Onshore vs Offshore QA Testing Team: how to make the right decision
Remote opportunities are a new realm. Software, app and web developers have discovered that working with people from different places does not necessarily mean that productivity is lost. Software testing has been a successful area for decades of remote collaboration.
There are many factors that go into choosing the right QA partner. However, many companies pay attention to the geographic location of the QA company. There are many benefits to offshore and onshore software testing services. You should consider your specific needs when choosing a software testing company.
A Baseline for QA Comparison
Before we get into the comparisons let’s first define our conversation.
- Onshore software testing companies are usually referred to a company located in the same place or within the same country.
- Offshore testing is done outside the country in which the hiring company is located, often in the Caribbean, Ukraine, or India.
- Another option is near-shore testing. Near-shore testing companies are often located in the same time zone, but may not be in the country of origin.
Each testing resource is different, as you might expect. This resource will help you decide between offshore and onshore software testing.
The Pros and Cons of Onshore Quality Assurance Testing
Onshore services are best for complex software, apps, and websites that require coordination and frequent interaction with internal teams. Onshore partners offer security and cultural alignment, which are often the most important advantages. These are just a few of the many benefits to be aware of when evaluating offshore vs. onshore partners.
- Face to face communication: Onshore Testing enables real-time detection of emerging issues and allows for faster problem-solving. We mean Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even Slack calls.
- Effective communication: There are no cultural or time differences and the risk of miscommunications between teams. Onshore testers are also more likely to spot edge cases during the testing process.
- Less security risk: Although both offshore and onshore testing companies have stringent security protocols, countries where offshore companies are based have more strict security laws.
- Increased time to market: With the benefits mentioned, your speed to bring your software to market will be greatly increased.
- More flexible contract terms: Some offshore companies might push you to join a full-time, ongoing team. An offshore software testing company might be better suited if your requirements are more project-based. They can provide both long-term and project testing. If you need to modify your testing requirements, offshore testing companies might charge change fees.
The advantages of offshore QA Testing
When pricing is important, offshore software testing is often considered an advantage. It is also useful when the task can be completed by less experienced staff who have limited direction. When tight coordination is not required and time zones overlap are not an issue, offshore QA is a popular choice. There are other benefits to offshore testing:
- Uninterrupted Work Cycles: Working with an offshore team allows for a 9-13 hour difference. Offshore testing teams can continue the project while the engineers in your country finish their workday. Although it will require the implementation of a robust digital communication platform, you can still create a continuous production process.
- Less initial cost: Large IT projects can be more affordable if they are outsourced to countries that have low labor costs. These low-cost countries can provide significant savings in the beginning.
- A large and highly skilled talent pool is available to you Many offshore testing companies have their headquarters in countries that promote IT degrees. For example, India has over 1.5 million engineers graduating each year from more than 2,000 engineering schools.
Survey results suggest a preference for onshore testing
An in-depth survey was done during the 2008 Software Test & Performance Conference to assess the quality and overall costs based on the locations of the QA/testing team. Over 200 people participated in the survey, with 82% of them directly involved in technical QA or testing. Managers, directors and technical personnel were all included in the survey.
The survey results represent the collective opinion of technical QA and testing professionals on offshore software testing. Although the survey was completed over a decade ago the results still hold true, especially in terms of productivity and efficiency. QualityLogic was not involved in the survey but we believe it is important to share the perspective of those who were, so that you can make informed decisions.
5 Factors Determining QA Testing Cost
- Geographical closeness: Participants were asked if the geographic proximity of the QA/testing team to the domain experts and development teams affected the quality of the system. Nearer proximity between the testing and development teams is beneficial for the overall quality, according to 88% of survey respondents.
- Management attention Significant cost savings can be realized when a testing solution requires less management attention. Onshore testing was slightly preferred because it requires less management interaction. The survey results showed that 55% of respondents felt that offshore testing required less management attention.
- Communication: Effective communication is key to any project’s success. It was asked whether there is any difference in communication issues between offshore and onshore software testing. Over 60% of participants believed that offshore software testing can solve most communication issues.
- Maintain control over the work being performed: Delivering projects on time requires tight control over the scope and the life cycle. Late delivery can have devastating effects on product costs and the overall budget. Nearly 80% of respondents believed that offshore testing gives them more control over the work they do.
- Quality and the number: There is always a desire to increase the number. However, a better solution may be to increase expertise and professionalism. Nearly 60% of respondents to the survey believed that offshore testing could be more effective than onshore testing.
These survey results offer a perspective we believe is important to communicate with when deciding on a QA partner. However, it is important to remember that QA testing has evolved both offshore and onshore over the past decade. Some companies choose to combine both offshore and onshore testing, which can make them more effective.
Hybrid: Offshore execution with Onshore Oversite
A hybrid model, known as Onsite/Offshore, is offered by some companies. This includes an onshore project manager who oversees an offshore team. The process must be guided by a clear strategy and outline. Although collaboration can be complicated, it is possible to achieve success if you manage your time well and are consistent. Here are some examples of implementations you might consider:
- Communicate frequently and effectively.
- Make a To-Do list for each other and keep it updated.
- Pay attention to the differences in time zones. It may help to check in with the Onsite coordinator a few minutes before starting work (at a reasonable hour) so that you are aware of what is expected.
Advantages of an Onsite-Offshore Testing Model
- This model, if used correctly, can guarantee that work is being done every hour of a project’s 24 hours.
- Client interaction directly helps improve communication and the business relationship.
- It is more cost-effective to have offshore teams than having an entire QA team onsite.
- Take into account the differences in time zones and adjust your expectations accordingly.
So which is better? QA Testing Offshore or Onshore
It all depends on what your goals are. Our research shows that offshore vs. onshore benefits are often driven by specific requirements and project details. Like any business operation success is determined by the details.
It is important to understand exactly what you require before you choose a QA testing company. Although offshore testing may offer labor savings and faster work cycles, it is difficult to match the quality of onshore testing when complex projects require close collaboration and clear communication. You can get the best results by determining what is most important for you and your project. Then, choose your model accordingly.
This advice should help you make informed decisions about what you need and when it is needed. It will also give you confidence in your plans and ensure your success in the future. For more guidance, please contact us for a complimentary support call. We’ll help find the right fit for you.