Nearshore development centres create business agility

Nearshore development centres create business agility

For centuries the west has looked to the east for innovation. From Marco Polo's Book of the Marvels of the World, scribed from his travels as a merchant, to the growth of business process outsourcing (BPO) in India, Vietnam and the Philippines in the 80s and 90s. As business technology leaders continue to seek out new opportunities, they still look to the east, but increasingly the horizon they set their scopes on is closer to home. Eastern Europe, a region formerly behind the Iron Curtain, has now become a hotbed of technology and business innovation. Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have all developed into world class technology centres. 

Business and technology leaders are not heading east purely to reduce cost. There is a cost reduction, but talent and cultural fit are the two main drivers for increased adoption of nearshore.

"The European mentality is unbelievable and the output is fantastic," says CIO and transformation advisor Mark Aikman. The CIO, currently working on a major divestment in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, used a Polish organisation to build the new technology platform for a specialist financial services organisation in his previous role. "What I like about nearshore is that the partner has a passion for the technology and their aptitude."

"Poland has over a quarter of a million people in business services today," says Martin Ring, a business leader who helped financial services giant BNY Mellon move significant parts of its operation to Poland. "In 2006 there was only 46,000 employed in the sector in nearshore nations, so it has been a vehicle for major growth and all of the major global players are well represented now."

Technology service provider CTO Richard Billington at Matssoft says the level of education in the nearshore countries is significantly better and that western nations have "not done enough with the curriculum" and are therefore missing out. CTOs and CIOs need skills to deliver major change programmes and therefore spend their development budget based on access to skills, not geography.

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Mark Chillingworth

Mark Chillingworth is a CIO and CTO journalist, ghost writer, moderator and advisor with over 11 years experience. From 2010 to 2016 he was Editor in Chief of the award-winning CIO UK. In 2011 he created the CIO 100, an annual transformation power list of the UK’s most influential CIOs and launched the UK’s first CIO Podcast in 2016.

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