04 April 2007

Offshore IT outsourcing and the EU context

The news is (almost) always about a few things;
  • Outsourcing mega-deals where global companies relocating IT or business process operations all over the world
  • USA and UK jobs going to India and a few other places
  • Political, social and business implications of offshoring

Looking at the mega-deals and the lessons learned, knowledge accumulated (and made available) as a result of these high profile transactions, we might come to the conclusion that these deals and the general acceptance of offshoring practices are driving the professionalisation of offshore outsourcing. On the other hand the mega-deals and the advisory firms around these deals provide little practical guidance to SMEs on key questions, such as WHERE, WHAT, WHO, HOW?

Many research, little said. It is almost entirely about the USA, UK, India and China lately, sometimes the Philippines for a change. Looking at all this from continental Europe, we might observe a few interesting features:

  • Continental European companies do not necessarily want to go to India, they might prefer near-shoring to Romania or the Czech Republic. If they want to outsource anything at all.
  • Only the largest Indian service providers have a continental European footprint.
In other words, most offshore service providers do not know, yet, how to crack the EU market (again except the UK). On the other hand SMEs, on both sides, are critically under-educated and underserved when it comes to market, marketing, location, processes and offshore outsourcing knowledge.