The Ultimate Offshore Software Development Guide [2020]

Do you want to build a robust software product? Do you think it would be heaven if you delegated the development to a reliable outsourcing team to have your hands free? No matter what you build — an app, a website, or a chatbot — it might be challenging in terms of resources, time, budget, coordination, and plenty of other factors. Regardless of the general opinion about offshore software development as a less expensive yet ROI-risky option, it actually can help you a lot if you approach it diligently.

To navigate in the offshore software development market more confidently and make a well-informed decision, you should be aware of a few essentials that will help you shed light on the process of hiring the right service provider. In this article, I will share experience-backed insights and outline what is offshore software outsourcing, is it worth taking some risks, and what you need to start a successful collaboration with such a kind of company.

What Is Offshore Software Development?

The Ultimate Offshore Software Development Guide [2020] |

Offshore software development is almost the equal term to outsourcing software development with the only difference — it goes about working with a company located in a foreign country. It also means outsourcing the work to the third-party software team.

Offshore software development may be deployed in various ways. You can outsource an entire project or just some of the tasks. You can hire a software agency or an individual developer. When choosing the best option for you, keep in mind that an individual expert can be a pro in one or, maximum, several areas, while a team of dedicated developers usually has a comprehensive and cross-functional skillset that will help you build a better-polished software.

Advantages of Offshore Software Development

Would you like to learn whether it’s worth it? Is it better to choose a cheaper offshore service provider or a more expensive onshore company understanding your mentality and located at the same timezone? Thoughts on the issue vary. Anyway, you must be aware of all the pros and cons before making a decision on your tech partner for the next project. Here we look at both sides of a coin, providing a brief overview of the main advantages and disadvantages of offshore software development.


There is no big secret, offshore software development is way cheaper and more cost-effective. Most of the countries famous for outsourcing software development have lower living costs, that’s why local software companies charge less for their services.

There are many obsolete precautions related to the price-quality ratio of offshore software development services. However, in recent years, we have been witnessing even tougher competition pushing companies to care about their reputations and the quality of services much more than before. Like in any other industry, competition makes companies more diligent and motivates them to grow in various aspects.

Additionally, offshore companies have started including extra-services like tech maintenance to attract new clients in the harsh conditions and high competition in the saturated market. Opting for an offshore service provider, you automatically access more services included in a price.

Competence and quality of the workforce

The offshore development market is as rich with talented professionals as in your country. There are many well-educated software engineers everywhere, particularly in countries famous for offshore software lifecycle development (like Vietnam, Ukraine, Philippines, India, and China). The high competition motivates software developers to be skilled in several areas simultaneously, so you can be sure that the work will be completed faster and better.

The entire social systems of such countries are aimed at growing skilled professionals in the software development field since it brings income to a country. That’s why they may have specialized courses and educational institutions that help bring up great developers.

Specific skillset

During product development, you may need to complete tasks that require having a particular skillset. Instead of attempting to make something work with fingers crossed, it’s better to hire an outsourcing team specialized in delivering this kind of service. It will allow you to get a higher quality of work and make the development process run faster.

No need to administer everything

When dealing with offshore software development companies, you needn’t care about many administrative and operational issues, like recruitment, office space, training employees, equipment, etc. Your mind is free from these questions since outsourcing companies manage everything on their own to stay competitive.

Shared responsibility

Offshore software companies are highly interested in great end-results and share the responsibility for them. Moreover, they try to define and mitigate all the risks and dangers related to a project as they are also responsible for its success. It helps deliver the work of higher quality. Also, besides the project deadlines set by you as a client, project managers at an offshore development company you hire may set their internal deadlines for completing specific tasks by a team. It allows speeding up a process and delivering the work timely.

Disadvantages of Offshore Software Development

The Ultimate Offshore Software Development Guide [2020] |

Although there are many advantages of outsourcing software development overseas, you must also be aware of some disadvantages. Let’s consider them in detail.


If you choose an offshore software developer, you should be ready to face some difficulties related to communication. It’s often recommended to look for a team at nearly the same timezone since it might be challenging to connect and discuss the project issues if you are located in different hemispheres. You may also encounter some challenges related to monitoring everything and resolving important issues timely due to the timezone difference.

Different mentalities

While working with a company located offshore, you may notice many differences in your cultures. They might be related to gender issues, religion, traditions, work ethics, and even understanding the phrase “to work hard.” It can cause some unpleasant situations and additional difficulties in communication.

Less guarantee of quality

All the companies are different. It implies the difference in the quality of services, values, and approaches to work. When you choose a company that provides services at a lower cost, be cautious in order not to hire incompetent and inexperienced service providers. Select a company carefully. Check its portfolio, customer reviews, feedback provided by high-authority rankings, awards, expertise, and years in business. It will help you make the right decision on your tech partner.

Data Security

Be sure your project has all sensitive data properly protected since signing a contract is not a 100% guarantee for being secured from cyberattacks. The digital era is accompanied by frequent hacks and frauds, so your company must pay particular attention to cybersecurity, especially when handling it to an outsourcing team.

Black box

You can never know for sure what is happening inside of another company. That’s why outsourcing software development might be a little bit tricky. If your partner’s code isn’t visible or exposed to your review at the early stages of the project, then small mistakes may be missed and grow into bigger ones at later phases of the development process. However, the lower costs and specialized experts are usually too persuasive factors to give up an idea of hiring offshore software development just because of the risk mentioned above.

What Do You Need to Pay Attention after The First Contact

The Ultimate Offshore Software Development Guide [2020] |

When you have already checked the company’s portfolio, customer feedback, expertise, and many other factors, it’s time for the first call or meeting with an outsourcing team. During the last round, before making a decision to hire an offshore software development company or not, it’s important to pay attention to things that may tell you more about a real state of things.

Responsiveness. The first online conversations and discussions can let you understand how responsive the team is. How fast have they answered you during the first contact? It can help you predict if further communication and collaboration with this offshore service provider will be smooth and effective or not.

First impression. At this step, you will tell them more details about a project. Try to investigate how deeply they want to understand your business and its goals. It will also hint at the quality of their services.

Timezone challenge. Most often, an offshore technology partner is located far away, and you need to clarify the team’s availability for regular meetings and collaboration regardless of different timezones.

Toolset. Don’t forget to ask them about tools they commonly use on the projects. Pay attention not only to tools related to software development but also those for team collaboration, communication, and project management. It will help you get a better understanding of the way they work.

Idea protection. It’s recommended to ask them to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

The Project Ended. Now What?

Even if the code is written and a product is tested, it doesn’t mean the end of development. Usually, even after dozens of tests, there still are some infelicities and bugs that can’t be found during user testing. It’s a common practice to agree with an outsourcing partner about 3-month support and tech maintenance. It will help you ensure smooth user experience, timely elimination of bugs, and delivering a better product. Hopefully, this guide has helped you get a better understanding of how to work with an offshore software development company.

Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Dana Kachan

View full profile ›