Looking beyond borders

More and more companies are having trouble acquiring IT talent, which slows down projects, deliveries and ultimately hurts the business. But if your company is imaginative and willing to look for talent abroad, then there are solutions and ways of leveraging the skilled IT specialists found in neighboring regions.

Lack of IT resources is a growing issue in Scandinavia and Northern Europe

Across Northern Europe, lack of access to the right IT talent is increasingly becoming a business inhibitor. In many of the markets we operate in (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Holland), companies are struggling to scale. Numbers reported states that companies are already experiencing a shortage of IT specialists, and studies show that this will remain a challenge in future.

Not having access to talent is hurting the bottom line

The lack of access to talent is particularly obvious to IT executives, department managers and project managers who struggle to stretch resources and deliver the expected projects, solutions and results. But there are also clear negative consequences for the entire business operation. For instance, in Denmark and Norway respectively, 42.7% and 46% of companies have either refused an order, put market expansion plans on hold or postponed development and innovation as a direct consequence of the shortage of the necessary IT competences. In Sweden, this also appears to be the biggest challenge to continued growth in the digital sector.

Essentially, not having access to the necessary IT competences and resources can seriously hurt your bottom line.

{  ...IT expertise does not have to be a scarce resource.  }

Reluctance to look abroad

Even though the challenge is growing and the consequences are severe, we still find that companies hesitate to look abroad, where the pool of IT talent is actually increasing. For some reason, looking beyond national borders simply isn’t an option IT decision-makers consider.

For instance, in Denmark and Norway respectively, only 22.5% and 17% of the companies that have unsuccessfully tried to recruit IT resources have chosen to outsource and/or move parts of the company abroad (nearshoring or offshoring). And those statistics may seem odd when the alternative is to abandon development and orders. But what makes companies so hesitant to look abroad?

In relation to nearshoring, we find that the major obstacle is a misconception of what it takes to start tapping into the great potential that is available just outside your country’s borders. Many mistakenly assume that nearshoring is a long and demanding process and that it takes a long time to begin reaping the benefits.

But this is not necessarily the case. In fact, with an established and professional supplier, nearshoring is relatively simple. And it can take as little as 30 to 45 days to get a team ready to execute and deliver results.

A massive volume of software specialists in Poland

Software specialists are in high demand everywhere. Poland, in particular, can meet some of this demand, since there is a large availability of competent software developers here. More than 15,000 new Polish IT engineers are educated every year, and they account for 10% of the total output of newly educated IT engineers within the EU. The volume alone is much greater compared to what we are accustomed to in Scandinavia.

{  ...there is a long tradition of engineering and IT education at the Polish universities..  }

Poland is synonymous with IT competences at the highest level, and being either an IT engineer or software developer in Poland comes with status and prestige. This also means that the most talented and brightest Polish youth choose a professional IT career path. At the same time, there is a long tradition of engineering and IT education at the Polish universities, which means that their degree programmes in these subjects are currently among the best in Europe.

In addition, more and more international companies, including leading banks, have established themselves in Poland, which has increased the number of experienced and heavy-duty consultants. Polish IT consultants are among the world’s absolute elite.

Sources

Erhvervsstyrelsen Danmark.
IT-kompetensbristen – IT&telefomförtagen
IKT Norges kompetanseundersøkelse 2017
IT barometer 2018 – IT-branchen Danmark
IT i praksis - Rambøll

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