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The Perfect Pair: Why Digital Agencies Need Nearshore Development Partners

2021-03-09 | Written by Felipe Jaramillo Fonnegra CEO
Nearshore Partner

If your firm is like most successful digital agencies, your client load is at capacity. Actually, you’re beyond capacity, even overwhelmed. At the same time, you want and need to take on more — and more complex — projects to keep up with your competition. But how?

You need a nearshore partner. The right nearshore web development firm can help you deliver complex client projects more efficiently for less spend.

Nearshore partners sometimes get a bad rap because they’re not your friendly neighborhood (literally) dev team. But there are so many unsung benefits of working with a nearshore partner to explore.

What Does Nearshore Partner Mean, Anyway?

The term nearshore, from a business perspective, describes companies that neighbor each other but aren’t in the same exact country.

Nearshore implies your partner firm will be:

  • Geographically close. A short flight, three to five hours or so, should be all that separates you from your nearshore partner.
  • Timezone compatible. Your nearshore partner should be in the same (or almost the same) timezone as you — not hours or a full day apart.
  • Language aligned. There should be no language barrier between you and your nearshore partner. Sure, you may have different native or primary languages, but your nearshore partner should speak your language.
  • Culturally congruent. The country you’re nearshoring with should be similar to yours so there aren’t hurdles to understanding basic business practices.

There’s an unfortunate misconception that nearshore and offshore are synonymous. But offshore is usually the opposite of everything elucidated above. If your agency is in the United States, your nearshore partner should be in the western hemisphere, not India or China.

Caution: Not All Nearshore Firms Are Created Equal

There’s another important distinction that needs to be made, this time between types of nearshore firms.

Some nearshore firms do what’s called body shopping — they farm out an employee to you to complete web development tasks. The catch is that you’re completely responsible for managing this person and his or her projects.

On the other hand, a project-based nearshore partner provides a comprehensive team of experts who fully execute all agreed-upon initiatives. Importantly, this includes the operational side of things. No delegation or remote management falls on you.

The Benefits of Finding the Perfect Nearshore Partner

The benefits of engaging the right nearshore firm truly help with your complex web development needs.


5 Factors to Evaluate in a Prospective Nearshore Partner

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Unrivaled Cost Savings

There’s so much more to nearshoring than saving money, and we’ll get to that. But the boon to the bottom line is what many agencies think of first when vetting nearshore partners, and cost-savings certainly is a significant upside.

Nearshore firms are more cost-effective for your agency than both hiring an in-house team or hiring a local/domestic company. Period. That’s because the average salary of a web developer in Manhattan, for instance, is simply higher than that of a web developer in Colombia. It follows that nearshore companies can leverage this difference to save you money on projects without sacrificing expertise or quality of work.

Beyond the simple cross-country economics of it, hiring an external partner saves your agency money by negating your need for an in-house team.

Hiring in-house means recruiting, training, and managing an entire team, including expert developers, project managers, and architects. Not to mention that by the time you get the team up and running, you’ll likely experience turnover. Then, your effort to assemble your in-house team was for nothing — you have to start recruiting all over again. It’s a huge drain on your time and resources (read: money).

Conversely, an outside partner provides a complete, ready-made team that requires no training or managing or salaries from you.

Expanded Technical Expertise and Client Capacity

Maybe your agency just doesn’t have the technical chops to deliver on complex web development projects because you’re focused on other important services. A nearshore partner can lend that technical expertise so you can expand your service offering and pursue those more involved client engagements.

Even if you do have deep technical expertise, you may not have the bandwidth to accept more clients. Or, you might have the capacity to build new solutions, but lack the time necessary to maintain what you’ve built post-launch — the day-2 tasks that aren’t as appealing to your teams.

A nearshore partner can boost your bandwidth in both cases. If you’re maxed out client-wise, your partner can add to your capacity. And, if you’re uninterested in day-2 tasks — like incident response, application performance monitoring (APM), and infrastructure optimization — your partner can step in to perform that upkeep.

Confidence You’re Keeping Up with Web Development Trends

Web development gets more complicated by the day. Cloud-based solutions, front-end web development, DxP, content management systems — there’s so much to track. It’s exciting because these tools are powerful; they open up so many possibilities. But there’s a catch.

How long can your in-house team keep up? And how can you be sure you’re choosing the right technologies in such a muddied pool?

A nearshore partner can track these technologies and trends for you so you know you’re up to speed, or even ahead of the curve. A nearshore partner adds to and complements your skillset without further stressing your in-house teams.

Faster, More Sophisticated Project Delivery

Having a nearshore partner means delivering more quickly. That’s because nearshore firms don’t start from scratch with each new client — they’re able to leverage existing codebase and pre-built solutions, not to mention established knowledge, to move faster.

It’s not just about coding, though. Nearshore firms have a more sophisticated architectural underpinning and more robust existing systems from past projects. Your agency can leverage these time-tested systems to move your current projects along more quickly.

Nearshore firms also increase speed because of their specialization. This specialization means they are completing the same types of projects with the same technologies over and over again. And repetition naturally lends itself to efficiency.

What Comes Next?

Interested in finding a nearshore partner that checks these benefit boxes?

Aplyca specializes in complex web development and operational projects for digital and marketing agencies.

We take pride in delivering a full team of experts to round out your technical skill offering and increase your bandwidth. And we’re right next door in Colombia.