New contenders are emerging to challenge the BRIC countries' dominance of the offshoring market.
While India was the "undisputed leader," followed by China and other BRIC countries Russia and Brazil, research firm Gartner's list this year of the top 30 offshoring destinations showed Mexico, Poland, and Vietnam pushing their way up to take them on.
Ian Marriott, research vice president at Gartner, said these countries would be seeking to take advantage of the credit crisis to capitalize on organizations' drive to save costs.
The four countries that dropped out from last year's Top 30 were Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Uruguay, while the new entrants were Egypt, Morocco, Panama, and Thailand.
Marriott said the four that dropped out of the list had not underperformed but that the dynamic nature of the market had seen others making strong progress.
Gartner judged the locations on language, government support, labor pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and privacy and security of data and intellectual property.
Strong interest in near-shore locations was a key factor for companies choosing an offshore location, as were language skills, cultural compatibility, time zone, and travel time.
The final list included 13 countries from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa--such as the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, which were valued for their language skills--and for the first time, two North African countries.
The trend for countries in Europe being used as near-shore centers for traditional service providers and large Indian providers also continued.
The study found that South America is becoming an attractive proposition for the United States, the largest buying market for offshore services, and that they are increasingly valued for their Spanish-speaking skills.
Ten countries from the Asia-Pacific region were represented in the list, while there were also emerging countries such as Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam--mostly chosen for their attractive costs. Below are Gartner's top 30.
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
Nick Heath of Silicon.com reported from London.