Local talent: Why nearshoring is vital to the UK economy

With the UK economy expected to reach rates seen prior to the financial crisis in 2008, IT spending is also expected to climb steadily to £74.9bn in 2014, according to Forrester research. This means UK tech expenditure will overtake that of Germany and the country will become the biggest spender of IT in the region, growing at twice the average than others in Western Europe.

This healthy growth is raising the demand for software and services, and businesses will be looking to spend more money on beefing up their IT after being relatively conservative for the last decade. A greater confidence from growing economies to spend in new technology is encouraging for the European nearshoring community, especially as Forrester also predicts a seven per cent rise in UK outsourcing spend to £13bn by the end of the year.

The benefit businesses will receive from investing in technology will only be fully realised with highly skilled, well trained IT professionals in place to sustain and manage systems. According to a study conducted last year by O2, the UK will require over 750,000 of these skilled digital workers by 2017 — a number unlikely to be reached with home grown talent alone. With the growing shortage of native digital professionals, the UK is looking to its nearshoring European neighbours to help fill this gap. For example, Poland produces roughly 40,000 technical IT graduates a year — which means it is the perfect place for high quality IT outsourcing firms to develop and thrive.

Nearshoring brings other benefits. Being physically close to the UK means nearshoring firms can work closely to train and develop the employees of their customers. This means businesses can benefit from big IT projects long after they have finished. This is also a great method of skills transfer for many organisations, ideally in partnership with the team leading the project, who are readily available in a close timezone, and can offer common cultural ground to build a professional relationship upon.

This geographical proximity allows an organization’s employees and those from the nearshorer to meet face-to-face as and when necessary. Strong relationships can be developed with relative ease and will ensure both parties or on the same page when working to specific objectives.

The UK economy is growing, and will become an ever more competitive landscape with technology central to its success. While businesses do not necessarily expect this level of service from every outsourcer, they should keep this in mind when choosing which provider to partner with if they want to make the most of their newfound IT dollars and stay well ahead of the pack.

The worlds of business and IT are more convergent than ever, and traditional outsourcing is undergoing a rapid change from which clients can greatly benefit. If you would like to hear more from Outbox on how nearshoring can deliver value to your business, get in touch here.