CHICAGO, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney releases the 2019 edition of the Global Services Location Index™ (GSLI), a ranking of 50 countries based on their potential and fit to deliver business services to global companies. While the countries that top the list haven't changed significantly over the 15 years since the inception of the Index, disruptive digital forces that have emerged over the last few years have made digital-led changes a necessary part of the discussion.
The GSLI has traditionally identified locations that can best provide information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO), and voice services based on countries' financial attractiveness, people skills, availability, and business environment. The 2019 GSLI, however, includes a new digital resonance category to capture the effects of digital transformation, especially automation and cybersecurity, on the global services landscape.
Arjun Sethi, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study, notes: "We're seeing an increasing impact of automation on transactional services. On the one hand, automation has tremendously enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the back office, but, on the other hand, cybersecurity challenges have increased manifold in our hyperconnected world. And while automation has leveled the playing field as management skills are becoming more important than keeping costs down, a deeper change taking place in the flows of these jobs is apparent in countries' digital resonance scores and in the effect of these scores on the 2019 country rankings."
The 2019 Index once again ranks India, China, and Malaysia in the top three positions they have occupied since the study's inception in 2004, and Asian countries represent six of the top seven spots. Not far behind, the United States and the United Kingdom can also be found among the top ten this year.
GSLI co-author and A.T. Kearney principal Johan Gott notes: "This year's digital resonance metric shows that many highly developed digital economies that rank poorly in financial attractiveness perform well in digital resonance. As a result of the addition of the new digital resonance category, the United States and United Kingdom rose significantly in the GSLI ranking—as did some smaller near-shore locations such as Estonia and Lithuania. Low digital resonance scores for later entrants to the industry such as Sri Lanka and Chile, by contrast, resulted in decreases in their overall rankings."
The digital resonance category attempts to capture the new workforce demands that technology has created. Automation destroys many thousands of low-skilled jobs, but these jobs are partially replaced by more highly skilled and higher-paid jobs managing the automation. The talent that is freed up by automation, then, can focus on higher value tasks. Companies looking to globally source services are now seeking a workforce with the business skills necessary to manage these new roles rather than the low value-add, routine services they sought in the past. In order to capture a country's ability to provide the labor force and cyber threat protections necessary in this new environment, the new category incorporates metrics such as the digital skills of a country's labor force, legal and cyber security, corporate investment in startups, and digital innovation outputs.
"We see cybersecurity as another major factor for companies to consider as they assess their global services value chains. Companies are sharing critical data with a growing number of third parties around the world, leaving more loopholes for cyber threats. Moreover, companies' holistic management of these threats is lagging," adds Vidisha Suman, principal with A.T. Kearney.
About the 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index™ Now in its ninth edition since 2004, the 2019 GSLI helps companies make key location decisions about where to locate offshore operations, and the Index sheds light on their complex and shifting choices. The 50 countries in the 2019 Index are selected based on corporate input, current remote services activity, and government initiatives to promote the sector, including digital preparedness. Each country is evaluated based on 44 metrics that assess its financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, business environment, and digital resonance.
About A.T. Kearney A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world's foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues.
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