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The Argentina Advantage

If you want a reliable, cost effective software development solution, look no further than Argentina. ComputerWeekly.com has named Argentina the number 1 outsourcing destination. Ever since the devaluation of our currency in 2002, the Argentinean software development market has become very cost competitive. The market in Argentina may be relatively small, but that has bred a more global mindset among its entrepreneurs and software engineers than in larger South American countries, where they are mostly preoccupied servicing their own markets. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that four of Latin America’s six “unicorns” — tech start-ups now valued at more than $1bn — emerged in Argentina.

Argentina started developing its IT talent over 20 years ago, during the dot-com boom in the late nineties. During this period, the country was home to approximately 65 percent of the design and implementation work of most regional Internet startups, and it has not stopped ever since. There exists a large, highly skilled pool of software engineers ready to work at a reasonable price, and an IT infrastructure network that is arguably the best in the entire region. As a result, Argentina has developed into a tech-hub that has attracted many global IT companies like HP, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Teletech, Motorola, Sony, America Online and Google.

In 2017 Argentina’s software industry enjoyed a record year with exports totaling $1.7bn, breaking the previous record established in 2012 of $1.5bn. According to a survey carried out in 2017 by the Chamber of the Argentine Software Industry (CESSI), respondents forecast employment growth of almost 26% with a 15% increase in software exports in 2018.

When you choose a location to outsource to, the availability and quality of labor is a key consideration. According to the Argentine Ministry of Economy, Argentina is home to approximately 1,000 IT companies and 70,000 IT professionals. The IT and Software Companies Chamber of Argentina (CESSI) states students pursuing degrees and post-graduate qualifications at universities and academies had an 80% annual growth. One important aspect is that Public universities and Tertiary level Institutions are tuition-free and open to anyone, making it easier for students to get their degree. Argentina has the largest number of university students in Latin America, ranking eighth globally. This results in a reliable source of future professionals to serve a range of sectors, especially the outsourcing industry. 

Outsource to a country with a culture very different from your own and you can easily end up with communication problems. It’s an inefficiency none of us can afford in today’s competitive market.

Argentina is the only South American country with so many cultural similarities to Europe due to mass European immigration in the last couple of centuries. For example, both share similarities in sports, cuisine, media and fashion to name a few examples.

Nearshore outsourcing to Argentina helps eliminate communications obstacles due to different time zones as Argentina also has a similar time zone to Europe. This makes real-time communications that much easier and means you don’t have to rely solely on email communications to talk to your team–nearshore outsourcing ensures you can speak to them immediately. Smoother communications ensure better collaboration.

The English Proficiency Index done by Education First (EP) in 2014 states that Argentina has the highest English level in Latin America and currently occupies the 15th place in the global ranking. Argentina places itself in the top 25th percentile of this ranking, beating countries such as Korea, Ukraine, Vietnam, and India. To work with or in Europe or America, fluent English is a baseline requirement now and Argentina’s young professionals show that they understand this.

However, more specifically than Argentina as a whole, Cordoba has a large regional advantage. Being the second biggest city in the country it is already of national importance. However, its regional technology advantage was increased in the wake of the creation of the Córdoba Technology Cluster in 2001 by 10 local IT companies. In addition, the Córdoba Province was Argentina’s first to declare software development an industrial activity, and it is now one of the country’s main IT hubs, home to 125 firms employing around 3500 people.

One of Argentina's downfalls has also produced one of its advantages. Argentinian professionals are agile, flexible and problem solving because they have been constantly dealing with economic difficulties. Everyone is raised to be quick thinking and thus as a byproduct are innovative. Some people say this ‘rebel spirit’ has also been instilled in the nation by the waves of ambitious European immigrants mentioned earlier.

Argentina's future is also looking advantageous. In May 2018 the CESSI published its Federal Strategic Plan for the Argentine Software Industry 2018-30. The blueprint aims to generate quality employment, to increase exports and to foster the local creation of intellectual property in order to spur the country’s digital transformation. The specific goals for 2030 include placing Argentina among the top 30 digitized countries globally and the top five in Latin America. The CESSI also has identified seven main growth areas within the IT sector which coincide with European areas of growing demand. These are cloud computing, social media, smartphones, big data, robotics, virtual reality, blockchain and cyber security.