The concept of offshoring software development was initially associated with tapping large, well-stocked, and inexpensive talent pools in China, India, or Russia. However, the landscape has changed as business and IT executives focus on value rather than cost only. Agile best practices and CI/CD (continuous delivery/continuous integration) has changed the criteria for outsourcing software development, with talent, delivery process, and outcomes ranked higher than cost when evaluating offshore options.
Often overlooked, nearshore collaborative IT sourcing is a viable alternative to offshore outsourcing. While offshore refers to utilizing skills from faraway places such as Eastern Europe and India, nearshore entails sourcing services from geographical regions outside of one’s border but close to the USA, such as Mexico.
A well-executed Mexican nearshore IT outsourcing strategy can accelerate time-to-market, deliver a superior end product, and enhance customer service while simultaneously reducing frustration and missed targets.
What does Mexico have that other countries don’t?
Skills & Productivity
With over 500,000 professionals and 180,000 engineers, IT workers, and technicians graduating from more than 120 Mexican universities every year, Mexico enjoys a wealth of skilled talent. Home to more than 36 campuses in 25 cities across Mexico, the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) enjoys a well-earned reputation for producing top talent. In addition to its own curriculum, the university offers a joint master’s degree in information technology and software engineering management in association with the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mexico’s core infrastructure also offers a significant advantage when working with nearshore companies. Broadband Internet is available throughout the country, with little—if any—difference in throughput and availability compared to the USA. In addition, hardware, software, and tools available on the US market are generally available in Mexico, resulting in smooth, seamless collaboration, and software development.
With significantly higher productivity than offshore locations, nearshore companies deliver high-quality services equal to—if not better than—onshore companies at a highly competitive price point. Nearshore IT outsourcing companies generally enjoy a lower turnover rate than offshore companies, resulting in stable, cohesive teams focused on accelerated time-to-market.
Distance & Time Zones
With Agile development, requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of cross-functional teams, self-organizing teams, customers, and end-users. Groups require constant contact, communication, and collaboration for rapid and flexible adaptive planning, evolutionary development, and continuous improvement.
While working with an offshore team negatively impacts speed and flexibility, nearshore models leverage shared time zones and video conferencing to establish team identity and enable seamless communications— universal principles for Agile. Critical for high-quality, low-cost, and time-efficient software development, real-time accessibility and face-to-face interactions go a long way to facilitating management and ensuring smooth operations.
Moreover, with in-person meetings or work assignments often required during large projects and long-term relationships, the expense and logistics of international travel can be prohibitive. The time and uncertainty of applying for visas for foreign contractors to travel to the USA for onsite work only compounds the problem. Working with a nearshore team simplifies travel with shorter distances, no jet lag, and far less time disruption.
With 100 major and international airports—many offering direct connections to Europe and the USA—travel to Mexico is easy and relatively inexpensive. Applying for work visas for Mexican citizens is streamlined under the new USMCA trade agreement, making it easier for nearshore developers to travel to the USA to work on projects.
Culture & Language
Without a doubt, cultural and language differences impact communication, interpretation, and productivity. They also have a significant effect on comfort levels and commitment. However, customs appearing to be normal in one culture may be unacceptable in another, with substantial consequences for the project.
For example, respectfully disagreeing with or questioning a manager’s recommendations often introduces new perspectives and better ways of doing things. While applauded in Western cultures, this is a sign of disrespect in many Asian countries. The result? Talented workers may have great ideas based on their expertise and years of experience, but prefer to do what’s asked of them rather than raise concerns or recommend alternatives.
In addition to a shared border, Mexicans watch the same TV shows, buy the same products, and share many of the same goals and values as their United States counterparts—creating a cultural affinity unmatched in Latin America. Familiarity with consumer needs and business culture makes it easy for nearshore developers to design user interfaces and develop software products meeting U.S. expectations.
Moreover, nearshore contractors are typically fluent in both English and Spanish, eliminating the extra time and investment required to bridge the communication gap often experienced with offshore ventures. Leveraging a common language, rapport can quickly be built, enabling immediate acceptance, teamwork, and shared responsibility.
Intellectual Property (IP) Laws
With offshore countries often having little in the way of intellectual property laws and the ability to enforce them, U.S. companies can be confident of both Mexican laws and the ability to prosecute violators. Embedded within the USMCA are a comprehensive set of intellectual property rights recognized by the signees—Canada, Mexico, and the USA—with judicial arbitration bodies operating under the guidelines and rules established.
In addition, Mexico adheres to international intellectual property agreements included under the membership of the:
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
Make the right choice
Choosing Mexico as your nearshore outsourcing destination provides a dedicated team of highly-skilled, English-speaking workers with shared culture and values for closer collaboration and accelerated time-to-market. Proximity and seamless, face-to-face real-time interaction enable Agile development, increasing engagement for optimal workload management, problem resolution, and project control.
The right Mexican nearshore partner allows you to expand your in-house team quickly—temporarily or long-term— based on your need for capacity and skills. It enables you to take on more work and deliver high-quality in-house or client software—faster, better, and cheaper.
For more information on how Near Contact can help you access the pool of IT skills you need, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Near Contact
Specializing in digital transformation, software development, and mobile apps, Near Contact attracts and retains the top talent from across Mexico to support US enterprises and service providers. With over 20 years’ experience matching the right talent for each client and project, Near Contact’s flexible, hybrid outsourcing model offers fast access to a highly-skilled, scalable resource pool—delivering your project, your way. www.nearcontact.com