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Nearshore Software Development: Why It’s Worth Giving It a Try

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Last updated on
June 12, 2024

A QUICK SUMMARY – FOR THE BUSY ONES

Nearshoring to European countries

If you’re running projects that are experiencing delays due to a lack of adequate staff or serious flops caused by insufficient expertise, you are perfectly aware of why balancing the high quality of IT staff and optimization of the software delivery process is so important. 

If you’re living in Western Europe, it’s good to have an eye on the nearby countries of Central Europe. They have a vast pool of tech talent, the same time zone, and similar work ethics – and that’s just the beginning of the long list of what they can offer.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Nearshore Software Development: Why It’s Worth Giving It a Try

Introduction

Finding a balance between high qualifications and lower costs of the IT staff is the holy grail CTOs, CPOs, and business owners alike look for.

It’s not a secret that many businesses encounter issues with the quality of work from purely offshore development services, which may slow down their business growth and be very risky. In turn, a nearshore software development company can offer a better return on investment due to lower costs compared to local hiring, without the downsides of doing business with offshore vendors.

Distant locations – although tempting with the cheap workforce – often come with significant cultural differences, corruption, and political instability. Such a business environment may simply not be the best to let your company unlock its potential. In fact, it may be quite the opposite. That’s why nearshoring is often the best choice.

Nearshoring and offshoring – what they truly are

Finding skilled technical staff is something many businesses struggle with every single day. This makes many managers of tech companies look for software engineers and other IT staff elsewhere – and that means opting for nearshore outsourcing or offshoring. Offshoring is simply outsourcing a company’s operations (or manufacturing) to a distant location, e.g. from the U.S. to India. Nearshoring also entails moving operations abroad, but closer to home, to a nearby (not necessarily neighboring) country, e.g. from Germany to Poland. In recent years, it’s nearshoring that has been gaining momentum – due to factors such as disruptions that appeared during the COVID-19 pandemic and carbon emission reduction trends. Issues with current offshore vendors, including problems with cybersecurity, corruption, and intellectual property control, are sometimes the case, too.

Nearshore software development – advantages

The number of reasons why working with a nearshore software development team is often a good option is truly impressive. Some of the pros cover:

  • easy access to a large pool of skilled software engineers,
  • higher cultural compatibility and similar communication patterns,
  • working in the same or similar time zone,
  • real-time collaboration possibilities,
  • physical proximity that enables meetings in person when needed,
  • greater control over the outsourced staff,
  • potential to solve problems immediately,
  • significant money savings when compared to onshore solutions,
  • fewer logistical costs compared to offshore outsourcing,
  • protecting your business from market disruptions through diversification.

When you choose to offshore, a one-day lag, repeating all over again, is something very common. Such delays can disrupt your company’s operations and lead to serious issues, leave your clients disappointed, and affect your business goals badly in the long run.

Nearshore software outsourcing – potential drawbacks

Although the number of positive outcomes that nearshore software development outsourcing can bring is huge, it doesn’t always go that smoothly. It largely depends on how much time and effort you’ve put into preparing it properly and finding the right vendor.

What can possibly go wrong? Legal and regulatory differences may be an issue, but everything should be easier than in the case of offshoring, anyway. Of course, nearshoring will probably be more costly, but aren’t higher standards, security, and control over your business worth it?

To avoid possible drawbacks, you should put a lot of effort into the selection process and choose a software outsourcing provider carefully. But how to pick out the right country? What to expect when deciding on the nearshore software outsourcing vendor?

Nearshore software development – choosing the right country

To make the nearshore software development project truly successful, it’s good to take into account not only the cost of hiring IT specialists abroad but think much broader. What can make the potential cooperation smoother are, obviously, cultural similarities. The nearshore software development model emphasizes benefits such as minimal time difference, cultural similarities, and cost-effectiveness compared to onshore development.

It’s good to remember that Germany, Austria, and sometimes Switzerland – along with Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary – are often included in the Central Europe region. This division is based not only on geopolitical terms but also on common historical and cultural heritage and shared values.

All of these make Central Europe distinct from both Western Europe and Eastern Europe – the latter encompassing Eastern Orthodox countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus that share the Cyrillic alphabet and Byzantine cultural influence. Also, they have different time zones when compared to Central Europe (CET).

Poland – a perfect nearshoring partner

What needs to be considered apart from cultural similarities, is qualifications. For instance, Polish software developers belong to the best in the world – they came third among the top 50 countries that have the best developers, beating all other Central and Western European countries. 

Polish engineers are known for their flexibility, versatility, and ability to think outside of the box. They often go beyond their narrow specialization and solve problems promptly, keeping a strong work ethic.

From the engineering perspective, our objective is to be able to deliver daily. But also on the strategic level, we are aware that some business goals can change and stakeholders can change. Some risks will be appearing along the way and we need to address them on the strategic level of the project, not just the iteration level. So this is the real flexible approach that you can have when delivering projects. - Aleksandra Gepert, Head of Delivery at Brainhub

Flexibility can be found on yet another level. As for Polish software developers, there are many forms of cooperation possible, including long-term, and temporary, project-based. Contract of employment isn’t a must – among Polish tech workers, B2B contracts are extremely popular.

On top of that, a vast majority of Polish software engineers speak English fluently, reflecting the nationwide tendency. In 2023, Poland came 13th in the world’s largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills (EF EPI English Proficiency Index). 

Also, Poland was ranked 8th globally and 3rd in Europe on the list of the world’s best countries to invest in or do business for 2024. The criteria covered economic stability, government policies, skilled labor force, and institutional framework. The country is a part of many renowned international organizations, e.g. NATO, UN, OECD, and the EU. 

Poland adheres to EU standards and regulations, including GDPR, and offers easy travel, robust infrastructure (with 12 international airports and a vast highway network), a business-friendly tax regime, and competitive labor costs.

How to select the best nearshore software development companies?

When choosing a nearshore software development partner, it’s crucial to pick out one that offers a superb software delivery process – with rapid iterations, meticulous testing, and fast deployment. Impressive scalability, maintainability, and performance, as well as low maintenance cost and high cybersecurity level, should come as a standard, too.

The software delivery process must be optimized and fast, with strict control over the budget, schedule, and project scope kept. This is the only way to make sure everything is delivered as planned. But following the guidelines and sticking to the plan is, obviously, not enough. What’s crucial, is that leading IT nearshore staff can both solve complex problems and create innovative solutions.

On top of having vast knowledge and experience, such software engineers often embody the collaborative spirit and show commercial project readiness so that they can contribute to clients’ business goals right away. Also, top nearshoring companies in Europe are often fully-fledged, flexible partners that can modernize obsolete systems, provide high-performance applications, and handle many other complex projects.

A proper recruitment and software delivery process

Polish software developers belong to the global elite, but there are places where you can find the top of the top of them. Brainhub only hires the top 1.36% engineering talent – a very rigorous screening process lets build a thriving world-class engineering team of nearshore software developers. What sets Brainhub apart from other vendors are:

  • remarkable technological proficiency,
  • superb code quality, clarity, and dependability,
  • swift delivery,
  • proactive attitude, engagement, and dedication,
  • project management abilities.

Nearshore software outsourcing – key takeaways

Balancing lower costs and high expertise with nearshore software development services is not easy, but definitely worth making the effort. It can help your organization fly – speed up the software delivery process, expand products faster, and provide better business results overall. Geographical and cultural proximity, as well as a large supply of brilliant software engineers, makes Poland a perfect fit for Western European businesses. Global tech brands and household names, such as Google, Facebook, IBM, Cisco, and Accenture are well aware of these advantages and they all chose Poland for IT nearshoring cooperation.

With Brainhub, the cost and time optimization nearshoring is supposed to bring is right at your feet – and has very tangible results. As the company’s client, Marcus Sonoma, founder at Verb, puts it, “You’re gonna save yourself problems and money in the long term with software done correctly.” You don’t have to compromise quality when choosing a vendor that will be cost-efficient. Knowing that a shortage of workers in your home country is permanent and inevitable, it’s good to secure the right people before your competitors do.

Having difficulties in balancing lower costs and high expertise? Want to explore great possibilities of hiring IT professionals abroad but don’t know how to find the optimal solution? If you’d like to unlock the huge potential of nearshore software development, contact Brainhub today.

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Authors

Olga Gierszal
github
IT Outsourcing Market Analyst & Software Engineering Editor

Software development enthusiast with 6 years of professional experience in the tech industry. Experienced in outsourcing and nearshoring market analysis. Our expert in presenting tech, business, and digital topics in an accessible way.

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