by Ana Ćakić
Have you ever thought about IT outsourcing or relocating some other business processes into a foreign country? Well, if you haven’t – now is the time! Even though it seems that we are still relatively far from setting up the real galactic enterprises (our Cosmic crew can hardly wait for that to happen), humankind did manage to make the 21st-century world interconnected better than ever before. The new technologies made it all unbelievably accessible and efficient, and that means doing business on a global level has never been easier. The companies are no longer limited to local markets nor local resources, so why not use those new circumstances?
Practically, no matter what type of business you are dealing with, you can set it up wherever you seem fit – from your own neighborhood to the most distant place you can imagine. Cosmic Development as a Canadian IT support services company has chosen Serbia and Macedonia to set up its operational centers, and here are the top 5 reasons why.
- Excellent pool of professionals
- Communication and cultural affinity
- Ease of doing business
- Great logistics
- Outstanding value
Where to Find Great Programmers for IT Outsourcing?
Based on our own experience, we can say that Serbia and Macedonia are the best places to look for amazing programmers. They are the perfect IT outsourcing destinations in Europe as both of these countries have an excellent supply of well-educated and experienced IT professionals and experts. We believe that the secret lies in their educational system. It develops the student’s ability for logical thinking through mathematics and natural sciences. Moreover, this development begins from primary school and it continues to expand right up until high school graduation. With this approach, students in Serbia and Macedonia are well prepared to step up to the challenges of further university education, especially in the fields of engineering and computer science.
Most of the software developers and other IT professionals from Serbia and Macedonia are curiosity-driven and eager to learn more. They are ambitious to improve their expertise in areas of their interest and always strive to keep up with the latest technologies, and that is very important in IT outsourcing arrangements. The combination of these characteristics makes them outstanding problem-solvers who can handle various assignments with ease. Their hard skills are simply impeccable. At the same time, most of these IT professionals have mastered a wide range of soft skills as well and grew to be fantastic team players and reliable collaborators.
How to Overcome Barriers of Communication in IT Outsourcing?
Professionals from Serbia and Macedonia are fluent in English, so there is no language barrier within teams. The English language is one of the compulsory subjects in their primary and secondary schools, as well as in university education. Children usually start to learn English from age seven. However, it’s not unusual that parents enroll their youngsters into English courses while they are still in kindergarten. Plus, the English-language media are very popular and heavily consumed by middle and younger generations both in Serbian and Macedonian societies.
The cultural affinity is another strong factor why Serbia and Macedonia are such an excellent choice for IT outsourcing. Situated in southeastern Europe, both cultures nurture the values and standards of western civilization. Their understanding of professional and ethical responsibility perfectly corresponds with our own (Canadian and North American), making the collaboration easy and efficient.
Why Outsource Your Business to Southeastern Europe?
Serbia and Macedonia are both in the process of joining the European Union. For this reason, the laws in these countries are adapted to the laws of all European countries. In addition to that, Macedonia is also a NATO candidate country with macroeconomic stability and excellent infrastructure. According to the Doing Business list of the World Bank for ease of doing business for 2019, Macedonia is one of the top ten business destinations, and 5th best country in Europe right after Denmark, Georgia, Norway, and the UK, while Serbia took the 48th position among 190 countries.
Another economically driven reason for opting these two southeastern European countries to set up our IT operation centers is their good ranking in Developer Skills Reports such as SkillValue ranking, for example. These reports help create an idea of the value for money each country offers, and if it’s ranked above 20 in SkillValue’s list or 30 by Hacker Rank, it is considered an excellent destination for finding outstanding developers. For example, Serbian developers are ranked #16 in the world with 89.39% score index (by SkillValue), and also take the 6th place in Top Elite Classification list with a fantastic index result of 99.90%.
How Do Location and Time Affect the Business?
Serbia and Macedonia have great geographic locations. Both countries are practically at the doorstep of the EU, bordering Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece (among other countries). Traveling to and from Serbia and Macedonia is relatively fast and easy. It takes up to three hours from most major European cities to reach their capital cities, Belgrade and Skopje. For example, direct flight from London to Belgrade takes about 2h 30 mins, Amsterdam 2h 45 mins, and Berlin only 1h 45 mins.
Serbia and Macedonia both belong to the Central European Time Zone. That means daily coordination and communication is very easy. All the meetings can be organized and held within working hours. However, the time difference with North America is slightly more challenging. The US East Coast is six hours behind, which still leaves a couple of overlapping hours for everyday communication. With good organization, this time gap could easily be transformed into an advantage – our teams in Serbia and Macedonia perform their tasks while our clients’ headquarters are still not fully functional.
What Is Quality Price Ratio for IT Outsourcing?
Our experience has proven that Serbia and Macedonia offer the best price-quality ratio we could find, especially for IT outsourcing. Considering all the above facts – exquisite expertise of Serbian and Macedonian IT professionals, their excellent work ethics and communication skills, in addition to the numerous and ongoing business opportunities and continuously improving business environments in these two countries, we can say that outsourcing to this European region is a smart business decision.
Regardless of whether a company wants to develop an entirely new product, improve or just maintain the existing one, or is in need of any additional services, Serbia and Macedonia are the right places to turn to and free up your resources for other investments.
(In Addition to IT Outsourcing) Serbia and Macedonia Have Much More to Offer
Beside strictly business-related reasons why Serbia and Macedonia remain our first choice for relocating our operational centers there, there are other exciting details about these two countries and their people.
For instance, did you know that seven Serbian-American scientists and engineers have participated in the construction of Apollo spaceships and helped to put a man on the Moon? Moreover, the well-known message “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” spoken by Jack Swigert to the NASA Mission Control Center during the Apollo 13 spaceflight, was in fact received by one of those seven Serbs, now retired NASA engineer David Vuich. Furthermore, brilliant minds and world-famous scientists and inventors such as Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin, and Milutin Milanković, were also Serbs.
A pioneer of performance art and one of the most influential figures of contemporary art, Marina Abramović, was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia. She has been using her own body as both art subject and object since the early 1970s but truly gained worldwide fame in the 2000s, especially after her now-legendary retrospective exhibition/performance in The Museum of Modern Art, titled The Artist Is Present. Right next to Marina, stand the pleiad of giants like Emir Kusturica, movie director and two times winner of Palme d’Or at Cannes, Volter Bogdanić, a three-time Pulitzer prize winner, Karl Malden, the first Serbian Oscar winner, Vlade Divac, one of the first Europeans to play a vital role in the NBA and, of course, Novak Djoković, the world’s best tennis player.
Plus, officially the Best Major European Festival, and one of the world’s leading music festivals in general, takes place in Serbia! Every summer the Exit Festival gathers hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, for almost two decades. During all these years almost nearly every major music artist has performed there, but the biggest celebration is yet to come next year when EXIT 2.0 will mark 20th anniversary of the world-renowned Serbian festival.
On the other hand, Macedonia offers breathtaking landscapes and restful place just outside their capital city. Besides the beautiful Vodno mountain that rises right next to Skopje and serves as a daily haven from the hustle and bustle of the city, less than 12 miles from Skopje lies a canyon called Matka with Vrelo, one of the deepest underwater caves in the world. The assumed depth of the cave is more than 1,650 feet (500 meters), but only 787.4 feet (240 meters) of it has been explored so far. One more exciting spot in the northern part of Macedonia is called Kokino. It’s considered to be the fourth oldest astronomic observatory in the world, along with Abu Simbel in Egypt, the famous Stonehenge in Great Britain, and spectacular Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This Macedonian Bronze Age archaeological site is situated less than 20 miles (about 30 km) from the town of Kumanovo.
Another natural beauty in Macedonia is the town Ohrid, which lies in the south-western part of the country. Ohrid is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, and it bears the nickname “Jerusalem of the Balkans” due to the disposal of a large number of churches and monasteries in such small territory. Moreover, Ohrid lies on a beautiful lake, which is three million years old and is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. The beauty of the town combined with the lake that mirrors the buildings proclaimed Ohrid as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
All these and many other astonishing Macedonian sites, as well as the city of Skopje, deserve more considerable international attention. So, it wouldn’t hurt to remind that Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the world celebrated humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was actually born in the capital of Macedonia. The Memorial House of Mother Teresa is one of the most visited sites in the city.