When the time comes to hire a software development company or to augment your team with extra developers, many businesses will be faced with the question: do I hire onshore, nearshore or offshore? This article will focus on the pros and cons of using onshore software development. As a UK-based company this is the area we work in the most, though we also supply developers to businesses in mainland Europe such as Sprengnetter GmbH, providing similar advantages.
If you’ve never heard these terms before, onshore means “in the same country”, nearshore means “in a neighbouring country” and offshore means “outside of your country and generally separated by multiple time zones”.
Pros of Onshore
- Potential to develop close, long-term working relationships
- Able to meet in person if local (COVID notwithstanding)
- Understands the culture and needs of users in your country
- Communication during working hours is not limited by time zone differences
Cons of Onshore
- Cost will often be higher when contracting onshore or nearshore if you’re in Europe or North America. With that said, bear in mind there will also be cost variations within a single country. For example, a developer in Wales may well be cheaper than one in Central London, so it is well worth seeking multiple quotes.
- A project start date when using an onshore company may be later than offshore, due to smaller team sizes in countries where developer wages are higher
- Some onshore companies may have limited skill sets due to size or other factors. This is great if you need specialists in a particular field, and we would always recommend using a company with depth of knowledge, but hiring an offshore team with a larger workforce can offer a breadth of experience instead.
Making The Decision
Based on the summary above, we can see that there are many pros to using an onshore company, and few cons. However, one factor in particular is likely to dictate where you hire from, and that is cost. If you are just starting out on a shoestring budget, offshoring can be really helpful (though it does have some disadvantages) and might be worth investigating further.
If you have a specific budget in mind for a project, there are many software developers in the UK (such as ourselves) who are more reasonably priced than you might think. You also get the benefits listed above. To learn how our developers can be contracted to supplement your team, or to create something for you from scratch, get in touch now to discuss your needs.