Top 10 Inspiring Offshoring Examples in 2024

In today’s globalized business landscape, offshoring has become a strategic tool for companies seeking to optimize costs, access a wider talent pool, and gain a competitive edge. But what does successful offshoring look like in practice? Let’s dive into real-world offshoring examples of companies across industries that are leveraging offshoring in 2024 to achieve remarkable results.

What is Offshoring?

Offshoring is the strategic relocation of business functions or entire operations to a different country, typically done to achieve cost savings and other advantages.
Imagine a company in the US decides to move its customer service department to the Philippines. That’s offshoring. It’s about taking a specific business activity, like manufacturing, software development, or accounting, and setting it up in another country.

Benefits of Offshoring:

  • Cost Reduction: Lower labor costs are a significant driver. Companies can potentially save on salaries, benefits, and even office space expenses.
  • Increased Efficiency: Offshoring can streamline operations by focusing specific tasks in locations best suited for them.
  • Access to Talent: Companies can access a wider talent pool, finding skilled workers for specialized tasks that might be harder to find domestically.
  • Global Reach: Offshoring customer service or production facilities can allow companies to cater to a wider global market more effectively.
  • Focus on Core Business: By offshoring non-core functions, companies can dedicate more resources and focus on their core competencies.

It’s important to note that offshoring also has potential drawbacks such as communication challenges due to time zone differences and cultural barriers, intellectual property concerns, and potential quality control issues. Companies need to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding to offshore.

offshoring examples

When is Offshoring Software Development a Smart Move?

Offshoring software development can be a strategic advantage for companies at specific stages of growth. How to determine whether your company is ready:

  • Established and Growing: A solid client base and consistent revenue growth indicate a business mature enough to handle offshoring effectively. This allows you to analyze potential cost savings (taxes, salaries) and ensure it aligns with your overall business model.
  • Need for Ongoing Support: Imagine your products are fully developed and tested. Now, scaling up requires ongoing maintenance and support. Offshoring is a great solution for this phase. A good example is offshoring maintenance for platforms like Salesforce. Importantly, you’d only share data related to deployment, keeping your core source code secure.
  • Non-IP Projects: Intellectual property (IP) can be a hurdle for offshoring. Sharing sensitive code with third parties can be risky. However, certain offshoring models offer robust data security. But for a simpler approach, choose non-IP projects. Think tasks focused on operational support, testing, or design – you gain cost savings without the risk of compromising IP.
  • Long-Term Vision: Offshoring is most effective for long-term projects. It’s crucial to have a long-term plan in mind. Rushed offshoring often leads to problems. Instead, develop a comprehensive strategy that reflects the time and effort you’ll invest.
  • Access to Specialized Talent: Highly skilled tech talent can be hard to find. According to a source [replace with a credible source on talent acquisition], half of executives cite talent acquisition as their biggest internal challenge. Additionally, many struggle with employee retention.

By considering these factors, you can determine if offshoring software development aligns with your business goals and helps you achieve long-term success.

Top 10 Inspiring Offshoring Examples

Before embarking on your offshoring adventure, careful planning is essential. Consistency is key, so follow a clear roadmap when deciding where and how to offshore your tech operations. A critical factor for success, as demonstrated by these real-world Offshoring examples, is choosing the right destination.

1. WhatsApp

Offshoring empowers your in-house team to tackle the most crucial challenges for your business. WhatsApp, prior to its 2009 launch, strategically offloaded its software development to Eastern Europe. This move allowed WhatsApp’s internal engineers to concentrate on customer-facing tasks like support, while the offshore team handled the technical groundwork. This division of expertise fueled WhatsApp’s meteoric rise, ultimately leading to Facebook’s record-breaking $19 billion acquisition.

offshoring examples

2. Google

Even established giants like Google recognize the benefits of offshoring. In 2020, Google expanded its reach into Eastern Europe by acquiring CloudSimple, a software development team. Despite having a vast developer pool internally, Google’s move underscores its commitment to innovation. The acquisition of CloudSimple, now part of Google Cloud, bolstered its VMware migration solutions. While expertise was not lacking, offshoring enabled Google to make significant cost savings.

Google

3. Amazon

Amazon’s expansion strategy also leveraged the power of offshoring. In 2018, they acquired Ring, a startup boasting a talented Eastern European programming team specializing in smart home security solutions. This acquisition demonstrably enhanced Amazon’s market competitiveness. Eastern Europe’s “big pool of IT talents at a high level of quality” has undeniably played a part in their success.

Amazon

4. Lyft

Another Offshoring example is Lyft, the US-based ridesharing leader, exemplifies another successful offshoring story. Committed to exceptional user experiences, Lyft established a software development team in Eastern Europe in 2021. This team, currently consisting of 20 programmers with plans to grow to 100, plays a vital role in data mapping and service enhancements.

Lyft

5. Spotify

Spotify’s expansion in 2013, starting with its customer base hub in Mexico, is a prime example. Their expansion into Brazil and other countries yielded impressive results, with Chile becoming one of their fastest-growing markets.

Spotify

Spotify strategically targeted promising markets, securing deals with music rights holders, and built high-performing legal and business teams in chosen locations. Since then, the number of Latin American music listeners has surged by 986%, solidifying Spotify’s presence in the region.

6. Netflix

Tech giant Netflix is another leader in the offshoring game. Similar to Spotify, Netflix entered the Latin American market in 2011, experiencing explosive growth. Netflix’s offshoring strategy began in Brazil and extended to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and 38 additional markets. Local production across these markets has been a critical driver of Netflix’s success, allowing them to leverage local insights and talent to dominate the LatAm market.

Netflix

This expansion coincided with the region’s own rapid market growth. Currently, Netflix thrives in Mexico and Brazil, with projections of reaching 12.2 and 14.4 million subscribers, respectively, by the end of 2023. The subscriber base in the region is expected to grow by another 15% to 52.3 million users.

7. People.ai

People.ai, a San Francisco-based software company, needed highly skilled engineers to develop advanced AI algorithms. To find this rare talent, they established a development team in Eastern Europe. They partnered with a firm that not only identified a perfect location for their team but also provided legal and financial guidance to ensure smooth operations in the new region.

People.ai

Additionally, expert IT recruiters were brought in to assemble a top-notch team of over 25 specialists. This swift and strategic approach allowed People.ai to launch a fully functional development team within just a month, exceeding their initial expectations.

8. BigCommerce

BigCommerce, a leading provider of e-commerce solutions, initially struggled with traditional outsourcing methods, finding them to be inefficient and costly. Seeking a more cost-effective solution, they partnered with an IT Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company.

BigCommerce

This partnership focused on product development and building a skilled development team in Eastern Europe. With comprehensive support, BigCommerce’s Eastern European team grew rapidly, exceeding 30 developers in just six months. This successful collaboration demonstrates the power of finding the right offshoring partner.

9. ThredUP

ThredUP, a popular online platform for buying and selling secondhand clothing, aimed to expand its software engineering team internationally. They chose Eastern Europe as their target location and partnered with a solution provider like Alcor (the example company). This partnership provided ThredUP with various forms of support, including legal assistance for setting up an office and navigating compliance regulations.

ThredUP

Additionally, the team handled the entire recruitment process, securing specialists like an ML engineer, Java developer, and .Net Warehouse developer. They even took over payroll and accounting tasks. By establishing a dedicated offshore team, ThredUP achieved remarkable success, securing a staggering $168 million in IPO funding and becoming the world’s largest consignment store.

10. IBM

A prime illustration of successful offshoring comes from the tech giant IBM. With a staggering 131,000 employees, IBM India Private Limited stands as the largest multinational employer within India. This subsidiary leverages its vast pool of talent to deliver an array of services for IBM’s global clientele.

IBM

These services encompass consulting expertise, software development, cutting-edge research and development endeavors, and the meticulous monitoring of cloud-based computer systems. Undoubtedly, IBM’s Indian operations exemplify the remarkable potential of offshoring to cultivate a robust and geographically diverse workforce.

These are just a few examples of successful offshoring ventures. Other notable companies that have benefited from hiring developers in Eastern Europe include Reddit, Samsung Electronics, Oracle, and Huawei.

Offshoring Examples: Learning from Missed Opportunities

We explored companies that thrived through offshoring, but what about those that encountered setbacks? Offshoring success hinges on meticulous planning, and even the best plans can encounter unforeseen hurdles. However, valuable lessons can be gleaned from these “offshoring cautionary tales.”

Several companies faced challenges in their offshoring endeavors:

  • Communication Breakdown: Take the case of IT giant Accenture and their collaboration with car rental company Hertz. Hertz required a highly scalable software platform, a crucial detail for global expansion. Unfortunately, the initial project scope delivered by Accenture only addressed North American needs. This regional limitation significantly hampered Hertz’s ability to utilize the platform internationally, resulting in a costly lawsuit for Accenture.
  • Critical System Failure: In another example, Navitaire, a software developer, partnered with Virgin Airlines. However, a software crash in September 2010 crippled Virgin’s operations for an entire day. This crash, the second within a three-month period, took nearly 24 hours to resolve, leaving thousands of passengers stranded and hundreds of flights canceled.
  • Project Management Missteps: Even established players can face offshoring pitfalls. IBM, renowned for successful outsourcing ventures, encountered issues with a 2007 project for Queensland’s health department. The initial project, a payroll application, was budgeted at $6 million. However, unforeseen complexities arose, leading to a cost overrun of astronomical proportions. By 2008, the project ballooned to a staggering $1.2 billion, yet the delivered app malfunctioned and failed to meet expectations.

These cases illustrate the importance of a robust safety net for offshoring projects. Clear communication, meticulous planning, and a professional partnership with your offshoring provider are crucial for success. By establishing a solid foundation at the outset, you can foster a collaborative environment that propels your business forward.

Top Offshoring Destinations You Should Know

Looking to leverage skilled workforces at competitive rates? Here’s a closer look at some of the leading countries in each region:

Poland: The region’s IT powerhouse, Poland boasts over half a million developers and a robust education system, with 22 universities ranking within the QS World University Rankings 2024. Polish programmers are masters of various programming languages and excel in English communication. Additionally, the country benefits from several well-established IT hubs offering a concentration of talent.

Romania:

Following closely behind Poland, Romania presents another attractive offshoring option. With a talent pool exceeding 200,000, Romanian developers possess strong skills across a range of programming languages. Furthermore, Romania boasts a highly competitive corporate tax rate, making it an attractive location from a financial standpoint.

Bulgaria:

While its IT market is smaller, Bulgaria offers a cost-effective solution with over 110,000 developers proficient in several popular languages. The country demonstrates steady growth, fueled by hubs in key cities like Sofia and Plovdiv. Additionally, Bulgaria boasts one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe.

Ukraine:

Despite recent challenges, Ukraine’s IT sector remains resilient and highly digitalized. The country has a strong talent pool exceeding 360,000 developers, recognized for their expertise in cybersecurity, AI, and cloud computing. Ukraine’s IT exports market continues to thrive, supported by established tech hubs across the country.

offshoring examples

Mexico:

Home to over 700,000 software engineers, Mexico is a leader in data analytics and mobile development. Mexican developers are skilled in a variety of programming languages and benefit from a thriving tech ecosystem centered around major hubs like Mexico City and Guadalajara. The country’s IT services market is projected for significant growth in the coming years.

Argentina:

Renowned for their English proficiency, Argentinian developers offer expertise in data analysis, mobile development, and various programming languages. The country’s IT sector is experiencing rapid growth, fueled by hubs in Buenos Aires and Cordoba. Additionally, Colombia offers a significant tax advantage for research and development projects.

Colombia:

Colombia’s tech scene is flourishing, with over 150,000 programmers concentrated in hubs like Bogota and Medellin. Colombian developers benefit from a strong educational system, with several universities ranking highly in Latin America. The country’s IT market is poised for significant growth, with a supportive tax environment for R&D.

Chile:

Although possessing a slightly smaller talent pool, Chile’s developers are highly skilled and ranked first in the Global Innovation Index 2022. Chilean developers excel in programming languages and statistical analysis. The country’s IT market is experiencing steady growth, supported by tech hubs in key cities.

By considering these leading offshoring destinations, companies can leverage a skilled and cost-effective workforce to achieve their business goals.

Building a Successful Offshoring Strategy with OnextDigital. Offshoring isn’t about shirking responsibility; it’s about leveraging resources strategically. Companies must carefully consider all aspects – the advantages and potential drawbacks, crafting a tailored corporate strategy, and selecting the optimal offshoring destination and partner. OnextDigital becomes your trusted advisor throughout this process.

We offer comprehensive business support that encompasses a wide range of services, from payroll and accounting to legal compliance, employer branding, and even tech equipment procurement. You choose the services you need, maintaining complete control over costs and your offshore team. Contact us now!