Offshore software development centers and BPO companies have become an emerging trend in modern-day software development. Since 2000, the outsourcing industry market size has reached over 85 billion dollars (at the beginning of the century, it used to be $45.6 billion).
Why are outsourcing and offshore software development centers so popular among companies and startups? How to know that an ODC is worth reaching out to? How to manage remote teams?
This post is a comprehensive guide to understanding and benefiting from offshore development centers.
What is an Offshore Development Center?
An Offshore Development Center (ODC) is a development company located in a country with a deep talent pool and a cheaper cost of living. An ODC is an alternative to traditional in-house teams maintaining which is considerably more expensive.
A dedicated team fully covers issues like taxing, hiring, or bookkeeping. This way, your own team doesn’t have to manage developers in any way. An offshore center uses its own development toolkit and project management system. Nonetheless, working with remote teams, clients have the right to place conditions and oversee every stage of product development.
Why Use Offshore Development Center Services?
The main and most obvious benefit of reaching out to ODCs lies in low development rates. Yet, cutting operation costs is not the only reason businesses and startups choose ODCs over an in-house team. There are other points worth exploring.
1. Improves the scaling speed
Offshore Development Centers are flexible in reaching performance requirements. As your startup upscales and new demands are created, an ODC will adapt and deliver. Offshore development teams and IT outstaffing services providers don’t lack workforce and are usually experienced in handling both small- and large-scale project – something you can’t always say about in-house teams.
2. Reliable project management models
Reaching out to an ODC, you can count on a team of experienced developers handling your projects. As a rule, offshore development teams are transparent regarding the development process – you will be able to oversee the progress and have a say in all decisions.
Finally, the developers’ experience is a key factor that makes ODCs a cut above in-house teams. After having handled dozens of projects, developers have a clear idea of time and budget estimates, are familiar with the industry standards and trends, and follow an established set of rules to streamline the development process.
3. Constant technical support
ODCs are a fit for long-term collaboration as they offer continuous tech support. Through the entire lifecycle of the product, you will be able to reach out for help. Moreover, all the knowledge a dedicated team gained during development will be shared with the main office. This way, you get the same amount of insights and experience as you would with an in-house team with fewer investments in the development process.
4. Access to wider talent pools
By contacting professional staffing services, you will be able to benefit from the workforce outside of your operating area. Having access to talent from Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin America allows companies to benefit from leading remote IT jobs professionals without having to pay a local senior (in the US, the rate of an experienced software developer rate is $46.87). Also, startups can cut operating costs and save time as they don’t have to recruit in-house software developers.
5 Offshore Development Centers Best Practices
Choosing an offshore development center is challenging due to a huge amount of available options. To help you make an informed decision, we have defined 5 practices a quality ODC usually follows.
1. A connection to the in-house team
While an ODC is miles away from the main team, a project manager has to ensure all the crucial information is relayed in real time. Moreover, regular conference calls and reports are a must. Otherwise, the main office might end up with a product that fails to match business requirements, is challenging to sustain in the long run, or is not adaptable to scaling. An ODC should be able to provide clients with a clear feedback loop framework and communicate closely with other teams involved in the project – marketing, design, etc.
2. Continuous deployment.
High-performing teams understand how challenging product maintenance could be. Helping integrate the product into the company’s business processes, re-testing the system after code changes, and providing the main team with assistance are all part of an ODC’s functions.
As the rest of the development process, project maintenance should be well-documented and monitored on a regular basis. While choosing an offshore development center, ensure the team has a defined framework of product support that would include consults, development, and testing services throughout the entire life cycle of the solution.
3. Automation paired with human supervision
Running all processes manually is not necessarily proof of quality and dedication. On the contrary, by failing to automate repeated processes, a team will slow the process down, risk human-error-induced mistakes, and narrowing the range of possible features.
Automation comes in handy during back-end development and testing – these areas require high concentration levels that are impossible for humans to keep for long.
Removing human supervision from testing or development is no way to go either – ensure that an ODC double-checks the outcomes of all automated tasks.
4. Willingness to adopt a client’s project management models
It’s best if the projects you create in-house and those developed at an ODC share a framework. An ODC should find out as much as possible about the way the client handles other development projects – is the architecture monolithic or driven by microservices, what is the company’s testing strategy and toolkit, which project management models it uses.
When the in-house team and a dedicated ODC match by development approaches, it’s easier to streamline parallel development, avoid miscommunication, and create a unified system of project management standards.
Managers often complain about the lack of transparency when it comes to offshore outsourcing. ODCs have to take that into account and resolve the issue by providing shared access to all key data used in development. A few common examples of implementing transparency include creating a shared documentation repository, open to-do lists, and the usage of real-time monitoring tools.
An ODC can consider employing tools that create reports on the productivity of remote employees and sharing them with the client. As a client, you need to ensure that a project manager of the ODC is letting you in on tech specs and details and is updating you on any project changes.
Be especially attentive when it comes to time and budget estimates – you should be able to find out which criteria form the estimated data as well as what could cause the estimates to fluctuate.
Is remote work the future? The popularity of Offshore Development Centers (ODCs) proves what enormous potential the growth of remote teams harbors for tech. In terms of convenience, cost, and talent pools, seeking out developers from abroad is a winning move. Moreover, a good ODCs entirely takes documentation, taxing, and project management of the team’s plate.
Needless to say, not all ODCs are equally efficient in terms of project management and the quality of development. To ensure you choose the right development team, pay attention to the practices an offshore development center usually follows.
If your offshore developers comply with the standards outlined above, it’s most likely a trustworthy and reliable team. Taking your time to research the market leaders and matching them against a set of criteria based on your team’s needs will make choosing the right ODC a breeze.