Let’s face it: offshore software testing has never been without its challenges—but the costs were so low that those headaches and hidden costs were worth the trouble. But as the wage gap narrows, drawing American companies even, is offshore really worth the baggage anymore?
Talk to people who’ve worked with an offshore software testing team and a lot will tend to tell you the same story: the prices are low, but the challenges are high—leaving a rash of busted budgets, frustrated users, and diminishing department credibility in their wake.
Even though it’s been over for a few years now (by most accounts, at least), the “Great Recession” hit the Midwest pretty hard.
While plant closings and shuttered businesses abounded in the manufacturing sector, countless software testing jobs left the U.S. as well. Shipped from the mainland for the supposedly greener pastures of “low-cost regions” offshore, entire departments were jettisoned—never to be heard from again.
Or so we thought, at least. It turns out a lot’s changed in just a few years.
Nowadays, the single most important advantage of offshore software testing—price—is eroding at an increasingly fast pace. In prime outsourcing destinations like China and India, rising wages have significantly narrowed their once-insurmountable price gap. This means that some software testing companies have, for all intents and purposes, drawn almost completely even.
We’re no stranger to this ourselves. In fact, our very own Rural Software Testing teams have been delivering onshore testing at offshore costs for a few years now. But price isn’t what’s driving so many companies to bring their software testing back onshore—it’s simply the catalyst.
So what’s the real reason they want to come back? They’re sick of all the baggage.
If you talk to people who’ve worked with an offshore software testing team, a lot will tend to tell you the same story: the prices are low, but the challenges are high. Whether its lax Intellectual Property laws putting proprietary data at risk, a dramatic increase in production-level defects (and costly rework), or any one of a million similar (and expensive) issues, these “hidden costs” of offshore software testing can grind software development projects to a complete standstill. In fact, one company even told us that, when productivity and efficiency are taken into account, it takes seven offshore testers to equal the output of just one onshore tester!
Unsurprisingly, those hidden costs can inflate expenses at a torrid rate—leaving a rash of busted budgets, frustrated users, and diminishing department credibility in their wake. A few years back, you could’ve made the argument that they were a pill worth swallowing for the overall cost savings they promised. Nowadays, with the price gap all but closed, those extra management costs just aren’t worth it anymore.
In essence, software testing has come full-circle. Where it once seemed like we’d never regain the losses offshoring wrought on the American workforce, the tide has swung back the other way. For the people experiencing pain with their offshore providers—the CIO who’s up all night fighting fires, the developers who are unable to collaborate with their offshore team, the frustrated management team who’s losing faith in their IT department—this isn’t simply a feel-good story. It’s the solution they’ve been waiting for since they day they left.