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Oct 17, 2018

Offshore America: Outsourcing While Onshoring

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This Insights article was contributed by Wayne Hippo, Managing Partner of PS Solutions.

Hiring programmers a world away has long been a desperate option for those looking to fill their need for tech talent.

The argument was simply that American software developers weren’t available or affordable, and going off-shore promised lower costs and a tech team who worked while you slept.

Over time, American C-suites learned there were hidden costs to the overseas solution. The time zone differential left small windows for communication and problem-solving. And English fluency, together with other cultural understandings, have grown from “nice-to-haves” to essential factors. These “soft” attributes had a major impact on internal project management.

Such real-world lessons now collide with a growing concern of American jobs versus foreign jobs, and the real possibility that bad actors could comprise your offshore team and compromise your software integrity. 

Indeed, when offshoring, one loses certain control of the project, which frequently translates into losing control of the money spent on that project. Some companies spend millions without reaching a satisfactory solution. We’ve all heard those nightmares.

While acknowledging the cost savings companies cite for offshoring entire IT departments, what about the occasional but necessary project updates or system and deliverable alignments that in-house software development teams inevitably face?

Because hiring a full-time developer – or team – requires an extended search, considerable overhead and the moral fiber (or lack thereof) to eliminate that staff when the project is complete, companies look to what seems to be the easier and cost-sensitive solution of outsourcing via offshoring, only to face the downsides of that decision thereafter.

Offshore America offers an alternative. At PS Solutions, we assemble a stateside team to solve urgent software roadblocks and collaborate to formulate creative solutions. Our teams are comprised of certified developers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, with work performed either onsite at our clients’ locations, or offsite in our offices in Pittsburgh, Altoona or Wilmington.

By choosing smaller towns over larger tech centers one typically considers for software expertise, we can attract top-notch software engineers and project managers who have developed impressive resumes in Raleigh-Durham, Silicon Valley and the like, but now prefer the small-town lifestyle.

This keeps our expenses lower. In general, PS Solutions clients save some 40 percent over what similar services would cost in a major metropolitan market.

We match talent to task and temperament to team, assuring project needs and corporate culture are equally
considered. 

With the flexibility to assign skilled developers to work onsite with in-house teams or offsite but easily accessible, our clients can meet their assigned designers and developers, see the progress they are making in real time, and engage as frequently as they like. The result is ten years of clients that have avoided or at least augmented the offshore approach. 

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

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