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Sweden is home to several thousands IT engineers of Indian origin. Properly used, this resource provides opportunities for the public sector to outsource more and to reduce costs while maintaining high-quality IT operations.
Several thousand IT engineers of Indian origin live and work in Sweden, giving our country expertise that we really need. But the presence of this skilled resource also offers an important additional benefit: it makes it easier for Sweden to use the huge resources for IT development, storage and operation that India offers. Increasing outsourcing to Indian companies has the potential to help Sweden’s public sector secure both high quality and lower costs in its IT operations.
Last year alone, thousands of Indian IT engineers came to Sweden to help reduce skills shortages in the private and public sectors. But they can also serve as a bridge to the growing Indian IT sector. We already know that a different language and culture create difficulties in communication when it comes to dealing with overseas suppliers. Indians working in Sweden could be a great asset when it comes to helping Sweden’s public sector overcome the problems of remote co-operation and capitalise on the range of IT services that Indian companies offer.
It is now almost three years since the government’s E-delegation directed Swedish authorities to make their operations more effective by increasing outsourcing. Each year the government invests around SEK 20–25 billion in IT operations, making this the third largest cost in government administration, excluding the cost of salaries and premises. If the E-delegation calculations are correct, there is a potential for savings in government IT operations worth 10–20 per cent of total IT costs.
Given that there are several thousand Indian IT engineers in the country, the public sector has a great opportunity to increase its share of outsourcing to Indian companies and to secure both high quality and lower costs in its IT operations.
There may be objections that it is too risky and perhaps even illegal to store data outside Sweden and outside the EU. But signing special data storage contracts with Indian suppliers can overcome this challenge.
PUL, the Personal Data Act and similar laws in other EU/EEA countries are based on the same EU directive, which aims to enable the free movement of personal data within the EU/EEA. With regard to countries such as India, this can be handled by establishing special data storage contracts.
Indian IT engineers are therefore more than welcome to Sweden. They can be very beneficial to our country and especially for the public sector.
Gösta Ljungberg is a sourcing expert at PA Consulting Group