Non-traditional players -- such as Thailand, Egypt, and South Africa -- have emerged as offshore contenders.
by Stephen Swoyer
When the going gets tough, it's the jobs that get going -- increasingly overseas -- and Gartner Inc.â€™s report late last year highlights the Top 30 hotspots.
The market watcher's list has a few surprises, as it attempts to account for geopolitical unrest -- particularly in the usual outsourcing locations such as India and China -- which Gartner notes can impact outsourcing operations.
Gartner touted a list of alternative countries -- including Mexico and Poland -- that have merged as credible competitors to both India and China, as well as Brazil and Russia. "Countries such as Mexico, Poland and Vietnam have continued to strengthen their position against leading alternatives, while others have forced their way into the 'Top 30.' These countries will be seeking to take advantage of the opportunity created by the increased focus that many organizations now have on cost optimization, as a result of the current economic crisis," said Ian Marriott, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.
Gartner gives the impression of an offshore free-for-all, with many would-be contenders jockeying to position themselves -- particularly over the last year -- for an expected surge in offshore activity. "As a result, four countries have dropped out of the 'Top 30' and have been replaced by four that were just outside the 'Top 30' 12 months ago," Marriott noted. "This does not mean that the four 'relegated' countries have underperformed this year, but the dynamic nature of the market has seen others making strong progress."
Gartner ranks its Top 30 in terms of region. Its listing for the Americas, for example, includes both the obvious -- Brazil, Canada, and Mexico -- and the not-so-obvious, including Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Panama (the latter new to Gartner's Top 30).
Ditto for the outsourcing-centric Asia-Pacific region, where -- in addition to mainstays China, India, Malaysia, and Singapore -- Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand (new to Gartner's list), and Vietnam have come to the fore. These countries join the pricier ANZAC axis of Australia and New Zealand to round out a teeming Asia-Pacific outsourcing market.