Guide to choosing the best offshore software development company

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Offshore software development has grown significantly as companies continue to compete in the technological rat race. Offshoring lets US and European corporations hire top-notch engineers in developing nations like India and cut expenses. But managing overseas staff takes a lot of work.

The appropriate offshore software development company can truly transform your business as you get a tight-knit team of top engineers who work just for you. But how to choose the right one? Let’s dive in!

The “To-Do list” Before Picking Your Offshore Development Partner

Make sure to tick off these simple steps before making the final decision.

Begin by defining what you want - first, think of what you want from an offshore development partner. Prepare a proposal including your goals and metrics, the projects, your capacity and growth plans, and any difficulties.

Become familiar with offshoring - learn some basics about offshoring and focus on ensuring that your team is the right fit for you. This also means understanding the difference between outsourcing and offshoring.

Ensure they demonstrate experience - choose an offshore development company with great experience. Have a look at their portfolio and references from colleagues or acquaintances. Ask them for detailed case studies demonstrating their problem-solving ability.

Investigate management capabilities and cultural fit - Avoid partnering with a wing-it firm. Time zones and distance require a competent management team. Ask them what makes their management strong.

Evaluate cost-effectiveness - Remember, assessing value is key. Results from case studies can be a reliable barometer of value. You should also evaluate the management team and staff. Discuss the costs in detail. Inquire about quotes, timelines, and how unforeseen costs are handled.

Prioritise long-term goals and strategy - Your partner should understand your current business needs and those you anticipate in the next couple of years. Make sure your remote team partner is flexible and adaptable.

Important Questions to Ask an Offshore Software Development Company

How will they identify your needs?
For example: What are your specific goals, metrics, and growth targets? What are you working on now? Are they aware of your current business needs?

What are their rates and how do they charge?
For example: Is the monthly fee you’ll be paying fixed or variable? What expenses does the fee cover? Are there any hidden costs?

How does their recruitment process work?
For example: How do they source candidates? How are candidates filtered out? Which criteria do they use? Do they value cultural compatibility?

How long does it take to build a team?
For example: How fast can they source developers? What are their usual timelines?

Who handles the administrative and legal activities?
For example: Are they able to handle all the administrative and legal activities? Will they be able to advise you?

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Great article. As a PM who has spent many years managing teams in India, I have never found case studies effective in assessing an offshore organisation. I prefer to talk to other PMs or managers who have worked with them in the past. This approach tends to provide an unbiased and practical perspective.

Your important questions to ask an offshore software development company are spot on. I always ensure an agreed and transparent rate card is in place before starting work. Finding out about the team you will be working with is vital. Are the people medium/long-term staff members with the skills you need? You don't want the company pulling unproven people off the street to build your team.

A lot is said about offshore working from an organisational perspective, but what about from the project manager's perspective?

Please find out more in my article Managing IT Projects Offshore: The Project Manager's Perspective.
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There are several steps to approach software development offshore:
  • Decide on features for your target audience
  • Take care of regulations
  • Define your business goals
  • Mind needed tech stack
  • Start searching for reliable outsource software development offshore vendors
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