Software Outsourcing: A Guide To Human Resource Optimization
Software Outsourcing: A Guide To Human Resource Optimization
Register now

IT Outsourcing: Types, Models, and Pricing Models that You Need to Know

November 28, 2023
Types of IT Outsourcing

The world of IT outsourcing is not one-size-fits-all. It’s a versatile solution that comes in various types of IT outsourcing, each tailored to meet specific business needs. In this comprehensive guide, VTI will introduce the different types of IT outsourcing, shedding light on the unique advantages and considerations associated with each.

Types of IT Outsourcing


Onshoring is one of the types of IT outsourcing paradigm in which a company contracts or delegates IT services to a service provider located in the same country (or even region) as the client. That’s why this type of IT outsourcing is also known as local outsourcing. 


  • Accessible Communication: The physical proximity of the service provider in onshoring allows for face-to-face interactions. This fosters clearer communication, better understanding, and more effective coordination. Teams can easily hold meetings, and address any concerns promptly.
  • Similar Time Zones: Being in the same time zone or close time zones is a significant advantage. It enables real-time collaboration, which is crucial for activities that require immediate responses or close coordination between teams. 
  • Cultural Alignment: Onshoring often results in better cultural alignment and understanding. When teams share cultural norms and values, it creates a more harmonious work environment. This can prevent misunderstandings or conflicts arising from cultural differences.


  • Expensive Cost: Onshoring doesn’t guarantee uniform cost savings. For example, establishing operations in major metropolitan areas might be more expensive due to higher labor costs and living expenses. On the other hand, rural or less developed areas may offer cost advantages.
  • Skill Availability: Even within the same country, the availability of skilled workers can differ significantly. Consider the specific skills and expertise your project or business requires. While onshoring can be advantageous for tapping into local talent pools, it’s essential to assess whether the location you’re considering has the necessary skills and competencies readily available.
  • Competition for Resources: In regions with a concentration of businesses or industries, there may be competition for local resources, such as skilled workers, suppliers, and office space. This can impact resource availability and costs.


Nearshoring is an IT outsourcing paradigm where a corporation outsources its IT services to a neighboring country or on the same continent. This type can be thought of as a conventional hybrid of offshore and onshore. 


  • Geographic Proximity: The physical closeness of the service provider allows for easier travel and more direct communication. With the nearshoring location right across the border, it is relatively easy to have in-person meetings when needed – and the travel costs shouldn’t make too big of a dent in your budget. 
  • Similar Time Zones: Being in a nearby or neighboring country often means that time zones are similar or overlap. All of that makes it possible for the nearshore developers to collaborate closely with your in-house staff in real time and allows you to have tight oversight over all aspects of the development process. 
  • Cost Savings: While nearshoring may not always offer the same level of cost savings as offshoring to low-cost regions, it generally provides potential savings compared to onshoring. The lower rates offered by nearshore service providers don’t come at the expense of credentials or expertise.  


  • Language and Culture: Even though language and cultural differences in nearshoring are generally less pronounced than in offshoring, they can still exist. It’s important to assess the language proficiency of the nearshore team and understand any cultural nuances that may affect communication.
  • Unforeseen Costs: While nearshoring can offer cost savings compared to onshoring, it is important to carefully evaluate all aspects of pricing such as travel expenses for meetings, etc.
  • Data Security and Privacy Concerns: Nearshoring may raise concerns about data security and privacy, particularly when dealing with sensitive information. It’s crucial to implement robust security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and data transfer protocols. 


Offshoring is a location that is far from the customer’s location, mostly in a different continent or geography but is chosen as an offshore destination because it meets the business needs of streamlining the overall business process. 


  • Cost Efficiency: Offshoring is frequently selected over other types of IT outsourcing because of its ability to drastically lower operational expenses. When compared to recruiting locally, labor expenses in offshore regions can be significantly lower.
  • Access to Global Talent Pool: This type opens up access to a vast and diverse pool of skilled professionals. Individuals with specialized skills in numerous industries and domains are included. Companies can use this talent to boost their capabilities and embark on projects that require specialized talents.
  • Global Expansion: Offshoring provides an opportunity for companies to expand their operations globally. By establishing a presence in international markets, businesses can tap into new customer bases, explore untapped markets, and potentially increase revenue streams.


  • Time Zone Challenges: Dealing with time zone differences can make real-time collaboration and communication more complex. Communication can become difficult, as team members may not be available during the same hours, and project timelines can be affected due to the communication delays. 
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Different countries have their own legal and regulatory frameworks. Companies must navigate these complexities, which can include labor laws, tax regulations, intellectual property protections, and industry-specific regulations. 
  • Lack of Control: Sometimes, small details are left unnoticed, resulting in massive issues over time. This issue may arise because the offshore company operates differently and may be unable to respond rapidly to client requirements. 

Comparison Between Three Types of IT Outsourcing

LocationIn the same country.Neighbor country or the same continent.In different country/time zone.
Cost-effectivenessHigher than nearshore, and offshore.Slightly lower than onshore but higher than offshore.The lowest.
CommunicationSame language.Different language.Different language.
Talents and availabilityLimited employees with high cost.Larger talent pools with lower costs.Larger talent pools with lower costs.
Cultural fitSharing the same culture. The culture can be a bit different. Do not share the same culture. 


Read more: [EBOOK] Strategic IT Outsourcing: Optimizing Cost and Workforce Efficiency

Types of IT Outsourcing Models

Offshore Development Center (ODC)

An Offshore Development Center (ODC) is a specialized team of developers situated outside the client’s nation that performs IT services. ODCs are typically set up by companies that want to outsource their IT needs to a team of experienced and skilled developers who work remotely. One of the key advantages of establishing an ODC is that the client company is not burdened with the additional responsibilities and costs associated with employing these offshore team members. 


Unlike an Offshore Development Center (ODC), which typically involves a long-term commitment and continuous collaboration, project-based teams are assembled specifically to address a single project’s requirements. These teams are structured with a specific scope of work, a defined timeline, and a predetermined budget. This is considered to be the most flexible in these types of IT outsourcing models because of its benefits for companies facing time-sensitive projects that require rapid delivery of final outputs.

Dedicated Team

A dedicated team works the same as the ODC model. However, all the team members will work on-site in the business client’s office. While the dedicated team model offers advantages in terms of immediate access and close coordination, it may not be feasible for all companies due to factors such as living costs and logistical considerations.  Due to the living cost and other responsibilities, not all companies can afford a dedicated team for a long time. 

Read more: Top 3 Common Types Of IT Outsourcing Models & How To Choose The Suitable One

Types of IT Outsourcing Pricing Models


The fixed-price model in project-based outsourcing is characterized by its well-defined structure and clear terms. At its core, this approach hinges on a meticulous scope definition, ensuring that both the client and the outsourcing partner have a comprehensive understanding of the project’s objectives, requirements, and expected outcomes.

Time and Material (T & M)

Its emphasis on flexibility and transparency distinguishes the Time and material model in project-based outsourcing. This approach is particularly well-suited for projects where requirements may evolve or change over time. Unlike fixed-price models, which have a predefined scope, Time & Material allows for adjustments and updates to be made during the project. 

Dedicated Team

The Dedicated Team model in project-based outsourcing provides a level of control and flexibility that is highly advantageous for businesses. With this approach, the client has full authority over the composition of the team. They can select team members based on their specific skills, expertise, and experience. This level of control allows for a tailored approach, ensuring that the team is ideally suited to the requirements of the project. 


The Value-based pricing model places a primary emphasis on understanding and delivering what customers truly value. This approach transcends traditional pricing strategies that are solely based on production costs or market benchmarks. Instead, it strives to align the price with the value the customer receives. 

Read more: IT Outsourcing Pricing Models: Which One is Suitable for Your Business?


Ultimately, the choice of types of IT outsourcing should align with an organization’s specific goals, project requirements, and budget constraints. Successful outsourcing hinges on clear communication, well-defined scopes, and a well-chosen outsourcing partner. By carefully considering the strengths and challenges of types of IT outsourcing, businesses can optimize their IT outsourcing strategies to drive efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and value creation in today’s competitive business landscape.

If you want to know more about IT outsourcing, please visit VTI’s website.


𝐕𝐓𝐈 – 𝐈𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐓𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 𝐕𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞

Hotline: (+84) 24 7306 9996

Location: Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Singapore

Email: [email protected]