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Bulgarian IT outsourcing has been thriving for more than a decade despite any economic or political turbulence that we might have experienced. The reasons behind that are many – its IT infrastructure, internet speed, the large number of skilled professionals, moderate prices, and flat corporate taxes. As proof in 2021, the international consultancy company Kearney included Bulgaria in their Global Services Location Index report, where the country ranked in the top 20 as one of the most attractive digital hubs in the world. Some of the criteria used in the report are business environment, skills availability, financial attractiveness, and more.
Read along and learn more about the trends and forecasts for the future of outsourcing IT services to Bulgaria. We’ll talk more about what are the benefits for US companies who choose to benefit from a partnership with Bulgarian IT services companies.
How is the latest economic and political landscape shaping IT outsourcing?
Estimated at $342.9 billion in 2020, the global IT outsourcing market is projected to reach 410.2 billion by 2027. This clearly shows that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic turbulence, and the geopolitical tension, IT outsourcing is only growing as an industry. Those factors are not only slowing down the industry but are in fact stimulating it. American companies are looking for high-quality services at affordable prices, extensive knowledge, and experience in building innovative solutions with cutting-edge technologies, accelerating digitalization, and focusing in-house efforts on developing the core business. This is all made possible due to IT outsourcing. As Alphonso Jackson, Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has said: The other part of outsourcing is this: it simply says where the work can be done outside better than it can be done inside, we should do it.”.
Here are just some of the factors that shaped the IT outsourcing industry and the reason more and more US companies are looking at countries like Bulgaria for help when it comes to software development:
We hardly need a reminder of what 2020 looked like for businesses all over the United States and the world. The initial shock of the uncertainty was additionally strengthened by the decrease in revenue, the decline in the number of new projects, and of course, the number of restrictions that forced most businesses to take a hit. American companies which managed to survive the fall decided to turn internally and move away from third-party vendors. They had to put projects on hold to save money or due to the challenges of integrating external teams into the company culture in this challenging climate.
However, now over two years later, we can see that despite the turbulent times, the IT outsourcing industry only continued to grow even faster than before. Many organizations saw the need to raise time-to-market speed, lower costs and increase productivity and efficiency. They saw shifting to digital as the only way of beating the pandemic. That is when the revival of IT outsourcing happened. Opting for an outsourcing partner helps deliver expertise that is lacking in-house, streamlines processes, and creates additional funds that can help the company focus on priorities such as growth and innovation. Accedia dedicated a lot of effort to make sure our clients felt safe during that time. We reduced our rates, helped prioritize the most important projects and tasks, provided free consultations, and became even more agile when it comes to adjusting the size of the team.
Being one of the most desirable outsourcing destinations, Bulgaria managed to turn the difficulties of the pandemic into opportunities. Choosing to relocate due to lockdowns and remote work many talents moved back to Bulgaria and relocated from all parts of the world including China or other Asian countries in search of work, stability, high-quality education, and more affordable living standards. All this made the Bulgarian talent pool of skilled IT professionals even more abundant than prior to the pandemic. Continuously growing throughout the pandemic Bulgarian outsourcing is expected to reach EUR 6.6 billion in 2024 from EUR 3.3 billion in 2020.
Russia’s cyber war and the need for better security
Long gone is the time when cyber attacks were just hypothetical threats. If we’ve learned something in the last few years is that all countries are at potential risk and investing in the right talent and security technologies can be crucial.
Some alarming statistics related to data breaches in the United States:
- Attacks on corporate networks per week increased by 50% from 2020 to 2021 and continue to go up in 2022.
- Just in the first half of 2022 over 53 million individuals got victims of cyberattacks (data exposure, data leaks, and more).
- The average cost of a data breach raised from $9.04 million in 2021 to $9.44 million in 2022. Which makes the United States the costliest country for an average total cost of a data breach for the 12th year.
The examples of how real the threats of cyber-attacks are many. We remember the Chinese hackers’ attack that stole the data of 21 million people in the US including their social security numbers. Or last year when hackers increased the levels of lye in a water treatment plant in Florida to dangerous levels. Attacks on individuals, big and small businesses, or even the government and its institutions have been a regular occurrence for years. And only recently with the increasing threats coming from Russia, US businesses realize the vulnerable state their data is in and the need for a clear cyber security plan, allocated budget, and skilled talent who can mitigate even the most sophisticated threats. Thus, Accedia created its AI Capability Center aiming to invest further in innovative technologies and solutions to help companies reach high-security standards.
Global economic crisis
The United States is experiencing the highest inflation rates since the 80s. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the inflation rate in March 2022 was 8.5%. This along with the declines in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only mean that a recession may not be as far away as we once thought. Employees are quitting their job in search of a high salary and better benefits, resulting in staffing issues. Many businesses have shut down in the last year due to supply chain difficulties, lower customer demand, or modernization challenges. Thus, to increase work efficiency, save costs, and let the internal team focus on stabilizing the core business, the projection is that IT outsourcing in countries like Bulgaria will only become more popular. Discover trends in custom software development prices.
What makes Bulgaria a desirable outsourcing destination?
Bulgaria has become a well-known IT hub in the early 2000s and since then it’s gained a reputation for both high-quality services and digital talent as well as its low costs. The country offers an attractive investment climate and an opportunity for both business and talent development. Thus, many of the largest IT companies such as Microsoft, Google, Uber, and more have chosen Bulgaria for their offices in Eastern Europe. According to the AIBEST report for 2021, the top 4 countries looking to invest in the Bulgarian sourcing industry are the UK, USA, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Having the chance to work with many American enterprises IT outsourcing companies in Bulgaria have rich experience in developing solutions for various industries including E-commerce, Manufacturing, Finance, Energy, and Transportation. Thus, it’s no surprise that IT services in Bulgaria have been generating about 20 percent year-on-year growth for the past several years.
With the US being one of the countries with the highest investments in IT in Bulgaria, the country has become a strategic partner when it comes to building high-quality technological solutions. This collaboration is predicted to grow as more and more US companies are choosing Bulgaria as an outsourcing partner due to the language proficiency of its talent, lack of political tension in the country, the good cultural fit, and the high ranking in terms of innovation, competitiveness, and globalization. And last but not least, in 2024 Bulgaria is scheduled to enter the Eurozone which will ensure a stable business environment eliminating the exposure to foreign exchange risk.