Offshore vs. Nearshore vs. Onshore IT Outsourcing: What Are The Differences?

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Hieu Tran

2022-03-16 04:17:15

gct solution offshore nearshore onshore it outsourcing

With the fast-paced and dynamic nature of technology-driven firms, it's sometimes impossible to achieve viable and scalable growth within the in-house workforce. In this article, we point out the differences among 3 types of IT outsourcing: offshore, nearshore, and onshore, so you can pick the one that best suits your business needs.

Companies may choose to outsource IT services for a variety of reasons. Lower expenses are sometimes regarded as the most important motivator. However this isn't the entire explanation. Lack of locally trained people, access to a global talent pool, the opportunity to grow quickly, faster delivery times, and the elimination of the need to spend time and money on recruiting are all reasonable factors that encourage big/ medium/ small organizations towards IT outsourcing.

3 types of IT Outsourcing

1. Offshore IT Outsourcing

Offshore IT outsourcing means assigning software-related tasks to a third-party partner based in a different country with different time zones (at least 5–6 hours). For example, a digital marketing agency in Vietnam partnered with an US software development firm.


The biggest advantage of using offshore IT outsourcing is lower labor costs. The hourly wage for a qualified software developer abroad ranges from 15 - 30 dollars, which provides significant savings in both short-term and long-term collaboration.


Offshoring works best for:

  • Companies that don’t heritage to work with partners in different time zones
  • Large online platforms that need to run constant updates or maintenance work 
  • Companies that don’t want to cause inconvenience of their users with downtime


2. Nearshore IT Outsourcing

Nearshore IT outsourcing means assigning software-related tasks to a third-party partner based in a different country in the same time zone or within a few hours. For example, a digital marketing agency in Vietnam partnered with a Chinese software development firm.


Nearshoring works best for:

  • Companies that don’t prefer working with partners in significantly different time zone
  • Organizations that don’t like extreme cultural differences 
  • Those want to visit, aiming at a more effective working relationship


3. Onshore IT Outsourcing

Onshore IT outsourcing is also called local outsourcing. A client works with a company or a group of software engineers who are based in the same nation and share the same time zone.


This method is normally more expensive than offshore and nearshoring, but it offers other benefits, including faster outcomes and better communication.


Onshoring works best for:

  • Companies that want to communicate in a consistent and efficient manner;
  • Organizations that prefer to avoid dealing with cultural differences;


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