North America To Have Fewer Developers Than Asia/Pacific - InformationWeek

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North America To Have Fewer Developers Than Asia/Pacific

China and India are expected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate in the number of professional software developers through 2008.

North America is expected to have fewer software developers than the Asia/Pacific region beginning in 2006, due primarily from automation techniques and increasing productivity in North America and the trend among companies to move jobs to low-wage countries, a market research firm said Tuesday.

China and India are expected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate in the number of professional software developers through 2008, increasing by 25.6 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively, International Data Corp. said.

The Asia/Pacific region is expected to surpass North America in the overall number of developers beginning in 2006, while the Middle East and Africa are forecast to experience the highest regional CAGR at 18.3 percent through 2008.

The rise in dominance of Asia/Pacific is expected, given the fact that China and India alone represent more than a third of the world's population, IDC analyst Stephen Hendrick said. In addition, spending on information technology in Asia/Pacific is expected to increase through 2008.

"For the large economy of North America, which has historically been the home of most developers, program development automation techniques, offshoring, and increasing productivity are all likely to put downward pressure on the rate at which the number of professional developers in North America increases," Hendrick said in a statement.

The total number of developers worldwide is expected to increase at an annual rate of 9.8 percent, reaching 14.9 million in 2008, IDC said. The forecast is based on worldwide population statistics, changes in literacy and growth in IT spending.

The 10 countries with largest developer populations today are the United States, Russia, India, Japan, Canada, Germany, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, IDC said.

In other research, IDC predicted that worldwide spending on human resource services would increase at a CAGR of 9.6 percent through 2009, reaching $113.4 billion from $71.9 billion in 2004.

Business process outsourcing is expected to be the fast-growing segment of HR services, increasing at an annual rate of 16.1 percent to $16 billion in 2009.

While historically HR deals primarily focused on the core processes of payroll, benefits, and record keeping, many new engagements now include workforce optimization services, IDC said.

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