16 May Send it to Cape Town
Louie Storm, founder of dataX, believes that Cape Town is an excellent destination for UK companies to outsource software and web development projects to.
“Cape Town – and more recently, Durban – have been attractive outsource options for call centres for some time but we’re seeing an increased interest in customised software and web development.”
What is making Cape Town an attractive option?
Louie refers to The Big Five:
Substantial cost savings based on the lower resource, office and facilities costs, coupled with a favourable exchange rate.
Initially an international leader as an outsourced Call Centre hub, Cape Town is now among the Top 30 IT outsourcing hubs globally. dataX was established 20 years ago and has a proven track record in South Africa and globally. Cape Town produces an abundance of qualified engineers and developers.
Cape Town enjoys similar time zones to the UK and Europe and direct flights from London.
English is the preferred business language, spoken fluently by the dataX team.
According to OECD data, South Africans scored the fifth highest ranking in the world when it comes to average hours worked per week.
“We have always heard that South Africans have a high work ethic but it’s good to see that it is formally recognised. Clients want to know that when deadlines are pressing, the engineers won’t be downing keyboards on the stroke of 17h00,” says Louie.
Louie says that while the Big 5 makes Cape Town a viable option for companies looking for outsourced customised software development, these benefits are not enough to secure contracts.
“The clients need to see a level of business organisation. For example, having an in-house HR capability is important. This provides comfort that the engineers and developers are being looked after and, in the event of having to scale for the project, there is a relationship with credible IT recruitment companies to quickly source qualified engineers and developers.”
You also need to satisfy the client that there are business continuity and disaster recovery processes in place.
“If it is a serious project – as it should be – a flight from London to Cape Town is only 11 hours away, allowing the client to fly in and conduct a due diligence. They will even ask to meet the web developers or software programmers earmarked to work on the project. A due diligence shouldn’t be scary if you’re geared for global business. Cape Town has a compelling business case but you need to ensure that you can satisfy the client on the underlying risk factors.”