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Onshore vs. Offshore Development: The Truth

August 13, 2018


You have an idea for the next big app—you just need to build it. One of the first steps in the development process is hiring engineers, but building an internal team carries a heavy price tag and requires a lot of time. Hiring a mobile app development firm represents an efficient option to bring your concept to life.

When comparing software consultancies, perhaps the most important criterion is where each firm sources its development, which can either be in-house or overseas. Both onshore and offshore teams have their pros and cons, but ultimately, there are three important things to keep in mind when making your decision:


Contracting an offshore team can feel like a long distance relationship—sure, digital interfacing makes communication physically possible, but there’s just something irreplicable about communicating face-to-face, something only a mobile app development team that operates under a single roof can accomplish. Meeting with your designers and engineers in-person leads to final products that function seamlessly without compromising the integrity of your vision.

Onshore agencies work in close contact with their clients, so your vision stays at the heart of every task, from designing logos to writing code. While outsourced developers may be working on multiple projects at once, in-house teams keep you and the success of your idea as their sole responsibility for the duration of the project. Everyone involved has a strong familiarity with your company and its goals, something offshore development firms cannot replicate due to sheer distance. Localized teams are also responsible for the success of their entire team, creating a collaborative atmosphere that motivates the team to take a more personal stake in the outcome of the project.


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One of the most important qualities in any development project is agility, the ability to efficiently handle issues or changes. Localized developers definitely have the upperhand here; it’s far more effective to have a coworker take a look at your code or sync up with your team daily instead of communicating between remote engineers and battling opposing schedules.

Hiring an in-sourced team also assures that every line of code adheres to standardized programming practices. A project developed overseas will likely be inconsistent with the latest standards, negatively affecting the overall performance and durability of your product.

Accountability is a big component of building products quickly without compromising on quality; localized mobile app developers accomplish this with direct management to oversee every stage of the project, from signing contracts to delivering the final product. With offshore teams that navigate between time zones, efficient, results-driven management becomes virtually impossible, decreasing productivity and obfuscating communication.



When you contract the development of your idea to an outside agency, you entrust your passion to their team. Therefore, the knowledge that experienced, dedicated engineers and designers are working on your product creates a peace of mind that your idea is in good hands.

Due to the attractiveness of working in a cooperative, team-focused environment, in-house software firms are able to recruit their employees from leading technology companies and renowned educational institutions. The relationship between an inhouse software consultancy and its employees is a mutualistic one; the firm invests in talent that exhibits both strong foundations and growth potential, while the employee gets the opportunity and incentive to learn and expand their skillbase. This all leads to high retention rates and stronger internal teams, so you can rest assured that only the top talent will be working on your project.


How to Decide?

When choosing a firm to build the technology you need to grow your business or make your idea a reality, weighing the positives and negatives of each development firm is crucial to your future success. The best way to discern which firm would best fit your goals is choosing between local or remote mobile app development agencies, but be careful—some US-based developers outsource engineering to overseas teams.

Although onshore consultancies tend to be pricier, the end result outperforms outsourced apps at every level. If you refuse to compromise on quality, efficiency, and talent, partnering with a local development team ensures that the final product matches your vision and maintains robust performance. Going with an offshore developer may not save you money in the long run anyway—in fact, 70% of Swenson He clients start out with offshore agencies that fail to deliver and end up switching to local teams.

Swenson He is built on a “never outsourced” philosophy—we believe that building the most innovative technology demands an unrelenting commitment to performance, efficiency, and quality, all of which cannot be achieved without every aspect of the project happening under a single roof. We work with our clients to understand their needs and goals, and stay in constant communication through every phase of the endeavor so that our final product exceeds every expectation.