Iberia – Europe's Widening Nearshore Options
Iberia has long been an attractive location for shared services supporting European and African organizations from nearshore. Since 2000, delivery centers across the region have grown by more than 100%, with most of that growth taking place over the past two years, predominantly in Spain.
With European organizations increasingly looking for nearshore opportunities, the Iberian Peninsula presents an interesting solution. With labor costs among the lowest in Europe (wages have also grown slower than any other European countries over the past 15 years) and unemployment rates on a downward trend (Spain's unemployment peaked at 26% in 2013), this speaks of growing opportunities for young graduates to capture interesting jobs. Add to that the fact that Spain produces nearly 70,000 business and administrative graduates a year (second in volume only to Poland, across Europe) and it would be no surprise to see more companies like Bayer and Ricoh setting up centers in the near future.
The market seems to have recognized this potential with growth spurts, particularly in Spain, notable after the financial crisis of 2008. More recently, the past two years have witnessed growth of Spanish-based shared services of nearly 10%. With enabling solutions like process robotics changing the requirement for cheap offshore shared services resources, this trend may well be set to continue.
One of the industries leading this is technology which accounts for nearly 1/5 of all shared services across Siberia. Another noteworthy fact is that whereas most BPOs focus on finance processing, most captive shared services focus on IT support.
SSON Analytics has recently published a data-based analysis of the shared services and BPO landscape across the Iberian Peninsula. You can read it here for details on the captive and BPO sector, as well as a visual analysis of enterprise countries-of-origin that are driving this growth, and an analysis of the popular regions serviced by Iberian centers.