The number of U.S. technology firms outsourcing part of their operations overseas has reached record highs, new data shows.
Research by accounting and consulting firm BDO USA revealed that 63 percent of tech companies plan to outsource or manufacture products outside of the United States, up from 35 percent in 2011. This also marks the highest level of outsourcing since the study's inception in 2008.
The research shows manufacturing is leading the charge overseas, as the most heavily outsourced function for more than 60 percent of U.S. technology firms. Research and development, distribution, and IT services and programming are the other company functions outsourced most frequently.
In spite of supply chain interruptions that plagued the region over the past few years, Southeast Asia is the leading outsourcing destination for U.S. tech companies. The businesses are also moving parts of their operations to India, Eastern Europe and Russia.
"While the drive to remain competitive has led technology companies to maintain outsourcing contracts, many are working in tandem to grow their U.S. workforce to develop new and innovative products and solutions in the U.S. while outsourcing traditional 'back office' operations," said Aftab Jamil, partner and director of the technology and life sciences practice at BDO USA, LLP.
Despite this increased outsourcing, the study shows U.S. tech companies are planning to increase their jobs domestically as well. Overall, 43 percent of the chief financial officers surveyed anticipate the total number of U.S. technology employees to increase this year.
"The technology industry is rapidly growing, thanks to new technologies and trends like big data, mobile applications and cloud collaboration," Jamil said.
The research found that sales and marketing, along with research and development are the positions employers are most eager to fill. In addition, manufacturing hiring is also on the rise, with 27 percent of CFOs expecting to add new positions in that area this year.
The study was based on surveys of 100 U.S. technology chief financial officers.