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About The Author: Hanna Shnaider
PhD in Philology | Passionate About Modern Technologies | Bringing Digitalization Towards the Business
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You’ve probably heard of offshore development, which is when a business partners with teams in faraway countries. And maybe you’ve also heard of onshore development, which is when you pair up with teams in the same country to get a project done.

Nearshore development is the middle ground between the two. It’s when a business works with teams in nearby countries.

For example, if a company in the United States partners with developers in Mexico or Costa Rica, that’s nearshore development. If the same company worked with developers in China, it would be considered offshore development.

In this article, we’ll explore the option of nearshoring and talk about how to work with a team that extends across borders. 

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The Benefits of Nearshoring

Nearshore development comes with several benefits. Which makes sense, considering that 72% of companies are already outsourcing in some way.

First, it can be less expensive than hiring people in the same country. But at the same time, the two teams can still communicate relatively easily since they’re likely to be within similar time zones. They may even speak the same language, or have a common one they can understand. 

Nearshoring is also a great way to scale your team on a flexible basis. Land a huge, one-time contract or have a deadline looming? Using a nearshore team can help you meet your shorter-term goals without going through the careful hiring process you usually use for full-time employees.

This can be especially valuable for you if you’re a family-owned business who is carefully watching your resources and working on a tight budget.

Finally, nearshore development offers companies a wider talent pool to work with. Developers in adjacent countries can bring unique skills and perspectives to the table that you might otherwise miss out on. But at the same time, since they’re not on the other side of the globe, both teams may have similar cultural practices, holidays, etc. that help them work together smoothly. 

All that said, managing a cross-border team comes with challenges. How can you bring out the best in developers from all walks of life? And how equipped are you to empower them to work together?

It all boils down to two things: 

  • Knowing how to manage different work types
  • Adopting tooling to organize, certify, and share business data

Here’s how to make your nearshore development project a success. 

Nearshore Successfully with the Business Chemistry Framework

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Ever heard of Deloitte’s Business Chemistry framework? The global consulting firm came up with this approach, based on research into how our brains work, to identify four key work styles: Pioneers, Guardians, Drivers, and Integrators.

Few people fit into just a single one of these boxes, but most of us do pretty consistently fall into a few of these work styles: 

  • Pioneers thrive on innovation. When a complex challenge arises, Pioneers rise to meet it — often in a creative way other team members wouldn’t have considered.
  • Guardians keep everyone grounded. They map out potential risks and make plans to avoid them. Their focus is on precision and stability, no matter where the team is based. These qualities make them excellent project managers for nearshore teams.
  • Drivers keep projects moving. They’re highly focused and can meet milestones on time like no one else. They encourage their fellow team members to keep things clipping along at a steady pace, too.
  • Integrators are the glue that holds your team together. They flourish in roles that allow them to bridge cultural gaps and language barriers. They’re key to making sure everyone on the team — onshore and off — feels valued and understood. 

If you’re planning to take advantage of the benefits nearshore development brings, you’ll want to get to know how your team members fit into these business chemistry styles, and make sure you have a good balance of types. Understanding each person’s work style helps you manage developers more effectively, both at home and in neighboring countries. 

Now that you know more about how to work with a spread-out and diverse team, let’s talk about how to keep your data organized across different work spaces. 

How to Pull Off Data Management for Nearshore Teams 

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When outsourcing development, managing data well is key.

Data deduplication is a major part of tracking and managing the data your teams work with. 

Deduplication simply means removing extra copies of data. When you’re collaborating on development across borders, data deduplication helps make sure the data in your systems is accurate and consistent. This prevents rework, overwrites, high storage fees, and laggy load times. 

If you’re shuddering at the thought of going through each file by hand and deleting copies, fear not. Data management tools can (and should!) automate the deduplication process for you. The best ones do this across multiple virtual workspaces — perfect for your remote teams. 

But you have to put a little bit of elbow grease in, too. 

Best Practices for Effective Data Management

There are three best practices you should apply when managing data across your nearshore and in-house teams: 

  • Centralized data storage
  • Cloud-based solutions
  • Regular data audits 

Let’s look at each one a little more closely. 

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Data should be kept in a central data repository. This is basically a big, digital library where your company keeps all the data feeding your various projects. But centralized doesn’t have to mean on-site. While some companies store everything on company computers, for projects with nearshore team members, cloud storage is ideal. How else can everyone have easy access to the data that informs their projects?

Cloud-based storage solutions like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure can securely store data for your entire distributed team.

With these tools in hand, team members can access project data on the cloud from just about anywhere. Cloud-based solutions also tend to include advanced data management features, like automated deduplication. Plus, they offer top-notch security, which is crucial for important software development projects. 

A streamlined nearshore development project will make it a point to conduct regular data audits. 

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This is where the elbow grease comes in. Yes, software and automations make data management a lot smoother. But project managers should still make it a point to check that their tools are performing as expected. Reviewing regularly helps identify any places where the system is breaking down, so it can be rectified before a bottleneck forms. 

So make it a point to assess how your data is collected, cleaned, stored, and accessed. Make changes where necessary to help keep the data neat and flowing. 

Are You Ready for Nearshore Development?

Software development is becoming more global than ever.

Your company can get in on the action by teaming up with colleagues in neighboring countries. Nearshore development encourages valuable collaboration across different cultures, without sacrificing the convenience of working with people in similar time zones.

When you understand your team dynamic and how to feed your projects with the best data, you’ll be able to build a nearshore development program that saves money, strengthens your business network, and benefits from a wealth of perspectives.