Young pretenders snapping at India's heels
New contenders are emerging to challenge the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries' dominance of the offshoring market.
While India was the "undisputed leader" followed by China in the list of the top 30 offshoring destinations, as compiled by analysts Gartner, this year's list 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 capitalise on organisations' 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, labour pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and data and intellectual property security and privacy.
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 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 centres for traditional service providers and large Indian providers also continued.
The study found South America is becoming an attractive proposition for the US, the largest buying market for offshore services, and that they are increasingly valued for their Spanish speaking skills.
Ten countries from Asia Pacific 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.
Gartner's Top 30
Europe, the Middle East and Africa