An Offshore IT Development Strategy

Offshore IT development comes with endless benefits, but it also has challenges. From time zone differences to cultural barriers and communication issues, these setbacks can lead to downtime. Here are some offshore IT problem-solving strategies, including offshoring IT development teams in the same or similar time zone as your company.

Key takeaways for your Offshore IT Development Strategy:

  • By offshoring IT needs, companies enjoy many benefits, including cost savings and access to top talent not available in their area.
  • One of the biggest challenges with offshoring IT talent is time zone differences, which may cause scheduling problems and project delays.
  • According to Forbes, incorporating diverse cultures into organizations can lead to immense opportunities for growth.
  • Implementing effective communication practices ensures streamlined processes, timely project delivery, and guaranteed peace of mind for your IT team.

In today’s globalized and internet-connected economy, many businesses choose offshore IT teams to reap benefits, including cost savings and to access top talent.

However, managing offshore IT teams comes with challenges, especially when navigating time zone differences and cultural barriers. This article will discuss the “ins and outs” of managing offshore IT teams and cover tips for overcoming associated challenges.

The advantages of hiring talent from Latin America

With remote working becoming routine in the IT sector, offshore talent outsourcing is more popular than ever. And it is becoming increasingly common for companies to outsource offshore IT services from Latin America (Latam) for the following reasons: 

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Multilingual skills
  • Similar time zone
  • Cultural competencies throughout the region

For offshore outsourcing to work best, it is essential to understand the differences between Latam IT culture and other regions and what it means for talent management. For example, Latin America boasts many cultures and languages, which sets it apart from other regions. 

Also, a huge benefit to using Latam IT talent is that time zones can be the same as or very similar to the USA market. This allows your internal IT team to work with offshore IT teams in real time instead of enduring major time delays that slow down projects. 

This means finding all-around decorated offshore IT talent from Latam is more beneficial for your company time-wise in comparison to finding talent in India or Eastern Europe. 

Challenges of managing offshore IT teams

Working with offshore IT teams can present unexpected obstacles that require strategic and creative problem-solving. Some of the primary issues include:

Time zone differences

One of the biggest challenges with offshore IT talent is the time zone difference, which may cause scheduling problems and project delays.

Unfamiliarity with traditions and time management perspectives may also cause setbacks. For instance, while Westerners tend to be comfortable being slightly late for an appointment, Eastern nations like Japan have strict punctuality expectations.

For an excellent offshore IT development strategy in managing time zone differences, keep the following in mind:

  • Identify key dates and holidays

Holidays differ across the globe, and whether you outsource your offshore team from Latam, Asia, or Europe, you must be aware of the differences to circumvent issues. For example, many Europeans take the whole month of August off to vacation. Identify key customers like this and plan to set up alternative working days to ensure productivity and eliminate delays. This mapping will help set clear expectations for employees while avoiding unexpected hold-ups.

  • Outsource IT teams from a country with a similar time zone as yours

If you outsource offshore workers from a region with the same or similar time zone as your company’s, you can ensure greater deadline efficiency. Your internal and external teams can work in tandem in real-time, solving issues as they arise. 

For example, outsourcing offshore IT development talent from Latam is very beneficial to American companies as the time zones tend to be the same or very similar. This synchronicity allows your internal IT team to work with external teams on important deliverables at the same time. 

  • Organize team communication

Synchronous communication, such as video conferencing and phone calls through various channels, allows real-time interactions. This approach enables workers to quickly get the information and support they need, resulting in faster and more effective communication.

On the other hand, asynchronous communication tools like emails and voice messages can often result in delays, particularly when dealing with different time zones – but they are still used and can be effective. Evaluating how to merge these forms of communication can help reduce your meeting times while boosting productivity.

Cultural challenges

While cultural differences are inevitable, they are also manageable. When working with people from different backgrounds with varying values and views, it is important to recognize cultural boundaries immediately – no matter how small the difference may seem. Remember, everyone prioritizes things differently. It’s important to be mindful, courteous ,and respectful of cultural diversity, including habits, professional standards of conduct, time management, dress, and others, to ensure a smoother workflow.

According to Forbes, incorporating diverse cultures into organizations can lead to immense opportunities for growth. It also provides the tools necessary to adapt swiftly in ever-changing environments.

To establish a perfect offshore IT management solution, begin by doing the following:

  • Conduct culture training for your offshore teams

Cultural training will prove invaluable in helping both parties gain insight into each other’s cultural customs and convictions. This powerful tool can facilitate understanding within your team, streamlining communications.

  • Simplify your communications channels

65% of companies reported that language barriers led to miscommunication between members of their organization, resulting in 67% decreased efficiency, with 40% reporting collaboration difficulties. 

To mitigate these issues, use simple terminology and be direct when conveying instructions. Metaphors and unnecessary jargon should be avoided for clarity’s sake to promote a streamlined communication process for everyone involved.

Effective communication across time zones

As a business owner, you must implement effective communication strategies for your offshore team to streamline processes, accomplish projects on time, and ensure every team member works in a comfortable environment.

So, how do you implement effective communication across time zones? Here are some strategies:

  • Set clear expectations so each member understands their roles and responsibilities
  • Establish protocols such as dedicated times/days in which everyone can contribute more efficiently
  • Use an agile project management tool to enable people to work at all times and to coordinate effectively
  • Leverage tools like video conferencing or message boards to facilitate group conversations
  • Foster a sense of cohesiveness

Using these techniques creates a system where everyone can quickly access up-to-date information, regardless of location.

Improve your offshore IT team management with Folder IT

Today, companies are turning to offshore teams as they expand their talent pools. Offshore teams must stay in sync to ensure efficiency, which is challenging, especially when managing groups across different time zones and cultural differences.

Fortunately, Folder IT is here to help. We specialize in offshore talent management and boast a region that has the same or very similar time zones as the U.S. market. With Folder IT, you can rest assured that your offshore teams will stay on top of their workloads without compromising productivity. Contact us today to learn how you can get the most out of offshore IT teams with efficient time zone strategies and communication solutions.

 

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