Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022 ranked London as the world’s second-most important startup hub after Silicon Valley. Since former Prime Minister David Cameron pledged in 2010 to transform London’s East End into East London Tech City, the UK’s capital’s technology sector has been enjoying continuous growth that even Brexit and the pandemic could not stop.
According to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, “London is the undisputed tech and innovation capital of Europe.” In recent years, according to FDI Markets, the Financial Times’ cross-border investment monitoring service, London has received the most foreign direct investment (FDI) from international companies in the tech sector, ahead of Singapore, Dubai, and New York. For London software companies, such a vibrant market makes finding and acquiring highly skilled, qualified software developers a genuine challenge. Working with a software development partner can be a solution to such a challenge.
What kinds of software can we develop?
Software Mind is a global software house that enables companies across all sectors to develop disruptive solutions. Our top-notch specialists can support companies across markets and around the globe in delivering robust, high-quality software such as:
Web applications – a software development company in London can take advantage of developing web applications using various technologies such as PHP, Node.js, AngularJS, and React.
Mobile applications – software developers will assist London companies in delivering mobile applications for iOS and Android devices using native and hybrid development approaches.
Custom software – a trusted software house working for London companies can quickly provide software applications tailored to meet UK businesses’ specific needs.
Software for the financial industry – providing London-based clients with the fintech software development services they need to achieve their goals by combining expertise and cross-sector experience.
Software for telecoms – supporting agile telecom development projects and transforming legacy telecommunications platforms by providing bespoke software using open-source technology or through integration with off-the-shelf solutions.
Software for the betting industry – London-based betting companies can improve online betting software for rewarding customer experiences by using our custom sports betting software and casino entertainment solutions.
Benefits of software development
For software companies in London, software outsourcing solves more than just talent shortages. Our dedicated development teams learn your business in order to achieve a seamless digital transformation, fit your culture and deliver product engineering advice. What are the main benefits of such a software development approach?
Increased efficiency – by using software solutions, firms can automate business processes, which reduces the time and resources spent on low-level tasks.
Improved customer experience – a proven software partner can enhance customer experience by providing easy access to products and services, improving communication, and reducing response times.
Better decision-making and communication – development projects require close cooperation between business and development departments. A software house that cooperates with London partners can provide efficiency in a demanding environment.
Cost-effectiveness – an experienced outsourcing software house for London businesses delivers far more than just the right price, as its experts focus on maximizing value and providing the best possible ROI.
A faster time to market – by combining unique features and functionalities with off-the-shelf software, a cross-functional development team can concentrate on releasing a product in its most viable iteration as soon as possible, which results in a measurable competitive advantage.
Software development process and methods
The main differentiator of a reliable software development company is their specialists’ expertise and experience gained from diverse projects in different environments. The right partner knows how to approach the development process to ensure the successful delivery of a software solution. What are the primary development stages provided by a software house?
The discovery and requirement-gathering stage involves identifying a client’s needs, learning the business context and understanding the problem the software solution will solve.
The design phase in which the software development partner creates a blueprint for the solution, including the architecture, user interface design and database design.
The development stage focuses on writing the software code, testing the software, and fixing any bugs that might emerge during the process.
The maintenance stage covers ongoing support, further development of features and functionalities and monitoring that ensures the software solution remains up-to-date and secure.
A crucial part of every software development, no matter the stage, is the proper combination of development practices, an agile mindset and a modern DevOps approach, which enables the daily delivering of new functionalities through the use of automated deployment pipelines. Software development through agile methods involves a collaborative and iterative process in which an external team works closely with a client to develop the software in small steps. You can only deliver thriving software development services in London by combining the aforementioned processes and methods.
Competition for London’s workforce
In the United Kingdom in 2021, there were approximately 466,000 programmers and software development professionals in employment. With Gartner forecasting that worldwide IT spending will reach $4.6 trillion in 2023, an increase of 5.5% from 2022, it’s safe to assume more specialists will be needed to keep bespoke software development going in cities like London. Skillsoft’s Global Knowledge 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report indicates that the average annual salary of an IT professional in Poland is $64,868. Meanwhile, a software developer in the UK earns $84,012 per year. The salary gap is even more significant when looking at the wages for London’s software developers, with average programmers’ salaries a staggering 47% higher in London than in Warsaw, Poland.
Furthermore, the effects of competition are tremendous. Not only does hiring software developers cost more, but attracting and hiring specialized developers before they receive a better offer from a competitor is challenging. Companies then must decrease the risk of other companies poaching their acquired talent, so more benefits are introduced in order to retain personnel. When sourcing local talent, London software companies must not only factor in rising salaries, but also to increasing office space expenditures, employee benefits, hardware expenses, and associated taxes.
Though Great Britain and the rest of Western Europe continue to experience a chronic lack of qualified IT professionals, the reverse is true for Central and Eastern Europe. In countries like Poland or Romania, the population of highly skilled developers continues to rise at an impressive pace.
A winning solution for tech companies in London
If the local talent pool is severely lacking, how are London companies continuing to fuel their growth? Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners, put it succinctly: “The strength of our tech sector is built on the international makeup of our tech workforce.” Just as international business is the driver behind the biggest successes in East London Tech City, it makes sense that a London-based company’s workforce can also benefit from a global influx of talent. If hiring skilled London software developers proves difficult and expensive, outsourcing development to a software partner in more economically advantageous locations becomes an ideal solution.
For established London software companies, there are many cases in which outsourcing development may be preferable to hiring locally. You may need a team of specialists to develop an innovative new product or feature. Your product may have become too complex and demanding for a small group to maintain. You may be rapidly expanding a product line and require many developers to work simultaneously. Outsourcing is a resource that many of the UK’s largest companies choose to tap into as it provides an affordable and scalable skilled workforce. Thankfully, this pool of talent may be close to home.
Convenient outsourcing for London software companies
On average, the time zone difference between the UK and Eastern Europe is 1-2 hours, so communication between both sides during regular working hours is convenient. Similarly, traveling from London to major Central and Eastern European cities only takes a few hours, so you can visit your remote team when needed. For example, all major Polish cities are well connected to London, thanks to an extensive network of flights to London’s airports, which are available several times a day and take less than 2 hours.
A language barrier is also not an issue. Most Eastern European outsourcing destinations rank Moderate to High on the EF English Proficiency Index, and professional developers tend to rank even higher than their national averages. Communication between a London software development agency and Polish remote teams is a non-issue.
The business culture in Poland or Romania is essentially the same as in London – polite and direct, with an emphasis on skill and quality. As members of the European Union, Eastern European countries abide by EU business laws and codes of conduct, which ensures streamlined cooperation, transparency and the protection of intellectual property and data. Lastly, the governments of many of these countries provide reliable support for their outsourcing economy, strengthening the benefits for companies that choose to outsource there.
The convenience of using an Eastern European software house assures London companies that their bespoke software will be developed by some of the most talented professionals available, with no hitches in communication or business conduct.
The Future of UK Software Development
The rapid expansion of Great Britain’s technology sector shows no signs of slowing down. At the same time, the UK must attract hundreds of thousands of new software developers within the next decade to keep up with exponential levels of demand. The current skill deficit has created severe competition between tech companies for top talent and qualified workers. Since London’s complex software and technologies are becoming increasingly unsustainable, this is an expensive and critical issue. For a software company in London, choosing a software development partner may be the solution to these problems. As Poland is home to a vast pool of experienced and skilled developers, UK companies can find the talents they need atsignificantly lower wages and higher average skill levels, for faster software delivey and, more profitable products.
About the authorJacek Szmatka
Head of Digital Transformations and Software Consulting
An open-minded leader with over 20 years’ experience in the IT world, Jacek’s career has seen him evolve from a computer science graduate to software engineer to a co-founder and CTO of a tech start-up. Before joining Software Mind, Jacek was part of a team that developed a bioinformatics company and served as an executive board member. In his current role as Vice President of Business Development, Jacek helps leading American and European companies design and build innovative development teams from scratch. A true believer in the transformative power technology can have on our lives, Jacek maintains a keen interest in R & D, in particular with solutions that involve AI, IoT, life science and cloud technologies.