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[Video] What to Look for in a Nearshore Software Development Partner

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Nearshore software development helps U.S.-based companies to accelerate their digital innovation initiatives with greater agility, while maintaining the benefits of real-time communication, cultural alignment, and significant cost savings. The nearshoring industry has grown exponentially over the past twenty years, and there are thousands of custom software vendors throughout the nearshore region. Building a long-term partnership with a compatible, professional, and reliable vendor can be challenging. There are several types of companies to choose from and many considerations to be made during the selection process. Look for a nearshore software development partner with the following traits to ensure successful engagements:

  • Industry Expertise and Long-Term Experience
  • Face-to-Face Compatibility
  • Strong Client References
  • Matching Skills, Attitudes, and Expertise
  • Ability to Merge with Internal Teams
  • Track Record of Developing High-Quality Products

Industry Expertise and Long-Term Experience

The nearshore software development outsourcing industry has been steadily and consistently scaling. There are many emerging companies in the space vying for business, but not all of them will be suitable for your unique project.

You want to ensure that you are working with an established, trusted nearshore software development partner that has long-term experience working with companies in your industry. This is crucial for companies within heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, as you will need to find a firm that has experience complying with federal regulations for security and privacy.

Face-to-Face Compatibility

There are many benefits to meeting with a potential partner face-to-face and seeing the facilities and environment in which they operate. This helps you to get a feel for the team’s working style and how your teams will collaborate during the project.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person visits are not always feasible. In this case, you should request a virtual tour of the premises and schedule frequent video conferences to build rapport with your potential vendor. It is a major red flag if a company is not willing to show you their working environment or let you meet with potential team members.

 

Strong Client References

It is always a good practice to request client references from a potential vendor to gain insight into the types of clients they serve and their experiences in working with them. While their existing clients may provide predominantly positive feedback, it is important to inquire about any negative experiences they may have had. You want to learn more about how this potential vendor communicates throughout the project life cycle and solves problems should they arise. You may also find it helpful to inquire about their vendor selection process. Who else were they considering working with, and why did they choose this partner over their competitors?

Matching Skills, Attitudes, and Expertise

In the outsourcing partner selection process it is important to dig deep and ask technical questions, especially when your project is complex and requires a mix of different technologies and platforms. You want to ensure that you are working with a company that has the technical skillset and expertise to build the right custom solution. Ask questions about previous projects they have worked on, specifically what they have learned from similar projects and how they plan to apply that knowledge to your engagement.

Taking this a step further, you want to make sure your company’s attitudes and values are aligned with those of your potential partner. Corporate cultural compatibility is particularly important when establishing KPIs and staffing your project. Ask questions about the project team structure and composition. Is their talent in-house, or will they be hiring new employees or contractors?

Ability to Merge with Internal Teams

The most capable outsourcing firms usually provide skilled professionals as an extension of their clients’ internal teams. Many people falsely assume that outsourcing partners will replace employees with cheaper labor, but in reality the most successful agile delivery models involve augmenting and supporting existing teams to provide top-notch benefits.

When searching for a nearshore software development partner, you want to ensure that their employees will be compatible with your own. It is also a good practice to provide your engineers and developers with reassurance that their jobs are safe, and involve them in the process of onboarding or selecting the team when appropriate.

Track Record of Developing High-Quality Products

One of the most important considerations when selecting a software development outsourcing partner is a track record of successful product delivery. You want to work with a firm that has experience delivering quality, customized software products that improve the customer experience and can solidify your company’s position as a leader within your respective industry.

In addition to verifying industry experience and client references, you should ask for detailed case studies or to see examples of their work if available. This will help you to gain a better understanding of the types of custom software products they are capable of building and their impact on clients’ businesses. If a vendor is unwilling to provide you with examples of previous projects, you should eliminate them from the selection pool.

Building a Lasting Partnership

Software development outsourcing isn’t just about reducing costs or handing off projects to an external vendor. It’s about becoming more agile, gaining a competitive advantage within your respective market, and disrupting your industry with innovative solutions. When selecting a global partner for your custom software development project, it is important to look past pricing and consider the other factors holistically. A trusted nearshore consulting firm brings added value into their partnerships through industry experience, executive leadership, technical knowledge, and strong vendor relationships.

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About the Author

Anna Berry is an Associate Marketing Manager at Perficient, overseeing marketing for the Product Development and Global Delivery business units.

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