The Dazzling Benefits of Offshore Software Development Teams
Of all of the widely known scarce commodities in the world—oil, gold, lithium, palatable Justin Beiber songs (sorry, bro)—high-quality software developers are the shiny stars at the top of the list. Software has become ubiquitous in the business world, so firms everywhere need to find great engineering talent.
But the scarce local supply can’t meet the voracious demand, which is why firms like yours now turn their hungry eyes to the insanely talented software developers that live and work in other areas of the globe (aka “Offshore”).
Sure, you can try to find these wizards on your own, then negotiate terms, hire them—and try to keep them happy enough to stay—or you can hire the best offshore software development firm you can find.
Here’s your cheat sheet of the 5 key benefits of offshore software development, the 5 main challenges with it, and the one solution you need:
Let’s start with the advantages—the positive things that most senior leaders (including Board directors and senior executives) tend to focus on when it comes to offshore software development:
1. Greater access to talent
Biologists will tell you that any local ecosystem has a finite population of biotic factors. The same is true for software development. Trying to recruit enough A+ level software developers in your town, state, or even country can be difficult simply because there is a limited amount. (Head, meet brick wall.)
Let’s say you miraculously find a good one. Now you’re in constant competition with everyone else who is unabashedly and furiously trying to steal them (sometimes successfully!).
Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Get out of this nasty foot race by expanding your access to talent. Go global, baby! The talent pools in developer-rich environments such as Eastern Europe and Latin America allow you to hire faster and better. When you step into a new ecosystem, you will find more talent to choose from as well as hyper specialized developers with specific technology expertise that is hard to find stateside.
2. Hyper cost-efficient
Let’s face it: Even if you can find an incredible local developer, unless you are a cash-generating behemoth, you can’t afford to pay top dollar for them. And these locally-based engineers actually get top dollar, which is yet another hurdle to hiring onshore talent (aka, people who live in your same country).
Thanks to a dramatic difference in the cost of living between the United States and Western Europe versus other regions like Eastern Europe and Latin America, offshore software developer salaries in the latter tend to be significantly more affordable. The offshore developer has the same (or more) skill level, but their asking price is much less.
But wait! There’s more.
When partnering with an offshore firm, you also avoid infrastructure costs (such as maintaining your own recruiting and HR personnel devoted to this team), equipment investment (like computers), and office expenses. Which means your overall costs are reduced by 50% (or more!) when you hire offshore than when you lock in a local team. Talk about a no-brainer…
3. Faster speed to market
Company executives always want their product dev teams to go faster. There are always customer demands for new features, or product launches in new verticals. But most of the time, the bandwidth of the development team is the limiting factor. No longer with offshore development teams.
Because you can hire and integrate great offshore software development talent more quickly than you can when trying to do all of this onshore, the product development velocity of the team naturally accelerates. Teams are brought up to speed quicker, and the code capacity for the entire team expands as well.
This allows companies to have a devastatingly effective competitive advantage.
As you know, when a company releases high-quality code faster than their competitors, it puts them in the driver’s seat as it relates to sales. It also helps establish the brand as a beacon for innovation, and de-positions competitors as having stale or static products that can’t meet the evolving needs of customers.
This is one trip where riding shotgun ain’t gonna get the job done. Get in the driver’s seat!
4. Easier to scale
Fact: The software firms that can scale, win. Period.
But it’s incredibly hard to build a scalable model when you are limited by the constraints of hiring scarce developers in a single geography. It. Just. Doesn’t. Work.
Let us put it to you this way: If you needed ten avocados to make your world-famous guacamole, would you keep searching at the store that only has two rotten ones left? You wouldn’t. You’d hightail it to the nearest Whole Foods to gather what you need because game time waits for no one.
It’s kind of the same with offshore software development. When you go global—and when you partner with the right firm (aka TurnKey!)—you get all the best avocados. TurnKey in particular can give you both the flexibility and infrastructure you need to create the scalable model that gets you to a winning position. You can easily and seamlessly spin up new teams as the needs of the business grow or as new learnings unfold that suddenly take the product in different directions.
Offshore development gives you the capacity to address all the opportunities without getting bogged down in the frustrating mire (and cost) of trying to build all this yourself locally.
In other words, the more guacamole, the better.
5. Focus, focus, focus
There is a maxim taught in every top business school: companies decline when they lack focus. This makes sense since no one—and no organization—can be really great at multiple things all at the same time. There are just too many variables to manage and optimize.
But offshore software development allows you to avoid being a jack of all trades, master of none. By hiring offshore, you reap the rewards of great talent (they deliver more and better products that exceed the needs of your customers) without any of the headaches or hassle of finding and retaining them.
In other words, offshore software development eliminates distractions and lets you laser-focus on what drives value for your company. Lock it in and watch your productivity skyrocket.
Here are the main challenges with offshore software development that may end up punching you in the nose:
1. Different time zones
Depending on the region you choose, your offshore teams may have no overlap with your working hours (mainly India and parts of Asia), some overlap with your working hours (Eastern Europe), or a significant amount of overlap with your working hours (Latin America). If your projects call for independent teams that operate autonomously, then time zone difference may not be much of a consideration. But if collaboration is a top priority, you’ve got to consider a region a bit closer to home.
2. Developers aren’t custom recruited
Here’s how your call goes with most offshore software development firms. “Yep, this is the best (yawn), most specialized (just got done with their latest gig), and perfect for you developer (easiest for us to book).” Meaning, you get whoever is riding the bench whether you know it or not. They could have just started with the firm or just rolled off another customer project.
Either way, this developer is not handpicked exactly for your needs, i.e. you asked for a hammer and you got a wrench. Yeah, it might be able to hit the nail in eventually, but it wasn’t built for that job.
Don’t be afraid to demand that your dedicated team is custom recruited specifically against your quantitative (technical skills) and qualitative (culture fit) requirements. It’s not what every software development firm does, but it is what you deserve.
3. High turnover
The offshore software industry has an abysmal record as it relates to talent churn—40% of developers skip town for another gig every year. They are lured away from their current roles by hungry competitors who promise more money, a more exciting project, or any number of sparkly, dangling distractions.
Such astronomical turnover not only makes it hard to maintain consistency in your product development efforts, it makes it nearly impossible to reliably plan for the future. The solution is easy in theory, but hard to execute in practice (which is why so few firms do it): You must create a robust and high-reward talent retention program to keep your developers happy. The more engaged the engineer is over the long term, the more likely they are to stay.
4. Cultural and language barriers
Communication between humans is difficult in any setting, especially product development. Add in some language barriers and cultural nuances and you might have yourself a serious quagmire.
If your team is made up of primarily non-native English speakers (or in some cases, don’t speak English at all), it could be a challenge getting your priorities aligned. And if your group expects certain working and communication styles and mandates to be upheld, but those aren’t the norm where your offshore team sits, it could lead to frustrating disappointments and an efficiency deficit.
The trick is to find regions like Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America where there are few cultural differences with America and Western Europe and where the developers have strong English skills.
5. Weak customer service
“Client service” is a familiar and aspirational term in many industries (such as hospitality and retail) but it rarely trickles down into offshore software development. Many firms are based overseas and difficult to reach, which is especially troublesome should an urgent problem ever arise.
When starting an offshore software development journey, be sure to find a partner that is as maniacal about customer service as you are about building great software.
Offshoring 2.0:Welcome to Yourshoring from TurnKey!
So how do you leapfrog the competition and get to a leadership position? You do what so many competitors and thought leaders in your industry have already done: You hire TurnKey.
When we ran our own SaaS-based startups, we got so frustrated with the above challenges that we decided to do something about it. We knew there was a better way, so we took that steaming pile of dirty laundry and bleached the heck out of it. TurnKey came out of the dryer fresh, clean, and ready to wear. In other words, we offer all the advantages of offshore software development with none of the disadvantages.
Or said another way, here is our cool origin story: TurnKey is the remote development resource we always wished we had when we were in your shoes. We hated offshoring so we turned it into YOURshoring.
Think of Yourshoring as an advanced version of offshoring—Offshoring 2.0. You get all the sparkly benefits at the top of the blog, with none of the musty, mismatched socks in the middle.
In short, this is YOUR fully dedicated development team, working exclusively on YOUR vision, within YOUR culture, and all in a time zone that is best for YOU.
Here’s why Yourshoring is your very best bet when it comes to software development:
- Because TurnKey operates in both Eastern Europe and Latin America, you have unrivaled access to the top talent from the regions with the most technically advanced programmers in the world.
- All the developers on your team are custom-recruited from scratch, ensuring you always get the perfect fit for your product needs.
- TurnKey has a comprehensive talent retention program that dramatically reduces the turnover rate of your developers. Less churn = even faster product development velocity.
- Our flexible infrastructure provides an easy glide path for companies who need to scale. We take care of you every step of the way.
- TurnKey is uniquely obsessed with providing the highest level of customer service and responsiveness in the industry. We create a true partnership rather than a transactional relationship.
Some final thoughts
“Offshore software development” means you are typically forced to work with a firm that rents you an off-the-shelf development team. This is suboptimal and will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Instead, TurnKey customizes the offshoring experience explicitly for you—that’s why we call it YOURshoring.
Yourshore software development means you work with a firm (that’s us!) that provides you with a custom-recruited development team entirely built around your needs, your product, and your culture.
With offshore software development, you gain a team with specific expertise and broader availability at a lower cost than if you found and hired someone in your home country.
Hiring developers and engineers who aren’t physically located where you are. They’re located off of your shore—hence the term, “offshore.” This usually means Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin America.
With TurnKey, it works how you want it to work. You get a custom-recruited team who has proficiency in the product development you need, the language you speak, and the culture you nurture. Oh, and it saves your budget big time.
Absolutely. And especially when you do it with us.