Outsourcing software development to South Africa
3 SEPTEMBER 2020
MARKUS VAN AARDT
OUTSOURCING INSOURCING CO-SOURCING CONTRACTING NEARSHORING OFFSHORING SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AWS AZURE AFRICA
Many organisations across the world are using software development and technology outsourcing services to achieve both tactical and strategic goals in growing their technological capabilities. Outsourcing is a practice whereby the responsibility for delivering either whole projects or parts thereof is transferred to third party technology agencies. Through this approach, the agency will collaborate with the client’s business and/or technical staff to realise (or magnify) the value to the company. South Africa is the most technologically advanced country on the African continent and can provide a competitive alternative to other regions.
WHAT MAKES SOUTH AFRICA UNIQUE
South Africa has been leading in technological development in Africa and the southern hemisphere for many years. Not only does South Africa have one of the most advanced economies on the continent, it is also home to the top universities and some of the best skilled engineers you will find. South Africa has one of the most advanced banking industries in the world and continue to rank as an innovation leader in Sub-Saharan Africa on the Global Innovation Index. And to add to that, it has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and a climate second to none.
NEARSHORE SUPPORT FOR WESTERN EUROPE AND AFRICA
Although we’re located at the southern-most tip of the African continent, South Africa is located in the GMT+2 time zone. This makes South Africa an ideal destination for nearshore support to Western Europe, Africa and the Nordics. Even with summer and winter time implemented, South African business hours still allow for a five to six hours overlap with countries in the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe and the Nordics.
COMMON BUSINESS LANGUAGE
English is regarded as the global business language. South Africa recognises 12 official languages, of which English is also the local business language. Furthermore, English is generally taught as either first or second language on primary and secondary school levels, while it has all but taken over as primary or secondary teaching language at most of its 23 universities, serving almost 400,000 students. This makes our engineers well suited to support clients in most other regions that are either English-speaking, or utilise English as business language.
MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK (AND EUROS)
Although South Africa’s highly qualified and vastly experienced engineers are the top earners on the continent, the low ZAR exchange rate means higher spending power when compared to other outsourcing destinations like India and Eastern Europe. When compared to local salaries and wages in Western Europe, South African skills remains an affordable alternative to bolster any technology project’s staffing requirements.
STRONG TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE
South Africa is currently adopting fibre connectivity at a rapid rate. The country’s large carriers are finally sunsetting the ageing ADSL technology for faster and more reliable fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and offices. Mobile networks have also become pervasive in modern society and it is no longer uncommon to see coffee shops packed to the rafters with remoting engineers. Co-working spaces are also becoming increasingly popular throughout the country - all of these would not be possible without strong communications infrastructure.
Did you know that South Africa has the highest number of Github users of any African country? And that only Zimbabwe is spending more on software purchases? According to the GSMA analysis of technology hubs across Africa in 2019 , South Africa had the second highest number of 80, second only to Nigeria’s 85.
The South African technology landscape is gaining international recognition. One of Amazon Web Services (AWS) development centres is based in Cape Town, while Microsoft launched two Azure data centres in South Africa in 2019. This is not only a feather in South Africa’s hat, but also a recognition of Africa’s future in technology and commerce in the years to come.
Outsourcing remains a valuable tool to organisations to ensure growth and competitiveness in all markets and industries. Partnering with us in outsourcing services may be just the thing to help your organisation take that next step forward.
Are you currently considering a move to outsourcing your software development effort? Looking to find a more compatible development partner? We believe that every client is different and has unique requirements. By partnering with your organisation and its decision makers, we are able to find a solution that best suit your unique requirements.
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 618 active tech hubs: The backbone of Africa’s tech ecosystem