Which Shore is the Right Shore? Onshore, Offshore or Nearshore Outsourcing?

There are lots of reasons to consider outsourcing software development projects. One is the shortage of talent in the United States. A booming economy, combined with a shortage of highly skilled web developers have created a tight labor market. Outsourced software development has not only become a necessity for keeping projects on track – but the secret sauce innovative companies use to stay ahead of the competition.

There are lots of ways to outsource – Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore. Maybe you’ve tried offshoring and it didn’t go so well? Offshoring isn’t a great fit for every project. Nearshore outsourcing has evolved as an advantageous alternative.

How do you determine which route to go?


Onshore Outsourcing – right in your backyard

Onshore outsourcing describes the practice of US-based companies using US-based developers. There are lots of great things about keeping it “local”.  Sometimes talent can be sourced to work onsite, enabling face-to-face communication. There are minimal issues with time zones and language barriers.  In a perfect world, you would have this type of access to developer teams whenever you needed them.  Sounds pretty good….except local talent can be hard to find and expensive.  Really expensive.  


Offshore Outsourcing – to the other side of the world

Offshore outsourcing describes situations where projects are outsourced across oceans to the other side of the world – to places such as India, China or Eastern Europe. Hourly rates are generally lower which is one of the major drivers for offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing is generally a good fit for maintenance or testing work that doesn’t require much collaboration. Why?  Because extreme time differences and language barriers can hamper the real-time communication that is required for collaborative, Agile development projects.


Nearshore Outsourcing – across a border, not an ocean

Nearshore Outsourcing refers to getting work done in neighboring countries with similar time zones.  For example, it is used to describe how US-based companies outsource software development to countries such as Costa Rica, Canada or Mexico. Costa Rica is particularly attractive, offering time zone alignment, a highly educated population, and deep pool of English-fluent tech talent – at a great value.   Combined, these advantages enable the kind of collaboration required for Agile development.  

Outsourcing software development is a big decision. Dig in deeper and learn all the pros and cons of onshore, offshore and nearshore outsourcing in our whitepaper “Which Shore is the Right Shore”.  

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