The trend toward using onshore software development firms has been growing in recent years. So much so that The New York Times wrote an article about the reasons behind the shift.
As you’d imagine, cost has a lot to do with the recent surge in nearshore and onshore development work. As the cost of developers has grown in countries like India and China, the previous cost advantage there versus developers in the U.S. has shrunk.
There are, however, other reasons why using onshore software development can help your company’s bottom-line.
When you hire a software development firm in the U.S., especially if it’s ‘close to home,’ you have the advantage only proximity and a shared work culture can give you. When you deal with a software development firm here in the U.S., it’s within the same or similar time zone as you. Translation? There is less lag time you have to wait for responses to your questions. Not having to wait a day for the right person with the right skills to be available means you can get any questions or change requests acted upon for a faster resolution. Since time is money in most businesses, the savings can add up fast.
If you choose an onshore software development firm, you automatically lower your risk associated with a given software project. Why? The U.S. based software resource has everything to lose by not making you happy. There are far more inherent checks and balances (from the bad BBB reports to Google Reviews) that help keep local software development shops honest. This level of accountability is simply not shared by companies on distant shores where the customer churn can be greater because they lack real roots in the U.S. Plus, ever hear of the good old fashioned American ingenuity? It’s alive and well in Texas, where Clear Measure set up shop five years ago to help mid-market companies with their legacy software needs.
Maybe it goes without saying but quite often onshore software development firms are staffed by talented, well-trained developers. Some, like Clear Measure, have a majority of developers who are software engineers, which is a notch or two higher from an education and training perspective. Why is that important? In a word, accuracy. The frequent complaint many American companies had when they started using offshore development firms was that the code output required multiple revisions, lots of hand-holding, multiple explanations, etc. The better the accuracy of the coding output, the sooner your software will be up and running, the fewer the mistakes needing to be fixed, and the better your user experience.
Similar to accuracy, using development best practices will yield a higher quality software product. This is important because one day you may decide that it’s more cost effective to bring software development in-house. When that day comes, you want the code your team will be charged with maintaining to follow best coding practices without exception. Otherwise, your team could be forced to spend a chunk of time rewriting significant portions of your software, which would not only be a profound loss in their productivity but also result in a blow to the bottom-line.
One of the things that happened when software development was commoditized by offshoring to foreign countries was that many onshore development companies made a strategic decision to become experts in certain industries, development languages and technology trends. Take Clear Measure as an example. We decided to focus primarily on helping non-tech, mid-market companies running legacy software gain more performance and feature functionality by modernizing their software. We have taken aging software that many companies were ready to write off and helped make it new again by using the latest technology available, including cloud infrastructure available from Microsoft Azure. Any time you can get more productivity and functionality from your existing software without having to spend money replacing it, you help your bottom-line.