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Nearshore IT Outsourcing in Portugal: A Journey of Growth and Adaptation

Updated: Sep 30, 2023



As an honoured guest speaker at the prestigious IPBN Porto conference in November 2022, I had the privilege of sharing my remarkable journey into the Portugal market, offering attendees invaluable insights and lessons learned from my experiences. I was lucky enough to share the podium with Pedro Moura who shared data and market trends from Landing.jobs, Portugal’s leading tech talent and job board.

In this blog post, my goal is to extend those valuable takeaways to a wider audience, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs I encountered while venturing into the Portuguese market. By delving into the core aspects of my expedition, I hope to provide aspiring entrepreneurs, businesses and project managers with a deeper understanding of the intricacies involved in establishing a presence in Portugal. Join me as we revisit the highlights of my IPBN Porto conference presentation and glean essential knowledge from our shared experience.


How it began:

In October 2021 I embarked on a remarkable project management opportunity, I found myself in Portugal, working with a prominent IT Consultancy to delve into the intricacies of setting up an IT Nearshore business. What began as a discovery phase swiftly transformed into a thriving venture. The nearshore outsourcing model has steadily gained traction in the IT field, bolstering Portugal's position in the global business landscape.

In January 2023 I was very proud to be the winner of the esteemed IPBN Business Success Award 2022, based on Innovation, sustainability, job creation and trade between the two countries as a result of this project.


The Emergence of Nearshore Outsourcing:

Nearshore outsourcing, a well-established business practice in several countries such as Poland, is relatively embryonic in Portugal, gaining increasing popularity, especially within the IT sector. As the project manager of this venture, extensive market research was undertaken to identify reliable service providers well-versed in the complexities of tax and employment law. Securing adept partners proved pivotal, as it facilitated swift recruitment, serving as the foundation of our subsequent achievements.


Embracing a Remote Workforce:

Amidst the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, my findings from focus groups and interviews revealed a remarkable trend. Many IT professionals had migrated from bustling cities to their hometowns or locations offering a better quality of life. Subsequently, the influx of Digital Nomads further transformed the landscape, causing rents to soar by an astounding 40% in a mere nine months, making it impossible for these professionals to move back to the city. In response, a new era of 100% remote workers emerged, shaping the future of work.

As the venture took flight and remote teams were established, my role expanded into encompassing Operations and Human Resources. Extensive travel to various locations allowed me to interact with our remote workforce, providing invaluable insights. Witnessing first-hand the allure of serene surroundings and recognizing the unappealing nature of a lengthy commute.


Prioritising Employee Well-being in a Remote Landscape:

With the rise of remote work, HR departments face a novel challenge – strategically monitoring the health and well-being of remote workers. In my interactions, I encountered individuals who expressed feelings of isolation and detachment from their foreign headquarters, prompting some to seek alternative job opportunities just three months into their roles. A priority now is for HR strategists to proactively develop programs that foster employee engagement and connection to the parent company, while simultaneously offering services that promote the physical and mental well-being of remote workers.


The transformational journey of establishing an IT Nearshore business in Portugal has been both rewarding and enlightening. Witnessing the evolution of nearshore outsourcing in this vibrant country and experiencing the positive impact of remote work on the lives of IT professionals has been truly inspiring. As the global business landscape continues to evolve, I firmly believe that prioritizing the well-being and engagement of remote workers will be a defining factor in shaping the success of nearshore ventures in the foreseeable future.



Whether you are contemplating nearshore outsourcing for the first time or looking to expand your existing operations, I am here to guide you every step of the way. From market research and partner identification to recruitment and HR strategies, I am equipped to provide comprehensive solutions tailored to your unique business requirements.


Let's embark on this transformative journey together – reach out to me today to explore the numerous opportunities that await your company in Portugal's thriving Nearshore market. For more information see rachaelmilneconsulting.com



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