How Nearshore Software Development Can Benefit Artificial Intelligence (AI) Projects

The rise of artificial intelligence is beginning to make a profound impact on businesses. According to Statista, the global AI market is expected to reach $89.85 billion in 2025. And the AI Index 2018 report found that the number of U.S. startups focusing on AI increased by 113% between 2015 and 2018.

Now is a great time to venture into AI but despite the industry’s growth, there’s a huge shortage of talent in areas such as data science and machine learning. Analytics software company Burning Glass and IBM recently predicted that there will be around 2.7 million job openings in AI by 2020, which the current AI talent pool can’t keep up with.

Given this predicted skills shortage, companies venturing into the technology need to think carefully about their hiring strategy. Nearshore development services is the practice of outsourcing a software project to a country that borders your own. It can bridge the gap between hiring full-time staff and offshoring.

Let’s look at how nearshore software development can benefit AI projects in more detail:

Clear Communication Channels

When it comes to technology as complex as artificial intelligence, the risk of miscommunication is significant. Everyone involved in the project needs to follow the same data handling, storage and security procedures to ensure that the project isn’t affected by human error.

Working with a nearshore outsourcing company ensures that there are no language barriers, timezone differences or cultural roadblocks that could jeopardize a project.

Although there’s no immediate need for clients to meet face-to-face with a nearshore provider, the geographic proximity means that conversations can take place in person if required.

Maintain Oversight of the Project

Working with a nearshore software company in the same timezone as your business enables you to easily keep track of your project’s progress. Using project management tools such as Asana, Jira and Basecamp, you’ll have real-time access to the progress of individual tasks. With nearshore outsourcing, businesses can also enforce quality standards more easily than if the project is outsourced offshore. Time zone compatibility means that QA feedback can be relayed regularly and implemented immediately.

Maintaining oversight of your AI project ensures that your software development team is engaged and is meeting their responsibilities. According to analytics company Gallup’s State of the American Manager Report, 59% of employees with ‘involved’ managers are more likely to be engaged in their work. In turn, this means that staff is more likely to deliver work to the expected standard, making for an overall more efficient project.

Fast Project Turnaround Times

One of the principal reasons that businesses use nearshore providers is to improve their products’ time to market. This is partly due to response times being quicker with timezone compatibility.

Proximity often leads to better agility, which is very important for artificial intelligence projects where unexpected issues can arise. For example, if there’s an eight-hour time difference between you and your software team, you may have to wait until the next day for a response, never mind a solution.

A nearshore company can respond and often resolve any issues within the same working day.

A Cost-Effective Solution to AI Talent Shortages

According to recent research conducted by serial entrepreneur JF Gagne, there are approximately 22,000 PhD-educated researchers in the world capable of working in AI research and applications, yet only 3,074 candidates currently looking for work. This indicates that the AI industry is experiencing a talent shortage that looks set to continue for some time.

Given the lack of AI skills out there, it’s important for companies to secure talented developers as quickly as possible. Research conducted by Glassdoor reveals that the average interview process in the tech industry lasts for 25 days. That’s almost a month’s delay in getting your AI project off the ground. With a nearshore software company, there are no long interview processes to find the right candidate. With a nearshore team, your developers will already have the expertise required to deliver your project.

According to IT management company TekSystems’ recent survey, Exploring the IT Skills Gap, 81% of IT leaders found it moderately to extremely difficult to get quality candidates. With an onshore software company, you won’t lose valuable paid time training staff on how to implement AI technology into the software. With a nearshore outsourcing company, you can get straight down to business.

On a practical level, currency exchange losses are also less likely and travel times will be far shorter than with an offshore provider.


In summary, the main benefits of hiring a nearshore software development company for your AI project are:

  • Quick and effective communication without losing hours to different time zones
  • Maintain hands-on control of your project and ensure responsibilities are met
  • Fast turnaround times and agility
  • Bypass long recruitment processes and cut travel costs