Any big deal with a firm comes with certain risks. Risks that can be eliminated if the development stages are followed according to a well- designed process model.
The risk that reflects immediately is the misunderstanding of the customer’s product requirement. In case of Offshore Software Development also, no risk can be avoided if there is lack of proper interaction between the client and the service provider. A proper understanding can be built by analyzing the requirements with the client.
From your knowledge of Offshore Outsourcing, what are the risks involved? Feel free to post your suggestions on the topic.

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The two biggest risks that I see are the enforcement of contractual obligations and the built-in delays due to the fact that the offshore provider is often many time zones away.

Before contracting with a foreign company, you need a pretty good understanding of the laws of the country with which you are dealing in terms of avenues of recourse, time required to effect action and potential costs involved. When dealing locally, you probably have recourse for violation of intellectual property rights, for example that may not exist if you contract with a firm in another country.

From a time standpoint, if you deal with firm in a foreign country, you may be faced with a 24 hour turnaround to get a question answered. This might be unimportant at some stages of the development of the software, but once the software is deployed, it can mean high costs and lack of productivity. You might want to have language in the contract that provides for 24 hour support!


Hi, I realise that I am joining this discussion quite late, but be aware of the some other issues. Language is only one, but it is significant. Someone once said to me that Though I thought I knew what he wanted, what I didn't know was that what he wanted wasn't what he had asked for. Why, because of linguistic background differences. The words we use might sound the same, but very often their accepted meaning changes from place to place, like the words ass or pecker in England differ in meaning to the US.

To compound this, there are cultural issues which need to be identified and addressed as well, which also change meanings. If your requirement is for something that does not conform to the outsourced company's culture, there will be conflicts. One person's yes is another person's maybe.

Look at legal differences as well of different countries as well. You want the contract to work in your favour. Obviously, they want it to be in their favour. And don't use a lawyer from their country as the only basis for agrreing the legalities of the contract.

Yes, time zones are always a problem when working with outsourced companies. And this is compounded by having to resort to technology to assist in communication. But no matter how many e-mails are sent, how many telephone calls or video conferences are made, thay cannot ever beat a face to face meeting.

I agree that you need to ensure adequatew support, but you also need everything to be very carefully worded. 24 hour support in India is a heck of a lot different to 24 hour supprt in the Western world. In India, it means some-one will answer the phone, not that the person can assist you.

Remember, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Yes, offshore outsourcing is becomming increasingly popular, because of lower cost. But only in very rare circumstances does it mean better, or even quality.

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