5 Positive and 3 Negative things of Software Outsourcing from Colombia
What do I think of Software Outsourcing from Colombia?
I have wanted to write for a long time about Software Outsourcing from Colombia and why it seems like a good idea to me. But I made the mistake of doing a search for “colombia outsourcing software” without the quotes, and I regretted it.
I got more articles than I wanted to read and a ton of numbers on each one. I don't want to "have" to "swallow" a bunch of statistics to give my opinion on this topic. I think journalistic statistics are rubbish in general. Anyone who has studied statistics knows that they are strongly influenced by population, sample size, deviations, etc. And as if that were not enough, they do not escape the main "deviation": the wallet.
So I almost always bypass the statistics and my life is a little bit happier.
Having established my opinion on journalistic statistics, which has nothing to do with the subject, I return to my opinion on the Outsourcing Service.
First: the people... Colombians are very industrious and are, almost certainly, among the Latin Americans who rise early. It is a cultural issue and it is something that impressed me a lot when I arrived in this country. The second thing to note is that they are studious, most of them are clear that the way to overcome difficulties is through study. And if that wasn't enough, they are clever and skilled people.
Not only do they learn fast, but they optimize and are very creative.
Second: availability... With the above, it is not surprising that there are many professionals in the IT area who are well prepared, with skills and with a desire to learn more and "swallow" the world.
Contrast, however, the high unemployment I've noticed among my computer science peers and how difficult it is to be selected for jobs. How badly paid they are and how bad many feel about this situation. This is the ugly, and I would be lying if I told you that it does not affect me...
The point is, there are many good IT and related professionals available to be selected.
Third: easinesses... As a freelancer I have felt in my own skin how uncomfortable it is to export services. There are no practical options for receiving payments: you always have to invent "gimmicks" for that, you have to make them pass as "remittances" and take unnecessary risks. In this sense, the world is going in one direction and banking in Colombia, apparently, in another.
Besides that they look at you and treat you like a criminal in the bank offices when you show up and ask about payments, currencies and transfers. Did you hear it daviv…da? I know that Payoneer exists, but it is only effective for the United States and Europe and is an option that generates costs in the long term.
The country's policy in this regard generates debate. I think it can be made a little more comfortable. The subject is hot and enough for another post...
Everything changes when it comes to a registered company, which is recommended in this case. For example: there are fiscal facilities with the new "orange economy" policy and there is no VAT to be charged when the service is exported. Besides that the procedures are simple and fast.
I believe, however, that there must be more promotion in this regard and that it should not be essential to register a company to undertake something so timely and necessary for the country and the people.
Fourth: costs... Some Colombians are going to lynch me with this opinion: but everything here seems cheap to me, especially if we consider that when exporting it is charged in foreign currency and at international prices. Office rentals, the price of the internet vs. the quality of it (with exceptions), electricity and other services... I speak contextually, comparing it with other realities and countries.
Fifth: time zone... Fifth: time zone ... We are in the West and that's what it's all about. Colombia coincides with the time zones of the United States, I dare to say that it is a tremendous advantage to dawn 2 hours before the West of the United States ;). India, for instance, is +12 hours apart and that is expensive.
THE NEGATIVE: 3 topics
Stigmatization and self-perception
Unfortunately, my Colombians have been stigmatized a lot and this affects their personal projection abroad. A different story is when they emigrate, I don't know exactly why, but they see themselves as better persons when they are outside and unfortunately, many from outside also see bad their compatriots of “inside”.
What I am saying is very critical and also very sensitive. But believe me: the bad and famous ones for their evil are much less than the good ones...
The "shyness" of my colleagues
No more software is exported from Colombia because of the "shyness" of my computer colleagues, I think it is a matter of ignorance and also a sense of belonging.
Let me explain: Many times I meet nationals who do not see beyond the borders of the country. Others understand about other currencies, but they do not feel them attainable and their own. Rather, the currency for most of them is the Colombian Peso and they want everything only in that currency.
Is it because the media have long linked currencies to illicit issues? I do not dare to affirm it, but neither to deny it. By the way, banks don't help much either...
I have seen this "shyness" even in successful entrepreneurs.
Trauma with English and stiffness of style
Yes, trauma... even if they know it, study it and speak it well they panic. Could it be that it is not possible for them to bring national formalisms and ways of doing business to the language? I have noticed that there is more ease when doing business in English.
I recently gave export tips to a business friend that I consider successful and well prepared to do business. I ended up telling her that she had to be more “daring and chill” in good Cuban: be “fresca”.
Colombia brings together many good things for IT Outsourcing and especially Software. I missed commenting on the stable economy, controlled inflation, also on the clarity of the rules and laws...
The fundamental resource is human and is of quality. There is also availability, in absurd quantities and even "discarded" by other equally absurd conditions.
I was just going to talk about Software Outsourcing and I ended up talking about other things... but I think they are useful.
This post is valid for foreigners who can come to invest in this, but especially for nationals.