ICT intervention for growth: The Garden Route software factory
The Garden Route is open for business. Serious business, software business.
This is the first in a series of posts identifying and substantiating several ICT projects to stimulate and grow the Garden Route ICT industry.
In a previous post I gave some background as to the startup scene within the Garden Route. The area is full of promise and talent, and serious startups are already operating from the area, with others relocating to take advantage of the superior lifestyle and great infrastructure.
The Garden Route is the ideal place from where to run a software factory. Over R750 million worth of software development work is exported form the Western Cape alone to India and other off-shore destinations. The Garden Route has the skills, capacity and experience to attract a significant number of these currently off-shored projects. The close proximity to Cape Town combined with the skills base and business experience should make the shift from India to the Garden Route and obvious one.
The Garden Route ICT Incubator in George is the ideal place to locate such a software factory. It has the physical space, the required infrastructure and a bunch of highly skilled individuals which can meet any demands.
So what is required to make this happen?
- We need to convince the companies in Cape Town and Johannesburg that currently export software development off-shore that there is a credible alternative right here.
- We need to prove that we can deliver. We start of with a single manageable project from a corporate and we deliver a superior result, in every way.
- We need to work together, to ensure we can deliver. All the skills is here, it is simply a case of creating a project team per deliverable.
We have the will, and we have the way. The next step is an easy one. We must identify the opportunities, and create the capacity to deliver at the scale and quality required.
I suspect that several large ICT companies from Johannesburg and Cape Town will move into the region soon and establish their own outsourced ICT services divisions to serve their own needs, just like some BPO operators are doing already. This will help accelerate the growth of the local ICT industry and will not only create serious critical mass but will also create the much needed credibility of the region as a serious ICT destination.
Over the next year the Garden Route ICT landscape will undergo serious change as it transforms from a place of small lone IT companies into a region of ICT excellence.
Upcoming posts in this series will include the following:
- The Garden Route, the best kept secret of the South African BPO Industry
- The Garden Route as the agri & tourism R&D destination of choice
- The Garden Route as the prototyping destination of choice