There is a paradox in our growingly digital economy that no business should overlook: as we move into a world in which artificial intelligence and automation are more and more crucial to remain competitive, the importance of human resources and relationships is not decreasing - it is becoming bigger. Software development projects are of course no exception to this. The complex process of software implementation requires an amount of human knowledge, effort, and creativity that cannot be compared to anything that has existed before.
This is the reason why the process of choosing a software partner for outsourced projects has become a delicate matter for companies in the developed countries. While cost-saving has been the strongest argument in favor of outsourcing, companies have often experienced that these potentially fruitful relationships can be disrupted by poor communication with their outsourcing partners’ teams. At the same time companies have traditionally looked for their software partners in countries like India, the increasing awareness of the importance of human connection has inspired them to look for partners in regions with more similar cultural mindsets. Because of this, the nearshoring model has become more attractive in recent years.
Benefits of Nearshoring
It’s not the first time we talk about the nearshoring model. Simply put, nearshore partners are those that are geographically close, share the same or a similar time-zone, and are culturally alike. These three features of nearshoring ultimately result in better, more fluid, and more trusting human relationships, helping companies avoid those all-too-common issues that have traditionally jeopardized outsourcing partnerships.
While in recent years there has been a significant shift in the relationship between labor costs in Latin American, cost-saving is not limited only to this. We are all aware of what delays caused by unexpected issues can mean to a project budget. Communication difficulties often produce disappointing results, which ultimately impact costs. By allowing companies to minimize those kinds of issues produced by cultural gaps and lack of alignment, nearshore partnerships are usually more effective at helping projects stay on time and budget.
Undoubtedly, the capacity to connect at a human level with outsourcing developers is a crucial competitive advantage, and the nearshoring model offers companies the possibility to leverage this advantage while keeping at the same time the benefits of the traditional outsourcing model.
Those who have worked with offshore partners in the past are probably familiar with more than one issue caused by time differences. In contrast, sharing the same or at least a similar time zone can make a huge difference when collaborating with a software partner, especially when it comes to scheduling online meetings with your partner’s team.
When time zones are not exactly the same, differences between the United States and Latin American countries range from only one to three hours. Once you have recognized the importance of developing fluid communication channels with your partner, it becomes clear that being able to frequently meet in workday hours or solve issues in real-time is a crucial advantage of nearshore partnerships.
Setting aside the fact that there is an extraordinary amount of workers of Hispanic origin living in the USA (so it would be safe to say that there is no significant cultural gap at this point) working environments in Latin American countries resemble a lot of those in the USA.
A work culture like Latin American, which values and fosters familiarity and mutual trust, is more likely to inspire commitment and dedication among its workers. But there is an essential feature of Latin American working environments that radically differentiates them from their other counterparts. Latin American workers tend to be proactive and they are often characterized by their ability to propose innovative solutions. This, of course, is a key element if you expect to add value to a software development project.
Language is also an important issue when choosing a software partner. Among Latin American countries, Argentina stands out, being by far the Spanish-speaking country with the highest English proficiency. High levels of English proficiency in nearshore countries can help a company not only ensure excellent communication and deep human connection with their partners but also enrich their work environment by adding diversity.
The value of human connection in a globalized digital economy
The ability to create and maintain deep, significant, and productive human relationships is crucial if we want to thrive in an increasingly demanding context. And when it comes to software development, which requires creativity, empathy, and great communication skills, this ability is what ultimately makes the difference between failure and success. The benefits of nearshore partnerships that we have outlined above all point in the same direction: taking advantage of the rewards that deep human connections can offer us.