Outsourcing software/app development

Software/App development outsourcing is when a company or individual decides to have someone outside their organization develop software or applications. There are many reasons why a company may decide to outsource some of which include: lack of internal resources, financial constraints, time constraints, lack of specific technology, etc.

When outsourcing software/app development there are many options to consider namely where you will have the work done. The three options that we will talk about here are: Onshore, Offshore, and Nearshore.

Onshore software development

Onshore development is where you hire “local” development experts to take help with projects or join your team as temporary to long term member. When we say local in the U.S. that can mean anywhere within the States. There are benefits and drawbacks to hiring talent locally.

In our opinion the two biggest benefits are language and culture. It is far easier to communicate complex ideas when everyone is speaking in the same language; as anyone can attest who has ever worked on a project where there is a language barrier. Another, albeit somewhat more subtle, benefit of onshore outsourcing is the cultural similarities we enjoy throughout the U.S.. Some of the common cultural traits we have here are things like: timeliness, directness, transparency, adaptability, etc.. It is not to say that other countries do not have all of these traits but sometimes the way they are manifested are different than the way we understand.

The biggest drawback to onshore development, at least here in the U.S., is cost. Depending on the expertise level you are looking for, costs can be anywhere from 3 to 5 times higher than overseas costs. This is especially exacerbated when looking at extremely high-level developers here in the U.S.; it is quite possible you could hire 4 or 5 of the same caliber talent abroad for the same price.

Offshore and Nearshore software/app development

Offshore and nearshore software/app development are very similar which is why many people often use the terms interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly. They both reference outsourced development work that is done outside of the country where the requestor is located. In the case of the U.S. work that is done in Mexico could be incorrectly referred to as offshore development because it is outside of the U.S. but in reality, it would technically be considered nearshore development. Therein lies the difference…nearshore is anything that is done near the time zone in which you reside and offshore is many time zones away.

In the case if the U.S. we could consider anyplace that is working at the same time as we are as nearshore. Therefore Lima, Peru which is UTC -5 and does not observe Daylight Savings Time would be the same time zone as Eastern Time in the winter and Central Time in the summer. This makes it very easy to coordinate work schedules anywhere in the U.S..

Conversely in the U.S. if we are working with developers in India UTC +5.5, Eastern Europe UTC +2, or Asia UTC +7 or +8 it is considered offshore. This biggest difference is that scheduled shared work times can be much harder to coordinate when there is between a 7 and 13 hour difference in time.


As you can see from this article the main question a company needs to ask is whether or not they have the resources to complete a project in the time they need to for the price they have budgeted. If they decide to outsource it really comes down to budget. If they decide to look for resources outside of the country they will have to decide if shared work hours are important for them.

Here at CT Developers we believe that you don’t need to spend the high prices of local outsourcing when you can work with high caliber English speaking developers in Lima, Peru who’s work hours are the same as yours. We would love to talk about your upcoming projects or help you place a remote staff member as part of your team.