Businesses and start-ups around the world have long been outsourcing their software development needs, due to the considerable advantages it offers. The most popular reasons why companies choose to outsource, instead of hiring in-house developers, are the cost and time savings the first one comes with.


However, when the time comes to choose an IT partner, they first have to decide where they want to outsource their business – which means they need to choose what type of outsourcing they need: offshore, onshore or nearshore. But what is the difference between each of these terms? And which is the right one for me?



Onshore software development means hiring an outsourcing company located in your home country. It’s the option closest to home.


There are several upsides to this type of outsourcing – by choosing an IT partner from your own country, you can work with a skilled team in the same time zone, that shares your language and culture. It also makes it easier to have onsite meetings, compared to the nearshore or offshore models. So, if these are aspects you value, this is the right option for you – and it’s something we at Alter Solutions can help you with.


The major downside with this model is the cost. For businesses in Western or Northern Europe (such as the UK, France or Germany), outsourcing onshore can become much more expensive than the other two solutions. If this is the case for you, read on.



When you go for offshore software development, it means you hired outsourcing services from a company in another part of the world, such as China or India.


If cost is your major concern, then this is the way to go. You can also take advantage of the time zone difference and coordinate your in-house development team and your outsource provider to have your project going round the clock – though this requires full proof planning and communication skills from both sides.


The main drawbacks of this option are evident: time zone differences are almost always a constraint rather than an upside, disrupting communication flows between teams. Moreover, cultural differences and language barriers can also create setbacks.


Most of the issues raised in this model can be solved by selecting a nearshore partner for your outsource software development. This comes as in-between solution from the last two. Continue reading to find out if nearshore is the right option for your business.



By choosing an IT Nearshore partner, you are hiring an outsourcing company in a nearby country. For Western or Northern European companies, Portugal could be the right option for you. 


Nearshore outsourcing teams work within the same or very similar time zone as yours (Portugal has a one-hour difference as most of Europe and the same as the UK) and usually share working culture values. Portuguese citizens are also in the European top 10 in English proficiency and usually have good levels of French and Spanish, which helps break down language barriers and improve communication between teams. Geographical proximity also facilitates onsite visits, when compared to offshore.


Cost-wise, nearshore partners offer considerable advantages to onshore, with much lower hourly rates than the latter, without compromising on quality. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, right?


Interested in getting to know more about how IT Nearshore can help scale your business? Feel free to get in touch with us.

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