For organizations looking to develop their own app, it is a standard practice to shop around for the best pricing for a professional developer or app development firm. When reviewing prices, it is tempting to look at offshore app developers in other countries who offer pricing that appears to be much lower than local or national vendors. Budget is important, but it is also critical to understand the risks of offshoring app development. If you are not careful, what seemed like a huge cost saving could turn into something else. Offshore app development could cost you time, frustration, and money along with making you wish you had stayed closer to home.
At first glance, labor rates for offshore developers may be significantly less than their U.S. counterparts. However, those rates only tell part of the story. It is often the case that the savings per hour are quickly negated by the additional time required to complete the project. In fact, when time estimates begin to run over, the total cost at the lower hourly rate can quickly exceed the price estimates of onshore developers. Moreover, this does not include any additional staff and travel expenses that may be necessary.
Since the development of an app is a highly technical enterprise, one might not realize the cultural nuances that are represented in the user interface. Issues such as aesthetic design, colors, and layout are very culture specific. Problems can be remedied throughout the process, but this can add to the overall cost and add an additional layer of frustration.
App development is a complex process. The most critical piece is a clear line of communication about expectations. This is essential at the beginning of the project and continues through final implementation. When you attempt to do this entirely online when time-zone differences make real-time dialogue difficult, and with the added dimension of a language barrier, the chances of miscommunication drastically increase. This can lead to delays, cost overruns, and even project abandonment.
While many offshore developers have robust security protocols and a proven track record, it is essential to ensure that your data and proprietary information is secure. The risk of data breaches and loss of intellectual property is always increased when you leave the country. It is possible to find an offshore vendor who will be responsible with your data, but you must use caution.
Budget concerns are a priority for every aspect of a business. App development is certainly no different. While there may be situations when offshoring app development is the cost-effective plan, be sure to count all of the costs in terms of actual dollars spent, and any additional labor costs that develop out of a project that is not completed in the most efficient way possible. Choosing an onshore vendor may look more expensive. However, in the long run, it is likely to be a substantial cost saving, and you are more likely to end up with the exact app you need. Want a better idea of what offshoring versus not offshoring looks like? Check out our App Cost Calculator to learn more.