Avision on problems with offshore service providers Disadvantages of software development abroad
Not every company has its own software developers. Again and again, software projects are outsourced to foreign service providers. The company Avision cites some possible problems.
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Despite all the advantages of globalization, outsourcing software development to distant foreign countries also has disadvantages. (Image: TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay )
Outsourcing software development to offshoring service providers is common practice, because they advertise with favorable conditions. However, this outsourcing variant can bring with it some problems that more than outweigh possible savings in the end.
The IT service provider Avision has dealt with the potential difficulties. The result is a list of six stumbling blocks.
Misunderstood communication: Due to language barriers, communication is often difficult. If, for example, an originally German-language ticket has to be translated two to three times in software maintenance before the offshoring service provider can use it, errors are programmed in both a literal and figurative sense.
Cultural barriers: Language and cultural barriers in agile development projects have a particularly disadvantageous effect, since communication has a high priority here. In addition, offshore service providers often have a high fluctuation. This is in stark contrast to the concept of agile development, which relies on teams working together in the long term.
Exaggerated documentation: The development and further development of individual solutions requires a comprehensive understanding of the applications. In offshoring, this creates an immense amount of documentation: For the desired results, companies must provide the service provider with a precise description of the requirements. The effort for this can assume such proportions that it would be more efficient and cost-effective to carry out the development yourself.
Long distances: The social integration between the managers of the own company and the employees of the offshore service provider is naturally significantly lower than with colleagues who are under one and the same roof. The hurdle of addressing the employees of the service provider is therefore significantly higher. This can lead to the fact that your own employees prefer to solve problems inefficiently themselves, rather than choosing the quick solution through inquiries.
Low savings: Large cost savings through offshoring are often only possible under questionable conditions. Truly cost-effective service providers can be found above all in socially, politically and ecologically precarious countries such as China or Belarus. On the other hand, if you are in countries that meet Western standards in these areas, the cost savings are usually small.
Lack of data protection: Data protection is also often a problem. Many offshoring service providers are located in countries that have a significantly lower level of data protection than the European Union. It is therefore often impossible to meet the local data protection requirements. In some cases, this can be achieved through appropriate technological precautions or special customer contracts; however, this often leads to additional expenses that quickly eat up the cost advantages of offshoring.
Nadine Riederer, Avision CEO Nadine, says: “The money that companies supposedly save by outsourcing development work to offshore service providers is often expensive for them.”Companies often outsourced additional tasks that could be solved technologically without needing manpower at all. “These include software tests or trivial standard tasks that can be automated with the help of AI-based tools.“