How Latin American vendors like Softtek address the tech talent shortage

Today, technology powers every organization across industries and geographies. Modern digital systems are critical for making the right decisions, reducing operational costs, and bringing valuable new products and services to the market. But what if you can’t find the right talent to move the pace you need? There’s increasing evidence that the demand for digital talent greatly exceeds the supply, leading analyst groups, media organizations, and businesses to proclaim a “tech talent shortage.”

Just this September, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS Database showed a 17% reduction in layoffs and discharges, combined with a 17% increase in employees voluntarily quitting their jobs and a massive 53% increase in job openings. In a recent McKinsey survey, they found 40% of all employees are open to leaving their current jobs in the next 3 to 6 months.

And when we look at technology skills in high demand, the numbers are skyrocketing. Everest Research unveiled new attrition statistics in an August 2021 Quick Poll, where in the past 3 months alone, 77% of organizations say attrition increased over 3% points, with 37% seeing a jump of over 10% points.

CIOs, CTOs, product managers, program managers, and Agile and digital development leaders face three main challenges when managing digital initiatives:

  1. Difficulty matching resources to the company, industry, location, and unique technology stack.
  2. Difficulty staffing technology projects regardless of budget and price flexibility.
  3. High turnover of right-fit talent.

To solve today’s challenges and capitalize on tomorrow’s opportunities, many are looking toward Latin American providers to access a broad set of modern technology services and in-demand talent profiles to support key digital transformation initiatives. The region’s growing talent ecosystem is maturing rapidly, and it faces the lowest salary inflation pressures across continents.

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Read on to see how Softtek plays its part in addressing the tech talent shortage.

Growing presence in maturing tech hubs

Like most regions of the world, Latin America has its challenges. But not many executives know it’s also home to some of the best technical universities, tenured talent, and booming tech hubs in the world. Mexico has 10+ top technical universities and multiple tech hubs like Guadalajara, which has been dubbed the Silicon Valley of Mexico; Chile is home to the #1 technical university in Latin America; and Colombia has been rated the most business-friendly Latin American destination by the World Bank. Meanwhile, governments continue to incentivize foreign investments in digital capabilities.

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Softtek contributes to its clients’ evolution through its local and global delivery capabilities in key markets, with a particular emphasis on delivering services from compatible time zones. In fact, Softtek is doubling down on its Share the Sun global delivery model which emphasizes Agile methods and the ability to collaborate during regular business hours, as agility, flexibility, and time to market become more crucial to keep up with digital business opportunities. Softtek has been a pioneer of remote delivery since 1998 and has since continued to expand its footprint in the region. Our expansion of our global delivery footprint in Bogota, Colombia, with a planned investment of $60 million over the next two years, will create 1000 positions in the country (read the announcement). The investment also seeks to create new opportunities and skillsets through initiatives like Codellege, a social program dedicated to teaching young people marketable coding skills, which Softtek will be hosting at its own facilities.

Amplifying the core benefits of nearshore delivery

Softtek was the first of its kind to deliver nearshore services in Latin America, doing so under its Near Shore® model beginning in 1998. Since then, nearshore outsourcing has grown into an entire industry with a variety of providers and services delivered, however, all nearshore providers emphasize the benefits of time zone, geographic proximity, cultural affinity, and lower indirect costs.

Continuing to build on the strengths and core benefits of nearshore delivery has earned Softtek an ISG recognition as a top choice for nearshore in 2021, for its Share the Sun model and ability to deliver services at scale with agility. The combination is what allows Softtek to facilitate real-time communication between customers, users, and development teams, with a customized solution and delivery model for each client’s geography, industry, and unique tech stack.

Agile development and Agile transformation

According to Softtek’s 2021 cross-industry survey report, Sourcing in the Agile Development Era, companies are increasingly using third-party vendors to improve Agile practices internally and leverage external Agile development services for different projects. In fact, 40% of respondents are already outsourcing 25-50% of the Agile work, and 58% will increase their consumption of Agile development services within the next 12 months.

Agile has become a clear favorite development and project management methodology to maximize deliverables and value on a limited budget. Still, many organizations face challenges because Agile programs require specific talent needs to be filled at a moment’s notice to maintain continuous delivery. As we can see from above, many have turned to outside help to scale Agile teams and programs at the velocity required to truly benefit from them. Recently, Softtek has been deploying plug-in Agile pods to complement and run entire development programs for clients, plus is working with organizations to further mature the value of their own Agile approaches. As a certified SAFe Gold Partner, Softtek brings together the skills, capacity, and consulting capabilities to evolve team performance and continue to drive maturity to improve outcomes and stakeholder satisfaction.

As the world experiences a severe tech talent shortage…

Finding, nurturing, and expanding sourcing options wherever the talent may be is a key part of moving digital programs forward. Countries like Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia are not only beautiful—they feature burgeoning talent and academic hubs that are increasingly part of the solution to address the ongoing talent shortage, with organizations like Softtek investing in further scaling and developing next-generation skillsets in niches of high demand.

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