Earlier this month I wrote about lists of the world's top global outsourcing cities, produced by Tholons Advisory and Global Services magazine. While Indian cities dominated a list of more mature locations, there was far more diversity in a sister list of emerging destinations.
One of the interesting things about these lists is that they focus on specific cities rather than countries. Obviously in countries as large and diverse as India and China, there can be lots of variability in criteria such as workforce quality and infrastructure.
Yet there is still value in looking at a country's overall qualities, at least as a starting point, especially as so many countries are promoting themselves as "the next India." Some charts offered by Gartner at this week's Symposium ITxpo are quite helpful in that respect. They rank 30 countries on a pretty comprehensive list of 10 criteria: language skills, government support, labor pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and data and IP security and privacy. The rankings are on a five-point scale: poor, fair, good, very good and excellent.
Based on the charts, India and Mexico look like two of the best all-around outsourcing destinations. Canada posted great scores in all areas except cost. Some countries are becoming popular offshore destinations despite their poor showings on the Gartner chart. Vietnam, for example, earns ratings no better than "fair" in all but the cost category. That will likely change, however, with infusions of investment from big players like Intel.
ZDNet's Larry Dignan poses an interesting question, wondering how some U.S. states might stack up against these foreign counterparts. As I wrote in August, some small towns are following the example of offshore destinations and creatinghttp://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/sts/?p=434campaigns http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/sts/?p=434to lure investment by highlighting features such as low cost of living and educated workforces.