HR Pulse

Profile

Layout

Direction

Menu Style

Cpanel

SA software developers ready to compete on the global stage

Stephan Pienaar
ARTICLES

South African software developers and tech companies have all the skills and experience to hold their own against the best on the international stage. Traditionally, we have been held back by a pervasive mindset that we simply don’t match up to the global players. However, this is changing fast, and the growing confidence of local IT service providers is setting us up for great things in future.

South African software developers and tech companies have all the skills and experience to hold their own against the best on the international stage. Traditionally, we have been held back by a pervasive mindset that we simply don't match up to the global players. However, this is changing fast, and the growing confidence of local IT service providers is setting us up for great things in future.

Despite South Africa often being seen as an immature market, we are easily on par with the best in the world. We're increasingly seeing international companies investigate companies in this country as viable outsourced software development and services suppliers.

According to the New Computer Technology research report from Business Monitor International, South African IT services sales is set to grow to R38.4 billion in 2014, with business process outsourcing services as one of the key drivers.

Benefits of working with South African software developers

The exchange rate is quite favourable and outsourced software development is less costly than in more developed markets. Cape Town also has a great pool of top-quality developers. Technology solutions enable us to service clients around the world so the need for face-to-face contact is minimal as long as the agreed development methodology and process is followed. This also enables us to deliver working software consistently, which meets expectations.

Modern tech tools enable constant, seamless communication between South Africa and foreign clients. Cloud-based project management tools provide clients with complete transparency on the status of their projects. Online source code repositories, mind-mapping tools, to-do lists and chat tools - such as Skype and Google Hangouts – can also be used to streamline the outsourced software development process.

Challenging aspects to servicing clients in other parts of the world

In many cases, you simply can't beat local knowledge. For example, the credit check process on a loan application in Ireland is vastly different to that in South Africa, which means you need to make sure you collect data and build your knowledge of the regions where you're doing business. Communication can be a challenge when you're operating across different time zones and service clients where English is not a first language.

Unfortunately, there is a big threat to the continued success of local tech companies. There's a massive shortage of developers at the moment. Finding and retaining quality talent is fast becoming our number one concern. Big international players - such as Amazon and Google - also scoop up a lot of the top software developers, so we need to be smart about how we retain staff.

Ideally, you want to create an environment where staff can develop and craft their skills. Most modern workers only stay at a company for two to three years, and as an employer you have to make the most of that. Ultimately, passionate and talented developers will make or break one's success on the international stage. Put your people first, and make sure you have the proper processes in place to ensure seamless delivery to clients. The rest will follow naturally.


Stephan Pienaar is the operations manager and developer at Framework One. He has a BSc. (honours) in information systems from the University of South Africa as well as a BSc. in computer science from the University of Cape Town. He has more than 11 years of experience in the insurance and finance industries.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS