Combating the UK and Irish Software Skills Gap With Offshore Teams

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Businesses in the United Kingdom and Ireland are facing large skills gaps in particular areas of technology. In fact, 76% of British IT decision makers report 'significant' talent shortages, that are preventing them from moving at the pace they'd like. In things such as AI and data science, educational institutions aren't yet producing students with the required level of ability to innovate at pace.

This poses a problem, as 'innovation ready' organisations are being held back by a seller's market of engineers. The cream of the crop head to the tech giants in Dublin, London, and Manchester — leaving everybody else struggling to obtain and retain elite developers. With more and more businesses putting software central to their strategic plans, it's crucial that they bring the best software talent in house. Below we look at some solutions to tackle the UK and Irish software skills gap.

What about outsourcing my software development?

To combat the UK and Irish software skills gap it's of course possible to consider outsourcing. The problem lies with control and ownership. They aren't your developers - they work for a third-party software house. You aren't fully in control of their workflow, it's often handled by the external vendor.

If a business only has a quick project to get through, then outsourcing that work to an outside organisation can work fantastically well. However, for businesses trying to keep capability in house then it's important to look beyond traditional outsourcing at other solutions such as integrated teams based in talent-rich locations.

What about offshoring my software development?

Beating the UK and Irish software skills gap isn't difficult when CTOs and CIOs expand their horizons beyond simply looking locally. By levergaing talent in a talent-rich location such as India, organisations can tap into elite enginering skills to help plug gaps at home.

There's a concern that educational institutions in the UK and Ireland aren't yet up to speed on what's needed at the cutting edge of tech innovation, however, this isn't the case in countries that have long been a hub of software development for pioneering brands like Google and Amazon.

What do I do next?
If an organisation has decided to look beyond their local area for top-tier developers to overcome the UK and Irish software skills gap, then it make sense to team up with an offshoring partner. The attractiveness of their proposition will perhaps make your location decision for you, or you'll have somewhere in mind already and find a partner that fits.

Before making any decisions, check for demonstrable evidence of their ability to build and scale offshore tech teams. This could be downloadable case studies, or interviews online with their leadership detailing past successes.

Once you’ve found the right partner, then you can leverage global talent, upgrade on existing skills, and keep the capability, knowledge, and expertise within the business — as opposed to relying on an external third party vendor.

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