CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
After years of working to establish themselves
as outsourcing destinations, Central and South
American countries are starting to make a mark.
The region’s proximity to North America is an
asset, along with a deep talent pool. Costa Rica,
Brazil, Chile and Argentina all have cities in the
top 30 of Tholons’ 2014 outsourcing list. Cities
in Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Uruguay are
becoming increasingly attractive destinations, Mr.
Sociopolitical challenges in parts of the region
should factor into outsourcing decisions, however.
“Guatemala has one of the highest homicide rates
in the world,” he says. No matter how rich the
talent pool, that’s a big risk.
Ukraine was for many years an outsourcing darling in Eastern Europe, but
the country’s recent political turmoil has been “a big problem for clients
and service providers,” Mr. Ravago says.
Ukraine’s loss of business is Poland’s gain. Poland is now emerging as
one of the strongest IT and business process outsourcing locations in
Eastern Europe, with Krakow reaching the ninth spot on Tholons’ 2014
list. “Poland has a rich talent pool, stable politics and manageable costs,”
Mr. Ravago says. “It’s attractive compared to other countries in the
region.” Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania are also gaining some
attention as outsourcing destinations in the region with strong labor
pools and low costs.
But outsourcers beware: Data laws are weakly enforced across the region, making intellectual property (IP) and privacy issues the biggest risk
organizations face. Some countries are notorious for IP and data privacy
violations, Mr. Ravago says. “Many Western service buyers are hesitant
to process end-user data in Eastern Europe for these reasons.”
50 PM NETWORK OC TOBER 2014 WWW.PMI.ORG
Outsourcing practices have shifted dramatically in recent years. Seasoned offshore
vendors have adopted practices allowing
them to deliver leading-edge projects, while
other vendors have opened shop in untested
regions hoping to tap low-cost labor pools
and gain a competitive advantage in an
increasingly crowded marketplace.
Manuel Ravago, president of research
for global IT consulting and research firm
Tholons in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, which
produces an annual Top 100 Outsourcing
Destinations report, cautions organizations to
investigate a country’s potential risks—
natural disasters, political strife, data piracy—and
balance them against the benefits before
choosing an outsourcing destination.
Once you choose a vendor, factor any risks
into your project plan. “The project management office (PMO) plays such an important
role in this process,” Mr. Ravago says. “It
makes sure everyone can see the risks that
could impact an outsourced project, and is
ready to react if problems arise.”