Outsourcing software development tasks has become a fact of life for most successful companies. Today’s question is not whether to outsource or not, but where to outsource to. Speaking about countries, there are some options that are more obvious and yet there are some that can become your best partners and friends for good. Let’s have a closer look at Belarus, an Eastern European country located between Poland and Russia, recently named among the top 5 IT outsourcing countries in Central and Eastern Europe by the Central and Eastern European Outsourcing Association.
Some 30-40 years ago, Belarus was known as the assembly shop for the whole Soviet Union. The best technical staff, engineers and skilled workers moved here to work in the Hi-Tech industry of that time. Belarus became home for a number of technical universities. Since that time, innovative industries have been flourishing here with the unceasing support by the state, which resulted in creation of the Hi-Tech Park, an office space for IT companies, in Minsk in 2005.
A long history of innovative development made Belarus a great pool for technical and engineering talent. According to the UN Human Development Index, Belarus occupies position 68 (Russia 71, Ukraine 85) among 182 countries. It is placed in the group of countries with high human development. And as recent research by the Forbes magazine shows, the “per capita income from IT-Services export in Belarus equals that of India and heavily exceeds that of Russia.” Government controls the quality and maintains the high level of computer science education. This means training in not only programming but also deep understanding of engineering, mathematics, physics and other fundamental sciences. Student teams from Belarus often win prizes at world programming tournaments.
Belarus is geographically located in Europe and borders on three EU countries: Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The time zone is GMT +2, which is only 7 hours time difference with New York. Customers from America use a non-stop project management model, in which they review the results of the day’s work in the morning and then have a whole day to work out new tasks and send them back to Belarus. Belarusian software developers are working, while their overseas customers are asleep. Usually, the two have no less than two common business hours for various management related purposes. Being close geographically does not necessarily mean being easy accessible, but Belarus is not the case. Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, is only in two and a half hour flight distance from Frankfurt and in three and a half hours from London. Belarusian visa is easy to obtain at the airport upon arrival.