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Outsourcing and Offshoring: A Special Report from The Economist

An article from The Economist

It is not only that the offshoring of jobs is reaching saturation point, but also that Western companies, after a decade of experience, are changing their attitude to the practice. KPMG, a global consulting firm, even announced "The Death of Outsourcing" in a research paper last year. After all, offshoring important tasks to an outside provider is quite a risky thing to do and carries significant hidden costs.

Companies in services as well as manufacturing are now far more aware of the pitfalls. Until recently the most important reason for companies to send large chunks of important business functions abroad was to drive down costs. A decade ago wages in emerging markets were a tenth of their level in the rich world, an opportunity too good to miss.

During the recession of 2008-09, says Cliff Justice, KPMG's leading expert on outsourcing and offshoring, the race offshore accelerated, and more higher-value and complex work was sent overseas too.


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