Gartner Identifies Colombia as One of the Top 30 Countries for Offshore Services
In this December 2010 report, Colombia is highlighted as a global leader among world destinations for outsourced services. Gartner, Inc. released a report in December 2010 identifying the top 30 nations worldwide for outsourced IT or business process services operations. The findings were based on 10 criteria, including language, government support, labor pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and data and intellectual property security and privacy. Colombia made its debut among the top 30 world leaders this year, with Gartner noting that newcomers such as Colombia have shown considerable efforts to consolidate and grow their positions as leading locations for offshore services.
PROCOLOMBIA, the Colombian Government Trade Bureau, has led efforts to strengthen the country’s IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, as well as raise awareness of Colombia as a prime destination for offshore services. Colombia’s efforts have succeeded, as the country is increasingly recognized for its industry assets by independent rankings. According to the IMD World Competitiveness Center’s Annual Report, Colombia is ranked first in Latin America for labor market flexibility, second in Latin America for protection of people and private property, and second in Latin America for qualified labor availability. According to the World Bank’s 2011 Doing Business Report, Colombia is also one of the top three “Business Friendly” countries in Latin America.
As outlined in the Gartner report, Colombia offers market access to the U.S. and other countries for specific types of application services but is primarily focused on BPO work where Spanish-language skills are a business requirement. Nevertheless, the use of English has increased and continues to do so as a result of trade exchanges between Colombia and the United States and through government initiatives to boost English to target the English-speaking market for application services in the future. Its cultural compatibility is depicted by its culture’s openness to foreign ideas which welcomes international organizations. A small but growing number of multinational corporations (MNCs) in the high-tech and manufacturing sectors have successfully established Colombia as a location for call center and transaction BPO work, and some indigenous Colombian service providers are gaining scale to support other Latin American organizations. For instance, Convergys, a global leader in relationship management, recently opened its second facility in Bogota and will continue to expand nationwide. Terremark, US provider of IT infrastructure opened its NAP of the Americas Bogotá in the Bogota Free Trade Zone, and Teleperformance, the No. 1 global leader in managing customer experience in the outsourced contact center market, have also benefited from Colombia’s large bilingual talent pool, competitive operational costs, and advanced telecommunications infrastructure.
The Gartner report invites organizations seeking an outsourcing arrangement to further study the possibility of focusing on Colombia in cases where service providers can benefit from less competition for IT talent/resources and preferential treatment regarding real estate or other subsidies.
Colombia’s competitive advantages for outsourcing operations include a strategic geographical location with quick connectivity to the United States through all major airline carriers. In addition to close geographical proximity, Colombia is also on the same time zone as the United States. Perhaps most critically, Colombia is home to a large pool of competitive labor and low operational costs, which create favorable conditions for investors looking for high value investment locations.
For more information about the Gartner 2011 Report, click here