Offshore must be the safe thing to do, everybody else is doing it and it seems works, right?

It depends on what your company does.  In some cases it may still make sense to outsource to the least expensive offshore location.  Call Centers, Business Processes, and other backroom activities may even benefit from the time separation.  However, having a far away team does not work if you are developing a software product.

Even under the best of circumstances software development is hard to do well.  Splitting the development team across multiple time zones makes it even harder, almost impossible to do it successfully.

If you plan to outsource software development, you should first consider doing it in the US, but still within two time zones of your US-based team.  Your Total Cost of Engagement (TCE) will be lower and the risks will be much more manageable.

Alternatively, you should consider extending your team outside the US, but still sticking to locations that are within two time zones from your US-based team.  And make sure that there’s good cultural alignment, too.  Otherwise, you are going to waste a lot of times paying for misunderstandings (e.g., what does “yes” and “done” mean?).

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