Offshore or nearshore: what should you choose for your next software development?

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Our CEO, Arik Azoulay, explains the different strategies for software development you could use in order to develop your software.

What are the different options when you want to develop a software?

Whether you are a start-up or a larger company, there are several options.

The first option is to develop internally. Recruit an in-house team and develop the software you need. This is an option to focus on when you think on the long term. 

There is also the external component. We entrust our development to a specialized company that will work from conception to realization.

Offshore, what is it exactly?

This is a term we hear a lot… Offshore is one of the modes of outsourcing development. When we want to outsource, we can find the development company:

  • In Belgium, next to where we work.
  • In nearshore, a term that refers to countries close to ours, without too much jet lag. For Belgium, we are talking about the Eastern countries and the Maghreb.
  • And finally, offshore. These are far more distant countries, such as India and Vietnam.

Internal or external, how to choose?

There are several factors to consider:

  • The cost factor.
  • The notion of rapidity. If I recruit a person internally, it will surely go slower than if I form a team of five people externally.
  • The concept of maintenance. Once the software is delivered, who will take care of its evolution and fix the bugs that will be discovered? Even a very well done software will always have bugs. Take the example of the Facebook application that crashes from time to time on our smartphones while it’s Facebook!
  • The criteria of technology and architecture. We must ask ourselves the question of the use of the software we build. Is it intended for a small use in a small case or to become the leader in the field? It’s a bit like when you build a building, when you lay the foundations, you wonder if the building will have three floors or a hundred… The type of foundation will not be the same!
  • Finally, the concept of maturity is important. The fact that we will be mature enough in relation to our business needs but also in relation to our ability to manage a project of IT development.

What is privileged at 26lights?

Since the beginning, we have always decided to outsource in Belgium with excellent developers. A priori, outsourcing in Belgium is one of the options that costs the most, because a senior developer in Belgium costs more than a senior developer in India, it’s a sure thing!
On the other hand, in the gain of proximity, one can say that for a start up, the capacity to exchange frequently with its developer is an essential key factor of success which will counterbalance the difference of cost.

Our approach is always the same: our job is to be solution architects, solution implementers. We have this double cap that is to conceive and to deliver, but on the other hand we are not there to maintain it for ten or fifteen years. The idea is to be able to help our customers to internalize the maintenance of the development to become completely autonomous.



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