How to Select a Nearshore Software Development Company
From manufacturing to medicine, discounters to donuts, nearly every industry needs IT support. That means more software, more servers, and more people to create and manage all the processes at hand.
Indeed, corporate investments in IT are anticipated to reach $3.8 trillion in 2019, representing a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year. This surge can largely be traced to the growing trend of IT outsourcing, which is only expected to continue due to a chronic domestic IT skills shortage.
As competition for top talent grows more intense—at home and abroad—it’s necessary to have an efficient, proven process for selecting a nearshore software development company. Do the research, evaluate hard and soft skills, talk to current and past clients, and make sure the company can provide the necessary team for the work at hand.
An Ideal Fit
Your ideal staff augmentation firm will work with you to assemble a team of the exact size and scope you need for any project. Specialization is everywhere, and not every company can drill down on the same frameworks or languages. A good sales pitch is not the same as a good fit.
It’s also worth thinking through how a distributed team will affect your current staffing levels. Do you already have a team in place that can absorb these new recruits? Will there be competition for resources with other departments? Are new departments needed? Who will staff them?
Cloud computing is a near-ubiquitous feature of your business, with machine learning, AI, blockchain, and cryptocurrency all playing increasingly important roles as well. Expertise goes beyond simple programming language skills; it involves using these languages in a team setting to create a system. Any nearshore firm must include these and other technologies in the skill sets of its stable of developers.
How big is your nearshore provider’s pool of talent? Is it able to quickly scale your team up if the need arises? At Jobsity, we train constantly to keep our developers’ skills sharp and ready for anything.
Experience and Reputation
The top characteristics of a nearshore software development firm can be summed up in three words—reliability, relatability, and flexibility. It needs to be able to adapt to your needs over time. Look at the firm’s track record—has it seen success with clients or technologies similar to yours?
What do past clients have to say about their working experience? How did projects perform? Start with the company’s digital trail of bread crumbs—LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and comments left on various social media platforms. Then reach out to past clients and get the lowdown on their experience. Any reliable firm should be willing and excited to talk you through past projects and offer those clients as references.
It’s a good sign when a large number of a firm’s clients come from referrals. And an even better one when a firm offers to share that percentage up front.
Language and Culture
A common language is vital for a productive working relationship—both what you’re programming and what you speak to each other. The best skills don’t add up to much if you can’t easily communicate your “I need” statements to your team.
The hubs of staff augmentation in recent years are Latin America, Eastern Europe, and India. There are pros and cons to each region, but similar cultural backgrounds and a common spoken language prevent details from slipping through the cracks and increase productivity. These traits point to Latin America as the best cultural fit with the U.S., with the added advantage of a similar time zone.
Traditional outsourcing regions such as India can be as much as 10.5 hours ahead of the East Coast. Such disparities in schedules can contribute to an uneven development process and inferior final product, which may require retesting and rewrites.
South America is an increasingly desirable alternative, offering several hubs (“Silicon Vallecitos”) of talented developers and engineers in countries like Ecuador and Colombia, which are only a four-hour flight from many southern U.S. cities.
You also need to be confident that the firm’s communication style and tools match yours. What is its project management process? Does it throw out names like Trello, Slack, or GitHub? Does it have bandwidth for high-res video conferencing? How often does it update you on its progress? Can it easily integrate into your meeting schedule? Since its team will become a part of yours, the firm needs to meet your expectations.
Let’s Build an Amazing Nearshore Software Development Team
Software development is a fluid business, with project specs and staffing needs sometimes changing at a moment’s notice. Staff augmentation providers offer safe, reliable solutions that allow you to have additional output capacity at the ready.
If you need a partner to find top-notch programmers and developers for your company, consider Jobsity. We specialize in team building and would love to talk about the next steps for yours. Get started today with our Cost-Benefit Analysis e-book.