When to Approach an Offshore Software Development Company?

BUSINESS | 29 Nov 2019

There’s no doubt about it, deciding whether to use an offshore software development team for a high priority project is a big decision. For some companies, it’s just not the right way to go, but for many, it can offer fantastic opportunities to quickly scale and diversify their development resources. Providing rapid access to high quality, niche skills with only limited commitment required, offshore software development opportunities can help:

  • Alleviate the workload on your internal teams
  • Accelerate the design and development of new software 
  • Grow your business capabilities and capacity
  • Diversify the technical skill sets at your disposal

With these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder so many companies pursue offshore software development strategies. But just how do you get started? When should you approach an offshore software development company? 

In this blog we dive deep into these questions and why many businesses choose to take this path in the first place.

Why Hire an Offshore Software Development Team? 


Many companies use offshore software development teams on a regular basis for a multitude of reasons. However, in most cases there is a key catalyst for engagement that encourages initial contact.

To Save Time and Meet Deadlines 


In many instances, a client will have deadlines set in stone that they can’t afford to miss and so they will reach out to an external development team to help them meet their objectives. By taking this route, they can avoid a time-heavy recruitment process and source the exact expertise required for the job. It’s not unusual for time to market to be an extreme blocker preventing organisations from meeting their wider business goals, so expediency in sourcing development resources is often critical. 

To Reduce Costs and Financial Commitments 


When it comes to expanding an internal team, everything from recruiting, interviewing and hiring takes time and resources from senior staff and so it often gets very expensive very quickly. 

Costs involved in the expansion of an internal team can typically be broken down into Direct and Indirect costs:

Indirect Costs Direct Costs
  • Annual Salary
  • Legally required benefits 
  • Insurance (life and medical
  • Paid leave and vacation 
  • Bonuses 
  • Employment training 
  • Recruitment fees
  • Overheads (rent, desks, computers, phones etc.)
  • Administrative 
  • Onboarding


As you can see, when combined together indirect and direct costs add up fast, particularly when multiple new hires are required to deliver a project. 

Some companies choose to deliver projects with independent freelancers instead, but when you start adding the days rates together, those costs accumulate rapidly too. This can also be tricky when multiple developers are required, you cannot afford inefficiencies when you’re paying your external staff day by day. 

To Overcome Capacity Shortages 


As hiring is typically so challenging, internal development teams are often working over full capacity and as a result, this limits the opportunities the business can pursue. To alleviate the problem, many look to offshore software development teams as a way to spread the workload. If work can be handed to a reliable external team, your in-house staff can focus on projects that drive company growth.  

To Fill Skill Gaps


With hiring challenges being a constant struggle, skill gaps in the development space are common. This is particularly problematic when a rare skill set is required to deliver a project, and made even worse when the skill set in question is in high demand. Specialised job roles such Senior Data Scientists, Embedded Developers and Software Architects are all extremely challenging to source.

Faced with this issue, many organisations turn to specialist offshore software development teams to fill the gap. Taking this approach gives them instant access to the specialist skills and resources they need to get the job done. Many remote teams also offer scalable opportunities, so the gap can be filled and then expanded grown around key individuals over time, it’s rarely an all or nothing proposition. 

When Should You Approach an Offshore Software Development Team?


When looking for an offshore software development team you need to give yourself the time to conduct a search, assess and agree terms before kick off. 

With this in mind, it’s important to start looking at 4-12 weeks before you want to start your project. This will give you the time you need to conduct the proper due diligence and avoid having to rush your decision. 

Is Outsourcing Right for You? 


Before choosing to embrace offshore software development, you need to make sure it fits your requirements. Not every project should be outsourced, so you need to think carefully before you engage with an external team. 

If your project is clearly scoped out strategically and can be easily communicated, then its sounds like a good candidate for external development. If however, the project is murky, unrefined and complex in nature, it may be more difficult to effectively prepare an external team to deliver. In some instances, clients don’t even give their partners the chance to succeed as the brief morphs and evolves over time. A successful relationship requires competence from both parties, so bear this in mind too. 

It’s also worth thinking about the types of teams you want to engage. As most programmers view technical challenges based on their previous experience, it’s important to find a team that understands what you’re trying to accomplish with a similar view to your own. 

Before making the final decision on outsourcing, you need to consider why you’re looking at external resources, whether it be due to time or financial restraints or expansion ambitions, and if engaging with an external partner will actually solve the problem. If the answer is yes, then you may be well positioned to outsource the project.  

Offshore software development can deliver great value to companies looking to rapidly scale and avoid the extensive costs that come with hiring in-house.  

By engaging with highly skilled niche developers, organizations can take full advantage of their capabilities to supercharge the quality and speed of project development. This can be critical for projects that are time sensitive or require a less common set of skills. However, offshore software development is not for everyone, and so it’s important that the right considerations are made before any action is taken and paperwork signed.

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