At Zartis, we work with many companies that are new to nearshore software development. They are always excited about its numerous use cases and the possibilities it opens up.
If you understand and follow the best practices thoroughly…
To the uninitiated, nearshoring can seem like a bizarre mix of in-house and offshore development. This gives rise to questions. Many questions.
How is nearshoring different from other software development models? Is it better? How is it priced? How does it work, exactly?
If you, too, are mulling over these and other burning issues, you’ve come to the right place.
After speaking to hundreds of nearshore users and working on multiple nearshore projects, we gathered the most frequently asked questions by nearshoring newbies — and answered them for you below.
All Your Nearshore Software Development Questions Answered
Some of the questions below are generic, and some pertain to how we do things at Zartis. You’ll find them both useful if you’re just starting your nearshoring journey.
1. What Is Nearshore Software Development?
Nearshore development is a software development model in which tasks, services, or projects are delegated to developers in nearby countries. An example would be a German company with a nearshore development team in Poland or a U.S. client working with a nearshoring service provider in Latin America.
What sets this model apart from traditional outsourcing is that the nearshore team doesn’t replace or work parallel to your in-house staff. Instead, the two teams work together. They collaborate closely on specific tasks or even entire projects, working toward the same milestones and deadlines. Think of the nearshore team as a seamless (albeit remote) addition to your in-house workforce.
Nearshore software development is also known as:
- Extended development
- Nearshore outsourcing
- Distributed development
- Staff augmentation
2. Are There Alternatives to Nearshore Software Development Outsourcing?
Two alternatives to nearshore software development (other than doing the job in-house) are offshoring and onshoring.
Offshoring is similar to nearshoring, except that the outsourced team is based on another continent. Popular offshore destinations include India, China, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, and Ukraine.
Onshoring is “national” outsourcing, with the client outsourcing software development to more affordable non-metropolitan areas within their own country.
3. Nearshore vs. Offshore Outsourcing: Which One Is Better?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both models have their pros and cons. Which one would work best for you depends on factors such as:
- Your budget for the project
- The set-up of your internal team
- How important time-zone overlap is to you
- What level of inter-team collaboration is required
- Whether the project requires real-time communication
Generally, offshore software development tends to be cheaper in terms of crude hourly rates (but not necessarily overall). Nearshore software outsourcing can be more expensive but is more flexible and allows for closer collaboration throughout the day, as all developers are in similar or the same time zones.
4. What Are the Advantages of Nearshore Software Development?
- Painless recruitment: The outsourcing vendor does all the heavy lifting for you — from recruitment and interviewing to training and onboarding. All you have to do is choose your top picks from a shortlist of a few top-performing candidates.
- Minimal red tape: Hiring developers in-house can be very time-consuming in some jurisdictions. With nearshoring, your team will be up and running in no time. For instance, notice periods of three months or more are not uncommon in Germany. In Spain, a popular nearshore destination for our European clients, notice periods can be as short as 15 days.
- No operational hassle: You don’t need to concern yourself with renting and maintaining an office space, buying equipment, setting up physical workstations, or payroll and employee benefits. Your outsourcing provider will take care of all this and more.
- Full transparency: The collaborative nature of nearshoring facilitates continuous real-time communication, knowledge-sharing, and total transparency between extended and in-house teams.
- Cost-effectiveness: Our Ireland and U.K.-based clients cut their software development costs between 15% and 25% just by setting up a nearshore team in Spain or Poland.
- Faster time to market: By bringing extra hands on board, all working on the same project, you get more done in less time.
5. How Long Does It Take to Hire a Nearshore Development Team?
The timeframes largely depend on your outsourcing provider and the regulations of the nearshoring jurisdiction.
At Zartis, we maintain a pool of work-ready tech talent at all times. This allows us to quickly hand-pick developers that match your requirements in under six weeks. For instance, at the start of our collaboration with Steinbeis University, we were able to build a tailored team with highly specialized skills in just four weeks.
6. What Pricing Model Are Outsourcing Partnerships Based On?
Nearshore development partnerships are usually based on fixed-price or time-and-materials contracts.
Fixed-price contracts are project-based. You and the service provider agree on a fixed price for the entire project from the start. Any extra costs and work not covered by the original agreement are billed separately.
Under a time-and-materials contract, the service provider bills you for time worked (usually hours or days) plus the cost of materials used, such as hardware and software licenses.
Time-and-materials is our preferred pricing model at Zartis. It’s more flexible than fixed-price agreements and can be easily adjusted to your needs as they evolve. This also makes it better suited to long-term and complex projects with multiple variables affecting costs.
7. How Are Nearshore Software Developers Onboarded?
Onboarding practices vary from one provider to the next. At Zartis, we onboard nearshore developers in two stages.
First, we onboard all new hires internally. Our engagement managers introduce fresh recruits to:
- Our company culture and values
- The corporate structure
- Other staff members
- Contact points for each department
Account managers then take over. As the primary liaisons between the developers and your team, they help set up and maintain clear communication channels.
In the final step of the internal onboarding, a technical account lead (TAL) from Zartis and developers from your team explain the project, tech stack, development process, and other important technical details. All new developers then receive training on data protection and security, as well as industry and client-specific training as needed.
The second stage of the onboarding involves onboarding the developers to your team. Our account managers and TALs work closely with you to tailor the process based on your needs and preferences.
8. Who Owns the Intellectual Property of Products Developed by the Nearshore Team?
Neither Zartis nor the individual developers own IP rights over the software or applications they build. You are the sole owner of all intellectual property.
9. What Is the Best Country for Nearshore Software Development?
Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Which country would be a good fit depends on your location, development budget, project requirements, and personal preferences. If you have a specific country or area in mind, confirm this with your provider upfront.
Some popular nearshore destinations with our clients include Spain, Portugal, and Poland, but we work globally. Thanks to our remote-first company culture, we have a large pool of nearly 250 developers based all around Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
10. How Do I Choose a Nearshore Partner?
When evaluating prospective partners, check their websites and other online resources, such as Medium blogs and case studies, and look for:
- Technical and industry expertise: Ensure that their developers have the expertise you require. Check that they have worked in your domain or have built similar products in the past.
- Available software development models: Not all outsourcing vendors offer nearshore services.
- Client track record: Case studies, success stories, and customer testimonials are reliable indicators of client satisfaction.
- Company culture: Check platforms such as Glassdoor to get an idea of how developers feel about their employers. Nearshore companies with a strong developer culture tend to have higher retention rates and more engaged staff.
Bonus Question: What Are Some Nearshoring Examples?
A demonstration is worth a thousand words. Check out our nearshoring case studies from our collaborations with leading global companies.