Telework (homeshore) or offshore for development and R&D activities? Start-ups and SMEs are close to settling the debate.

The clients and prospects we deal with seem to be more and more reluctant to development performed through telework. Moreover, this is one of the reasons which makes small companies resort to offshore services for their R&D activity. In addition to at last finding sufficient human resources, this also enables them to regroup these resources on a single location under the supervision of a project manager. Indeed, many of these companies are affected by the fact that they have their developers scattered to all corners of the world. Appealing to offshore services enables many of them, very paradoxically I must admit, to meet the essential requirements of ancient theater applying to the development process: unity of time, place and action. In offshore or nearshore, except for really large teams, there are only two production sites at the most: one belongs to the client and the other to the service provider.

Overlooking these 3 rules too much, and without sufficient planning, would mean exposing oneself to major productivity problems. Thus, when the choice is made, many prefer reasonable production globalization, aiming at lower unit costs, provided that the project involves more than 3 or 4 players. If the teleworkers in the competition are not previously familiar with the topic, there is no longer any interest in considering this option within the framework of software or web development. The synchro constraints become much more important.

Telework addresses less and less effectively the ramp-up issue concerning the start-ups and other SMEs, its usual targets, due to lack of available resources and exponential organization difficulties, while the tasks related to communication and project management increase as a consequence.

In the absence of any compensation by reducing the unit costs, the die is cast.

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