IT leaders can't afford to continue to look at location-based risk in a vacuum, according to Green. While every service provider is, in part, dependent on its local environment, "the quality and maturity of the provider will work to mitigate or exacerbate location dynamics," says Green. "Providers can take a number of actions to help mitigate the influence of geography, whether it is cultural training, process expertise, to having a network of delivery centers and partners so work can be shifted from one destination to another."
Belarus, for example, which the U.S. government called one of the "last outposts of tyranny" in 2005 is a viable IT outsourcing destination for many companies today. The country "would likely score poorly on a standard risk assessment, yet the intricate business and geopolitical environment masks a strong and vibrant IT culture with some of the leading providers in Central and Eastern Europe," says Green.
CIOs don't contract with countries, but companies. "Ultimately it is the client's relationship with the service provider, which will determine success or failure," Green says.
Read more about outsourcing in CIO's Outsourcing Drilldown.