By Andrew Jones
With economic uncertainty and customer demands fluctuations at an all-time high, it is more important than ever for businesses to leverage technology to stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s new technology, new applications, or new ways of using existing technologies, Chief Technology Officers, CIOs, Heads of Digital Transformations are uniquely positioned to demonstrate that they can deliver long-lasting value to every aspect of the Value Chain.
Technology Innovation and Adaptation
During times of turbulence, companies must move swiftly to capitalise on emerging trends and opportunities. Customers’ needs change with the impact of rising costs and uncertainty in the markets.
Adopting new strategies requires the involvement of all the company sections, none more so than the IT Delivery teams. In nearly all events such as delivering new products to taking aggressive steps in cost reduction, the CIO will need to provide solutions that support the new strategies.
Huge Inflationary pressure on Contractor Rates and Salary Costs
However, there has been one major obstacle in achieving this and that has been the huge increase in salary costs and contractor rates over the last 18 months, and, despite the large number of layoffs at major IT companies such as Twitter, Meta, Google, Amazon and others, the demand for skilled, quality techies is still at very high levels.
Previously CIOs have looked to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Portugal for nearshore resources, but the rates have increased by over 38% in the last 18 months. Resources that are currently available are not always the best quality as good performers are not seeking to move so often as they demand stability in uncertain times.
However, there is an alternative.
South Africa Software Development Hub
In January 2023, The South Africa Software Development Hub was set up by two highly experienced IT professionals, Andrew Jones and Cliff Johnson, to address the issue of cost and the availability of suitable candidates.
With the cost of contractors at almost half of their UK counterparts, and two thirds of those in other parts of Europe, South Africa can offer IT contractors with a better cultural fit (both in language and operational fit), a significantly higher work ethic, and more importantly, a higher level of skill in software engineering, developing cloud architecture, producing microservices, cyber security and utilising the latest in AI and Machine Learning skills.
Whether it’s providing a few software developers, or providing product teams and cloud architects, The South Africa Software Development Hub offers a flexible approach to contracting resources.
For those wanting teams to operate in a Hybrid environment, the Hub provides workspace for teams to meet several times a week, and provides desks and workspaces so that they can come together to collaborate on any day. A client ambassador will ensure that staff are onboarded quickly, and a service for purchasing hardware and configuring a person’s laptop to meet the proposed standards. The ambassador can also act as the hiring company’s local HR interface.
In conclusion, current turbulent markets have created unprecedented levels of uncertainty for businesses around the world. In these turbulent times, it is more important than ever for companies to leverage technology strategically so that they can stay ahead of their competitors while also protecting themselves from potential risks associated with rapid technological change.
CIOs are uniquely positioned to lead this charge by developing innovative solutions that can help organizations remain agile and competitive even during times of uncertainty. By collaborating closely across departments, CIOs will be able to ensure that digital transformation projects are managed effectively so that companies can capitalize on emerging opportunities without exposing themselves to unnecessarily high levels of risk.