If you’re asking yourself whether you should use nearshore or offshore developers, you’re revealing two important things:

  1. You are looking for something you can’t find locally, be it an expanded talent pool or cost efficiencies.
  2. You’re assuming the clock dictates what schedules a partner can accommodate, which is preventing you from finding the right development partner.

Nearshore vs offshore is a false dichotomy because where your development partner sits has very little impact on the quality of your collaboration.

In this post, we interrogate some of the more important criteria to consider when assessing an outsourcing partner. And we show how teams located in any time zone can be amazing collaborators without you having to work around the clock yourself.

Why the clock is a curve ball

A lot of people considering software outsourcing worry about time zones. You’re likely thinking: How will we collaborate? Won’t it slow delivery down if they’re on the other side of the world? Surely being responsive during my business hours is critical?

The reality is, choosing a partner based purely on their pin in the map offers no guarantees. How well they collaborate, how quick they are to respond or whether they will deliver on time have nothing to do with the clock.

What’s much more important is communication cadence, integration and cultural fit, and skill levels. So, let’s interrogate these.

Communication cadence

You need to be able to collaborate with your development partner. Of course. But what do you actually need from that collaboration for it to be productive?

For example, if you are engaging with turnkey teams, it’s only your primary collaborators that you need to be in regular communication with. And rather than insisting on all-day availability, focus on ensuring suitable schedule overlap.

Ask any potential partner if they’re accustomed to your time zone coverage and have a process that suits it. This will offer suitable reassurance and weed out any red flags. After all, while 24/7 coverage isn’t necessary, you also shouldn’t have to beg your collaborators to be available within your work day.

Some scenarios might require more hands-on collaboration. In this case, some partners, like Success Software, can offer an onshore compliment who works both sides of the clock, so you don’t have to.

The point is to stop and consider not when you need people, but what you need from them.

Communication processes are the underlying priority. Daily emails, regular meetings, weekly summaries, and milestone reminders are what matter.

Integration and cultural fit

Think about it. Italy and Nigeria are in the same time zone, this doesn’t mean they have the same working cultures. The same goes for Finland and Egypt. Again, the clock is an unhelpful distraction when assessing integration and cultural fit.

What matters is a partner’s processes and alignment methodologies. Independently awarded quality standards are a good indicator that a company has robust processes in place.

Regardless of location, a sophisticated software partner will be able to demonstrate that they understand your business goals and priorities. They’ll also work to understand and adapt to your team mechanics and working preferences.

At Success Software Services, we work with clients to define strategic priorities and plan for the greatest efficiency before you even sign a contract. We can integrate into your development team or work independently. And we’re focused on outcomes, as well as the processes that help us deliver them.

Highly skilled, flexible resources

Wherever you get your talent, you want a software development partner with onboarding processes and employee development policies as rigorous as your own. Doing your due diligence means ensuring the team you hire has the credentials and experience to deliver high-quality projects.

Find out how they define ‘senior’ developers and what skill sets you’ll be getting in your team. Interrogate their qualifications and look for customer evidence of their abilities.

If you want the flexibility to draw from a diverse talent pool, as and when you need to, that requires hiring a nimble and adaptable software partner. So, ask about pilot projects and how easy it is to scale up and down resources.

A note on price point

Outsourcing overseas will often save costs. Research suggests that it can save a company 40 percent to 70 percent of overall costs.

You’ll only realise these savings, however, if you’ve found a skilled, collaborative partner that can work with your team effectively. So, while distance can impact the price point of partners, there is a bigger picture to assessing the most cost-effective choice.

Finding a winning collaboration

Stop thinking about where your partner sits and start thinking about what they’re doing while they’re sat there. The insights you get from questioning processes, approach and skills will be much more helpful in finding a winning collaboration than looking at your watch.

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to outsourcing. With that in mind, we’ve created a guide to help you arrive at the decision that’s right for you. Explore our systemic approach to assessing potential software development partners today:

Download ‘Your guide to choosing the right software product development partner’.