Nearshoring is hardly a new concept, but while technological advancements make working with vendors overseas easier, there are still quite a few factors you need to consider.
The latest technological advancements like cloud computing are making working with teams from all around the world easier than ever. So, when it comes to deciding where to outsource your software development to, what are the factors that weigh into your choice?Here are a few reasons why Latin America stands out as a viable option.
The obvious advantage of outsourcing your development to Latin America is proximity, but there's actually a lot more to it than mere miles between countries. Being on the same continent means North and Latin America share a similar cultural, language, and educational traits, which makes understanding between them much easier. As outsourcing moves past the traditional notion of faster, more cost-effective workforces, the value of faster alignment and access to specialized stand far above the allure of lower prices.
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The main benefits of working with Latin American companies are:
Latin American countries fall in the same time zones as the United States, which makes communication and collaboration nearly seamless. With both teams working during the same hours, companies can address time-sensitive issues, deliver feedback, and work in tandem with their nearshore partner. Additionally, in-company visits are much easier and cost-effective, which contributes to better cross-cultural alignment and overall teamwork.
Latin America is home to a highly-skilled IT workforce. Service providers in the region offer everything from IT monitoring services to help-desk support and beyond. In Colombia, the government is working with the IDB and World Bank to improve tertiary education and vocational programs through Colombia Científica, a research and development program.
Latin America has been making great strides to catch up with North America in terms of technological infrastructure. Colombia has been investing in advancing their information and communications technology infrastructure through a budget of around $5.5 billion USD. Moreover, IT spending in Colombia is expected to increase 6.8% by 2020 (Business Monitor International).
A great number of Latin Americans are fluent English speakers. This makes working with American companies much easier. Colombia is investing heavily in promoting and incentivizing their citizens to learn English with government-sponsored programs like Foreign Languages Competencies Development Program (PFDCLE), meant to promote second language proficiency among Colombians.
A few would argue that the education gap in Latin America is an issue that needs to be factored in, but despite the evident lag, higher education has greatly expanded in the region with enrollment rates doubling between 2000 and 2010. However, countries like Colombia are going to great lengths to help remedy this situation, and Colombia has, in fact, set itself on the task of becoming "the most educated" nation in Latin America by 2025. Education budgets in Colombia well exceed those of its region, surpassing Brazil's USD $8.9 billion budget in 2017 by USD $1.8 billion.
Latin American countries and the United States share a long history, and as neighbors, have a greater understanding of each other than other countries further away. This allows for faster and more effective cultural alignment, which is reflected in productivity and quality development. Along with proximity, close time zones, and similarities in language and education, this cultural affinity makes Latin America an ideal choice for US companies looking to outsource their software development to companies abroad.
Outsourcing requires companies to search for partners that understand their objectives, goals, and business, and accept the partner's goals as their own. This means that outsourcing engagements need to work more like partnerships than contracts. The closer your outsourcing vendor can match your company's culture, methods, and objectives, the more your project is likely to succeed.
Looking for the right nearshoring partner? Schedule a call with PSL.