Onshore - The New Wave In American Software Development

Lines of computer code colorized to form an American flag

As digitalization increases, more companies are turning to development shops to handle the complexities of software creation. In fact, we recently published a post discussing the pros and cons that businesses face when hiring an outside firm to supplement development projects.

While our original article highlighted the differences between offshore versus onshore, costs versus expertise, and outsourcing versus outstaffing, this article will focus on the rise in onshore outsourcing and how American companies are benefiting.


One word: competition.

In our fast-paced digital era where most customers access your product or service via the internet, even the smallest technical advantage can mean the difference between profits or losses. Looking to eke out an edge wherever possible, forward-thinking companies are offloading workloads to development shops, while they instead direct attention toward core competencies.

While offshore shops are notable for their bottom-basement rates, they're much less known for their quality, expertise, and convenience. Software industry analysts say these are the primary driving forces behind the rise in onshore development partnerships.

More often than not, firms that outsource to offshore partners find the pitfalls outweigh the perceived benefits.


Our original work cites differences in time zone, language, culture, law, and politics as potential pitfalls when working with offshore providers.

For example, when outsourcing to countries like China, India, or Vietnam, the simple act of booking a call can prove troublesome. In most cases, working with developers in such locations mean time zone differences greater than 12 hours or more. Inevitably this will result in at least one side being forced to open much earlier or close much later than normal.

Intellectual property theft is another risk your company is exposed to when hiring offshore. As previously noted, "[anytime] you share your ideas with an outside firm, you run the risk of IP theft. A nondisclosure agreement is often the go-to for companies looking to minimize their risk, but in practice, there's very little you can do to protect your idea once it's 'in the wild.'"

Although onshore companies are also capable of IP misappropriation, the threat is lessened thanks to stronger legislation and enforcement. Furthermore, in choosing a competent and thoroughly vetted partner like Techtonic, your firm can rest assured that your proprietary ideas stay protected.

Lastly, as pointed out by CIO, "In North America (and Western Europe as well), there is typically a great deal of communication between the client and outsourcer. For example, the marketing person might say, "I think this product should be this shape." An experienced North American outsourcer could counter with, "I know you want it that shape, but if it were this shape it would actually go faster." The interaction can help bring about a trade-off or balance between what the customer wants and what the outsourcer delivers -- ideally resulting in the highest quality and most marketable product possible.

In some cultures, particularly in the far East, the norm is to develop what you are told. Often, that means plodding forward without offering feedback. Ultimately, this will result in a product that meets the specifications, but which does not perform as the customer expected."


Techtonic is the premier onshore development shop and talent generation partner here to help clients architect powerful software to solve their business challenges. Whether you're operating a multinational enterprise or bootstrapping a startup, strategically offloading development can prove immensely lucrative.

From concept to completion, testing and everything in between, our world-class engineers help to guide your organization through every stage of the software development pipeline.

AUTHOR - Nate Aswege

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