Three Things to Consider Before Working With an Offshore App Development Company
By Riley Panko
For many businesses, offshore app development is a given. Offshore app development companies can offer skilled work at prices much lower than a United States-based competitor.
However, businesses should fully understand the realities of working with an offshore app development company before committing to that relationship.
Clutch, a B2B research firm, recently conducted a study of 102 app development companies to better understand the cost of developing a mobile app, especially with offshore app development companies. Our subsequent expert interviews then offered additional insights into what is needed to successfully work with an offshore company.
While an offshore app development company can offer you the services you need at affordable prices, they also require certain flexibility and pre-planning to help the relationship succeed.
Before committing to an offshore app development company, businesses should understand the realities of time zone differences, establish a clear communication strategy, and determine the amount of support they'll need to ensure a productive and successful relationship.
1. Understand the Realities of Time Zone Differences
Perhaps the most obvious obstacle of working with an offshore app development company is the difference in time zones. For example, if you use an Indian app development company, India's time zone is anywhere between 10 to over 13 hours ahead of yours, depending on your time zone in the continental United States. When it is noon at your office, it may be midnight or later in India.
This need not be a deal breaker, though. Given that India is a hub for U.S. outsourcing, many companies have shifted their work schedules to fit with U.S. clients. Some Indian app development companies work in the evenings and at night to communicate with the U.S. during its standard work day.
Other companies offer a U.S. strategy and design team who will communicate with India-based developers on your behalf, removing the burden of cross-continental communication for you.
Furthermore, nearshore app development offers outsourced prices with a smaller time zone difference. For example, South America has become a growing tech hub and its companies are only a few hours removed from U.S. time zones.
2. Establish a Clear Communication Strategy
When working with an offshore app development partner, it's important to not only clarify when you'll communicate, but also how you'll communicate. Of course, if your app development company is located halfway across the world, you can't walk into their office for regular chats.
How will the company keep you up to date on progress and share their work with you?
The advancement of technology means that there are many options for tools that enable a seamless sharing of work across continents.
"To communicate and organize the process, we use JIRA, Slack, and GitHub," explained Elisa Amarelle, Co-Founder of Bixlabs, an app development company in Uruguay. "We use Slack to communicate daily with the client or with the whole team. We upload all the code to GitHub for reviews, and we track all the tasks in JIRA."
Understanding exactly which tools you'll use to communicate and how often means that your project will stay on track, even if you can't be in the office with your app development team.
3. Determine How Much Support You'll Need
No matter how streamlined an offshore app development company's communication strategies are, some businesses may still need the close contact and support of a local app development company.
The higher price tag of local app development includes the benefit of being able to sit in the same room and strategize, design and plan your project. It means you'll be guaranteed the same time zone and will have to face minimal language and cultural differences.
Yet, for other businesses, the financial savings offered by offshore app development are more than worth the flexibility and planning required when working with a company across the world.
Be sure to thoughtfully consider the realities of your relationship with an app development company, whether they are located offshore, nearshore, or just next door.