The 2023/24 global Digital & ITO competitiveness rankings have been released by GBS.World. The index – created with ranking data from over 380 senior buy-side executives – reveals top global outsourcing destinations across five key categories. APAC countries lead in categories such as General ITO, Software Development, and AI & Machine Learning, while CALA and Eastern Europe also show strong presence. Africa shows strength particularly in the Technical & Helpdesk Support and Software Development sub-sectors (see infographic with the top 5 countries in each segment below). The results of five key segments covering Customer Experience (CX) and Back Office were released in August of this year.

In Africa, the Empower Nigeria Offshoring Roundtable Series was held in Lagos, hosted by HR and business consulting firm Workforce Group and non-profit organization Workforce Foundation. The event saw key speakers discussing the growth and potential of Nigeria as an emerging offshore destination for CX and ITO. Key statistics indicate a promising future: the global BPO, ITO and shared services market is expected to reach over US$1 trillion by year-end, with Africa contributing 2% to global supply. Nigeria boasts a BPO/ITO workforce of 41,050 and a large B2 English-speaking talent pool in excess of 3.8 million, presenting substantial opportunities for regional development and job creation.

In the APAC region, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the Philippines has partnered with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play to protect its BPO industry from AI threats. This collaboration, marked by the signing of a memorandum of agreement, introduces the Horizon Philippines Program, which will develop strategies to integrate AI into the BPO/IT sector. This initiative aims to encourage local startup innovation, fostering an IP-based economy for both local and global markets. The program will leverage foreign investments, with the government supporting the startup ecosystem but without direct financial obligation.

Over in the Dominican Republic, the Global Services Leaders Forum was held in Santo Domingo, where speakers discussed key trends and strategies in the global services sector, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. The panel – with key speakers such as Anupam Govil (Avasant), Eric Simonson (Everest Group), and Mark Angus (Genesis GBS and GBS.World) – explored topics such as P2B micro-sourcing, which involves direct contracting of IT professionals from locations like Costa Rica and Uruguay by companies abroad. Discussions also centered on optimal strategies for the region to become a prime service provider and recommendations for trade promotion organizations (TPOs), the private sector, and institutions like ALES to enhance the global business services sector.

A UK-based outsourcing specialist firm, Sigma Connected Group, has announced its entry into the US market, expanding its global footprint. With the launch of Sigma Connected US LLC, it aims to provide customer contact center and debt-collection services through its operations in South Africa. The company is set to onboard two new US clients and has appointed John Moody as Vice President of Collections and Recoveries to focus on growing the US client base.

Also in the US, identity and access management company Okta, has announced that a cyberattack which took place in September–October this year has resulted in more damage than initially reported. All customer support users are believed to have been affected – as opposed to only 130 mentioned in the initial disclosure. ­The announcement has caused a 7% drop in Okta’s shares in pre-market trading. While there’s no direct evidence of the hackers targeting customers using the stolen data, Okta is conducting a digital forensics investigation and plans to share findings and notify affected individuals.

In Eastern Europe, Ukrainian SaaS startup Getpin has raised US$400 000 in seed funding from Czech venture capital fund Presto Ventures. The company offers a marketing tool for businesses with physical locations to attract local customers. Having expanded into Estonia and Poland, Getpin now serves over 100 companies in Central and Eastern Europe. The funding will be used to scale the product in Central and Eastern European countries and to facilitate Getpin’s entry into Latin American markets.

The Top 5 location results of the GBS.World Competitiveness Index: Digital & ITO

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