March 13, 2010

What Location is Best for Offshore Software Outsourcing?

Let’s say you’ve decided that outsourcing some portion of your software development is right for your company. The next question you might be asking is, what locations should I be considering? We might first point out that your selection could easily be more about what partner to select. Many outsourcing vendors have development teams in multiple countries, and great teams can be found all over the world. Then again, the location of an outsourced engineering team will have implications with regard to time zone, culture, and compatibility with your own team’s standards and practices. You aren’t alone in thinking that location is an important consideration.

Since location matters, let us pass on some things we’ve learned. We’ve found and worked with great teams in India and China, but the time zone, language, and approach to creativity have often been a poor match for the fast-paced proactive mindset our clients need to augment their internal software development efforts. Certainly the talent pool and prices are attractive, but clients are usually more interested in efficient, higher-quality teams even if they cost a little more.

Teams from Eastern Europe often provide the best balance for such clients. As in other locations, it’s important to find the right balance of quality engineers, costs, and stability. But the overall profile of Eastern European engineers and managers are, in our experience, a good fit for even the most demanding US and EU-based projects.