The global sourcing

The term global sourcing is used to describe the practices that sourcing from global market for product or services across geopolitical boundaries. The main impulse for global sourcing is the access to competencies, resource availability and costs benefits. Over the last decade global sourcing has major impact on information technology in terms of software development. The development processes of large enterprises are distributed among comparatively lower wages locations and organizations [1]. Besides cost-effectiveness the need to achieve efficient system performance, reduce the risk and time to market in today's integrated comprehensive market, software development is considered a globally sourced commodity. It has also facilitated the use of well-educated and technically competent software engineers of lower wages countries from Eastern Europe, South Asia and Latin America etc. [2].

Global software development has significant involvements of interactive people, organizations and technology across nations with different backgrounds, languages, cultures and working styles. It increases the interaction and relationship between individuals and groups which helps to solve complex issues in efficient way. Adopting global software development offers organizations very promising benefits [3, 4, 6 and 7].

  • Cost Saving; the primary benefit of global sourcing is lower cost of wages. The system development cost in USA, Canada and most European countries are higher than Eastern Europe or Asian countries.
  • Access to multi-skilled workforces; opens the possibility to hire skillful and knowledgeable engineers. Companies have the opportunity to expand their software development activities to contribution of large skill works, wherever they may located. It also enables to create a virtual cooperation or virtual teams across the nation.
  • Reduced time to market; has ability to use time zone differences to achieve "follow the sun" approach described detail by Carmel [5]. It enables organizations to maximize the productivity by use of multination resources which aid to improve the time to market.
  • Improve quality; sharing best practices business organizations can get the high quality of product.
  • Contiguity to market and customer; global software development allow develop software close to their customer and to increase the knowledge of local market. For example an embedded system software development company focused on large manufacturing industry based in China or ERP system development company focus on the new market in India.

Scalability; the outsourced company usually prepared for increasing or decreasing productivity either temporarily or permanently.

Beside of these highlighted benefits of global sourcing organizations have more benefits on improving resource allocation, reduction of coordination cost, improved in clearly defined process and documentation are significant.

However, there are some major challenges organizations needs to overcome in global software development. Communication, language barrier, socio and cultural distance, time zone, trust and coordination problems between teams are important [3].

  • Communication; is the significant obstacle in global software development. It is common that lack of communication among developers is root of failure. And large time they spent for communication. Though there is technologies are available for communicating between teams for example email, IM, phone and video conferencing but time difference between two sites has the barrier for quick communication.
  • Language barrier; language difference is another major barrier of GSD. English is Uses as common language but has also sometime difficulties on understanding in teams because of education and cultural differences.
  • Socio and Cultural differences; make difficulties in GSD. For example, going to pub is common in European or Americans which is not common in Indian culture. Another example is Belarusian or Indians follows or maintain the hierarchy whether Swedes emphasis on the equal representations.

Trust and confidence; if teams in offsite do not complete the tasks in a certain period of time or finish the task in different way by misunderstand the requirements from onsite. If this happens often, teams in onsite have difficulties to establish a feeling of trust with offsite and the lack of trust between two sites reduces the confidence.

Coordination and control; issue arise when project task have assigned to the teams. If both sites try to control the project then there will be conflict between teams. Project should be delayed lack of management between teams and sites.


  1. Robert Martignoni, "Global sourcing of software development - a review of tools and services", 2009 Fourth IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering.
  2. Ita Richardson, Miriam O'Riordan, Valentine Casey, Bridget Meehan ,Ivan Mistrk, "Knowledge Management in the Global Software Engineering Environment", 2009 Fourth IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering.
  3. Juyun Cho, "GLOBALIZATION AND GLOBAL SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT", Issues in Information Systems, Volume VIII, No. 2, 2007, Page 287-90.
  4. Pr J. gerfalk, Brian Fitzgerald, Helena Holmstrm Olsson and Eoin Conchir, "Benefits of Global Software Development: The Known and Unknown", Q. Wang, D. Pfahl, and D.M. Raffo (Eds.): ICSP 2008, LNCS 5007, pp. 1 - 9, 2008.
  5. Carmel, E.: Global Software Teams: Collaborating Across Borders and Time Zones, 1st edn. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1999).
  6. Erran Carmel, Ritu Agarwal, "Tactical Approaches for Alleviating Distance in Global Software Development", IEEE SOFTWARE March/April 2001, Page 22-29.
  7. James D. Herbsleb and Deependra Moitra, " Global Software Development", IEEE SOFTWARE March/April 2001, Page 16-20.

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