After a successful week at the Web Summit in Dublin, 1,000 jobs were made by IDA Ireland companies! That’s a big step that aligns with our vision.
The technology industry has seen many companies globalize all over the world and produce jobs in the last 10 years. Some of them have flourished into industry powerhouses, while others have faltered with the transition and execution of the process. Here’s some things that will help make your company successful before, during and after the globalization transition.
Breaking the Language Barrier
Not only will you need to have a mastery of the language of the new country location for external communications, but all of your internal processes will need to adapt to the new language. In technology, technical language isn’t the only language you’ll have to overcome. Parts and processes are transferred all over the world and translation plays a massive role in the little details of the operations processes. Chances are, your company’s globalization plan doesn’t just identify one country for expansion in the next five years – and more than one country means more than one language. An easy way to fix this is to create a translation department. The technology industry is moving at a million miles an hour and needs a team that can focus on translation during critical operations processes. Make sure your company runs through every daily process, coding and deliverable and creates a translation for them all.
Of course, should translation prove daunting, you can always make your international “home” in a country that speaks the same language as your global headquarters. Some of the top technology markets in Europe are located in English-speaking countries. Facebook, Dell, Yahoo! And Citi have all globalized into English-speaking countries. Look at setting up shop in Ireland. It’s an English-speaking country in the main and has a competitive landscape that could be a perfect starting point for globalization.
Know the Landscape
It’s important to understand the geographical and competitive landscape the country provides. Assess the landscape in the country and pick out all of the “competitors.” Do this with the bordering countries as well (you’ll thank us later) and match the landscape with your business goals. Does your company want to be fighting and competing with other top companies? Or does your company want to settle into a location that hasn’t been broken into yet?
These questions are key for growth. Both have pros and cons. A competitive field may seem like an automatic “no” for most companies, but that competitiveness allows for overall market growth and rapid innovation. It’s also a great opportunity to share buildings between companies. Sharing R&D facilities between technology companies is a growing international trend to cut costs financially.
Hire Smarter, Not Harder
Your company has just selected the city and country where it will begin its global expansion. But how do you staff a full operation? Getting people to relocate and move their families is hard. Often, it makes a lot of sense to focus on recruitment from surrounding universities and the local market. There are a few huge advantages to a localized recruiting approach. Universities in Ireland are known for excellent higher education programs and more specifically, the talent that comes out of them. Many companies have created relationships with local universities for developing job opportunities for post-graduates which strengthens the talent pool in every country.
Building your own globalization wish list is a great idea on the surface, but learn to be patient and understand that you may need to compromise when it comes to building costs, structural layouts, staffing, product timelines and financial goals. Don’t let your own urgency and expectations force decisions. The technology landscape is highly competitive and may take a while longer than originally planned to grab market share and establish a strong international presence.
- Rory Mullen, Senior Vice President and West Coast Director, IDA Ireland
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