Skip to main content
One lesser discussed benefit of hiring nearshore developers and designers is that you get more bang for your buck...

One lesser discussed benefit of hiring nearshore developers and designers is that you get more bang for your buck. Hiring the right nearshore software team will help you to minimize the spend and maximize the output leaving you with more budget to allocate elsewhere.

Keep in mind cost-benefit does not mean less output or quality of work, just make sure you have the right team in place with the right culture.

Here are some of the benefits many of our customers see when working with their nearshore teams:

Nearshore teams provide up to 50% cost-benefit

Compared to salaries in major US cities, you can hire a nearshore engineer for up to 50% of the cost if you hire locally.

Minimize spend while maximizing output

Having the right partner to help you screen and recruit the right people will help you create the right team of experts to maximize output while keeping within or under budget.

Quality is not compromised

Optimizing your spending does not mean that you need to compromise on quality. A dedicated team with the right partner to help you manage will ensure you have an A+ team of experts.

Hire a small team instead of a single person

By allocating your budget towards a team instead of a single person, you can specialize your team into key areas that will help you produce the best output. For example, instead of hiring one local engineer, you can hire two plus a quality assurance expert. Specializing the team into key areas means you have the right people for the job.

Having a group also means you reduce risk by distributing knowledge. This way there is no single point of failure and your team can keep moving forward even if someone is not available.

Access to more talent, right expertise

Thinking globally and going nearshore means you widen your access to the right experts. Having the right partner to screen and bring you that talent is key.

Re-allocate budget in places where you need it

Perhaps you could use a bit more budget for marketing, sales, or another key area of your business. The cash you free up by hiring nearshore will help you re-allocate.

Find the right partner, never compromise on quality. You can build the right team exactly to your needs.

Thanks for reading, hope you liked this post. Please feel free to share and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

When it comes to Software outsourcing, your best option may be closer to you than you imagine. Same continent...

When it comes to Software outsourcing, your best option may be closer to you than you imagine. Same continent, same time zone and similar culture are just a few reasons for Nearshoring.

Software nearshoring has become a great option for companies in the U.S. Problems like tech talent shortage, high turnover rates and our current world situation are some of the causes why businesses in the tech industry are opting for this model.

A report from Linkedin has shown that the tech (software) industry has the highest turnover rate at 13.2% and it claims that one of the reasons why retaining tech talent is so difficult is due to high-demand and rising compensation within the industry. Companies like Amazon and Google who we would think are the dream work places for Developers and UX/UI Designers suffer from this problem according to Forbes Magazine. 

Another issue is the tech talent shortage, which is about to grow worse since the U.S. government signed an executive order temporarily suspending work visas like the H-1B for foreign workers in specialty occupations. According to an article from TechCrunch, this ban will hit Silicon Valley hard, forcing companies to move their operations to other countries.

Due to the talent shortage and the fact that employees tend to stay in companies for one to two years, it has become extremely difficult to find and retain new top talent in the U.S market, this not only affects your project timeline but your team dynamic.

How are companies dealing with these issues? Many of them are turning to nearshoring.

Here are some of the reasons why nearshoring is becoming more common among tech companies, helping them stay ahead of the game: 

  1. Top quality.
  2. Outstanding human resources.
  3. No language barrier.
  4. Long-term retention.
  5. Same time zone.
  6. Similar culture.
  7. A team that is 100% dedicated to you.

“Just like an in-house team, a nearshore team is dedicated 100% to you, and if setup the right way it can absorb your company’s culture and goals. On the other hand, offshore teams will take more of your precious time and effort to bring them into alignment.” Andres Max, CEO at Ideaware

Colombia

When it comes to outsourcing/nearshoring there are many options on the table across the globe, each providing different benefits or concerns. If you are in the US, here is how you can benefit by nearshoring to Colombia instead of countries like India, China, Vietnam or Eastern Europe.

Located in the north of South America, Colombia has always been known for being a beautiful country with happy, hard working and authentic people. These are not the only things we are known for, in the last few years Colombia has been recognized as one of the best places to innovate and do business in Latin America thanks to the quality of our workforce. In 2019 the city of Medellín was recognized by Newsweek as the World’s Smartest City.

These are some of the reasons why nearshoring to Colombia is a great option:

  • Culture: Cultural differences can present a significant challenge to efficiency. According to Forbes Magazine, Latin american countries share a similar culture with the U.S due to their proximity, this aspect will allow you to feel like your dedicated team is a seamless extension of your company.
  • Working hours: Your nearshore team should work within your time zone. Colombia’s official time zone is the GMT−05:00, which is the same as EST time for most of the year. This means that you are going to be able to get an immediate response when you reach out to your team and you won’t have any obstacle with your workflow.
  • Cost savings: Potential savings of up to 60% of the costs from hiring a US-based team.
  • Proximity: Your team should be easy to get to in a few hours, when this happens you are able to visit more frequently, which will result in a stronger relationship and greater efficiency.
  • Skills: With a population of 49.65 million people, Colombia has a large presence of companies providing software and IT services and it is home to several universities with high academic standards and research, providing top tech talent.

How does Colombia compare to other countries?

While the hourly cost might be cheaper in some other countries, you will find that nearshoring to Colombia will require fewer hours to get the same job done, why? You don’t have time zone differences. Meaning, you can communicate with your team in real time, you don’t have to wait 12 or more hours to get an email reply, you can discuss with your team via Slack, Zoom or Email the stages of your project whenever you want and receive updates while the sun is still out. 

Let’s compare Colombia to other countries:

We’re close!

Do you want to be able to visit your team without having to spend more than 10 hours flying? With 13 International Airports, Colombia provides easy access and good international air connectivity:

  • Flight time from Miami to Barranquilla: 2h 40m
  • Flight time from New York to Medellín: 5h 40m
  • Flight time from LA to Bogotá: 7h 28m
  • Flight time from Austin to Medellín: 4 hours 53m
  • Flight time from Washington, DC to Bogotá: 5h 30m

Nearshoring to Colombia is a great option for an easy and transparent process. You will find yourself thanking the regular working hours, fluent conversations and the convenience of having your team a couple hours away by plane. Remember that choosing a country for their low rates doesn’t mean you are saving money or time.

At ideaware, our nearshore teams are no longer “developers-for-rent” by the hour. We are full time-dedicated individuals that you can consider as part of your own team.

We are always available to help you succeed by supporting you with world-class team augmentation services for software design and developers.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post please share it below and subscribe to our newsletter!

Communicating with your distributed / nearshore team should not be a hassle. By setting up the right...

Communicating with your distributed / nearshore team should not be a hassle. By setting up the right tools and culture you can make collaboration a breeze.

In fact, collaboration can be much easier even than walking down the hall to interrupt Bob and ask him if he is going to meet a deadline. Poor Bob, he’s been interrupted and now out of his zone. Once Bob returns to his original work, it will take him approximately 25 minutes to return to that task, according to research by the University of California, Irvine.

If you haven’t worked with a distributed or nearshore team before, expect it to be a completely different dynamic than having an in-house only team. What should you expect?

  • Less distractions: Remote teams are prone to less office distractions and constant interruptions
  • Online only: The majority of communication happens online via tools, email or video conferences
  • More visibility: Remote teams are compelled to constantly communicate and share progress with tools like Jira and Trello
  • Less meetings: Less impromptu meetings and more efficiency to get the job done
  • Different locations: you and your team have to overcome the fact that no face to face conversations or small talk happen.
  • Bonding: expect to actively have to make the time for 1:1’s, casual talk, etc. to engage with your team.

It is important that you create the right culture and set appropriate team expectations to reap the benefits and maximize the potential of your distributed team. To help guide you with engaging a distributed / remote team, here are some recommendations we provide our partners to support them through a successful transition:

First, create the right culture

Setting up the right culture is often overlooked. Don’t expect the right flow of information, collaboration and deliverables if your team doesn’t know how to interact with each other. This is why setting up the right culture is a crucial step that makes the difference between a successful and a struggling remote team.

These are our seven culture recommendations that should be both communicated and documented for your team to always have access to:

  1. Share your org structure: identify who is who and who reports to who.
  2. Communication channels: define what tools you are going to use and how to properly use them. When to send an email, when to use real time chat and when to set up a video call.
  3. Encourage over-communication: by the nature of being remote you don’t have instant access to your team or a casual face to face down the hall. You and your team need a culture of over-communication. A few examples: acknowledge ALL received messages, set ETAs, participate in both work and “watercooler” chats/channels, give status updates, say Hi as your work day starts, ask for help, the list goes on.
  4. Accountability & Visibility: hold your team accountable by expecting them not only to stick to plans/roadmap but also by using the right tools, everyday. Visibility is key for the success of a remote team.
  5. Connect: We are all human, and as such, need to feel connected and involved. Inspire a culture of getting to know each other, create “random” or “watercooler” chat channels, hold at least 1 yearly get together (2 is best). In general, learn about your team, ask them to do the same. Connect & offer help when needed.
  6. Share decisions: Key decisions should not be kept between two team members. Adopt a culture of making decisions in either group chats and/or widely sharing via email or a team knowledge base.
  7. Respect boundaries: Remote teams also have working hours, we are still people with families and a life outside of work. Create a culture of respect, well planned and calm work.

Second, set up the right tools

There are 4 key groups of tools/software that you need to successfully engage with your remote team. These are:

  • Asynchronous communication: tools such as email, knowledge bases, online documents, etc.
  • Synchronous communication: live chat, video conference, etc
  • Project management tools: these help you manage tasks, timelines, deliverables and documentation.
  • Specialized tools: those specialized tools used by different (departments, specializations) within your team: repositories, hosting, design tools, etc.

For all of the categories above, there are literally hundreds of tools available online that you can set up very quickly. But how do you choose? Which are the best ones? It can be a daunting task.

Our recommendation is always simple: use widely adopted tools that are geared towards remote collaboration. For guidance, these are the tools that have become our standard set:

Asynchronous communication: Gmail, Wikit

Synchronous communication: Slack for real time chat and Zoom for video calls

Project management: Notion, Jira or Basecamp

Specialized tools:

Design: Figma

Development: let the team pick their stack or use your current one

Third, set the standard

By creating the right culture and providing your team with the right tools you are setting up your remote team towards the path of success. But that is not enough, now it needs to become part of your daily routine.

Set the standard by establishing the bar, and executing by example. This is the most important part of a successful remote endeavor. Set expectations and support your team in making it part of your culture.

Here are a few key items that you and your team should keep in mind everyday:

  • Use the appropriate communication channels
  • Widely share decisions
  • Acknowledge ALL received messages
  • Share (and meet) deadlines and ETAs
  • Respect boundaries and working hours
  • Keep a team knowledge base/wiki for important decisions, processes and documentation
  • Provide thorough and thoughtful responses when responding

I’ve been working with and setting up remote teams for over 10 years, I’ve seen what makes them tick and what causes them to fail. These points have become our standard at Ideaware because we experience, on a daily basis, how they work.

If you have any questions or need any help with your remote team, feel free to email me: max@ideaware.co

 

How many times have you worked with development teams where you had sleepless nights since they...

How many times have you worked with development teams where you had sleepless nights since they were half way around the world? Or, wondered if they were working or not since you should be sleeping? Are they working with multiple clients or dedicated to me? This is more than you need to worry about when working on a mission critical product or trying to change the world.

There are many opportunities for software teams near and far with different levels of skill, cost, language, etc. Working with an offshore team (India, Eastern Europe, Asia) you are definitely going to be plagued with time zone challenges. You’ll be up at various hours of the night, and likely find pricing all over the board. They will tell you everything they can to win the business and make you feel comfortable. I am sure there are some good ones out there, but chances are once you start working with the offshore team, you will wish that you went elsewhere.

So, what do you do? Focus on working with a nearshore team. What is nearshore? It is defined as “relating to the transfer of a business operation to a nearby country.” Typically, in the case of the United States, this will refer to the transfer of a business operation to Canada, Central American and South American companies. Once you cross over the left and right oceans, it moves into offshore territory regardless of how it is spun.

The value in having a dedicated nearshore team

With a nearshore team, there are at least SEVEN VALUE POINTS.

  1. Proximity
  2. Timezone
  3. Language
  4. Culture
  5. Cost
  6. Skill
  7. Velocity

As an executive leading teams at a corporate, or a startup founder, I would imagine that these seven value points are extremely important for you. As part of your development strategy, these are the keys to your success with the right nearshore partner. You should not only expect but demand these things from the partner.

In the business landscape, competition is coming and biting at your heels so you only have the time and bandwidth to get this done right the first time. I’ve heard time and time again, “well, they cost less than a US team so if there are problems and we need to redo it, it will still cost less than a US-based team.” I cringe when I hear this as it is really an unacceptable approach, especially if you select the right partner the first time around. What they did not calculate in this approach is the cost of “time” in addition to the budget burn. So, in the end it really cost 2X the time and budget in addition to the opportunity cost of other things that could not have been done in parallel.

In a recent CNBC article, “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s comments about San Francisco are a warning sign for the city’s tech scene,” Jack was quoted as saying “I do think that we need to figure out how to build a company that is distributed, that is not burdened by time zones, but is advantaged by them.” Based on his company’s needs, nearshoring is an opportunity that will bring them advantages. This is a huge statement.

Internal, external or mixed teams?

Do you need a traditional in-house team? A 100% remote team? Or mixed? These are important questions to help ensure that you are setup for success, today and tomorrow.

There is no one answer here, but rather depends on your specific needs and requirements. Here are a range of questions to ask which should help you arrive at an answer that works for your situation.

How can I maximize the output by extending the budget as far as possible?

Do I have business critical dates/milestones that I am trying to meet?

Do I need access to specific skills that I can’t find locally?

Am I not finding talent fast enough?

Do I have enough office space based on the budget allocated? Or, can I transfer some of that office budget to expanding my team?

In the world of working remote, and all the available tools, is there a business benefit to having the team in-house at the same time?

Do I value a good night’s sleep so that I can focus on my mission?

Is extending company culture across teams important to the success of the business?

Do I want the team productive or moving in and out of meetings which could reduce velocity?

Would your business benefit from long-term retention?

And the list of questions can keep going and going. I think you get the idea and hopefully the examples here help you to formulate those questions that are important for you.

Keep in mind that the intended end result is an “empowered team that can tackle challenges and provide results” that help you to move things forward. So, either a combination of in-house and nearshore, or fully nearshore, could likely be the best arrangement as a result of the answers above.

Hiring fully in-house, you expect many meetings, a lot of management, budget burn, and one on one time to align with product or company objectives. Balancing that with a nearshore team, the rules of the typical office space don’t apply and the budget is extended. Typically you communicate more and intrinsically give your team more freedom to make decisions while providing overall product direction. This really helps to drive velocity which is hugely important in the competitive landscape.

Just like an in-house team, a nearshore team is dedicated 100% to you, and if setup the right way can absorb your company’s culture and goals. On the other hand, offshore teams will take more of your precious time and effort to bring them into alignment.

If you find the right nearshore partner, that will take inventory of your needs and help you to scale swiftly with the right skill and talent. To help ensure this, transparently, you should be invited into the candidate selection process since this person will be a fully dedicated member of your team. The last thing you want is just to have butts thrown into seats to see if they fit or not. Not a good situation, and believe me, if this is offered to you…..run the other way. On the same token, if a vendor says “trust me,” well don’t unless they are providing some sort of (put your money where your mouth is) guarantee.

Nearshore teams could provide the best all worlds, but again really depends on your business goals, needs and requirements.
Lastly, here is a list of potential benefits working with a nearshore team should you find the right partner.

Benefits you get with a nearshore team

  • Collaboration: You have full visibility throughout the candidate selection process and collaborate with our recruitment team to interview and secure the best talent and skill.
  • Allocation: Your hand selected team is 100% fully dedicated to you.
  • Managed operation: Operational support and facilities for your team to do their best work.
  • Working Hours: Your nearshore team should work within your timezone. For example, for all of our US based customers, teams work within the EST (GMT-5) to PST (GMT-8) time zones to ensure overlap with their work day.
  • Proximity: Location is important. Your team should be easy to get to in a few hours. For example, the Ideaware office is only a 2 hour flight from Miami, or 5 from Dallas.
  • Transparent costs: Flat monthly rates and no hourly or hidden fees.
  • Cost savings: Potential savings of up to 60% of the costs from hiring a US-based team.
  • Culture: We encourage our partners to embrace the software design and engineering teams as their own. These teams will feel like a seamless extension of your company.

The right partner will help you understand the benefits and challenges of working with a nearshore team and advise what’s best depending on your specific situation. The team at Ideaware is always available to help you succeed by supporting you with best in class team augmentation services for software design and developers.

If you’d like to learn more on what makes a software team successful check out or post: 5 Secrets behind a succesful software team.

I've worked with dozens of technical and non-technical founders over the last few years. Technical founders...

I’ve worked with dozens of technical and non-technical founders over the last few years. Technical founders typically handle the software side of the business well (team, tech stack, etc) while non-technical founders struggle to materialize their vision.

Business experience and vision are important, but also making sure you have the right stack, the right people for the job and a solid execution plan.

It all boils down to filling in the technical gap. By doing so, non-technical founders maximize their chances of releasing good software that sells.

Here’s the top advice I give to non-technical founders that will help set them up for success:

You need someone technical on your side

A business needs to run, software needs to be sold, a vision needs to be executed. This is where non-technical founders should spend their time. Not learning to code.

Find someone to fill the gap, in any of these forms:

  • Bring on board a technical co-founder
  • Hire a Lead/CTO role right off the bat
  • Partnering with a firm who provides the talent, including lead technical roles

Having a technical parter frees up your time so you can focus on the business, while at the same time you have someone you can trust taking care of the technicalities.

Share your company vision

Sharing your product & company vision both empowers and motivates your team. We like to feel part of something bigger, specially when working towards a common goal.

Sharing your vision also helps your team make better, decentralized decisions that align with the company objectives. Teams working on random small tasks in a black box are typically not motivated. This is why sharing your vision is important.

Sharing your vision leads to a motivated team which leads to a great product.

Be there for your team, lead

Teams are not for “setting and forgetting”. Your team can’t work in a black box and produce your expected results.

Remember you are working with human beings that need to be listened and taken care of. Lead your team by setting an example of work ethic, leadership and most important of all, stand by them.

Whenever someone needs help, help. Whenever you need help, ask for it. People like to feel helpful.

Don’t compromise, expect results & quality all the time

Quality, deliverables & results are expected and non-negotiable. Period.

Expect the highest standards from your team and hold everyone accountable. Create a culture where your own team sets the bar that everyone meets everyday.

If someone is underperforming, offer help. If it’s a mayor or recurring issue, consider finding someone who is a better fit for your team.

Mistakes happen, but they should not be the norm.

Hope you enjoyed and got something useful out of this article. Feel free to share!

The way we develop software around the world has completely changed in just a few short years....

The way we develop software around the world has completely changed in just a few short years. Out of a need for quick expansion or better access to talent, companies have shifted from a local to a global mindset in order to reach top talent.

Offshoring by no means is a new practice, it has been around basically since the internet started. What has been escalating recently is a shift from offshoring to nearshoring.

Offshoring? Nearshoring?

Both terms refer to the practice of outsourcing your team somewhere else, for many different reasons:

  • Lack of local talent
  • Access to specialized talent
  • The need to augment fast
  • Location & infrastructure needs
  • and many more…

The main difference is time zone and culture. When you offshore, you hire a team anywhere in the world in any time zone. By nearshoring however, you hire as close as possible and in your time zone.

For us, the biggest pain points we help our customers with are: Quality, same time zone, similar culture and geographical location (being a few hours away by plane).

I believe this is why nearshoring will overtake offshoring.

For the past 4 years (since we transitioned from agency to nearshore team model) I’ve seen many trends come and go, but some are here to stay:

High demand and limited talent pools are driving companies to find nearshore teams

Local talent pools are usually overshadowed by rising demand. This means companies are finding it hard to source local talent to meet their needs. This is currently driving companies to evaluate other options like offshoring & nearshoring their teams.

Companies will transition to consider their nearshore teams as their own

One of the biggest concerns we see our clients have when working with a dev shop or agency is that they have to adopt another’s processes to produce THEIR results. This just introduces more friction all around.

Our nearshore teams on the other hand are no longer “developers-for-rent” by the hour. They are full time-dedicated individuals that you can consider as part of your own team.

These teams share the vision, take in the culture and adopt prosses to deliver results.

The shift from offshoring to nearshoring will continue

Same time zone? Check. Similar culture? Check. Easy travel? Check. Quality? Check.

It’s definitely a no-brainer for many companies and startups to shift to a location easier to work with and access. I’ve been seeing this trend over the last few years and I strongly believe many more US-based companies will shift to nearshoring in 2020.

A more specialized nearshore provider market

Nearshore team providers will keep specializing in 2020. You will be able to find providers that specialize in specific frameworks, technologies, blockchain or AI.

There are two reasons for this specialization: first, the more talent you have specialized in a specific field, the easier it is to attract, train and retain said talent. Second, it is good business to establish yourself as an expert in a field (by acquiring the experience) and then offer services to your target market.

Jack-off-all-trades service companies and agencies are (still) on decline.

Hands-off team management

Providers (like us) are taking the nearshore model a step forward by providing 100% hands off team management. This means you don’t need to worry about HR, office, management, retention, etc.

Focus on your product while everything else is taking care of.

High quality over cost

Most of the time, the cost benefit of hiring an offshore team had a big drawback: quality. Your team might be cheaper than hiring in-house, at the cost that you don’t get the best talent.

Some offshore/nearshore companies are able to provide a cost benefit by offering Junior level candidates that are then sold to you as more experienced developers. These types of teams lack the expertise to produce a high quality product released on time.

At Ideaware, we are very transparent about the individual team members we are bringing to the table, and in case we are hiring for a team, we involve our customers as part of the process. We’ve seen other companies in Colombia doing the same.

This transparent process ensues you get the experienced talent you need to execute your vision.

As the globalization trend continues, the easier it will become to work with nearshore teams. Improved communications, tools and processes keep making remote work better.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post please share it below!

The team list

Building a team? We got you. Get the best tips and how-to´s weekly on your inbox.

Contact
Contact

© 2021 Ideaware Co. With ❤️ from Barranquilla, Colombia.