Nearshore creates local impact through international cooperation

15 March 2024

In the current economic context and due to the tightness in the IT labor market, a lot of flexibility, efficiency and resilience is needed in organizations. As a result, the role of nearshore solutions is becoming increasingly prominent. Our "glocal" strategy is an answer to that need: we offer our customers the intimacy of a local board, with a strong focus on customer intimacy, and the expertise of international shared service centers (SSCs).

An offer that meets a growing demand

A recent survey by Whitelane Research revealed that a significant portion of Belgian IT outsourcing customers are considering a shift toward nearshore. According to the findings, 38% of companies surveyed are moving more services into nearshore, while 55% expect to maintain the same level, and only 7% foresee a reduction. This shift reflects the growing recognition of the benefits nearshore offers.

Within this landscape, we are taking a leading role, with an advanced 'glocal' strategy that combines local intimacy with international expertise. Roel Van den Brande, our Near/Offshore Development Manager Belgium, emphasizes, "Our approach focuses on finding the right balance between local and international approaches to provide customized solutions for our customers. We also have growth ambitions in this area. We want to realize more projects in the coming years in which we fully deploy our nearshore competencies. We will also continue to focus on local recruitment in Belgium. This will allow us to offer our customers an even better mix of the right expertise and skills."

Our nearshore approach includes both shared service centers and remote services. Shared service centers operate on the basis of an industrialized service approach. Here the emphasis is on acquiring a comprehensive service package. A stable team, quality assurance, productivity and efficiency form the basis of this model and ensures consistent delivery standards. In addition, these service centers can provide 24-hour service to meet global operational needs. With suppliers in Portugal, Morocco, Romania, Tunisia, Spain and Colombia, this model provides a solid foundation for streamlined and scalable operations in various markets.

With remote services, on the other hand, we emphasize the individual. This approach is characterized by the flexible delivery of specific profiles within agreed timeframes, with the service provider taking responsibility for resource performance. This model offers flexibility and agility, allowing for rapid adaptation to changing project requirements and schedules. With an extensive network of suppliers in Portugal, Morocco, Romania, Tunisia, Spain, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Bulgaria, this model provides access to a broad talent pool and geographic diversity.

(Inter)national assets

Nearshoring/offshoring is particularly useful to serve international customers, for example in global transformations or outsourcing deals. At the same time, this approach also offers many benefits to our Belgian customers. Ranging from cost savings to access to skills and stimulating innovation. Inetum has its own FabLabs in some of our shared service centers, allowing us to create an environment of continuous development and innovation.

Balancing local and international approaches is crucial. We have 2,000 experts ready in Belgium and more than 2,000 consultants in nearshore, which we see doubling by 2026. There is also flexibility to adapt the different service models to the needs of our customers. This allows us to find the optimal balance between intimacy and the deployment of our nearshore competencies.

So how does that work in practice?

1. Mobile cloud application

For the development of a mobile cloud application for a client in the retail sector, we are using a mix between local expertise and remote delivery centers abroad. 80 people in Belgium provide the architecture, design and project management. We also offer the customer 24/7 support via a service desk abroad.

2. ECC SAP system

Our team successfully lightened the operational load for our client's existing ECC SAP system in logistics and development. By streamlining processes and optimizing system performance, we made day-to-day operations run more smoothly, allowing our client to focus on strategic activities. By leveraging our nearshore hub and achieving an optimized total cost of ownership (TCO), we created a successful combination that ensures efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

3. Application for an industrial manufacturing company

For a manufacturing company, we are developing an industrial application. The software architect and program manager work from Belgium, and they work in parallel with several agile development teams from Poland. In all cases, we invariably work with employees who can express themselves in the language of our customers.

Curious about how nearshore can improve or accelerate your projects? We'd love to discuss it with you.