Driving Innovation: Nearshoring Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Services to Colombia

Published: September 5, 2023
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In recent years, global companies have realized the immense potential of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for upgrading their business processes. Through nearshoring, these same enterprises can push through with their AI and ML initiatives without significantly changing their existing operating models. 

Among the many countries in Latin America, Colombia has recently gained popularity as the preferred destination for nearshoring projects. In the 2022 Offshore BPO Confidence Index, 85.1% of BPO managers ranked Colombia as their top choice for business confidence, surpassing India and the Philippines. 

Many BPO companies, including Superstaff, now offer AI and machine learning support via nearshore call centers in South America. This article explores the benefits of outsourcing to Colombia, highlighting its thriving tech ecosystem and skilled workforce.

Nearshoring AI and ML Services: Why Outsource to Colombia, banner

In Numbers: A Look Into the Rising Demand for Nearshoring AI and ML Services

The global appetite for innovative technologies has driven companies to partner with machine learning support services and AI experts beyond their borders. Here are a few figures that provide a clearer scope of the current business landscape.

  • Global spending for AI-centric systems is expected to reach $154 billion in 2023 (IDC)

Artificial intelligence boomed in popularity recently, with tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing AI becoming accessible to the average user. 

As AI use becomes more widespread, individuals are increasingly exploring its capabilities. 

 At the same time, global companies are making efforts to integrate AI into their existing tech infrastructure, including software and hardware. Experts believe that embracing these technologies could help safeguard a business’s long-term relevance and competitiveness. 

  • AI adoption has more than doubled worldwide (McKinsey)

A recent McKinsey study found that over 50% of businesses have incorporated AI in at least one area or function of their operations. Global business leaders and decision-makers see AI as a valuable investment. As AI becomes standard in workplaces, companies need adequate employee training to effectively collaborate with or leverage its capabilities for enhanced performance.

  • 35% of companies use AI in their business (IBM

According to the IBM report, 42% of companies actively explore integrating artificial intelligence into their business operations. AI is no longer an afterthought; it’s a pivotal part of evolving business strategies as companies seek innovative ways to improve their processes through its implementation. 

  • 94% of organizations are leveraging service providers to develop their AI/ML technology (Deloitte

AI and ML are new technologies, which means the pool of subject matter experts (SMEs)well-versed in these innovations is still small, albeit growing. That said, companies who want to leapfrog their competitors are tapping into the expertise of outsourced services to develop their unique AI/ML technology faster. 

However, companies aren’t only relying on external service providers for their AI/ML capabilities. The same Deloitte study found that 75% of companies also utilize external providers for their data and analytics.

  • 70% of US businesses plan to nearshore operations (ABB)

Research has found that 62% of US businesses plan to invest in automation and robotics in the next three years. Through nearshoring, these companies can accelerate digital transformation and foster supply chain resilience amid ongoing labor shortages. 

Additionally, given the complexity of artificial intelligence and machine learning, working closely with a highly experienced outsourced team is advisable to avoid miscommunications. Nearshoring addresses these challenges by minimizing time zone mismatches and cultural discrepancies.

Keep in mind that not all countries can provide leading AI and machine learning support services. Colombia is among the few offering this nearshore solution, thanks to its mature and blooming tech industry. 

Exploring Colombia’s Thriving Tech Ecosystem: Trends and Statistics

The Colombian government has been investing in its technology ecosystem for decades. Companies heavily invested in tech will find it easy to call the country home to expand their AI and ML initiatives. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Colombia’s software industry generated over $2.4 billion in revenue in 2020 (Latamlist)

In 2020, Colombia’s software industry saw a 9.7% revenue increase from the previous year, as reported by the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MinTIC). This growth highlights the maturing tech landscape and expertise in software development that Colombian companies offer for you to leverage. 

  • There are more than 150,000 IT professionals in Colombia, one of the largest tech talent pools in Latin America (N-IX)

Colombia’s key software development hubs include Medellin, Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, and Cartagena. These cities should be high on your list when developing your outsourcing strategy for Colombia. They offer prime opportunities for nearshore software development operations, enhancing your AI and ML capabilities.

  • Colombia’s fintech sector grew by 36% between 2017 and 2020 (Colombia Fintech)

Colombia outsourcing could be an excellent first step if you are a financial services business looking to break into the South American market. It also highlights how competitive the sector is becoming, encouraging you to invest in the country before the market saturates.

  • Colombia pioneered AI strategy and policy initiatives in the region (Economist)

Colombia showed a great sense of forward-thinking by being the first to adopt AI strategies and policies in the region. 

According to the country’s national AI strategy, they aim to increase digital transformation in both the public and private sectors. They will develop responsible and inclusive AI to generate socioeconomic value. Policymakers hope to make AI a pillar of Colombia’s economic growth. 

  • 379 tech and innovation companies have offices in Medellin (Rest of World

President Ivan Duque’s 2022 proclamation of Colombia aiming to be the “Silicon Valley of Latin America” has positioned the country as an attractive investment destination for fostering company growth in South America. And the country’s center of innovation lies in Medellin, home to many promising startups, multinational companies, and BPO centers.

As the local government continues investing in Colombia’s tech ecosystem, more professionals can hone their skills in various AI and ML domains, creating a wealth of qualified tech workers for global companies.

Colombia’s Niche Expertise in AI and ML Domains

Superstaff’s AI and machine learning support services in Colombia excel in a variety of domains, including the following: 

  • Data labeling and annotation

Analysts estimate that most of the data the world generates (80% to 90%) is unstructured. This data ranges from text to image information and videos. Colombian experts in data labeling and annotation organize unstructured data to make it easier to use and interpret.

  • Prompt engineering

Prompt engineers are experts at directing language models (LMs) to accomplish tasks efficiently. They have deep knowledge and expertise about how the complex systems of large language models (LLMs) work. 

This occupation is still in its early stages since accessible LLMs have recently gained popularity. However, the demand for prompt engineers is growing as businesses find new ways to maximize artificial intelligence.

  • Python development

Python, a highly popular programming language, allows developers to create simple web applications and complex formulas for massive data sets. With a skilled Python developer on your team, you can build machine-learning applications that enhance internal processes, delivering great value to your clients.

  • Machine learning engineer

Given the widespread popularity of machine learning, having a machine learning engineer is invaluable for future-proofing your business. These experts know how artificial intelligence learns and creates algorithms from vast input data to provide accurate predictions and superior outputs.

  • Artificial intelligence architect

Adopting AI into your business is becoming a necessity in modern times. Equally important is understanding its placement within your organization’s departments and the implementation process. 

AI architects understand how best to integrate AI software into your systems and processes. They can help your company develop a strong AI strategy while facilitating collaboration between your engineers and DevOps teams to maximize the technology’s potential.

  • Data scientists

With the amount of data the world generates today, data scientists have become essential to modern business success. They help you gather and analyze data to predict how your customers will behave or create models to assess the risks of business decisions. 

  • NLP engineers

Natural language programming (NLP) engineers help computers understand human language better. They can develop applications and tools that involve numerous language-based problems, such as translations and text-to-speech. 

Additionally, they can help you create an AI chatbot with the goal of enhancing your customer experience and providing quick answers to some of your clients’ most commonly asked questions. The right outsourced customer service team can provide a customized solution that will work well for your particular business needs.

  • Robotic scientists

Robotic scientists are experts at developing robotic tools to accomplish tasks efficiently. They work with AI experts to automate supply chain processes for increased team productivity.

For instance, if you are an e-commerce company, they can help make inventory management much easier through robotic automation. Robots also have massive potential for businesses in the healthcare and automotive industries to create more efficient tools.

  • Computer vision engineer

Computer vision engineers help computers visualize and interpret the world to help them find solutions. They are similar to machine learning engineers or NLP engineers who train computers to understand human language. 

Depending on your industry, computer vision engineers can help you develop image-processing applications for various tasks. For instance, if your company develops cars, they can help you create a car-detection system that strengthens the vehicle’s safety features. 

  • ML researcher

Machine learning researchers help you understand complex and evolving machine learning technologies. They conduct research and experiments to grasp how machine learning systems work and their potential applications. They’re essential team members for innovating your AI and ML services.

Advantages of Nearshoring AI and ML Services to Colombia

Compared to Costa Rica or Brazil, nearshoring to Colombia offers your business several powerful advantages. Here are a few reasons you should consider nearshoring to Colombia.

  • Proximity and travel convenience

A solid nearshoring strategy involves assessing proximity. Medellin is only a 3.5-hour flight from Miami and an under-$500 flight to New York. This convenience allows regular visits for overseeing and monitoring your nearshore operations.

  • Time zone and cultural alignment

Colombia’s GMT-5 time zone aligns well with Florida and New York, facilitating seamless remote meetings and calls. Similar to the experience of outsourcing to the Philippines, Colombian workers are intimately familiar with the United States and its culture, making it easier to cater to customers in the Western country.

The Colombian government partnered with BPO groups to obtain 300+ licenses for an English language program similar to Rosetta Stone. This initiative aimed to enhance the English-speaking abilities of their contact center workforce. It makes Colombia an excellent destination not only for AI and ML operations but also for multilingual customer service.

  • Strong cultural ties with the US

With a history spanning over three centuries since 1822, Colombia and the United States share a deep connection. As such, outsourced Colombian workers understand American customer behaviors better than other countries while sharing similar values and work ethics with US businesses. This alignment simplifies the process of building a productive professional relationship. 

  • Competitive outsourcing cost 

The Colombian cost of living is 71% less expensive than in the US. This cost advantage makes outsourcing to Colombia more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee in the United States, allowing you to reduce expenses while maintaining high-quality output for your clients.

  • Stable South American economy 

Colombia has the third most stable economy in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. It has a workforce of almost 26 million, which you can tap into to expand your business cost-effectively. 

Propel Your Business Forward by Nearshoring AI and ML Services to Colombia

Businesses worldwide are increasingly investing in AI outsourcing and machine learning support services abroad, with a growing preference for outsourcing to Colombia. 

This choice is driven by the promising tech ecosystem in the country, which boasts countless AI and ML professionals capable of keeping your company at the forefront of the evolving business landscape. Experts forecast the country’s economy to grow even more in the coming years, which makes establishing a nearshore team excellent for long-term strategies. 

Beyond providing top-notch AI and ML support solutions, SuperStaff offers back-office outsourcing services to smoothen and streamline your operations. Our outsourced team in Colombia is ready and equipped to drive all aspects of your business to maximum productivity as you work on expanding your company’s AI and ML capabilities.

Once you’re prepared to take advantage of what the Silicon Valley of Latin America has to offer, contact the outsourcing specialists at Superstaff to explore your nearshoring options. 

Posted by
Ann Gelli Tolentino
SOLUTIONS AND OUTREACH MANAGER
Ann Gelli is largely responsible for SuperStaff’s successful B2B marketing that drives sales and grows our client base. While her primary expertise is in outreach marketing and sales, she has diversified her skills and honed her competencies in data analysis, market research, and international trade shows networking.

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