Bridging the Cultural Gap Across the Americas

Bridging the Cultural Gap Across the Americas
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Conversations on South American economies often revolve around travel, tourism, and spending flow. Thanks to the explosion of digital transformation, IoT, and the demand for software development, the conversation is changing.

Together, digital transformation, the explosion of #IoT, and the world economic stage is changing the face of tech. Click To Tweet

Multiple news sources report a positive uptick in a global marketplace for Tech, including South America (WhaTech, DigitalJournal). Companies throughout South America are preparing “tech hubs” to prepare for the next generational wave of software development demand.

Could music be a leading indicator of what is possible with the right alignment? As the economic climate and immigration policies align to create favorable conditions for partnering with South American workers, cultural gaps in pop culture are filling in and blurring the lines between North and South American culture. A song called ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi (with an appearance from Justin Bieber) is breaking the mold. It became the most-streamed song of all time, just six months after it was released.

To date, “Despacito” has been played over 4.6 billion times, and ironically, has overtaken the previous most-streamed song ever, Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry.’ It’s also the first song primarily in Spanish to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Macarena in 1996. In an interview, Luis Fonsi hit the nail on the head by saying, “Music has no language.”

Download our Guide to Latin America Nearshoring to learn more about this region’s economy, technology industry and talent.

Linking Cultures & Economy

The release of this song featuring a LATAM and US partnership hasn’t just made waves in music, it’s kick-starting discussions for more cross-cultural team-ups for music, fashion, and entertainment.

In the business sector, U.S. based chains are expanding markets and investments in South America. Walmart is in the process of restoring stores in Brazil. With the exception of Venezuela, the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2017 for foresees positive growth rates for 2017. Some sectors, such as the airline industry, are hesitant to say the South American economy is in recovery, but they do agree it’s stable.

South American Tech Sector

In the 2017 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII), Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico were ranked among in the middle of the list. The GII ranks the world’s economies on their innovation inputs and outputs, a central driver of economic growth.

Colombia has emerged from a peace agreement with new opportunities for business and tourism. The U.S. is the world’s largest investor in Colombia, and a free trade agreement has strengthened the relationship between the two countries. Colombia’s high-tech sector is thriving, with annual revenue estimated at USD $2.5 billion. Investors are looking at Colombia as the next hotspot for American companies to expand.

Mexico is projected to become the world’s 16th largest economy for 2017 in the GII Report because of its active contribution to global value chains, including the high-tech sector.

In Argentina, a recovery is underway. MercadoLibre, an eCommerce platform, helped establish the tech community. Today, a co-working space is thriving in Buenos Aires. In 2017, Buenos Aires is a flourishing startup ecosystem.

As the region gains a reputation for its tech sector, they will attract attention from other countries who have positions to fill, especially in the IT and software development industries.

Download our Guide to Latin America Nearshoring to learn more about this region’s economy, technology industry and talent.

Nearshoring vs. Offshoring

Nearshoring is the latest trend in software development and IT. The cultural challenges of traditional outsourcing disappear, as languages and time zones are shared. South American workers are eager to learn and the U.S. tech workforce can’t meet the demand; it’s a perfect match.

While Nearshore cost savings are more moderate than other offshoring alternatives, access to workers who share languages and time zones along with easy travel yields rewards in time management and product quality.

As Latin American countries establish a reputation for growth and innovation, U.S. companies will have access to an experienced, talented workforce, just across the border.

The Cultural Impact of Digital Transformation

A recent Forbes article analyzes the IDC FutureScape Report. It states, “CIOs leading digital transformation will build organizational linkages with lines of business technology teams and across IT organizational silos, and will empower changes in thinking, culture, and practices.” The article goes on to say that human resources with IT capabilities will need to implement IoT technologies.

The FutureScape Report predicts that by 2019, Digital-related Services will account for over 70% of all external services growth and 40% of total worldwide services spending.

For countries that are developing tech-savvy workforces, these predictions are great news. #LatinAmerica #Tech Click To Tweet

They are also good news for companies who are constantly understaffed due to a lack of capable, talented workers. The North American/Latin American dynamic is set to deliver a powerful impact in the age of Digital Transformation.

IDC offers a FutureScape Report for Latin America, too. Top Predictions include:

  • By 2020, 40% of Latin America’s top 3000 companies will see the majority of their business depend on their ability to create digitally-enhanced products, services, and experiences.
  • By 2025, 75% of developer teams will include Cognitive/AI functionality in one or more applications/services.
  • By 2019, enterprises pursuing DX strategies will expand their developer teams by 2-3X.

Download our Guide to Latin America Nearshoring to learn more about this region’s economy, technology industry and talent.

Summary

In this post, we’ve given an overview of the growing Latin American economy and workforce. As Latin popular culture influences American pop culture, a new era of collaboration will emerge between the two regions
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