Top Digital & ITO Global Location Rankings unveiled from the 2023/24 GBS World Competitive Index
The World Source Marketplace for Global Business Services (GBS.World), has unveiled five key segment findings of the 2023/24 GBS World Competitiveness Index: Digital and ITO. The index, which is informed by comprehensive data from the Global Voice of the Buyer Survey, presents a nuanced understanding of the current digital and IT outsourcing landscape. The results of five segments covering customer experience (CX) and Back Office were released in August of this year.
Over 380 interviews were conducted out with senior executives from multinational corporations, many of whom are involved in the outsourcing and offshoring of artificial intelligence (AI), digital, software, data, and IT services. These executives – hailing from diverse geographies such as Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – provided insights into the performance of various countries they partner with.
Accordingly, the index offers a detailed ranking of the leading countries in four major global outsourcing regions – Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Central & Latin America (CALA) – based on their cumulative scores out of 8. Moreover, it categorizes countries on a regional scale into three distinct tiers: Outstanding, Proficient, and Capable.
Overview of the Global Rankings
In all five categories assessed – General ITO, Software Development, Technical & Helpdesk Support, Data Analytics & Science, and AI & Machine Learning – APAC countries continue to stand out as key players.
The APAC region demonstrates significant presence, consistently featuring the most countries in the global top 10 for each category, or tying for the most, in comparison to the other key regions assessed. The region also makes a total of 20 appearances among the top 10 across all five categories, with APAC countries ranking as the leading global destinations for three categories and earning spots within the top 3 global rankings for the remaining two categories.
The Eastern European and CALA regions have also emerged as strong ITO regions, consistently being represented by two or three countries respectively in the global top 10 for each category. Africa showed the least presence among the global top rankings, with only Egypt and South Africa in the top five locations in four categories. Africa did, however, have more presence in the Technical & Helpdesk Support category, with three countries (Egypt, Rwanda and South Africa) in the global top 10. Kenya also ranked well in the Software & Development category.
General ITO sees APAC on top
Holding both first and second place in the global top 10 rankings, the APAC region was identified as a leader in the General ITO category. India is positioned in first place, with a combined score of 6.59 out of 8, and Malaysia is set in second place, with a score of 6.39. Three other APAC countries are present in the top 10: Singapore (6.15), the Philippines (6), and China (5.58).
Both the CALA and Eastern European regions had two representatives each in the global top 10, with the EE’s Estonia securing the third global position, scoring 6.37. Egypt was the sole representative of the African region, coming fifth globally with a score of 6.3.
Global combined scores out of 8 for General ITO:
General ITO Regional Rankings for APAC
All represented in the global top 10, the leading countries in the APAC region are India, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines – categorized as Outstanding in the region. China (also featuring in the global top 10), South Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam were identified as the most Proficient APAC countries.
Software Development championed by APAC countries
For outsourcing software development services, India once again came out as the leading global destination, scoring 6.42 out of 8. China follows closely in second place, with a combined score of 6.36.
The Eastern European region is also positioned strongly in this category, with Poland taking third place (6.14), and both Romania (5.8) and Bulgaria (5.7) featuring in global the top 10.
Mexico (6) and Brazil (5.6) appear again as representatives for the CALA region in the global rankings, and Africa is represented by Egypt (5.7) and Kenya (5.5).
Global Software Development combined scores out of 8:
CALA comes out on top for Data Analytics & Science
Brazil has made big leaps in the Data Analytics & Science sector, securing the top spot in the world with a combined score of 6.61 out of 8. This positions Brazil above fierce global competitors in the APAC region, like India and Malaysia, which came in second and third place in the world, respectively. The APAC region, however, did claim the most spots among the global top 10, with Singapore, the Philippines, and South Korea all representing the region.
Also in the top 10, Argentina joins Brazil from the CALA region, Egypt acts as the sole representative of the African region, and the Eastern European region is represented by Poland and Slovakia.
Global Data Analytics & Science combined scores out of 8:
Poland tops the rankings for Technical & Helpdesk Support
Representing the Eastern European region, Poland has emerged as the leading global destination for Technical & Helpdesk Support services. Scoring 6.5 out of 8, Poland ranked above fierce competitors like India, which came in at third place. Africa also emerges as a key destination, with Egypt (scoring 6.43) taking second place in the global rankings.
Global Technical & Helpdesk Support combined scores out of 8:
Technical & Helpdesk Support regional rankings for Africa:
Africa held the most presence in this category, compared to its representation in the other four categories assessed. Egypt is joined by South Africa (5.78) and Rwanda (5.73) in the top 10 global rankings. This may be thanks, in part, to growing government and industry support to attract specialized outsource services to these countries. In Egypt and South Africa particularly, there has been increasing support for the development of offshore outsourced services to improve economies and offer job opportunities to populations with mass unemployment issues.
APAC countries secure top three global positions for AI & Machine Learning
In the final category assessed for the Digital & ITO competitiveness index, the APAC region once again came out on top for AI & Machine Learning. Securing the top three spots in the world for this category, China (6.6), South Korea (6.3), and India (6.26) scored very closely.
Eastern Europe and the CALA region also each had three representing countries in the global top 10: Czechia, Slovenia, and Poland (for EE), and Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica (for CALA). Egypt again stood out as the sole representative of the African region.
Global AI & Machine Learning combined scores out of 8:
Global Business Services: A Landscape of Leaders and Emerging Frontiers
The 2023/24 GBS World Competitiveness Index: Digital & ITO illuminates the dominance of APAC nations in vital business sectors like IT services, software development, and AI.
While APAC shines, the Eastern Europe and CALA regions show strength, underscoring their importance. Although the African region has limited representation among the global leaders in Digital & ITO services, this signals opportunities for unlocking its potential and supporting its growth.
Serving as as a snapshot of leading offshore locations, the Digital & ITO competitiveness index highlights emerging regions and trends, providing insights into the ever-evolving digitalization and IT-enablement of business services.