From small Silicon Valley startups to the Fortune 100, many companies are discovering the benefits of outsourcing Java software development to offshore teams. Indeed, US-based companies spent billion dollars on offshore outsourcing last year, an amount predicted to rise in 2005, according to research firm IDC.
While putting an offshore outsourcing plan into practice can be tricky, the basic concept is fairly simple: you, the organization articulates the business problem it wants to solve, and the offshore development organization provides you with the solutions. This scheme imposes a greater degree of compartmentalization to the software process than what you might be used to, in that the offshore software engineers and the onsite business managers may never; so much as send an email to one another. Instead, the majority of the communication funnels through the project managers on each side. This makes the software construction process much more analogous to that of building a house.
While considering outsourcing a Java project, managers naturally want to know the cost and the time taken, when compared to the in-house approach. While it is tempting to sum up the potential benefits of outsourcing in terms of the dollars and man-months, you will save too many variables. Instead, it pays to understand the variables themselves and then come to your own conclusion.
Yes, it cuts costs
Of course the factor that often draws the most attention is the low hourly billing rate for offshore engineers. The numbers get better, when you account for other employee costs, such as, sign-on bonuses, stock options, health-care overage, office space, equipment, and those hefty recruiter fees you pay just to get them on board. And hiring does not just cost money, it costs time, another crucial factor to consider when evaluating offshore Java development.
Emphasis on quality assurance
The engineers are well-trained in the fundamentals of software engineering, as well as, the specifics of the various Java APIs, and these skills are honed as the engineer moves from project to project, picking up best practices along the way from different client companies.
The emphasis on quality assurance (QA), with an experienced Java QA team makes for spot ting problems early in the software lifecycle while they are still cheap to fix, and relieves you from having to maintain a full QA lab locally.
Eliminate the turnover headache
Projects, are well documented from the outset and when the inevitable does occur, a clued-in replacement stands ready to carry on. Over the course of a year, your offshore project team may experience 100 percent turnover or more, and yet continue to gain momentum as though they had been together all along.
As software development becomes less of a benighted art and more of a well-known system integration effort, it makes sense that pieces of the software process will become commodities. This change in software construction's perceived value has lead many renowned companies to shift their focus and core competency away from writing software and toward managing their offshore software development processes.