Choosing the right offshore software development company is a critical factor to succeed in your project. Remote software development provides cost savings. However, oftentimes, you have to deal with several offshore software development challenges that are not quite obvious until it reaches the final phase.
In this article, below are some of the most basic offshore software development challenges experienced by many global businesses that decided seeking remote service providers.
Lack of communication. As cited as one of the main challenges in the offshore outsourcing business, inefficient and poor communication can deeply impact the project quality. Offshore development teams should ensure transparent communication with their customers. This can help in managing the project through effective collaboration, organizing all assigned tasks assigned, and monitoring everything is in sync within the agreed schedule.
Poor team communication and lack of transparency between parties can hamper the smooth workflow of offshore projects. This eventually affects the product or service quality of an offshore software development company.
Vague goals and impractical expectations. Clients who are unable to set clear goals can be a common challenge when dealing with offshore software development teams. Given tight deadlines and limited resources, don’t be surprised of experiencing conflicts brought by not meeting the unrealistic stakeholder’s expectations.
Replicating codes or even sold to other customers. In some countries, it is a common practice that most vendors are not implementing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Some even avoid enforcing NDAs. With an offshore developer, there is a tendency that your intellectual property may be used in part or shared with others. Always remember that your code is your most valuable asset. Keep proper legal agreements in place to ensure you solely own the developed code and this should never be shared to anybody else, especially to a competitor.
Process discipline not always attained. In a traditional Scrum meeting, the whole team discusses the project requirements and collaborates in the assigned tasks, mapping out sprints, reviewing, and reporting how things are progressing. However, when dealing with vendors with various business cultures, this can slow down the efficient agile system.
In case the Agile model is employed in an offshore setting, the entire process may be affected. This is caused by the absence of face-to-face meetings, lack of brainstorming activities or working at different time zones. At these specific instances, issues arise among team members. These are very challenging, especially when developing an effective solution and delivering the value needed by the final software product.
Growing global competition. Each day, many offshore development teams are being created worldwide. With the increasing competition, most small-scale remote development teams experience problems to survive or continue their profitable operations. Looking for quality offshore development teams has become challenging, although this can be done through careful selection.
Staff turnover. The booming global IT industry has brought a growing demand for offshore development companies, especially in Asian and European countries. As more software outsourcing companies are flourishing at a rapid pace, this has benefited skilled software workers to shift to better careers. The wide range of opportunities may drain talented professionals or vendors. The professional drain from IT companies called "vendor attrition" can have a damaging effect on global enterprises. Long-term projects being outsourced can have a negative impact on your company where lack of IT personnel exists. Also, it can cause poor quality and project delivery delays when tasks are done internally.
Vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in is one of the offshore development challenges that many businesses worldwide experience these days. Businesses cannot change right away from their vendor as they can't back out their partnership with the existing service provider. Vendor lock-in prevents customers to use an optional solution, service or technology other than their vendor.
Time zone difference. Most enterprises worldwide are skeptical about the time zone differences that they can potentially experience when outsourcing their projects to an offshore software development firm. Time zone difference between the customer and vendor is a major challenge that can cause project delays and significant downtime issues if mismanaged or left unmonitored.
Not all offshore software development projects will be unsuccessful. You should not think that offshore developers will not do their work well. However, overcoming the cited offshore software development challenges will take time, require necessary resources, and proper planning. Your team should be extra careful in choosing the vendor to partner with to avoid potential conflicts or frustrations and have a realistic view of how the project will be executed. Inability to anticipate problems without mitigating them can be very costly in the software development process.