The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman was initially published in 2005 and then released in updated editions. It is concerned with how globalization has transformed business.
The book begins with an example of globalization, Infosys Technologies Limited. It is a significant example because outsourcing of IT to India is considered one of the most important and successful examples of the globalization of services. The initial chapter shows how the supply chain of Infosys spans the globe and illustrates this by showing how people can instantly share information, payments, and make business deals across the globe.
The next way in which Friedman demonstrates globalization is through a historical analysis of how transportation and communication have evolved. He shows the "flattening" he describes to be a quickly evolving and technologically enabled phenomenon. He described the discovery of the New World and the period of colonialism, in which rich countries sourced raw materials from around the globe as an initial stage, then discusses a second phase of increasing trade up to 2000 and then argues that the twenty-first century represents a uniquely new level of global integration for businesses.
He gives examples of how outsourcing and off-shoring have created flattened global supply chains. He argues for the internet and its possibilities of instant global communications as a key enabling technology. He discusses cases of increasing global supply chains, using as examples western firms outsourcing to India and China, especially in the manufacture of clothing, electronic goods, and other goods and services. He cites Walmart's global supply chain as an important example.