During the past weeks, many newspapers have reported that the lack of software developers in Denmark is an obstacle to the growth of Danish companies. The Danish IT and software company KMD informs that they are moving towards having 200 software developers in Poland, besides their operations in India. Another leading Danish IT company NNIT calculates on having 50% of their employees working from abroad within the next few year. At the Danish IT Industry Association’s annual meeting, the Danish clothing company Bestseller revealed that they have moved their entire development department from Brande in Denmark to Amsterdam in Holland.
Why are we moving abroad – away from Denmark?
What is happening? Has the Danish society failed to educate people with the right competences? Are we falling behind in terms of knowledge? Are the conditions for Danish businesses inadequate? Has it become too expensive to develop software solutions in Denmark? Or is it just a natural consequence in a globalised world, where projects will be solved in the most profitable location? The answer is probably a combination of some of these conditions, however, there is no doubt that this development has come to stay – and we have to deal with it.
An International mindset
In terms of education, we need to include globalisation and cross-cultural integrated cooperation so the next generation of developers are prepared to act in the reality they will have to work in. Structure-wise we need to address the fact that the cost level in Denmark makes it difficult to retain competitiveness. Consequently, projects are solved abroad. Therefore, we need to focus on internationalisation, just as KMD and NNIT have.
Sourcing as a supplement – not a solution
There is an entire industry of sourcing businesses that offers software development to Danish companies. Even though outsourcing is a good supplement and it works as a solution to the companies that lack software developers, it is not an overall solution to our challenges in Denmark. We have to draw attention to the other issues as well. By adding an integrated dedicated team to your own development, you accommodate the lack of competences and strengthen your competitiveness. However, if your challenges are grounded in an internationalisation process, as the case with Bestseller, the solution might be to move your entire development to the location of your market.