Thursday, July 06, 2006

Offshore Software Development India

This article is designed to assist companies who are looking for Offshore Software Development partners In India in particular or in low cost countries in general. The paper covers the mechanics of finding an offshore software development partner, setting up the relationship and ensuring a successful and long-term partnership.

Benefits of Offshore Software Development India
Some of the advantages are listed below:

Significant cost savings, up to 80% in certain cases.
The outsourcing company is able to release resources for high value-added and priority work and can concentrate on their core competence, designing, business knowledge while delegating technical tasks, maintenance, research or routine tasks to the offshore software development company. In some cases the offshore software development company can add significant technical knowledge also.
While it can be quite difficult to recruit the expected competence in Western countries, it is a completely different scenario in India, where there are many qualified programmers with good academic training.
For temporary peaks the Outsourcing company can avoid expensive new recruitment or the high cost of local consultants and instead use lower priced consultants in the offshore software development company.
Consulting and programming capacity is available at short notice without increasing long term personnel commitments.
Outsourcing company also reaps the knowledge gained by the offshore software development and consulting assignments.
Some clients outsource their programming needs by getting programmers from India for short or long term projects to work onsite with their own design team. Others send whole or parts of projects directly to India for offshore software development in India.

Offshore Software Development India, Disadvantages

Following are some problems, which may occur if both parties are not aware of how the offshore software development process should be set up.

Language and cultural barriers
Time differences
Technical communication problems
Skill mismatches
Quality discrepancies
Security problems
Lack of a repeatable process
Bad management and hierarchical inflexible organizations
All of these can be avoided, by choosing the right offshore software development partner and working with proper and proven project management processes evolved during the earlier offshore development assignments.

Sometimes the Outsourcing Company overlooks these risk factors, thinking that the cost savings is so high that these risks are well covered. But in reality this can be a major trap.

Offshore Software Development India, The Ideal projects

Not all projects are ideal for Offshore Software Development. Any task involving proprietary knowledge, which can not be safeguarded with agreements, are not suitable for Offshore Software Development. Very technical and complex tasks can also be bad projects, since the amount of communication needed may be so high that the cost advantage is eaten up by having to explain everything. Very small projects may also be unsuitable, since the time to prepare the specification might be more than the cost advantage.

But apart from these exceptions, most projects or subprojects are suitable for Offshore Software Development in India. Some of the possible areas could be:

Platform porting projects (like porting from DOS - Windows, Windows 3.11 - Windows 95/NT, UNIX -> NT.
Application conversions
GUI design
Database applications, migration and porting
Web enabling legacy systems and client server applications
Web development, designing, programming etc. e Commerce - projects
Components like ActiveX, VCL, Objects, Reports, and Modules. Object Oriented Programming is very suitable for offshore software development projects.
Technical Documentation, end user documentation and manuals
Software QA and Testing
Remote Linux / Unix administration
Remote database administration
Remote software maintenance and feature enhancements
How to find an Offshore Software Development partner India
Make sure the offshore software development partner you are looking for fulfills at least some of the following characteristics:

Good communication equipment and facilities. Leased line or ISDN connections to the Internet are essential.
Excellent English language skills.
Experience and references. Check with a few of the references and ask for their experience and advice on how you should work successfully with the company.
Visit the company and establish a good relationship with the offshore software development partner. Make sure they understand your needs and quality demands.
Also, check that the offshore software development company has adequate equipment, stable finances and good management.

For detais read here