Offshoring is so 1990s: How onshoring sets a faster pace for innovation in the digital era

Today every business is a digital business, including yours. You want small, agile teams collaborating closely with your business to develop responsive applications, draw actionable intelligence from your data, and create engaging online experiences for your customers. Does offshoring your technology development and services, thousands of miles and several time zones away, sound like the best way to do that? We don’t think so either. 
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That’s why, from our beginning, we established our delivery center in Columbus, Ohio, with now more than 600 associates “onshore.” In a co-located, collaborative environment, our teams provide end-to-end software development and support for our enterprise clients.

Here’s why onshoring in the U.S. makes sense for your technology needs.

Onshoring delivers with faster, more flexible response to digital disruption

Back in the 90s, companies like GE started sending their IT development to overseas technology workers to reduce costs, following a similar model that had worked years earlier for offshoring manufacturing jobs.

But business needs are changing much faster and more dramatically than decades ago. Customers’ emerging expectations and new possibilities of digital technologies are converging at an unprecedented speed.

Development teams must now be flexible, agile and responsive. Offshoring, with its inherent differences in time zones, language, and communication styles, combined with high attrition rates, makes collaboration and fast delivery more difficult than onshoring.

Originally a pure cost play, offshoring today is less of a bargain due to rising salaries in India and broader South Asia. Development also is now measured in more nuanced ways, with speed to market, transparency, and the ability for teams to pivot seen as important as quality and hourly rates.

Cosmos: The dedicated space and tools for Agile, collaborative development  

Agile software development relies on cross-functional teams who quickly and continually collaborate with each other and their customers while responding to changes throughout the development cycle. The iterative, collaborative nature of Agile development makes it virtually impossible to do offshore.

This understanding drove us to create Cosmos, ICC’s delivery center in Columbus, Ohio, where our consultants and developers provide end-to-end software development and support in close collaboration with each other, and with our clients.

Cosmos development teams are enhanced by real-time access to ICC’s Clutch team, who bring expertise and research in user experience. Meanwhile, ICC’s data engineers and data scientists provide the latest in predictive algorithms, machine learning, and modern data engineering.

The remote delivery model, optimized

Running an efficient onshore delivery center is something we’ve become experts at over the decades. ICC built the Cosmos remote delivery model with a focus on how clients experience working with us in measurable terms of quality, velocity, and responsiveness.

We form and manage our delivery center teams to ensure top performance. A blend of senior and junior members on the same team ensures a powerful mix of best practices and new ideas. An emphasis on training and retention of talent ensures consistency within project teams and across client engagements.

Our delivery managers focus on how teams are performing and driving Agile measures, while advocate roles concentrate on consultant and client satisfaction and understanding their needs.

Technology thrives in the Midwest – especially Columbus

Nowhere is the future of tech more vibrant than in Columbus. More than 2,000 miles from Silicon Valley, Columbus won the Smart City Challenge to become the first Smart City in the U.S., beating 77 cities nationwide for the honor.

As for our cost of living, Columbus and the rest of the Midwest have the advantage over other high-tech areas of the U.S. This allows us to deliver at a competitive cost point.

We have another cost advantage: easy access to bright new talent including graduates of The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, and more than 50 other nearby institutions. Our university partnerships focus on developing and hiring the next generation of IT talent. 

Check out the top 20 reasons we chose Columbus as the perfect place to embrace the new rules of digital.

Training and certifications for the digital age

IT work is much different than when offshore coding was the name of the game. Today’s IT requires an innovation partner with end-to-end capability in all three areas needed to thrive in the digital era: customer experience, a modern, integrated technology platform, and data and analytics.

While some other companies have started to move onshore in recent years, most can’t offer the co-located expertise we do in all three of those areas. To accomplish this, we pull in the right resources and place huge emphasis on training our employees, from those early in their careers to our more seasoned professionals.

ICC training elements include:

  • ICC’s XcelerateU program, which develops and mentors data analysts among our delivery team members for data-driven decision making.
  • Special Interest Groups, which offer ICC employees monthly professional development presentations to learn from experts about emerging technologies and skills.
  • Support for achieving technical certifications, which range from IBM and Microsoft implementation to Tableau data visualization. 

A look to the future

Our clients come to us to accelerate their digital transformation with innovative ideas and the latest technology practices including microservices, DevOps, IoT, and modern user experience design. 

As customer experience becomes a leading competitive differentiator for today’s enterprises, we’re seeing a huge uptick in clients wanting to do projects with Clutch, a division of ICC specializing in experience research and design. Meanwhile, hot new technologies such as artificial intelligence are driving an appetite for our advanced and predictive analytics practice.

With more companies shifting their outsourced work from offshore countries to the U.S., we’re continuing to hire and build the needed skills right here for the digital economy, including AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation.

Beyond consulting

To keep pace in the digital era, you need more than an IT consulting firm. You want a partner with a reputation for executing the technology applications and services that your customers expect.

As one of the largest and leading private Midwest technology consulting companies, we don’t just tell you where you need to go – our delivery center makes sure you get there.

Find out how to rapidly execute your digital strategy at a cost-effective price point. Feel free to email us at with questions or schedule a tour of our Cosmos delivery center.

For our delivery center’s Agile approach to client projects, and what that means for you, look for ICC Agile Practice Lead Dan Greenleaf’s future post. 

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