7 Trends with Offshore Software Development

Written by Andres Garzon

In the modern software landscape, companies that source developers offshore are no longer the exception; they’re increasingly the rule. International business would have a hard time operating profitably without offshore software development. A practice that once was meant to simply trim costs for larger corporations, now provides flexibility and efficiency for small and midsize businesses, allowing them to quickly ramp up operations.

Each year sees new innovations in the field, and this one is no exception. The following are some of the trends making their way through the industry in 2019.

1. Enhanced Data Security

Casual, inefficient development standards no longer just represent potential cost overruns or delays in production. They can lead to serious security issues. Have you done an internal audit to locate and shut down backdoors, sloppy SQL infrastructure, or other potential vulnerabilities?

It’s not only your own company’s information that’s in jeopardy—your customers’ personal data is also on the line. Although breach detection systems are a helpful deterrent, security awareness training is generally considered the best insurance against these types of threats. Developers have also implemented additional protocols, including endpoint threat detection, cloud access security control, and real-time security analytics.

2. Virtual and Augmented Reality

The market for virtual and augmented reality services has skyrocketed, with augmented reality’s revenue expected to soar from $3.33 billion in 2015 to approximately $133.78 billion in 2021, a whopping 85.2 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Virtual reality’s revenue is on a similar, if slower, pace—it’s expected to reach $44.7 billion by 2024, a CAGR of 33.47 percent during the forecast period.

Outsourcing firms will be expected to provide services in such areas as 3-D object detection, predictable tracking, improved gesture recognition, and more natural controls.

3. The Rise of Blockchain

Blockchain, the digital ledger that helps track cryptocurrency transactions, has attracted the attention of many global industries, including pharmaceuticals, food safety, cross-border financial transactions, and even fashion. The IT industry has taken notice and begun implementing it to bring down costs, speed up transactions, and increase resilience.

Offshore developers are now expected to be familiar with such technologies as Etherium in order to allow for peer-to-peer networking, decentralized programs, digital signatures, and public key encryption.

4. High Demand for Cutting-Edge Skills

Augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain are only a handful of the many new technologies that are sweeping through the software industry, and outsourcing firms need to supply staff fluent in them at a moment’s notice. Others include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, cryptocurrency, and cybersecurity.

But that’s only part of the story. Although these hard skills are essential, without top-notch soft skills to accompany them, you won’t get a remote employee you’ll be proud to call your own.

Developers are not carbon copies of one another; they each have their own quirks, preferences, and strengths. How do they function as part of a team? How does your outsourcing firm evaluate these skills in potential developers? Phone presence, attention to detail, and punctuality are just a few of the soft skills any firm should consider to be essential when screening candidates.

5. Multi-Vendor Outsourcing

The trends mentioned above bring promise of significant growth in the industry. But with growth comes complexity, sometimes more than a single outsourcing firm can handle. Multiple specialized vendors is fast becoming standard operating procedure. From 2008-2014, the percentage of global businesses that outsourced to a single firm dropped from 42 percent to 15 percent.

6. Adoption of Standard Practices

Development procedures such as coding and testing are being standardized across the industry. A set of clear and standard practices in a product’s lifecycle leads to increased efficiency and fewer discrepancies. These may include:

  • Streamlined communication using a combination of technological solutions, such as Google Hangouts or Zoom for video conferencing, Slack or Teamwork for collaboration, and Basecamp or Asana for project management.

  • A clear and concise understanding of the coding architecture and a risk mitigation process should things go wrong.

  • IP protection with the proper legal framework, including explicit language that lays out your ownership of the code, an NDA that requires your consent in order for the vendor to share details of the project, and, if the firm is outside the U.S., an understanding of the IP laws in that country.

7. New Offshore Locations

Although India still takes the top spot among destinations for offshore software development, many U.S. companies are starting to shift to similar markets in Asia and nearshoring clusters in Latin America. India is far enough from the traditional U.S. work schedule—as much as 10.5 hours ahead of the East Coast—that there can be significant logistical hurdles.

Nearshore markets in South America typically fall directly within U.S. time zones and are a short flight away from many southern U.S. cities. Colombia and Ecuador are thriving tech hubs that have a deep familiarity with and appreciation for U.S. culture.

Your Ideal Offshore Software Development Firm

In order to successfully navigate—and stay ahead of—these trends, you need a recruiting organization that has a rigorous selection process. The ideal offshore software development firm will consistently present you with candidates who are reliable, productive, relatable, and able to roll with the punches.

A Jobsity distributed team is located in (or near) your time zone, is dedicated solely to your project, and feels like part of your workplace family. Sound like something that can fill your developer needs? Let’s talk!

Also, feel free to browse through the other sections of the blog where you can find many other amazing articles on: Programming, IT, Outsourcing, and even Management.

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Written by Andres Garzon

Andres was born in Quito, Ecuador, where he was raised with an appreciation for cultural exchange. After graduating from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, he worked for a number of companies in the US, before earning his MBA from Fordham University in New York City. While a student, he noticed there was a shortage of good programmers in the United States and an abundance of talented programmers in South America. So he bet everything on South American talent and founded Jobsity -- an innovative company that helps US companies hire and retain Latin American programmers.