Colombia has been going from strength to strength in its ability to offer world-class IT services, gaining a global reputation for the technical prowess of its talented people. But the country is well-suited to one practice in particular — DevOps.
By prioritizing education, infrastructure, and technology, Colombia has proven itself to be an excellent source of talented developers and software operation specialists. And, with the statistics to back this up, it also presents itself as a promising and attractive investment destination.
What is DevOps?
DevOps—or Development and Operations—is a software engineering phrase that refers to the relationship between software development and software operation. As an extensive practice, companies working under a DevOps model integrate two teams of developers that hold distinctly different expertise into one cohesive unit. In other words, two previously separate components are meshed into one and expected to assimilate seamlessly to deliver scalable, reliable software.
Companies that incorporate this approach need cross-functional members that are capable of collaborating on projects requiring methods from both software operation and development. This results in fast, continuous software delivery and almost-immediate IT software solutions.
As one can imagine, this process is highly sensitive and requires a smart, strategic approach. In most cases, to yield the best possible results, some companies work with international teams on both short and long-term projects.
Overall, DevOps teams from any company stand to benefit greatly from working with remote teams from Colombia, whether through long-term outsourcing or short-term in-office collaboration. Here’s why.
Colombia’s Value Proposition
In 2015, the World Bank Group released their “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency” report where they ranked Colombia as the #1 Latin American and Caribbean region in the “ease of doing business” ranking. Globally, out of 189 economies, Colombia was ranked #34.
A 2012 study conducted for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) described Colombia as “the hidden jewel for outsourcing in Latin America.” Colombia also happens to have the second-largest growing labor force in the region, according to IMD.
Companies choosing to outsource or collaborate with remote DevOps teams in Colombia enjoy several great benefits of working with that particular nearshore area, including same time zone, close proximity to the US, strong governmental support, and modern connectivity practices.
In fact, back in 2010, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies launched their Vive Digital Plan. Driven by four major components—infrastructure, IT services, software, and users—the primary goal of the plan was to support IT development and the growth of digital platforms. As a result, 99.8% of businesses in Colombia have gone digital since then.
4G connections have also increased by 26%, resulting in more than half of Colombia getting connected. Technology giants such as Microsoft, Google, and HP have already taken advantage of this fresh investment opportunity by opening centers for science, tech, and innovation. Ergo, the possibility of remote teams from Colombia being well-versed—or, at the very least, familiar—with the latest tools, technology, and IT development strategies is quite high.
Even so, there are still two main apprehensions for potential investors: security and communication. Here, we aim to offer some valuable solutions to address these concerns.
One of the common concerns managers have regarding outsourcing or working with remote teams is security. Working with a third party company arguably exposes your business to the possibility of sensitive information being leaked. For instance, data could get intercepted during transfer, or it could be distributed without your knowledge or permission. Allowing extensive access to important information to people outside of your company can also significantly weaken security algorithms.
However, this is a chance that all businesses take when they choose to outsource certain processes or collaborate with nearshore companies. It’s a legitimate concern, but there are, fortunately, preventive measures one can take to ensure data integrity isn’t compromised.
Solution: To avoid spreading or leaking sensitive business information, keep everything on-site and in-office as much as possible. Every process, data transfer, communication thread, meeting—make sure it happens only during office hours and only using on-site equipment and resources: computers, servers, networks, storage devices, and the like.
By keeping every project-related procedure within the office, you retain considerable control over the information exchange. Having immediate access to all the equipment and resources involved in the process makes it easier to record and keep tabs on everyone involved.
Of course, for this to happen, your remote team would have to physically stay in your office for the duration of the project. Colombia’s proximity to the US makes this entirely possible, but in the off chance that it simply can’t happen, you can always mitigate security breaches by regulating data distribution and implementing access parameters.
One of the major concerns most companies have when it comes to outsourcing is seamless communication. A lot of modern businesses are equal opportunity employers that encourage cultural diversity in the workforce. However, a good grasp of the English language—both spoken and written—is a common prerequisite for employees. Miscommunication and a failure to comprehend instructions can result in disastrous—and costly—mistakes.
Solution: Spanish remains Colombia’s official and most common language, with about 99.2% of the population fluent in it. However, developers from major cities like Bogota (the capital) and Medellin are bilingual, and exhibit an average to above-average grasp of conversational English.
With over 200,000 graduates of higher education institutions every year, Colombian developers have the educational background that ensures they are no strangers to tech, IT development, and business-related terms either.
Ultimately, the security concerns that people used to have about collaborating with DevOps teams in Colombia have been alleviated, and the country is on the right path to ensuring its English language skills remain strong.
In fact, the country has progressed so much in recent years that anyone considering a Nearshore DevOps partnership should look no further than Colombia.