Frequently Asked Questions About Nearshoring Software Development

Nearshoring is outsourcing partially or completely the software development of a product to a nearby country. It is a great way to optimize business - gain flexibility, access resources, and reduce cost.

There are a number of concerns related to nearshoring that we want to explore in this article.

How to find the right partner?

Many companies want to outsource software development, but finding the right partner might be challenging. Where to start looking for potential nearshoring partners? Google might be the obvious choice, but there are other (better) ways.

First, you might want to identify and shortlist the countries that might be suitable for your business. This includes assessing the location proximity, spoken languages, political and business climate, industry expertise, commercial rates. Keep in mind that you need to weight those factors based on your business specifics. You do not need very detailed or precise information at this point, Google will do the job.

Second, you can reach local business organizations like chamber of commerce, NGOs or ideally, a more specific network of organizations (e.g. for IT service providers). They can provide you with a list of suitable local service companies and even introduce you to them.

Third, and most important - you should meet with the potential companies. Similar to how your recruit employees, you should be thoroughly checking your potential partners as well. Be sure to not only check the commercial side, but interview one or two of their experts. Most companies would have nothing against that - it is considered a common practice. This is the most time-consuming step of the whole process, also the most important one.

Lastly, you pick a partner that you are most comfortable with and do a test period (e.g. one month). Keep in mind that the partner might need some time to onboard, get to know your business, your pace and quality requirements. If you are not happy with the partner, you can go back to your list and try another shortlisted one.

Is it a cultural fit when there are cultural differences?

Cultural differences are inevitable when working with partners from another country, sometimes this is even valid for partner from the same country.

One of my favorite examples from experience is the meaning of silence in a meeting. A team member states something and no one says anything after that. Is this now good or bad? In Switzerland this is often interpreted as “No one agreed, so it must be a bad statement.”. In Eastern Europe, however, it would most likely be interpreted as “No one disagreed, so it must be a good statement.”.

It is important to talk about cultural differences, expectations and ideally be fully transparent with one another. This builds long-time trust and allows both parties to learn and adapt to those differences with time.

Experienced nearshoring partners are aware of cultural differences and pay special attention to this as they have already worked in international settings.

Is the language barrier a deal-breaker?

The language barrier might be a big problem, especially in software engineering. Think about it - engineering teams of the same culture speaking the same language and sitting together have often communication issues. What if we add a language barrier to it?

Effective communication is crucial when selecting a nearshoring partner. Proficiency in languages, whether it’s English or another relevant language, ensures clarity in understanding your project requirements and facilitates smooth reporting back to you. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize language skills when evaluating potential nearshoring partners.