Using Nearshore Software Development to Overcome a Shortage of Technical Skills in Europe

TECH TEAMS | 18 Nov 2019

Finding and recruiting high quality development talent is a constant struggle. With demands for niche technical skills at an all time high and a static pool of local professionals, it’s not surprising that the war for talent is now more fierce than ever. Europe is in what is considered to be the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, rapid technological, economical and societal change is occuring at a breakneck pace, and this is severely impacting the average ‘skills shelf life’, in fact some peg it now at just 5 years. This is creating a situation where the average worker lacks the digital skills required to meet the needs of the market, creating severe supply and demand challenges. 

37% of the European workforce have little to no digital skills at all. (Entrepreneur)  

As demand grows and requirements become that much more specialised, finding the talent you need, when you need it, in the local vicinity is likely to get harder. With this in mind, it makes sense for organisations to look beyond the border, using the likes of nearshore software development initiatives to source high quality development skills.

Fortunately, new technologies are making this easier than ever. By bringing down geographical barriers and increasing the interconnectedness of the commercial world, companies can now remotely work efficiently with distributed development teams located 100’s of miles away. 

While Silicon Valley will remain a global technical hub, behind closed doors, much of what’ll be produced will actually be built by remote teams across the globe. These distributed teams will not only help fill skill gaps, but also bring a new era of diversity to the technical world, driving innovation on an unprecedented scale. 

The Impacts of the Labour Shortage 


Companies struggling with technical talent sourcing challenges are suffering from commercial and practical impacts. Project scopes and ambitions are being reduced, highly niche technical blockers are regularly rearing their head and those who are qualified are working longer hours than ever. This is all due to a lack of availability. 

Ireland is the perfect example of these consequences in action; in a 12 month period across 2018/19, the average Irish enterprise lost €1 million in potential revenue due to the IT skills deficit (Irish Times). With 76% of companies claiming the skills shortage was costing them money and 41% claiming their ability to scale was being hindered by a lack of suitable workers, it’s clear the consequences of the talent shortage are severe. Some organisations are even claiming that the deficit is fundamentally threatening their business as they struggle to defend against cyberthreats and meet compliance regulations. 

Without access to the critical development staff required, companies are being forced to compromise, adapt and work suboptimally. This is not sustainable and is likely to only get worse. As a result, organisations are turning their attention to nearshore software development opportunities. 

Why Nearshore Software Development? 


To combat the struggles of sourcing high quality technical talent, many companies are embracing nearshore and offshore software development opportunities. By tapping into the skill sets available on the continent, organisations are taking full advantage of not only their availability, but their hyper niche skills, unique perspective and extensive experience. 

Over the last decade, interest and uptake of nearshore software development opportunities has rapidly grown as Eastern Europe has developed into a technical powerhouse. With an average of 8 developers to every 1000 people, Eastern European countries have invested in technical skills, knowledge and infrastructure, enabling them to deliver significant value to organizations with technical requirements. 

While availability has massively grown, it is the quality of what is produced that is driving the sector forward. Eastern European countries are increasingly emphasising technical skills in their curriculum and culture, and this is developing a generation of high quality developers armed with the fundamental skills necessary to deliver above and beyond expectations. This valuable skill set combined with inherent cultural traits that drive quality and encourage responsibility help to produce a high standard of output every time. 

With such a large market of talent available at the touch of a button, companies are recruiting entire teams dedicated to a single niche. This is enabling them to get to market faster and effectively find the skills they need, as and when they need them. The immediacy of access is critical, as in many projects, development is required before progress can be made elsewhere. Beyond this convenience, distributed teams also come fully ready and prepared to deliver; they do not need internal training and so resources can be saved and allocated elsewhere. This combined with cost savings around recruitment and hiring can make the nearshore software development approach highly lucrative. 

How Nearshoring Helps Overcome the Labour Shortage


As the needs and requirements of the global economy shift and evolve, labour shortages have become increasingly common across all sectors over the last two decades. In fact, some experts have predicted that a global workforce crisis is on the horizon, as the capabilities of the working population will not be able to meet the commercial requirements of the global marketplace. 

There will be too many of a certain type of worker in one place, and not enough in another. Fortunately, initiatives like nearshoring software development help overcome this challenge in the technical sector. The digital nature of the market means that geography is nothing but a simple barrier to overcome and so the industry is quickly adapting accordingly. 

Many companies across London and other parts of Europe are already embracing nearshore software development to build remote teams with the skills they need to progress, and it’s these organisations that are stealing a lead on the competition. 

With nearshore software development, forward thinking companies are actively embracing remote working to fill their skill and labour gaps, minimising the challenges and financial impact of talent shortages. As supply and demand issues continue to threaten company prosperity and growth prospects, offshoring strategies like nearshore software development will become much more commonplace.

Organisations who do embrace remote working teams are set to access high quality technical talent on-demand, enabling them to overcome the hiring crisis and effectively fulfill their commercial potential without any blockers standing in their way. 

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