Why you need to outsource your software development to South Africa
Outsourcing your software development is necessary for a company wishing to expand rapidly or pay less for the same level of work.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a major global trend and South Africa has become an international outsourcing choice. BPO involves relocating certain in-house business processes such as software development, content marketing, call centres and other related services.
India has been an invaluable limb to most international companies, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom but there are certain factors corporations have to work around. These include different time zones (inconvenient real-time communication) language barriers and companies that become so inundated with work, the standard of work becomes more of a task and not a carefully carried out service.
As companies respond to both cost and efficiency pressures, South Africa has steadily become a serious contender in the BPO industry.
One of South Africa’s most notable examples of a successful software developer is none other than Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, a pioneering computer operating system which is distributed freely as open source software.
Benefits of outsourcing software development to South Africa:
- South Africa is on the same time zone (or 1 hour difference) as London, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Edinburgh, Stockholm and Vienna.
- Timely project implementation and completion – predictable project outcomes.
- Developers speak English as their first language (no language barrier).
- Customers can expect rapid and real-time response.
- Significant cost savings – costs 60% lower than source markets.
- Reduced staff turnover costs.
- Deep domain skills.
- Low cost locations (call-centres).
- First world infrastructure.
- Robust and enabling environment.
- Rapidly improving telecommunications.
- Weakening currency (ZAR).
Annual salary comparisons: United States vs. South Africa
According to Glassdoor, a software developer in the United States receives an annual salary of $85 000 (national average) whereas a software developer in South Africa earns just $21 000 (national average). This means you are paying 75% less for the same standard of work.
According to BPESA, South Africa is ranked 3 rd among global locations that support all English services and 410 000 English speaking professionals are added to the national workforce annually.
The South African workforce
As a location, South Africa is well known for its cultural similarities with the United Kingdom, Australia and United States markets. This means South African professionals can offer EQ (emotional quotient) vs. IQ (intelligence quotient) based responses.
The South African workforce drives more than just arbitrage savings (currency exchange rate) and companies are recognising the value of outsourcing to the well-developed African nation.
Value proposition and pricing models anchored on revenue generation metrics:
Craig Morisson, Head of Product at RecordSetter and founder of Usability Hour, believes there is no difference between UX and UI design because they aren’t comparable to each other.
“For example, it’s kind of like asking … What is the difference between red paint and the chemicals the paint is made out of? There is no difference.”
Using Google as an example
- Increased upsell
- Greater customer retention
- Increasing sales conversion
Firms are currently using the South African workforce for three service segments:
1. Contact centres
These include Amazon, ASDA, British Gas, Shell, Virgin Mobile, Lufthansa, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Swiss International Airlines.
2. Niche/non-voice BPO
South Africa is the location of choice to offshore complex, judgement-orientated processes in key domains to deliver higher business value.
Companies currently leveraging these services in South Africa include Old Mutual, State Street, Investec, Kleinwort Benson, Pru Health, Accenture, and many others.
3. Regional shared services hub
These include Microsoft, Arcelor Mittal, Shell, BP, Amazon, Old Mutual, Cisco, Lufthansa, and Standard Chartered.
BPO incentives in South Africa
The South African government also offers incentives to companies investing in South Africa and is celebrating 10 years this month since the implementation of the Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring incentive programme (July 2007).
A grant of up to R124 000 is awarded per job created by a BPO operation in South Africa by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Why you should choose South Africa for software development
Whether a company outsources locally or to an off-shore provider, it still has to ensure developers are capable, highly competent and professional. It is also essential for a BPO to provide work in a timely yet feasible turnaround period that does not compromise on value. In most cases, this is achievable when there are high levels of communication, trust and collaboration between a client and the provider.
South Africa dispels any potential barriers since they are on the same time zone (or near) to most time zones in Europe. South African professionals are also brought up in a similar culture which means they are able to assimilate to your corporate culture quite easily, understand your key objectives and speak English fluently and in a neutral accent.
Fluidity is a Cape Town based software development company that has built their reputation on their ability to meet the needs of customers with the innovative power of tech.
Fluidity believes that companies who adapt will ultimately survive and thrive, and that innovation and technology is key to those ends. They partner with their clients as they help them innovate and compete with software solutions that create results.