Onshore, offshore or hybrid development? Which is best?

Written by Holly Waite, Head of Sales and Marketing, ReedPS

For many, the decision of whether to use onshore development, offshore development, or a hybrid approach can be a challenging and complex one. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on various factors like budget, proximity, time, and expertise. In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at onshore development, offshore development, and hybrid development approaches to understand their differences and assess which approach is the best for your particular project.


Onshore development

Onshore development refers to the practice of developing software locally, using skilled IT professionals or development companies. This approach is the most traditional model, and it has been used for decades. The benefits of onshore development include better communication, proximity, cultural alignment, and the ability to work in the same time zone. Additionally, onshore development is an excellent choice for projects that require a high level of collaboration, input from stakeholders, and a fast turnaround. This however can be a more expensive option, sometimes having an onshore team can mean higher day-rate or recruitment costs, employment legislation to navigate, or when using an outsourcing service it may not always be possible to fix the scope or budget for the development work.


Offshore development

Offshore development refers to hiring an external development team in a different country. The benefits of offshore development include lower labour costs, access to a broader range of talent, and the ability to take advantage of different time zones. However, offshore development has its challenges, such as communication barriers, time zone differences, cultural differences, and language barriers. With offshore development, you need to understand that the quality of work might differ, due to geographic and cultural differences. Offshore development is often a more cost effective model to onshore development as many providers are able to utilise local market rates across their development pool. They’re also likely to have built efficiencies of scale as well as the ability to recruit from a more global market, often passing on the cost efficiencies to the end client.


Hybrid development

Hybrid development combines onshore and offshore development by leveraging resources from both local and overseas teams. By decoding when to use either their existing workforce or an onshore lead, project leads can create an approach that combines the best of both worlds. Here, the benefits of onshore development include better communication, proximity, cultural alignment, and the ability to work in the same time zone. Meanwhile, offshore development provides access to a broader range of talents and lower costs. Here the programme manager would be the best position to consider and allocate the right resources from both team. Here at Reed Professional Services, we have been able to utilise this approach to deliver some award winning household brand name digital products and services. Our trusted talent network can augment teams from both international and local markets to create tailored teams.

Choosing between onshore development, offshore development, or a hybrid approach depends on several factors such as expertise, timeframe, budget, and logistics. Deciding on the right development approach for your business is a critical decision that warrants careful consideration and analysis. By understanding the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each development model, you can plan and assess which model would work best for your unique needs. With customised services such as those offered by Reed Professional Services, you have the freedom to select the best options for your company that offers the most substantial ROI for the best value and creates a team that deliver against your projects.

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