Flexible working options are here to stay. Over the last few years, 42% of the U.S. workforce started working from home full-time. This shift in work has had some genuine benefits for businesses across the globe—it’s now easier than ever to get the expertise you need through outsourcing. But, there are differences between onshore vs. nearshore vs. offshore outsourcing.

“In delivering SAP services, the choice between onshore, nearshore, and offshore models hinges on finding the perfect balance between cost efficiency, cultural alignment, and communication effectiveness. 

“Ultimately, the aim is to align the delivery model with your strategic objectives,” said Chris Chaney, iT2 Director of Professional Services (Remote Services COE & AMS).

In this blog, we’ll go into the differences between onshore vs. nearshore vs. offshore outsourcing, explore what services SAP experts can deliver no matter where they are, and how you can use outsourcing solutions to build your own team of experts.

Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore: The Key Differences

Choosing the right outsourcing model impacts your business significantly, what may be right for one organization may not be suitable for another. Here are some key differences you should be aware of:

Onshore Outsourcing: These are services delivered within the same country. Costs of local outsourcing can also be higher. While talent availability may be limited, communication is generally easier and straightforward. There are also likely no barriers in language or significant time zone differences. This is a great choice for businesses that value easy communication and quick access to services.

Nearshore Outsourcing: This involves neighboring countries in close proximity and similar time zones. For the U.S., Mexico is a common nearshore option. It helps businesses save with rates higher than slightly higher offshore, but lower than onshore. Communication is generally easier due to similar time zones and cultural similarities.

Offshore Outsourcing: This is when services are provided from distant countries, such as India for the US, with significant time zone differences. The appeal here centers around cost savings. However, this model can present challenges in communication and cultural differences, potentially leading to higher overall costs despite the lower hourly rates.

Each model has its benefits and challenges. You should consider your project requirements, communication preferences, and budget before deciding which model is best for you.

Tip: If you need support for business-critical systems, like your SAP environment, experts are available to help you from anywhere in the world.
iT Services 2, for example, whose leadership team has over 70 years combined SAP experience, can provide SAP consultation to staff augmentation to meet your business needs where you are, right now!

The Benefits of Onshore, Offshore, and Nearshore Outsourcing


  • Ability to Collaborate in Person: Onshore outsourcing is fantastic for improving productivity and project control through face-to-face collaboration. It also ensures higher levels of data protection and confidentiality.
  • Cultural and Language Compatibility: With no language barriers and shared cultural norms, teams can integrate seamlessly. This accelerates development processes and improves the quality of outcomes.
  • Less re-work

For those looking for expertise for their SAP environments, many of the benefits of onshore remain the same, but with a few addendums:

  • Familiarity: Using systems and processes that are already familiar to your team can streamline work processes, making SAP service delivery smoother and more efficient.
  • Ease of Management: Being in the same or similar time zones also simplifies the communication of updates and changes.


  • Cost-efficiency: Offshore outsourcing provides significant savings on labor costs. Businesses can hire skilled professionals at lower hourly wages, stretching budgets further.
  • Access to a Large Talent Pool: The offshore approach opens doors to a global pool of tech talent, helping companies like yours overcome local shortages of qualified candidates. This advantage ensures projects can proceed without delays due to talent scarcity.
  • Unique Expertise: Offshore outsourcing also offers access to diverse specializations and experience. Companies can find high-quality talent for specific needs without the high costs associated with local experts.

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  • Timely Communication: Nearshore outsourcing allows for easy contact and onsite visits. This proximity means virtual meetings with the vendor are more convenient, enhancing project flow and understanding.
  • Cultural Similarity: Sharing a similar culture with your outsourcing partner simplifies negotiations and strengthens the partnership. Fewer cultural differences also contribute to a smoother collaboration process.
  • Easier Audits: Proximity helps with better control over intellectual property and compliance with data protection laws. Similar legal frameworks across countries reduce regulatory risks, making audits more straightforward.

Choosing Your SAP Expertise: A Comparative Look at Onshore, Nearshore, & Offshore Models

Outsourcing ModelCommunication & CollaborationCultural & Time Zone AlignmentCost EfficiencyKey Benefits
OnshoreDirect, in-person possibleHighLower– Enhanced productivity and control-potentially longer-term term cost savings
– Seamless team integration – potentially greater assimilation to workplace environment
NearshoreEasy, similar time zonesMedium to HighMedium– Cost savings with easier communication- Quick adjustments and responses
– Strong cultural compatibility
OffshoreChallenging, time zone differencesLowHigh– Significant cost savings
– Access to a global talent pool -Turnover
– Unique expertise in diverse tech stacks

What Services Do Offshore and Onshore SAP Experts Offer?

SAP experts, whether offshore or onshore, offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to address various organizational needs, from system implementation to ongoing management and strategic consulting. These services are tailored to enhance SAP environments, helping you leverage the full potential of your SAP investments.

Services can include: 

  • Advisory/Consulting: SAP experts provide guidance on best practices, system optimization, and strategic planning to maximize the value of SAP investments.

  • Staff Augmentation/Staffing: They offer temporary or permanent staffing solutions to fill skill gaps or augment existing teams, making sure your projects have the necessary expertise.

  • Application Managed Services: AMS cover ongoing management and support of SAP environments to ensure operational efficiency and reliability.

  • Direct Placement: Recruitment services to fill fulltime or permanent roles with qualified SAP professionals.
Learn more about SAP outsourcing:
What is SAP Outsourcing?
Why SAP Activate (Agile) Methodology Works Best For Implementations 
What Is an SAP Managed Services Provider?

Additionally, with onshore team members available to support your SAP needs, you can rely on:

  • Local Expertise: Your SAP team members are located in the same time zone, facilitating easier communication and collaboration.
  • Cultural Alignment: These consultants are also well-versed in company culture, ensuring a smoother integration with your teams and business practices.

Both offshore and onshore SAP experts bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, providing businesses with the flexibility, expertise, and support needed to navigate complex SAP landscapes successfully. 

Get the SAP Services You Need—Onshore and Offshore

Ready to elevate your SAP environment with unmatched expertise and flexible delivery models? iT2 offers comprehensive SAP services delivered onshore, nearshore, and offshore—wherever you need us. 

iT2 can also provide a custom approach using combinations of Onshore, Offshore, and Nearshore.

Our global pool of SAP experts ensures your project aligns with the best talent, tailored to your specific requirements.

Rely on a partnership that guarantees efficiency, innovation, and a seamless integration of SAP solutions into your business strategy.

Transform your SAP environment with iT2. Book a free consultation with us today.