The Growing Role Of Latin America In The Technology Industry
Not too long ago, “Latin America” may have only been considered for a great vacation. But in the new global economy and with advancements in technology, it is becoming a viable option for outsourcing and nearshoring your software development. The last decade’s Latin America technology transformations and the emergence of the global marketplace have raised the stakes for all countries to be technologically connected – the ability to create, adapt and use global technological innovations. Many countries face the challenges of competing in the global marketplace and ensuring that technology is harnessed as a tool for human development.
In the early stages of technology development, everyone had eyes on Silicon Valley with the majority of tech talent flocking to San Francisco. It was common for developers to move there. It became a magnet for talent, with everyone following where they believed the talent to be. With talent also came a rise in living expenses and operational costs. This created the need to not only find new places where the development costs were more affordable but also where new talent could be found and developed. India and Asia became logical choices. They had a lower cost of living, and also an eager and large workforce, ready to be trained into the outsourcing powerhouse they are now.
Why is Latin America Technology a Good Choice?
With the shift to outsourcing in offshore countries, there became a realization that along with the cost savings, there also came some realities. It is a perfect example of how a country can develop into the cutting edge of global technological advance. Nearshoring in Latin American countries have taken the model of understanding and adapting the global technologies for local needs and are adding some advantages of their own. While all countries don’t need to be on the cutting edge of global technology, each country should have the capacity to understand and adapt to change.
Talent can come from anywhere. There are countless stories of young developers that get their start in software by watching free tutorials and taking online courses. Government initiatives can provide opportunities for young developers to work with partner companies in South America where ambition can fuel dedication and skill development. Partnerships between the government and private sector have led to new opportunities in South America. While educating workers will prepare them for future jobs in technology, the experience will show that communication and interpersonal skill play just as important of a role in the success of the software development project.
As the availability of high-speed internet increases, you can also expect a direct increase in the demand for highly skilled professional workers. Providing incentives for companies to invest in technology creates an environment where businesses are more focused on the services they can export and provide, rather than protection from competition. As the changes start to happen, companies can benefit from improved management practices and take advantage of the potential in the region.
There is a significant opportunity for growth in the new partnerships between governments, the private sector, educational institutions, and the ambitious young people. The United Nations estimates that the Internet reaches 60% of the population now in Latin America and the Caribbean. There continue to be gaps between the urban and rural centers and also a significant gender gap which limits women’s participation in scientific careers.
“We should adopt and promote technology and innovation to boost economic growth, poverty reduction and increase opportunities for all, rather than creating barriers,” said Jorge Familiar, World Bank Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Better education and training will be key to ensure youth can take full advantage of the digital world and be prepared for the work of tomorrow.”
While Venezuela’s economy is collapsing, the rest of Latin America is poised for modest economic growth of 1-1.5%. The forecast varies from country to country, but Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru are expanding at an estimated 2-3%. These statistics back up our personal experience and desires. Many Latin American countries are becoming hubs of technological innovation and production. There is a significant shift in outsourcing from the U.S. to Latin America Technology centers over the last decade due primarily to the most apparent reason for outsourcing in the first place: Companies want to save money.
At a time when businesses are preparing to replace some employees with automated options, Latin America is preparing to create more and better jobs to meet the demand of the industry. Primarily there should be an increase skilled and professional workers, but there should also be a residual effect on the economies in general. With the examples of India and Asia, Latin America is learning from the experiences over the last 20 years, and looking to improve their positions and influence in the world technology community. We are looking forward to contributing to the technological future in Latin America for years to come.