Follow the Sun and Agile Nearshoring - Which Development Method is Better?

Blog / Follow the Sun and Agile Nearshoring - Which Development Method is Better?

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    Sheraz Sarwar
    Sheraz SarwarDecember 6, 2021

    I ensure that our clients & developers are happy as we build exciting products.

    Software development presents challenges for digital health companies. There is an increasing lack of developers across the globe. At the end of 2020, there was a shortage of 40 million skilled developers. As a result, many companies are struggling to find the workforce to get their projects off the ground.

    In-house development can be costly. Your developers need all the resources to complete their work, which increases the budget of the development. You also need to consider the cost of the workforce salary. Employee salaries can stretch your budget to complete the project. This is especially true if you need to increase your hiring efforts to meet the demand. It is also important to consider your approach should developer demand drop off.

    As a result of increasing development costs, and the difficulties it presents, outsourcing is becoming more popular. Outsourcing your tech development can be more cost-effective, and produce an equally quality product. However, it is important to ensure that your outsourced partner suits your needs.


    The nearshore methodology involves partnering with development teams in a nearby country. The country would usually fall within the same time zone as your own. Developers can work in teams on different parts of the project, to combine for the final development. 

    Agile nearshoring has the potential to cut down development time, compared to in-house development. To be agile, each team works in “sprints” on their individual task. Each component is developed, tested and reviewed at once. This results in each component being completed, before moving on to the next. Development can be much quicker, as the finished components can be compiled at the end, without the need for testing and changes.

    In theory, nearshoring also offers the flexibility of more reasonably priced development, but maintains ease of communication. Employment costs are cut, as salaries do not need to be taken into account. These costs are associated with the nearshoring company. Typically, a price is negotiated for the completion of development, and that is the extent of the costs. Labour costs are often cheaper in other countries. 

    However, with offshoring, there can be language or cultural barriers. Nearshoring claims to offer a “plug and play” experience with developers, as they should be flexible to suit your development.

    Agile Nearshoring

    The Reality of Nearshore Outsourcing

    Budget is one of the main reasons that nearshore development is popular. Labour costs can be lower in other countries, compared to the US. With strict development budgets for many projects, low costs can be extremely appealing. However, it is important to remember the common saying “you get what you pay for”. 

    Cheap development doesn’t mean good quality development. The expectations of tech solutions are always increasing, as technology develops and changes. Your product must provide more than your competitors, but this is difficult if the initial development is sub-par. 

    Poor development leads to redevelopment. Ultimately, this is more likely to increase your costs, rather than reduce them. With each iteration, comes more labour hours and an increased spend on resources. 

    Redevelopment will quickly take your costs over your budget. This could be prevented by ensuring the product is right as quickly as possible, and maintaining a focus on quality.

    Nearshoring developers are unlikely to be familiar with your specific market. Developers may be experienced in programming as a whole. However, their ability may vary depending on the type of technology that you need. For example, health technology is a challenging field and developers may struggle to understand the details. Expert knowledge is key in niche fields like digital health.

    Follow the Sun

    The follow the sun approach is an alternative to nearshoring, and other outsourcing options. Development teams are based around the globe, each working on their development for a full working day. Each component is then passed on to the next time zone, and work continues. The follow the sun model offers 24 hours of development per day.

    As a result, ‘follow the sun’ offers many of the benefits of nearshoring, without the disadvantages. 

    Unlike nearshore outsourcing, follow the sun doesn’t focus on cheap development. Costs may still be lower than US developers, but this isn’t the primary aim. Partners focus on expert developers in the field. This means that the final product is high quality, functions well, and redevelopment isn’t necessary.

    Agile Nearshoring

    Often, in singular teams, code is confusing and inaccessible to a person outside of that team. This presents challenges when tech needs to be updated. Due to the nature of the globally distributed development model, the project must be highly organized. Each set of developers must work as clearly as possible to ensure a clean handover to the next team. Therefore, once the project is completed, necessary updates or changes can be made by other developers. Code must be clean, and this allows integration with further developments.

    Another important advantage is that the teams are experts in their field. The follow the sun approach builds teams with specific expertise. Each component is built to the best of their ability. This results in a quality final product. Communication is also much simpler between your company and the partner due to a mutual understanding.

    The follow the sun methodology provides access to a wider talent pool. Outsourcing from other companies and countries encourages innovation. Developers have different experiences, and can pool their expertise together to drive the project forward. Innovation is key in technology development, and allows you to stay ahead of the curve.

    At Vertrical, we utilize the follow the sun development model to optimize your health tech solution. We have a team of digital health and compliance experts, to ensure your solution meets key standards. Contact us today to discuss your development.



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