Havana, Cuba. Photo: Bryan Ledgard
By Jerry Haar
“Services” comprises the main driver of the economy of many large cities in the U.S. in terms of employment, revenue, and taxes. Be it tourism, banking and finance, real estate, technology and trade, services is the fulcrum that was, is, and always will be the engine of our economic development.
Many large U.S. cities target information technology as a key service, citing IT outsourcing to Latin America as a promising opportunity, in addition to homegrown technology entrepreneurship. As more businesses conduct commerce with each other (B2B) outsourcing plays a prominent role. Technological advances, falling costs, plus entrepreneurial opportunities and growth in emerging markets are driving the outsourcing industry. The benefits to companies and entrepreneurs are numerous: faster corporate growth, access to qualified workers abroad, improved productivity and service, business process redesign, increased speed to market, access to new markets, technological flexibility, and improved agility by shedding unnecessary overhead.
Outsourcing of simple accounting work, medical records evaluation, and call center operations are commonplace nowadays across many sectors and industries. Growing in importance, however, is outsourcing closer to home—known as “near-sourcing” or “near-shoring.” This variant is less costly (if outsourcing costs rise due to currency appreciation), culturally more compatible (e.g., Jamaica versus the Philippines), and far more efficient and …
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