Gartner: Top 30 offshore locations for 2008

India might not be the only country that comes to mind when considering outsourcing work overseas, according to Gartner, which recently unveiled its list of the top 30 leading locations for offshore services in 2008.

Countries such as Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand could take the some of the spotlight off India as the offshore industry darling, according to the research firm, but India remains in the list of leading locations. The location selection is a key factor companies need to consider when thinking of sending work overseas, Gartner says, and the city they choose will impact the success of the offshore engagement.

“Whether you have a country-led or vendor-led approach to offshore services, you must understand the offshore location landscape,” according to a presentation by Gartner research vice-president Ian Marriott.

Gartner evaluated 30 countries in three world regions that could address enterprise companies’ outsourcing needs. Considering 10 key criteria, Gartner scored the potential of numerous cities to provide the right mix of English language proficiency, local government support, infrastructure and technical considerations such as data security and privacy. The research firm released the data at its Outsourcing & Vendor Management Summit it hosted recently in Washington, D.C.

Gartner indicated Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay as the key locations within the Americas. In the Asia/Pacific region, Gartner listed Australia, China, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Gartner selected Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine.

The 10 criteria Gartner used to rate countries ranged from language proficiency and availability, including written and verbal competency, to the local government support of offshore business to the potential labor pool available in the country. The infrastructure of the country including roads, rail service, air travel and ports into and around the country is also a key consideration, and the quality of the country’s educational systems were also considered in Gartner’s evaluation.

Costs of labor and other compensation, real estate and other considerations such as labor rate should be considered, as well as the political and economical environment, Gartner says. Companies considering offshore services must also consider cultural compatibility and the global and legal maturity of the country they choose to locate offshore services. And lastly, Gartner says data and intellectual property security and privacy must be considered from the effectiveness of legislation around data protection and privacy as well as the country’s enforcement of such legislation.

“Determine which vendors are the right fit for your organization,” Marriott advised in his presentation. “Don’t just seek the leaders.”

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