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A Buyer's Guide to Offshore Outsourcing

A Buyer's Guide to Offshore Outsourcing

Wondering where to send your call centres, application development and QA testing? Check the map for a worldwide comparison of prices, risks and other critical considerations.


Europe/Africa

IRELAND: Leader.

Gorpolitical risk.

English proficiency.

Average programmer salary: ($US23,000-$34,000/year; $US24-$34/hour)Infrastructure: Good. Mature infrastructure and low costs.

Pros: US companies such as Dell, IBM and Microsoft all have development centres in Ireland - proof of the Emerald Isle's highly skilled talent pool.

Cons: US companies such as Dell, IBM and Microsoft all have development centres in Ireland - increasing competition for and cost of labour. The talent and maturity of services here are top-notch, but they ain't cheap.

Insider tip: Ireland will increasingly become a buyer - rather than a supplier - of offshore resources.

ROMANIA: Rookie.

Gorpolitical risk.

English proficiency.

Average programmer salary: ($US2362/year)Infrastructure: Poor, but improvingPros: Like its neighbours, Romania has a good educational system and a focus on maths, engineering and science.

Cons: There's more of a political risk factor here than other Eastern European countries. Insider tip: Romania is still shaking off the remnants of the Ceaucescu era, but this area holds some promise.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Up-and-comer.

Geopolitical risk.

English proficiency.

Average programmer salary: ($US4800-$8000/year; minimum wage similar to Hungary and Poland ($US1132-$1584/year)Infrastructure: Good. Solid investment in IT and communications infrastructure (8.5 per cent of GDP).

Pros: The Czech Republic churns out 5000 technical graduates every year, and the IT services market experienced double-digit growth when the global IT services market grew just 6 per cent.

Cons: Low pay scales give talent little reason to stay.

Insider tip: This country is a survivor if nothing else, retooling itself as a next generation economy and potential IT powerhouse just a few years after freeing itself from communist rule.

HUNGARY: Up-and-comer.

Geopolitical risk.

English proficiency.

Average programmer salary: ($US4800-$8000/year; minimum wage is $US1132/year)Infrastructure: Good. Solid investment in IT and communications infrastructure (6.4 per cent of GDP)Pros: Top-notch educational system focused on maths and science. Minimal costs.

Cons: It's questionable how many IT professionals the country can actually provide. Insider tip: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have the potential to be the strongest Central/Eastern European providers outside Russia.

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