‘Northshoring’: the what, where and why.

‘Northshoring’ is a term coined to explain the process of a business which moves to, or outsources their software development from the UK’s Northern cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. There are examples of companies within a variety of industries which have undergone northshoring, but here we will focus on tech-centric companies, and the benefits which the process can present to them.

Let’s start with an organisation everybody knows: Amazon. This, of course, is an American organisation which has recognised the benefit in acquiring skills from The North , with the software for their latest version of ‘Alexa’ being developed in Manchester. In addition to this, Amazon’s skilled teams work out of an office in the city’s Northern Quarter, where they work on software development and machine learning, which benefits their customer all over the globe.

There are many factors which may attribute to an organisation’s decision to northshore, but it is largely down to the quality, and furthermore the quantity of tech talent available to organisations in The North. While this is true, it could be argued that there is still somewhat an ‘unspoken’ need for companies to have a London presence, as well as in The North, which in turn also helps to attract business in The South. By acquiring their developers from a Northern city, where overhead costs such as labour and office space are generally lower, it means a London-headquartered firm can access a wealth of quality talent as well as lowering their outgoings, maximising their ROI along the way.

Godel Technologies, based in the Northern city of Manchester, has been a first-hand witness of the tech-centric changes taking place in the region. One such change is the number of new enterprises making themselves at home in Manchester, which each have their own software development needs. This, alongside the number of London-based business which northshore their software development has meant that there is not such an abundance of skills in Manchester as there once was. For that reason, Godel are delighted that it can provide teams to help bridge the skills gap, with its 1000+ developers who are based throughout Eastern Europe. ‘Northern’ brands such as AO.com, Sofology and Booking.com have chosen Godel as their software delivery partner, to add capacity into their existing Manchester-based teams.

2020 has been a year like no other and has shone a light on many things. One such thing being that locality to partners is far less important than once was perceived, which has been proven by remote working through the Coronavirus outbreak. So, this, with the addition of the amount and level of skills available in The North, makes it increasingly attractive for organisations in The South.