When one thinks of IT outsourcing, India and China immediately come to mind, but this no longer should be the case. As the world evolves, nations’ economies are increasingly becoming more service based. This is due to our increasing reliance on technology, such as automation. In order for some countries to be competitive in the global market, a strong IT sector has become a necessity. People are losing factory jobs at an alarming rate, and world governments have taken notice. One of the governments that have taken notice is Mexico’s.
Over the years, Mexico has been loosing many of their once traditional “maquiladoras,” or textile factories. Between October of 2007 and October of 2008, Mexico lost 22 factories. Before the recession started, cities such as Ciudad Juarez were already closing factories, which means many of those factory jobs lost, will not be recovered. Since Mexico is no longer competitive in the textile industry as they once were, their focus has changed from “maquiladoras” to IT. This change in focus was very visible during Vicente Fox’s administration. During Fox’s administration, various IT centers were constructed, with funding from the government. While Fox’s administration funded new IT centers, previous administrations, along with Telmex and other private companies, had begun modernizing communications infrastructure during the 90′s. The modernization of Mexico’s communications infrastructure has led them to be the ninth ranked country in the world with the most internet hosts. This puts Mexico in an advantageous position when compared to other countries; they have state of the art facilities and are right by the United States.
Mexico’s most important advantage, besides its proximity, is its young and eager workforce. This workforce is currently not being taken advantage of enough; Mexico’s wages, on average, are one-third that of the United States. Another advantage about this young workforce is that many of them speak English. In many schools in Mexico, English is a requirement; those that graduate from college will most likely have a decent knowledge of the English language. Mexican Universities have been making improvements to its English curriculums, making it a requirement to get a high score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to graduate. The TOEFL exam is currently a temporary measure while the English requirements are refined and improved. It is a huge benefit for companies to be able to communicate in English with their developers during any time of the day.
Mexico now has a competitive IT sector that is improving year by year. Many companies have already taken notice of this and have been outsourcing to Mexico for years. Advantages of outsourcing to Mexico, such as proximity, infrastructure, and a knowledgeable workforce, should not be taken with a grain of salt. The advantages of outsourcing to Mexico over other countries presents benefits that can not be overlooked, and which may prevent problems that may otherwise arise. Time difference, language, and to a degree, cultural differences, would not present the same type of problem as outsourcing to Asia would.
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