and how it compares to other software outsourcing engagement models. We compared nearshoring vs off-shoring, nearshoring vs on-shoring, and nearshoring vs in-housing. We also clarified the difference between nearshore software development and outsourcing.

In this blog post however, we will look at how to decide if nearshore software development is right for you and your organisation. We will also provide you with a checklist of questions to ask before making your decision.

First, we’ll quickly recap the concept and what exactly it means to engage in nearshoring. 

Nearshore software outsourcing is a software development engagement model where companies delegate software development projects to third-party teams or partners in nearby countries. Here, when we say ‘nearby countries’, we generally mean a country within 1-4 time zones. This is in contrast to offshoring which implies that you are outsourcing software development projects to far-away countries with considerable time zone differences.

Advantages of Nearshore Software Development

Often when companies are scaling resources it can be very difficult to build a talented in-house team in a short space of time. For these types of ambitious organisations outsourcing is a perfect option. After that, it’s about selecting which type of engagement model best suits that particular organisation. 

Below are some of the main reasons why a company might choose nearshore software outsourcing.

                      • Proximity – There are four different time zones across the United States mainland, and two more if you include Alaska and Hawaii. This can create some logistical issues. If you also factor in an off-shoring company working in a completely different time zone, there can be a real challenge. However, with nearshore software development there is greater parity. Many of the countries within Mexico and Central America (including Costa Rica where Keeper Solutions has one of its delivery centres) are on a similar time zone to the United States. This makes collaboration and communication much easier.  
                      • Short flight times – Face-to-face interactions are not always necessary when working with an outsourcing partner. However, it provides a certain comfort to know that if necessary it is much easier for members of a nearshoring team to hop on a fly and come to the office. This is often overlooked but is one of the hidden advantages of nearshoring. Flights to and from the United States are much cheaper and more accessible from nearshore locations. 
                      • Similar culture, mindset and values – Different countries will always have different values, lifestyles and cultural norms. However, the further you go from the United States, the greater the cultural differences. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, there may be different work styles, points of reference and expectations. However, when working with teams in nearshore locations, cultural differences are minimal and cultural affinity is high.
                      • Easier integration with in-house team – When working with an outsourcing partner, it is quite common to have both in-house and outsourced teams working together. If you do not select the right partner, this can cause tension. In nearshoring, collaboration is made much easier. Because they share a similar time zone, developers can communicate in real-time. And because of reduced language and cultural barriers, collaboration is made much easier.
                      • Larger talent pool – The United States software engineering and software development talent pool is incredibly competitive. Demand is at an all-time high and hiring suitable, highly-skilled candidates can be a very difficult process. By engaging with a nearshore software development partner, you open up a whole new pool of talent, often at a much reduced cost. 
                      • Better understanding of industry-specific information – For many industries, including FinTech and other financial services, it is also very important for companies to choose an outsourcing partner that understands the industry. There is a lot of industry-specific information and policies that are less understood from outsourcing partners that are located great distances away. 

Is Nearshoring A Good Fit? A Simple 5 Step Checklist

It is obvious that nearshoring can provide many incredible advantages in terms of cost, compatibility and communication. However, before you decide, it’s important to consider if nearshore software development is right for you. Below we have provided a simple 5 step checklist.

                      1. Before you choose between nearshoring, off-shoring or even in-shoring, the first thing to decide is whether or not outsourcing in general is right for you. Are you comfortable with the prospect of working with a third-party team? Do you trust the process and believe that it will be suitable for your company? Is your organisation compatible? If not, it might be time to reassess your options.
                      2. Does your executive leadership team support software development outsourcing as a high-priority strategy? If you do not have buy-in from key stakeholders, it will be very difficult for an outsourcing partnership to work, whether it be nearshore or otherwise.  
                      3. Do you have an operational team that is aligned to an outsourcing partnership? It is important that in-house product owners, project managers, business analysts are fully invested in the outsourcing partnership.
                      4. Do you have buy-in from the in-house team? Nearshoring is an alternative strategy to building an in-house team but it can also be complementary. However, it’s vital that members of your in-house team feel empowered and not under threat. 
                      5. Do you understand what you need from an outsourcing partner? Is real-time communication a necessity? Is it important to work with a team that is in close proximity and shares a similar time-zone? Is it important that the outsourcing team understands your industry? These are important questions to consider.

Only after considering these questions can you be sure that nearshore software development is the right approach for your company. If you have any questions, please be sure to get in touch

Considering an Outsourced Software Development Solution? Our 5 Top Tips

At Keeper Solutions, we have engaged in nearshore software development partnerships with companies in Atlanta, Georgia, Charlotte, South Carolina, and many parts of Texas including Austin, Houston and Dallas. We know what it takes to make a partnership work.

If you are considering an outsourced software development solution, here are our five top recommendations.