Barcelona. A beautiful place to do business
by Iain Levein, Group Director of Comet Global Consulting
Thursday, April 19, 2012
“Barcelona… I had this perfect dream.” So sang Freddie Mercury, and when Freddie sang people listened. Conjuring up romantic visions of this historic city, his song was an epic, memorable one.
Now no-one’s going to say that outsourcing your IT is romantic. But it can be epic. And quite frankly, Barcelona really is the perfect dream if you’ve been on the receiving end of a long and laborious offshoring project, not to mention all the flights.
There’s nowhere quite like Barcelona. This beautiful city is not only a popular tourist destination and a great place to live, it’s also a thriving place to do business. It’s a bustling blend of culture and commerce with a Mediterranean twist.
This isn’t just talk either. Statistics show that Barcelona has been voted the top European city for quality of life, in the top three best-known cities in Europe and the top five places to do business. It’s in the top three for qualified staff, telecommunications, external transport links and cost of staff. All impressive stuff.
So what’s my point? Well, as companies have started to realise the associated risks with offshoring, near shoring is becoming an increasingly popular way to outsource IT projects. And Barcelona is the European hotspot for outsourcing.
People are one of the main considerations when you’re looking to move a project abroad. And there’s no denying that traditional offshoring has offered a mass of talent and willing workers. But it’s also key to have a workforce that’s consistent and knowledgeable, key to have a workforce that’s on your wavelength and on your doorstep. With a culture and education system similar to the UK, you’ll find it easy to put your points across and discover a shared approach to your working practices. Your complex projects demand a flexible workforce, and you’ll be able to easily find the right people for your business. With lower staff turnover, greater retention of talent and unrivalled domain knowledge, Barcelona wins hands down on the people factor.
Cultural differences can also come into play. Traditional offshoring countries like India take a different approach to IT personnel, and it’s common for technical staff to become managers after about five years. In Spain, you are much more likely to find technical staff with 15+ years’ experience who are able to bring their expertise and knowhow to your project.
Barcelona traditionally boasts a highly skilled workforce with good levels of English and other European languages. So nothing gets lost in translation. It also has a culture of transparency, so you’ll be informed straight away if there are any problems or issues, giving you the chance to deal with them before they have the chance to escalate.
A beautiful city with a business brain. Next time you think offshore, think near shore. Next time you think near shore, think Barcelona.