By JP Mangalindan
May 24, 2010

As developed countries outsource their work to emerging economies, slow and sparse Internet can choke off growth.

As manufacturers and carriers revel in the fact that global internet connections are increasing at a rapid pace allowing for an unprecedented amount of connectivity, they also have to deal with the issue of bridging the technology gap among various nations.

Responding to Ericsson’s predictions that there will be 50 billion mobile network connections by 2020, Peer Software, a data management solutions firm, assembled a chart based off data from the CIA World Factbook, visualizing the rift among G-20 nations. Unsurprisingly, first-world nations like the U.S., Canada, and the European Union, with higher GDP per capitas, came out ahead of emerging markets including Brazil, Russia and China, whose Internet infrastructures are generally less advanced.

This comes into play when companies based in first-world countries outsource work to emerging markets or third-world countries to leverage cost savings.

“As they open offices in the emerging markets to take advantage of the growth there, they realize there’s a very real technology gap, that the quality of bandwidth isn’t the same everywhere around the world,” says Jimmy Tam, General Manager of Peer Software sales and marketing.

Tam offers up three potential solutions to the problem:

Buy more bandwidth. Probably the most obvious and most expensive proposition, particularly if a company’s offices are global. Still, Tam says that even if you try to buy bandwidth, speed options may not match expectations.

Optimize it. Also called WAN accelerators, which companies like Cisco and Riverbend offer, this technology works with a company’s existing bandwidth and basically tries to streamline or optimize it via techniques like data compression and caching.

Make the software collaborate. Tam uses Peer Software’s own propriety software as an example, though there are other providers who offer similar utilities, like Microsoft’s Cluster Service. This would involve having local mirrored copies of information at various branches around the world and regularly synching them to reflect file changes.

And until global connectivity catches up, these options are going to have to do the trick.

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