new lower-cost destination. But if you
are outsourcing a complex system, you
need people with experience.”
When Luxoft first considered mov-
ing projects to Vietnam, it began with
small internal pilot projects around
applications development and mainte-
nance to see if the outsourcing team
could handle the work.
“We started slowly with projects
that weren’t customer-facing,” Mr.
Trakhtenberg says. “Gradually, we
increased the complexity of the projects we sent to make sure the quality of
the deliverables was the same as other
Outsourcing projects to Africa often
means accepting high risks. Organizations must be prepared for the possibility of graft, internal strife and safety
issues—although government and
business leaders in many of the nations
are fueling change. Kenya and Nigeria,
for instance, have both invested heavily
in education and building broad-based
telecom infrastructure while staying
competitive on price, Mr. Mead says.
However, there are some locations
that offer enticing benefits to offset risk.
South Africa is clearly the continent’s economic star, making it an
attractive spot for outsourced projects.
“Project management is well-embedded in the South African business community, and English is widely
spoken,” Mr. Ward says. “From a European standpoint, it’s within roughly
the same time zone,” easing communications.
In northern Africa, Morocco has
become a low-cost hotspot for French-speaking companies. Egypt, meanwhile, has been aggressively building
its reputation as a global presence with
major backing from the government.
In late September, Egypt’s IT minister, Tarek Kamel, said the North
African country is looking to grow its
burgeoning outsourcing industry to
US$10 billion by 2020.
The talent pool is
growing, and there
is huge potential for
this destination in the
future. Vietnam’s an
—Roman Trakhtenberg, Luxoft, New York,
New York, USA
“Many people believe Egypt is
unsafe and that it has a negative view of
the West, but that couldn’t be further
from the truth,” Mr. Ryan says. “The
vendors are eager to work with U.S.
and European companies.”
The continent also offers great
opportunities for investing in corporate
social responsibility projects by sup-
porting struggling communities, Mr.
Despite the outsourcing success stories, Africa is haunted—fairly or not—
by lingering perception problems.