There’s been an encouraging initial response to an ITANZ bid to build a New Zealand offshore outsourcing capability.
Jim O’Neill, head of the IT association, says after the unveiling of the plan last week in Auckland and Wellington, more than 20 companies have expressed interest in being part of an effort to establish an outsourcing presence in the UK, under an “Outsource2NZ” umbrella. They’ve also committed $2000 each to the plan.
The next step is to finalise which of those companies will be able to send representatives to a key Gartner outsourcing conference in London at the end of April. The government, through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, is promising to help finance attendance at the event.
NZTE has already given significant backing to the plan through commissioning a Gartner report on New Zealand’s suitability as an outsourcing destination. That report paints a generally positive picture, although it points out that New Zealand is just one of dozens of countries with similar ambitions.
Gartner ranks New Zealand among outsourcing up-and-comers, along with Singapore, Brazil, Egypt, Ukraine and others. The group are countries that “don’t yet have sufficient resources and infrastructure to execute on a profitable level”, Gartner says.
Nor do they have “a robust strategy to penetrate the international market”.
In New Zealand’s favour, the report says, is the ICT industry’s creativity and innovation, the oft-mentioned time zone advantage and our suitability as a technology test bed. Working against us, however, is a lack of focus on formal quality certifications, a focus on products rather than services and the absence of an ICT brand. It’s that last point which the ITANZ initiative initially aims to do something about, through the Outsource2NZ presence at the London conference.
Outsource2NZ is likely to then play an ongoing marketing role, while outsourcing work is handled by a collection of companies with offices in the UK. They will pass work back to their New Zealand organisations or partners.
“Gartner also identified that the best opportunities for the New Zealand ICT industry are in the higher end involvement in the application development life cycle, such as research and development and architecture design,” says NZTE ICT sector specialist Alan Crofts, speaking at the Auckland presentation.
- Analyst IDC endorses New Zealand’s potential as an outsourcing destination, saying that it will take the government and industry working together to make it happen.