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The Difference Between Nearshore, Offshore & Onshore Software Development

If you are rubbing shoulders with software developers or are fresh in the industry – there is a high chance you have heard about the terms offshore, onshore, and nearshore software development.

And while you may be thinking about shores and beaches, there is an actual meaning and difference between all of these phrases.

Basically, the ‘shore’ term in the phrase relates to outsourcing software developers from abroad. Knowing that there are markets with skilled and affordable talent, a lot of venture capitalists, small business owners and startups decide to go this path and outsource their developers from abroad.

However, when the terms offshore, onshore and nearshore are brought up – they usually start Googling them and their meanings.

In order to save you some clicks next time, we will explain the difference here.
Onshore Software Development: Comfortable, But Pricey

Basically, onshore software development is an outsourcing option that is the closest to your home.

In most cases, this means working with companies that are located in your home country. The advantages of onshore software development are evident – you can work with skilled teams in your own country and speak their language.

However, there is one major concern with this option – the cost.

While offshore and nearshore development cost less, onshore software devs come with the best quality and convenient customized software programs.
Offshore Software Development: Affordable, Yet Hard To Maintain

In a nutshell, offshore software development means hiring a team from abroad to do the work remotely and virtually.

It is an option that supports your project needs – however, from further away. India and China are some of the most popular countries for offshore software development to Africa.
Nearshore Software Development: A Win-Win Solution

Last but not least is nearshore software development – defined as the ‘in-between choice’ among the two options we described above. Technically, nearshoring works just like offshoring with a single difference being the location.

Nearshore software development companies are basically located in countries with similar time zones or ones with minimal differences e.g Uganda and Kenya.

This not only puts the communication on a higher level – but it also adds up the major cost savings and pretty much makes everything a breeze. The possibility for onsite visits is also there, and compared to onshore outsourcing, nearshore software development is basically a win-win situation with no drawbacks.

Additionally, despite the almost null time difference in software development nearshoring, there is also the cultural aspect.
What About Quality?

If you decide to outsource your software development but still wonder about quality, you should know that in most of the cases, quality depends on the provider you hire. That being said, if you choose the right provider – the quality will absolutely show.

The good side of the story is that even if you make a mistake on your first try, outsourcing allows you to immediately change decisions and plans and eventually come to the perfect solution for your needs (and budget).
A Final Word

In the end, outsourcing software development has proven to be very profitable for many startups and companies worldwide. In a connected world driven by the digital era, it is very easy to reap the benefits and have a devoted team that works to their full potential. For the better results, using onshore software development is highly recommended.

August 14, 2019

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