As a result of the policy initiatives taken by the government to position the country as an offshore destination of choice, Pakistan has become a major player in the global Information Technology (IT) industry.
Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company has placed Pakistan amongst the top countries of the world in terms of suitability for offshore outsourcing. Pakistan has been recognized by the global community as ‘Market Leaders and Challengers’ and has been placed in the First Category countries in 2007. Previously, in 2006 Pakistan was placed in the Third Category countries.
Gartner, in its recent report ‘Analysis of Pakistan as an Offshore Service Location’ said the major factor behind the progressing status of Pakistan is the lower salaries and better infrastructure advantages than other offshore destinations. “The salaries of IT professionals in Pakistan are approximately 30% lower than those in India, while telecommunication costs are also lower as compared to any other offshore locations, which make Pakistan an attractive outsourcing destination.”
Based on a total of ten criterion, including language, government support, labour pool, infrastructure, education system, cost, political and economic environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity, data and intellectual property security and privacy, Gartner rated Pakistan as ‘very good’ in cost, ‘good’ in language and ‘fair’ in most of the areas despite the prevailing political environment.
According to Gartner research report, government of Pakistan has devised a comprehensive national IT policy, designed to encourage the private sector. In order to drive development, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) plans to construct new IT parks in major cities while 750,000 square feet of space in PSEB-designated parks has already been leased to IT companies.
“The government is doing a great job of initiating activities in positioning Pakistan as an offshore location, however, it needs to take concrete steps to improve its brand image as an offshore destination,” the report adds.
It may be mentioned here that a number of Pakistani IT companies have developed world class software in areas such as car leasing, enterprise application integration, mortgage lien processing, stock market order management, mobile convergence, data and web content management for some of the top most corporations of the world. staff report