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BANGALORE, India, Dec 12, 2007 (AFP) – India remains the top destination for companies moving information-technology services to lower-cost economies, but China, Russia and Brazil are catching up, said a report released Tuesday. Research firm Gartner also said offshore spending will grow 60 percent in Europe and 40 percent in the US next year in a boost to countries such as India that are dependent on Western economies for IT revenues.

“The analysis showed that India remains the undisputed leader in offshore services, but increasingly countries such as China, Russia and Brazil are providing credible alternatives,” Gartner said in the report.

India, led by software firms such as Tata Consultancy, Infosys and Wipro, has leveraged on a vast engineering talent pool and labour costs that are a fifth of those in the West to build itself into the world’s back-office.

Gartner used 10 criteria to rate potential locations for IT services, including language, government support, labour pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost and political and economic environment.

Cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, and data and intellectual property security and privacy were also factored in.

“The aim of the