Demystifying IT outsourcing in Australia with NashTech
We had a chat with Rick Ferguson, NashTech Country Manager in Australia and New Zealand to find out more about him and the team, hear how IT outsourcing is a critical element in many IT strategies in Australia and what makes it a unique market.
Exploring the tech world, once a hobby, now a passion
What started as a childhood hobby gradually evolved into a passion, technology has always piqued Rick’s interest. Beginning his first job as a telecommunications engineer, Rick fell into the world of technology and never looked back.
“I love technology – it has always intrigued me. I was always interested in what made things work and as the world changed and started becoming more digital, the data analytics side of things grabbed my attention.”
Now having worked across technology organisations for more than twenty years, Rick has witnessed first-hand the evolving technology landscape in Australia and encountered its many challenges and shifting trends. And this experience is what enables him to bring a unique perspective to clients.
A challenging but exciting market
For Rick, Australia is a challenging but extremely opportunistic market. Given that the size of its market is small in comparison to other market giants, Australia is a great location for organisations to test new technologies and measure their impact.
“What you see is global companies will often look at Australia as a first world country. It brings the advantages of seeing how technology can be deployed and trying something that could be adopted globally. So, it’s not uncommon to see Australian businesses being at the forefront of technology adoption. It’s really exciting!”
Rick shared an example of the famous Y2K event, that showed us why Australia is a good place for observing how technology impacts wider markets. Since computer engineers applied a two-digit code for the year to save data storage, as the year 2000 approached, people realised that computers might interpret the new code ‘00’ as ‘1990’ instead.
This was problematic as many programmes and systems, for example in the banking and transport sector, relied heavily on year-sensitive information, thus resulting in damaged and flawed outputs. The time difference in Australia and New Zealand allowed the US and UK markets to observe how moderations to computer software would perform once midnight in 2000 hit and provide some notice to fix bugs and malfunctions should there be any need.
“We are about 11 hours ahead of the UK and in some instances up to 18 hours ahead of the US so they could see what happened to the market earlier. So that’s a good example of how you can use a smaller market like New Zealand or Australia to check out the impacts of technology implementations.”
Differentiation is what makes it
Australia has witnessed an increase of technology outsourcing in recent years, with organisations realising its potential for skilled labour, cost-saving and operational efficiency – alongside its compatibility with Asia’s time zone. In a recent report, 73 per cent of Australian businesses expressed having difficulty finding and retaining skilled labour. And this is one of the reasons why the outsourcing model is gaining rapid adoption.
But with such a small population for such a big place, Australia is becoming a highly competitive market and a sought-after destination for technology companies, and this has led to its own set of challenges. The key challenge for companies now is finding a way to make themselves stand out from the competition. The traditional outsourcing model is no longer the optimal solution and simply taking orders and delivering what customers ask for is not enough to be different.
Talking about how to stand out from competitors, Rick shared:
“It’s all about differentiation. For me, what we do differently is we get to know our customers. I see my onshore team and myself in Australia and New Zealand as the connecting bridge between our customers and our teams in the development centres in Vietnam, India and Latin America.
We take time at the beginning of every engagement to really understand what is driving the technology decisions in a client’s business, what the technology needs to achieve, and we listen to their thoughts, treat them with honesty and openness and build an incredibly strong relationship with them. We really get to know our customers as people, listen to what they say, even when they push back. That’s when we take ownership, responsibility and accountability. We own the issue and work out the solution until we get things right for our customers.”
About the team at NashTech ANZ
Speaking about his team, Rick emphasised that a key priority for NashTech is building a trusting relationship with customers, and this is what makes our company a truly unique technology partner in the market.
“If I look at my team and the relationships they have with our prospects and customers, it’s phenomenal. One of our customers is always visiting the NashTech team in Vietnam, not just working but spending time socially together and building strong relationships. That person is like a member of our NashTech family.”
Building trust is not just important for clients however, but also within the internal business. For Rick, having strong and open relationships with his team is what makes the job truly enjoyable and helps to deliver high-quality work and results for clients by working together in unison towards a common goal.
“Without the team there, we have nothing. I’ve worked together with the core team in Australia for nearly three years. It’s really built on a foundation of trust, of respect, honesty, openness, we can all challenge each other without fear, without concern. And I absolutely love working with my team here and in ANZ. I trust them implicitly. I have huge, huge respect for them.”
NashTech as your partner
If you are looking to break into the ANZ market or are unsure of what next steps to take to stay on top of the competition, contact email@example.com to schedule a free consultation.
To find out more about Australia’s technology landscape and emerging technologies, click here.
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