Nearshore Americas

Q&A: Mapping in Detail Nearshore IT Expertise

A lot has been said about the Nearshore’s appeal as a provider of IT services for the US market, but details are often lost in those general statements.

The Nearshore is a vast and diverse region, a fact that is made clearer when one takes a diligent look at the technologies and delivery strategies developed in each country. From Colombia, Argentina and Brazil, to Costa Rica, Mexico and Chile, each representative of the shore has its qualities and quirks. 

NSAM spoke with Camilo Gomez, VP of Engineering at secure access company Appgate, to have a better understanding of those differences, as well as of the tech trends arising in the region as it aims to upgrade its capabilities as a hotspot for the delivery of global business services.

The following conversation with Camilo provides his opinion on several topics, all related to Nearshore IT: trust and cybersecurity; a comparison of Latin American countries’ tech capabilities; what can the Nearshore do to promote itself better; and which technologies should the region follow in order to catch up to the still emerging demand.

NSAM:  Nearshore is growing into an attractive source of talent for IT services for US companies. Are businesses being selective on the sorts of skills/services they seek for nearshore?

Camilo Gomez, VP of Engineering at Appgate

Camilo Gomez: Yes, nearshoring has become an increasingly popular option for US companies seeking talent and IT services. While businesses may be selective about the skills and services they seek, there are several common areas in which Latin American nearshore providers excel.

I’ve seen many companies look for nearshore providers who specialize in software development and IT services, such as application development, cloud services and software testing.

In addition to these, I’ve seen some demand and appetite for nearshore providers who can provide specialized skills or expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, video game development, mobile development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, DevOps and data engineering. These are areas where the demand for talent often surpasses the available supply, making it difficult for US companies to find the expertise they need domestically.

NSAM: Would you say that there’s a difference among LATAM countries in their levels of expertise for different technologies? 

Camilo Gomez: When assessing which LATAM country is best for IT talent, it’s important to look beyond just the technology capabilities of each country. A comprehensive approach should consider a variety of factors, including demographics, the number of universities per capita, bilingual capabilities, politics and economics, as well as other specific technology trends and patterns that may exist in each country.

For instance, Colombia has a growing community of startups and tech companies, as well as a strong talent pool in software development. This may make it a strong choice for US companies seeking specialized software development expertise.

When it comes to cybersecurity, Brazil has emerged as a hub for fintech and cybersecurity, with a focus on developing advanced solutions for data privacy and security. Meanwhile, Mexico has a well-established tech scene and a focus on innovation, particularly in the areas of AI and data analytics. This may make it a strong choice for US companies seeking talent with expertise in emerging technologies.

NSAM: Which emerging technologies should nearshore providers of talent and IT services focus on if they want to be better positioned to catch up with demand?

Camilo Gomez: Looking ahead to 2023, there are some emerging and maturing technologies that nearshore providers should focus on if they want to meet the growing demand for IT services.

One of these technologies is AI, which is expected to see continued growth as more businesses seek to leverage data and automation to drive insights and efficiencies. Nearshore providers that specialize in AI services like natural language processing, machine learning and predictive analytics could be in high demand.

Generative AI tools can help automate the software development process by automatically generating code, testing frameworks and other components. As such, they can help increase productivity and reduce costs for software development projects. Nearshore providers that specialize in software development may want to focus on developing expertise in these generative AI tools and incorporating them into their workflows. This could help them provide more efficient and cost-effective software development services, while also staying at the forefront of this emerging technology trend.

I have not seen critical mass of hardware and IoT expertise in Nearshore providers to capitalize on this trend so far.

Another area to focus on is IoT. As more devices become connected and generate data, companies will need talent with expertise in IoT architecture, data management and security. Personally, I have not seen critical mass of hardware and IoT expertise in Nearshore providers to capitalize on this trend so far.

Cloud computing and cybersecurity are two areas that are also expected to stay in high demand. Nearshore providers that offer cloud services, such as cloud migration, cloud security, and cloud-based app development, may be well positioned to meet the growing demand for cloud solutions.

Similarly, Nearshore providers with expertise in cybersecurity may be able to help companies protect their data and systems from evolving threats.

NSAM: What can Nearshore cybersec providers do to gain the trust of US companies?

Camilo Gomez: Establishing trust with clients is critical for nearshore cybersecurity firms to be successful. By demonstrating their reliability, competence, expertise, protecting confidential information, providing regular updates, offering customized solutions and fostering a collaborative relationship, cybersecurity firms can build a foundation of trust that will help to ensure long-term success.

NSAM: How close do you think Nearshore providers in general are to reaching those levels of trust?

Camilo Gomez: I would say that varies significantly. I’m aware of more than 3,000 nearshore software development providers in LATAM, but their sophistication, size, capabilities and expertise vary significantly. 

There is a top tier that definitely is able to build and maintain trust as I presented, but there is a huge learning curve for the rest of the “pyramid”

I’m aware of more than 3,000 nearshore software development providers in LATAM, but their sophistication, size, capabilities and expertise vary significantly. 

NSAM: Though more aware than before, many US companies still ignore the advantages of leveraging the Nearshore for IT. What is the best approach to showcase those advantages?

Camilo Gomez: I would say it’s important to highlight how nearshoring is already helping US companies achieve their business objectives, whether it’s through cost savings, improved quality of talent, it’s time zone and proximity benefits or all of the above.

Additionally, it may be helpful to address any common misconceptions or concerns that US companies may have about nearshoring, such as language barriers or quality of service. By addressing these concerns head-on, companies may be more likely to consider nearshoring as a viable option.

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Overall, the best approach to showcasing the advantages of nearshoring will depend on the specific needs and goals of the US company in question. I’m familiar with many US companies that have successfully leveraged nearshoring and don’t see a reason why not to engage in it as part of a holistic strategy.

Cesar Cantu

Cesar is the Managing Editor of Nearshore Americas. He's a journalist based in Mexico City, with experience covering foreign trade policy, agribusiness and the food industry in Mexico and Latin America.

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