Pros and Cons to Onshore and Offshore Software Development

Choosing to go with onshore or offshore software development is best done when you know all the details. Here are the pros and cons of onshore and offshore software development.

Onshore Software Development

Onshore software development uses a third-party agency or developer located in the same country as you.

Here’s what you need to know about onshore software development.


  • Clear Communication – When dealing with onshore developers, there is no need to worry about language or communication. This makes it easy to stay on the same page with your team and make fast decisions.
  • Potential Face-to-Face Collaboration – While it’s not necessary, it’s a great benefit to speak to your developers face-to-face. Digital communication tools are great ways to reach anyone in the world, but there are times when in-person communication is better than electronic exchanges.
  • Familiar Work Culture – Choosing to work with onshore developers means you have no cultural misunderstandings. You have the same ideas about basic workday procedures like when a workday starts, how long it should last, and when holidays are. Even if the onshore developer you are working with lives on the other side of the country, they share your same culture.


  • Higher Costs – Choosing to use onshore developers is less expensive than trying to bring the entire process in-house, but it is more expensive than offshore developers’ very low cost.
  • Backdoor Offshoring – Some onshore developers will use offshore developers as part of their development process. While the team lead or manager will be from the same country as you, their workers may not be.
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Offshore Software Development

Offshore software development looks internationally rather than looking within your country for outsourcing help. When you choose to work with offshore developers, you broaden your search to the world.


  • Lower Costs – Offshore developers are less expensive than onshore developers. International labor costs are lower and can come with lower required taxes than having the same job done locally. This is the main motivator for any company to outsource.
  • Access to More Talent – As great as your local talent is, it cannot compare to the global network of developers. When you choose to search for an offshore developer, you get more options with a wide array of specialties and experience.


  • Scheduling Conflicts – When you and your developer live on opposite sides of the world, it’s not uncommon to have difficulties finding times to chat. Continually shifting your work schedule between your time zone and a foreign time zone is stressful and difficult to manage. The most common solution is to wake up early or stay up late, but this is only a short-term solution.
  • Cultural Differences – Different countries have different views on work, labor, holidays, and culture. When working with outsourced developers, you have to be more flexible and understand those cultural demands. It is possible to change the outsourcer to meet your cultural expectations, but this is not common practice.
  • Language and Communication Difficulties – English is the language of international business, but English is difficult to master. The rules of formal English may work in a business setting, but as soon as the topic becomes more relaxed and conversational, those foundational rules get thrown out the window. When dealing with offshore developers, it’s assumed there will be communication issues, and you have to dedicate some of your time to addressing and resolving those concerns.

The Best Choice Is Up to You

There’s no clear winner between onshore or offshore development. Rather, it’s important to understand which option works best for you and your company. Still can’t decide between onshore or offshore development? Consider a hybrid model, which combines both types by sourcing development locally while using offshore developers to perform the work. Hybrid ensures your project will be thoroughly checked by on- and offshore experts, offered a competitive rate, and have easy access to communication and on-site visits to establish team relationships.

No matter what solution you’re looking for, Tech9 can help. We’re an international team of experienced developers who help you get your projects done right while meeting your budget needs with both onshore and offshore software development solutions.

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Pros and Cons to Onshore and Offshore Software Development