Challenges faced when working with offshore developers
Offshoring offers businesses cost-effective services. While it’s not the only benefit offshoring provides, it certainly is the primary reason a lot of the companies have been outsourcing software development and other IT services to the offshore destinations for decades now. If you can cut down operating costs by half, or more, everyone would want to work with offshore developers, right? Not really.
Offshoring, while boasting of many advantages, is not without its challenges. It only takes one story of failure to make any company considering hiring remote developers to step back and think again. While we won’t dispute the failures met by companies when outsourcing to offshore locations, it would be imprudent to discard the many success stories over the years. There is no shortcut to success. But over the years, the experience of others has helped narrow down some challenges faced when working with offshore developers. Let’s take a look at these challenges and how to overcome them to make outsourcing success for your company.
It is arguably the most prevalent challenge when it comes to offshoring. Working with developers who are located across the world is complicated. It can easily cause your development project to fail; if you cannot communicate effectively with your developers, there are bound to be inaccuracies, errors, and delays in your project. But it doesn’t need to be the reason you withhold hiring offshore developers. We are not going to sugarcoat it for you, establishing a system of communication between your offshore developers and the in-house team is not going to be easy. But it doesn’t mean it cannot be established. With the technology we possess today, interacting with your team miles away is possible.
With various tools that allow video calls and instant messaging, you can keep in touch with your offshore developers and update them with information related to your project. You also have project collaboration tools that allow both the teams to keep an eye on each other’s progress, share documents, and remain in sync. Keep the interactions precise, clear, and defined to avoid any confusion. Make sure your offshore developers have all the information and data required for them to perform their job. It is helpful if you provide them with the bigger picture instead of just the specifics they need for their job. This gives them insight into the work expected of them, and they may also come up with new ideas and better alternatives that could improve the project. You may have to discard the traditional way of working on a project and develop a new strategy that is inclusive of your offshore developers. They are a part of your team, so treat them like one. It will take a little more effort and a lot more work from both sides, but it is not undoable. It might seem like too much work initially, but eventually, you will realize the benefits outweigh the risks.
Often, companies that have outsourced their development projects to offshore locations have complained of developers being of a sub-par level. This, of course, will make any software development company pause. The success of any such company depends on the quality of their products. If the products aren’t innovative and efficient, they won’t sell and make profits. In order to have high-performing products that can compete in a tough market, companies need the best developers and engineers.
Offshoring destinations, like India, have a large candidate pool with a wide range of experience and skills. Not every candidate will be able to meet the expectations of your company. The trick here lies in hiring the candidate that suits you. Having a reliable offshore staffing service provider ensures that your candidates are vetted and qualified. It is crucial to pick an offshoring vendor carefully; they should have experience in your business field and share your vision. Furthermore, when you hire the developer for your offshore team, make sure they have worked on similar projects before, and they understand precisely what is expected of them. The issue is not that offshoring destinations do not have high-quality developers; the issue is finding them in an ocean full of candidates. There are plenty of excellent developers in countries like India who have experience working with big foreign companies on large projects. The solution lies in hiring the right offshore staffing vendor who has skilled candidates in software development.
Intellectual property theft is not unheard of, unfortunately, where outsourcing is concerned. We have all heard the news of employees stealing the ideas or codes of foreign companies and selling them in the market as their own. It is unacceptable and a massive deterrent for hiring remote developers. How do you trust someone with your innovative ideas when they are on the other side of the world? The hesitation is understandable.
While it is impossible to eliminate the risk in its entirety, it is not impossible to minimize the risk to a large extent. But you can’t remove the risk of intellectual property theft altogether, can you? Even when the employees work for you in your presence in your office, there is a risk of breach of security. It is possible to minimize this risk when working with offshore developers by ensuring the offshore staffing vendor you partner with has stringent safety protocols. Ensure that they use state-of-the-art technology for safeguarding your sensitive data from online breaches. In addition, have your vendor as well as the developers you hire sign NDAs to maintain confidentiality about your project and all related information. By having no loopholes in the contract, you can minimize the theft of your intellectual property and the online threat to your data.
Working with offshore developers can benefit your company in many ways, especially if you are a small business with constraints on your budget. We advise you to proceed with caution and prepare yourself to work a bit harder to make outsourcing software development successful for you. It is challenging, yes, but it doesn’t need to be a failure.