On the surface, you look at the prices of offshore testing as an outsourced solution, and it seems too good to be true. That’s because it is. There are hidden pitfalls that can significantly inflate the “low costs” of offshore providers and run your software initiatives and ROI into the ground.
Below are our top 10 reasons to keep your outsourced software testing stateside.
1. Management costs
Management styles vary when working with an offshore resource. A rural (domestic) testing team would have a testing manager that reports to the project manager and acts as a liaison between the project manager and the testers. They are relaying essential updates and information and keeping the team on task, on time, and on budget.
Offshore teams require more attention and management, which creates additional resources and cost to the project, especially if the team is unfamiliar with the processes.
When a client works with Lighthouse Software Testing, we bring our own rigorous processes and onshore testing teams, so you won’t waste time having to direct us and/or manage our resources.
One of the biggest fears of working with an offshore team is communication. When working with an overseas operation, expect to require 2x-3x more effort on instructions and correspondence to make sure sensitive details don’t get lost in translation.
Cultural differences may be another communication barrier. In some cultures, asking questions or admitting not understanding something is viewed as a weakness, so you may not be asked to clarify while they scramble to try and figure it out themselves, wasting time and resources if they get it wrong.
Another critical consideration is proximity. Sometimes face-to-face conversations and personal engagement is just what you need to get things on track. When your team is within a few hours of travel away from you, meeting in person is always a possibility when personal attention is necessary.
Sensitive timelines require concise communication and understanding on both ends when there are dependencies and changes. Active collaboration can make all of the difference.
3. Language barriers
Language barriers always leave you wondering if you are getting your point across clearly because neither party is able to express themselves naturally. Little things like phrasing questions, grammar, and even spelling can be points of confusion.
With a rural software testing team, you rarely have to worry how well documentation is understood. Instructions, sensitive details, and specification documents are followed as expected. Reports and summary documents come to you clearly and precisely. With an Agile environment, especially, there is no time for second-guessing instructions. With a rural testing team, your communication time and effort is half to only a third of what is required working with an offshore team.
Communications between engineers and QA staff engage well together as camaraderie builds between them, leading to productive collaboration.
4. Intellectual property
While breaches can occur anywhere in the world, they are less likely to happen here in the U.S.
Intellectual property is a concern whenever you trust an outside company with an inside look at what your development team has been creating and customizing. When working with a U.S.-based testing company like Lighthouse, you are working with a company with the highest integrity, and one that is accountable to and works within the same strict copyright rules and enforcement as yourself.
Aside from intellectual property theft, there is a concern about data integrity and security. While your stateside operation may have the best firewalls and anti-hacking tools, your data could be wide open on the other side with little recourse if something goes awry. Overseas laws are ungoverned by U.S. and are frighteningly lax in some countries.
Our onshore Testing Center of Excellence at Lighthouse keeps your intellectual property secure here in the U.S., ensuring your assets are protected.
Highly-skilled QA engineers can do more in less time – from testing to critical thinking. They do this not only from their education and experience, but also through their extensive knowledge of tools and processes. They can think through problems and identify inefficiencies (saving more time and resources), and then make corrections and improvements as they go. Being able to accomplish more with fewer resources is a critical difference when you compare costs.
7. Quality over quantity
When working with an offshore operation, your discounted rate is for “butts in chairs” following instructions. They lack the ability and authority to act and make corrections if something unplanned occurs. The value of skill makes the difference in the quality of testing you receive from the test plan to the defects identified. Five testers scratching their heads cost more than one U.S. tester who can resolve an issue and carry on.
Our industry-certified testers at Lighthouse use our proven, metrics-driven True North Testing Methodology to deliver high-quality testing.
8. Time zone differences
Working within the same time zone within +/-3 hours aligns both the testing team, the developers, and engineers to engage and collaborate together. This time synch means few delays in communication or lost productivity awaiting a response.
All team members practicing within their regular work (and sleep) schedule means greater attention to detail and higher quality output.
9. Productivity lags
So much of what we mentioned thus far can lead to productivity lags with an offshore team. The same problems are highly likely to be remedied by an onshore team with minimal to no delays.
Due to the low turnover at Lighthouse, onshoring with our US-based teams provides ongoing continuity, facilitates cooperation, improves morale, reduces rework, and expedites problem-solving.
10. Hidden costs
Communication barriers, inefficiencies, misunderstood instructions, and extra management costs are more than inconveniences. They add up against your project budget with lost time, additional labor costs, and slow turnaround. Add to that the pressure placed on your production cycle when workflows clog.
Onshoring with Lighthouse gets you the same price you pay offshore while receiving higher quality testing and helping to keep jobs right here in America. While offshore rates continue to climb, reshoring to our established, low cost-of-living location in Dayton, Ohio provides predictably steady rates.
Lighthouse is the alternative to offshore software testing
These reasons and more are why so many businesses turn to Lighthouse’s Rural Software Testing—the high-quality alternative to offshore software testing. Our proprietary sourcing model enables us to field a team of industry-certified software testing professionals located right here in the US. We accomplish this at the same or lower total cost than you’d pay offshore. When you choose onshoring with Lighthouse, you get a team that collaborates well, attacks problems head-on, and ensures nothing is lost in translation.