Five Reasons Not To Offshore Mobile App Development

You’re a small business owner and you've got a great idea for a business app! Now what do you need to do to get your app in the app store? You need to find a developer. Your options are to offshore the development of the app, or find a local Australian developer.

The following are some things to think about when considering offshoring the development of your app, all are good reasons to stick with a local developer.

Finding a quality developer

Do you know what you’re getting when you offshore your development? Have you checked the developers credentials? Are the credentials verifiable? Can they offer you credible references or testimonials? Are you able to view their previous work?

These are just a few of the many questions that should be contemplated before deciding on hiring locally or offshoring. While these apply to Australian developers as well, it may be a more simple matter to verify credentials and contact referees.

Paying the developer to learn on the job

For any outsourced job you want to know that who you’re hiring have the skills they need to complete the job. Offshore development companies are known for keeping costs down by hiring students and others who have minimal experience and who are effectively ‘learning on the job’.

You may be paying a lower amount initially, but there are long term costs you may face with product quality that end up costing you more.

Communication and cultural differences

At all phases of a development project communication is one of the most vital components. At the start of a project where communicating the design, purpose and functionality of the project, it is so important that both sides have clear expectations of the other party to enable the project the best chance for success.

If you’re a new client to app development this can be even more crucial as there are many aspects of the development that you may not yet have even considered. A local developer can talk, and walk, you through all the aspects that you need to think about and help you to make the decisions for a successful project.

At later stages of the project where development is underway, clearly communicated feedback loops enable the project to keep progressing successfully. Using an offshore developer can have issues where colloquial language is misunderstood or misinterpreted and thick accents can provide communication difficulties in situations where technical jargon can have a tendency to take over already.

This leads to feedback cycles becoming convoluted and unproductive, delays in the project delivery date and increasing project costs.

Timely revisions and what you can do about it

Regular testing is crucial to app development to ensure that the software requirements specification is being met. When it comes to dealing with an offshore developer even asking the most basic questions can result in delays of days or weeks. If an offshore developer isn’t meeting deadlines, there isn’t anything you can do about it.

Your rights for legal recourse

Australian laws don’t apply overseas, any information you send to an offshore developer can be mismanaged or misappropriated and there will be nothing you can do about it. However, depending on the level of personal information you may be liable for breaching privacy in Australia. I don’t think that's a situation any of us want to face.

Another area of legal concern is that your ideas may not be protected once you send them to someone overseas. You don’t want your ideas ripped off, so protect them by staying in Australia.

A third area of legal concern occurs when the project delays start, there is no legal recourse to provide a solution suitable to both parties, you’re at the mercy of the developers whims.


Distance and communication can be crucial to successfully completing a software development project of any sort. Just having a sit down together and going over the bits that do work and the bits that don’t work. Then discussing the best way to ‘fix’ it can provide the clarification the project needs to be completed.

The phone and email are great, but living the same culture along with face to face time can be best solution for keeping things clear and on task.

The “cheap” option initially is not always the most cost effective over the life of the project. Doing it ‘right’ can end up costing as much as doing it locally by the time you factor in the extra time for specification development, communication headaches, project delays and unclear expectations.

Phone Thrive Web Design now for a free no obligation consultation about your app.