Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

3 Truths About Offshore Development


Today's post is written by Kim Campbell, a Consultant at Sonoma Partners.

When companies are set to begin a complex development project, the idea of using offshore development resources usually crosses their minds at least once.

And why wouldn’t it? What’s not to love about a cheaper route to accomplishing a large project, even if there are a few extra hurdles to overcome?

Taking the offshore development approach can be appealing, and may seem simple enough, but there are 3 truths about offshore development that you should consider before enlisting their services for your next project. 

1. Geographical differences can take their toll

There are several obvious geographical challenges to working with an offshore team. Whether you’re managing the team or working with a project manager, time zone differences will impact both parties. Regardless if early morning or late night meetings are chosen, normal operating schedules will be interrupted.

Additionally, there are bound to be communication gaps, due to the main language used in communication, or the company culture. In general, communication gaps make it harder to find common ground with an offshore team, which is needed to build successful working relationships.

There are gaps in perceived inclusion and culture when everyone on a team is working remotely. It’s hard to convey levels of excitement to a team you only interact with via phone. This can definitely lead to a disconnected  effort put forth, quality of work, and willingness to stay on board long-term; especially when the going gets tough. 

2. Cost of top notch offshore resources are still expensive

Many corporations tend to offshore in efforts to save money. However, less expensive labor usually means less qualified people. One should never expect to pay a professional 50% less than market rate and get comparable talent solely due to differences in geography. Additionally, there are other costs associated with managing the offshoring team such as traveling to the location of your offshore team, setting up the secure exchange of information procedures, the cost of training, and increased contingency costs. 

3. You aren’t in direct contact with the people actually doing the work

When interacting with an offshore team, you typically have a single point of contact, an engagement manager or project manager, and they are responsible for directing resources. Therefore, more than one person typically must be contacted in order to get clarification on any given item. This communication process creates an opportunity for given direction to be misinterpreted and misconstrued.  

Offshoring development isn’t always the best choice, be sure to consider your options.

Offshore Development isn’t for everyone. Don’t be distracted by the flashy promises of lower cost and seamless implementation. For a successful CRM implementation, you want to invest in a long-term partner that you can reach out to after the final bill is paid, and still be remembered.

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