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CIO Magazine On Offshore IT

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the contentious-issue dept.

The Almighty Buck 732

lpq wrote to us with a reference to the cover article from this month's CIO Magazine that talks about the off-shore movement of IT from its traditional bulwarks to the developing world. A selection from the article:" Think again. There are real costs associated with shipping your IT department (or a portion of it) overseas. Our Special Report covers the Backlash from a growing political storm as well as the Hidden Costs you should be aware of before you join the stampede overseas. "

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More proof that common sense isn't common (4, Interesting)

jbellis (142590) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964701)

As well as evidence of how fad-driven the IT industry is. There is still no magic bullet [amazon.com] but vendors -- and no less the press -- continue to drum up every new toy as if it were The One.

Sad that people who spend years on an MBA degree that presumably includes a course on Spotting The Obvious 101 can't, well, spot the obvious.

Re:More proof that common sense isn't common (4, Funny)

Serapth (643581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964748)

Sadly... I think thats the problem... Most MBA programs forget to include Spotting the Obvious 101.

Actually... I would love to see them add just one more course to the MBA programs...
Just Because Im Educated, Doesnt Make Me Smart: A Case Study of MBA Graduates

Re:More proof that common sense isn't common (5, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964798)

Reminds me of the recent FedEx commercial.

"We're short on staff, you'll have to handle the shipping."

"But ... I have an MBA."

"Don't worry, it's easy."

"No, you don't understand, I have an MBA."

"Ohhhh, you have an MBA. In that case, I'll have to show you how to do it."

Magic bullet (0)

glgraca (105308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964855)

"There is still no magic bullet..."

And there never will be: http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/pw/papers/ficacm.ps

Re:More proof that common sense isn't common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965022)

Accountants and middle/senior managers are far more expensive than people at the bottom doing the actual work. Moreover India has very high standards of accountancy and numerous cheap fully qualified chartered accounts and MBAs. Why dont companies simply outsource the finance and management jobs to India, saving far more money per person, and having to make far fewer people redundant.

Offshore IT work is fine by me (5, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964727)

After Isabel hits on thursday, I'm gonna be living offshore.

You know, because my house is going to get blown away and swept into the chesapeake bay, you insensitive clod.

developing Orld? (0, Troll)

Yo_mama (72429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964728)

Is this even farther out than India?

Yes... (3, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964791)

The Atlanteans are receiving call-centre training as we speak.

Americans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964739)

If Americans weren't all so fucking fat and lazy, maybe there wouldn't be a need to ship jobs overseas.

Re:Americans (3, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964754)

Actually, last study showed Americans work harder (or more) than anyone else on earth.

Re:Americans (1)

connect4 (209782) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964789)

What, harder that the people in the Saipan sweatshops who make our clothes? Debatable.

Re:Americans (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964806)

Work harder, yes. Work smarter and/or more efficiently (in financial terms)? That is an entirely different question, and I don't know the answer...

Re:Americans (0)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964812)

Really? Care to provide a link? No? Didn't think so.

Re:Americans (1)

smonner (468465) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964925)

I don't know about "anyone else on Earth", but here is a link that seems to indicate that they do "work harder" than Europeans:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ibd/030904/issues_2.html

And that didn't take more than a few seconds to find.

I suppose it all comes down to how you measure "works harder", though. Per capita GDP? Hours per day? Number of vacation days? I suspect Americans do quite well, but better than everyone else on Earth? Probabably not.

Re:Americans (1)

Dasein (6110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964999)

I remember seeing that Americans work longer and have a greater revenue/employee per year number than Europeans. However, Europeans had better revenue/hour.

I'm an American, salaried worker. Guess which one I would rather be (hint it doesn't include working an arbitrary number of hours for my salary)

Re:Americans (4, Informative)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964929)

http://www.naplesnews.com/03/09/business/d961376a. htm
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_24 /c3736054.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/439595.stm
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/26/077.html
http://www.cnn.com/2001/CAREER/trends/08/30/ilo.st udy/
I found that an even more recent (2003) study that says south koreans work more hours but are not as productive.

Re:Americans (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964851)


Actually, last study showed Americans work harder (or more) than anyone else on earth.

Yes, in fact Office Space [imdb.com] is a documentary...

Re:Americans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964847)

If Americans weren't all so fucking fat and lazy, maybe there wouldn't be a need to ship jobs overseas.

You might be right, but considering the fat and lazy Americans are 95% responsible for founding this industry as well as the forum you're posting on today...this statement is just useless rhetoric from your skinny, overworked, and sorry ass.

Get used to it (4, Insightful)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964743)

It's called capitalism. It works. Get used to it. If offshoring makes sense, companies will do it. If it does not make sense, they will not do it. That's how it works. Engineers don't know anything about finance. That's why most successful companies don't have engineers talking about finance. I'm just posting this pre-emptively before a bunch of engineers start talking about the finances of offshoring. And, yes I'm an engineer too.

Re:Get used to it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964819)

rofl rofl rofl lol lol rofl rotflmaowpimp lol

Re:Get used to it (5, Insightful)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964862)

This is complete bullshit. You've failed to define "works".

Does it lower cost in the short-term? Yes.

Does it improve the quality of support? Arguably no.

Does it improve the quality and tightness of the product? Arguably no.

Does it strengthen the company from within? No.

Does it lower cost in a reasonably reached fashion that increases internal productivity and doesn't make the other 10,000 workers in your company pray every night that their job (that required $20,000 of schooling according to your posted job requirements two years ago) isn't going to be shipped overseas to someone else? Likely not.

I don't know if you call this "working", but I don't.

Let's see some stats there (5, Insightful)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965077)

Does it improve the quality of support? Arguably no. Does it improve the quality and tightness of the product? Arguably no.

These last two are almost certainly true, but it's how they compare to the first that matters. The engineers always want to make the best product, and understandably so if they take pride in their work. But management has to consider the possibility of making the second-best product if it's a damn sight cheaper. It can certainly be a good move.

Does it strengthen the company from within? No.

That's pretty nebulous, and doesn't really translate effectively to the company's bottom line. Strengthening the company by reducing costs might be worth more. And it's questionable how a company would strengthen itself by keeping overpaid, underskilled, non-management-material American coders on the payroll.

Does it lower cost in a reasonably reached fashion that increases internal productivity and doesn't make the other 10,000 workers in your company pray every night that their job isn't going to be shipped overseas to someone else? Likely not.

Like hell. First, the most motivated worker is the one whose job is on the line, like it or not. It may not be pretty, it's the truth. Hell, remember the dot com boom? Where was the employee loyalty to the company then when employees were shopping themselves to the highest bidder? That shows how taking a hit for a "stronger company" gets the company nothing. Why should they take that cost hit for nothing when their employees leave anyway when the economy gets good?

Face it, today neither labor nor the company has any loyalty to the other side, as neither has earned it. Bottom line is if your job can be performed by an Indian almost as well as you do it for 20% of the cost, that's what they'll do.

If anyone has any actual numbers to counter this, I'd like to hear it. All I know is that the American auto industry strengthened itself immeasurably after moving manufacturing jobs overseas. For one, it actually became profitable again and stopped hemorraging market share to foreign manufacturers.

And that's the kind of jobs we're talking about here. We're not talking about people on mission-critical projects fearing for their jobs. We're talking about code monkeys, the equivalent of the assembly-line bolt-turner of the auto industry. That under-educated person has never had security in any other industry, and I fail to see why the code monkey should expect anything different.

What it means is that the economy will no longer guarantee $60,000 a year and job security to someone who can only write mediocre code with no other skills. Most other people are probably safe.

Re:Get used to it (1, Insightful)

pantycrickets (694774) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964881)

It's called capitalism. It works. Get used to it. If offshoring makes sense, companies will do it.
-------------
Well, yeah.. if America were capitalist at all, it would work that way. The Americanist way of doing things, is arguing about it, getting some special lobbying done.. putting all sorts of special taxes in place to "level playing fields" and accomodate for the differences in exchange rates, and everything else.

Taiwanese memory makers were penalized in this way a few years ago for their American counterparts inability to match them in terms of performace & price. It's pretty sad, but it's true, and it's getting worse.

Besides, if you work in a call center, maybe it's time you started looking for a better job anyway. <g>

Re:Get used to it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964892)

The middle class in America is being destroyed, and no new middle class of an analogous scale is being created -- if anything, the poor have been getting poorer and the rich richer at an accelerating pace since the 1980s. We'll see how consumer capitalism 'works' when everybody's a Walmart-slave and can barely make rent, let alone buy all the shiny toys that this economy _has_ to sell to survive.

Re:Get used to it (1, Informative)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964903)

Did you read the article? It states quite clearly in Financial terms why it does not always make sense.

Re:Get used to it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964968)

Engineers don't know anything about finance. [...] And, yes I'm an engineer too.

So you admit you don't know anything about what you're writing about.

Well, you get points for honesty, anyway.

Get used to being unemployed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964991)

It's called capitalism. It works.

But you won't, for much longer anyway.

Screw that! (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965007)


I'm not getting used to anything.

If the corporate system does not work for me, then screw it. It's a system and we have choices. Companies are all in favor of free markets except when it comes time to compete, why should I be any different!

My question is, why can't the people of India build themselves up the way the Europeans and the Americans did. They can't because of an economic system that screws everyone. Third world nations can't get their markets started by themselves because the first world nations don't want them to industrialize outside of their control, and the first world citizens get their careers continuously destroyed by their supposed leaders.

You know what this system is? It's a bunch of robber barons screwing over the third world and the first world at the same time, adding no value to the system anywhere.

If you really wanted the third world to be able to compete, you would get rid of all intellectual property world wide, and let the value of the dollar and the euro plummet to match parity with the rupee.

Lost sight of it (1)

Lord of the Fries (132154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965110)

It's called marketting. It works. Get used to it. Regardless of whether offshoring make sense, companies will push it. Regardless of whether it works, others will market against it. That's how it works. Engineers know everything about being screwed by PHBs who succumb to the misinformation presented by marketeers. That's why most companies continue to have a downward spiral in morale. I'm just posting this retro-actively before a bunch of of apologists start rationalizing the corporate world. And, yes I'm an engineer too.

Re:Get used to it (1)

SmilingMonk (583609) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965115)

It's called capitalism. It works. Get used to it. If offshoring makes sense, companies will do it.

  • No, it's called
  • greed. And if we just get used to it, as you put it so well, then we are nothing but sheep to the machine of greed.

    Capitalism only works as long as people have jobs that pay living wages that, in turn, allow them to participate in the local economy. If their jobs have been moved offshore, so has their ability to participate in the economy and that aforementioned "capitalism" collapses.

"... and I said on my program, if, if the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he had nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again..." - Bill O'Reilly - Fox News

Farming out != Good (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964744)

I've done maintence programming and support for a few applications that have been farmed out overseas. Based on the limited experience with only a few development teams I've come to the decision that farming all this stuff out is a bad idea. They frankly cannot program very well and now we're going back and recoding huge portions of the application in house because they do such a bad job. No version control systems, poor development cycles, hardly no testing, desire to work on the live production servers to make "quick" changes. It's a PITA.

Re:Farming out != Good (1)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964821)

Seems more like a problem with the management than a problem with the farming out.

Re:Farming out != Good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964953)

...hardly no testing,

Ah, but does their grammar suck as much as your grammar does?

The Stampede Overseas (5, Funny)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964751)

And my move to Bangalore was all set, $10/month budget and all. Damn.

It's about time. (5, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964764)

So they're finally realizing that you can't skip the analysis of an action, just because it's the hot new thing all the management consultants are raving about?

Man, no wonder the economy fell flat on its face. The CEOs didn't notice their shoelaces were tied together.

Remember Sammy Jankis. (5, Insightful)

Channard (693317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964835)

So they're finally realizing that you can't skip the analysis of an action, just because it's the hot new thing all the management consultants are raving about?

Nope. They're realizing that the current Offshore IT fad is over-rated. Come the next fad they'll be praising it to high heaven as if there had never been any other fads. The IT industry has no long term memory at all.

Re:Remember Sammy Jankis. (3, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964878)

You're far too correct on that. There's no way past experience indicates they'll learn a lesson from this. Each fad is not seen as a concept tried and failed, but as a goldmine harvested and now mined out. Time to move to the next one.

Re:Remember Sammy Jankis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965024)

The IT industry has no long term memory at all.

Why should they? The C-level execs are never punished for making mistakes. They get bonuses regardless of their companies' stock price, regardless of sales, regardless of profit or lack thereof. If they have to be let go to calm the angry mob, their buddies make sure they get a new position at some other company where they can leech away as if nothing happened.

Not you are, to be reading this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964767)

If you've experienced outsourcing, you get the subject's inflection...

Contact (4, Interesting)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964769)

I've always found that when things are outsourced (or moved offshore) is that the dialog between the users and the devlopers/support etc breaks down. The idea of IT is to help the company function and for that a good dialog is needed during development etc.

There is nothing to compensate for talking round the water cooler and say "Whilst I think of it...". I hoenstly believe that the development costs might be lower but overall it will cost more on the bottom line

Rus

Re:Contact (1)

New Breeze (31019) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964979)

That is why there will always be a market for developers here, if they have people skills. Someone is going to end up in front of the customers: gathering new requirements, doing design and shipping that off to the offshore company for implementation.

Call it technical sales support if you want, but the business problem solving and software design is the most enjoyable part of the work for me. Let someone else do the coding for $10 an hour.

Bitter? (5, Funny)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964781)

Why bother shipping IT overseas when you can ship the exec's job over seas.. they are the ones that don't do anything and get paid way to much for it.

Re:Bitter? (3, Funny)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964885)

The problem is that these overseas workers are full of productivity.

Executives aren't.

At least if jobs are sent overseas, the people being paid to work, not sit on their asses. ;-)

. . . Though, if we sent executives' jobs overseas, perhaps the overseas workers would send them back. I mean, that's what OUR executives are doing now, right?

Screw free trade (5, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964786)

Lets set up tariffs. They want to farm there work offshore, lets make it so expensive to do so that they will lose money outsourcing.

Agreed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964845)

Agreed.

MOD PARENT UP (3, Insightful)

xchino (591175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964952)

He has a good point. Our corporations are protected from offshore corporate competition by high tariffs being placed on imported goods. Why do our corporations receive the benefit of taxable import on goods, when we the people do not receive the same protection.

This is a ridiculous double standard, that needs to be remedied immediately. Either drop all import tariffs or enforce tariffs on exported jobs. The government is by the people, of the people, and for the people, so let's start acting like it.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

BabyBlue (559621) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965084)

> This is a ridiculous double standard, that needs
> to be remedied immediately. Either drop all import
> tariffs or enforce tariffs on exported jobs.The
> government is by the people, of the people,
> and for the people, so let's start acting like it.
The problem with your argument is the assumption that the US government is by/of/for the people. Once you realize that this has not been the case for the past 20 years, then you will feel much better about bending over and taking it like a true Patriot.

Re:Screw free trade (4, Interesting)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964964)

I'm not saying yes or no -but- remember that tariffs are very effective on physical goods since those goods all go through customs on their way in/out. That's arguably not so easy with "work units" and it's very easy to spot loopholes to exploit any system they try to put in place. If you have an offshore subsidiary farming out the work, then where's the tariff going to be collected? Since there's no effective way of measuring a "work unit" there's no effective way of running it through the customs system.

Re:Screw free trade (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965032)

Off shore money is reported, tarrif it.

Re:Screw free trade (2, Funny)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965023)

Agreed, lassiz faire [google.com] capitalism in the United States would utterly devastate the middle class.
Regulation is needed. Pure forms of either capitalism or socialism are foolishly idealistic and sure to fail.

Re:Screw free trade (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965064)

I agree. Screw free trade.

Americans are living high on Canadian resources. Lets ratchet up the tariffs on Water, Oil, Electricity, Gas, Lumber, Food and Metal.

Or were you looking for "sorta" free trade?

favorite quote (4, Insightful)

ih8apple (607271) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964792)

From the article: "Internal people will refuse to transition to the offshore model because they have a certain comfort level, or they don't want their buddy to lose his job," Renodis's Manivasager says. "There has to be a mandate. Trying to build consensus can take a very, very long time." Manivasager has seen some relationships take as long as three years to get off the ground because the strategy was neither shared with nor embraced by employees.

The strategy was not embraced by employees about to get laid off? Ummmm.... how stupid are you if you think people will embrace being laid off to save the company a couple of bucks? (which then goes into an executive bonus, no doubt)

ComputerWorld article on same subject... (5, Informative)

Maditude (473526) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964797)

Here's another article I just read this morning at ComputerWorld: [computerworld.com]
IT's Global Itinerary: Offshore Outsourcing Is Inevitable. An interesting read, and they do make it seem pretty inevitable.

Salaries are just way too high (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964807)

Sorry to have to say this, but IT workers just make way too much money, so it's only obvious that with the economy being the mess that it is, owners will look for cheaper ways to get the work done. The only thing to turn the tide for the coming year, even though it won't be a lot of fun, appears to be just to lower IT salaries significantly. Things like communication do make it worthwhile to have people doing this type of work in the US, the costs just have to be reasonable for the advantages.

Re:Salaries are just way too high (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964973)

Right, I make less then a mechanic, and less then some unskilled labor and I'm a programmer with far more education. Fuck you.

Re:Salaries are just way too high (3, Interesting)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965079)

I assume this is a troll, but I'll bite - too much money??? Are you insane? This ain't 1999, bub. Bus drivers, bartenders, and Cable Installers make more than we do. Crane operators on construction sites can make 100k/yr. The guys climbing the poles for Verizon make over 75k/yr, at least according to their recent ad campaign. IT salaries, on the other hand, have fallen to 30s-40s/yr, maybe 50k if you are a manager. Thats assuming you can find an IT job at all

At least you have a job (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964823)

I became redundant when my department that they no longer needed a Turbo Pascal developer for 16-bit Windows 3.11 applications. I feel especially wronged by this offshore outsourcing.

What should I do?

Re:At least you have a job (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964894)

Try learning Java and make all your projects open-source. This way you will benefit from the vast experience of the Open Source developer community and there will be times you won't even need to write one single line of code.

In our organization we've made many IT initiatives Open Source and as a project manager, I only have to check at sourceforge.org every now and then to see the progress. I'm sure that the statistical analysis package will be completed on time, although I'm not sure what "KDE only" and "Ogg Vorbis support" means and how they fit into the online reporting strategy we've requested when we released this project as open source.

I'm sure it will be fine.

Re:At least you have a job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964954)

Oh good, I have a Binary Search Tree assignment due for Comp Sci I ... I'll pay $ 5 bucks an hour

Re:At least you have a job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965005)

Please sir, do not mock me.

I will take your $5/hr under protest. My estimate for completion will 543 hours. I can have it delivered by the end of the day.

Please send me your project to darl@sco.com.

Thank you.

The fault in our economic system (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964838)


For me, jobs going offshore exposes the fault in our economic system, and shows how in many ways it is very primitive.

At the turn of the last century people imagined a time when everyone would live in luxury and not have to work. Machines would be able to do the work, and the majority of people could just relax and have a good time. The idea is even more possible today - we can create machines to do most jobs these days, and we should all be living in a work-free time of abundancy. So why aren't we? The simple answer is that our economic system won't allow it - in our system, in order to be able to have stuff, you need money, and to get money you have to work. They crazyness of this situation is highlighted by the fact that periods of adundance now actually cause recession - things become "too cheap", defalation occurs, people can't make money, everybody looses when things are plentiful.

How does this relate to offshore IT? For me it is exactly the same situation. If someone is willing to do my job in another country, then great, I should be able to put my feet up and relax. But of course it doesn't work like that - I loose my job and have no money.

People say that our current economic system is the best system because "it works" but I don't buy that. In many ways it is fairly crude. I think if an alien came from an advanced planet and looked at us today it would think, "look at those idiots working most of their lives when they've already most of the tools to live a life of luxury!"

Re:The fault in our economic system (5, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965042)

Back in the 1800's someone looked at the economic system and found that eack adult would only need to work 2-3 hours a day, five days a week to support our present system. The problem it turns out is the inbalance in the classes. The problem was not that dead beats were not working, the problem was the rich weren't working enough. So who makes up the difference? It turns out we do. In order for a person to do the necessary amount of work it takes to maintain a level of living such as Bill Gates has, a person would have to contribute an immposible amount of man hours. Someone has to make up the difference.

Im open to suggestions on how to change it. (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965088)

ANyone? Didnt think so.

Re:The fault in our economic system (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965102)

see, what your thinking of is a type of socialism. so don't be talking about it to loudly.

This will become a real p[roblem when we can make machines that make machines. At which point, people won't be needed.
the common, and basically correct, way of thinking is "It will take people to support those machines". Hoever, once they can build them selves, that starts to fall apart."

I a true capitalist society, I, as a worker, would be able to pay someone oversees to do my job.
wouldn't that be great? pay someoney 5 dollars an hour to do my 30 dollar an hour job.

Unfortunatly, there would be nothing from stopping me from getting 20 jobs and then sending them overseas.

When robots become common, corporation should not be allowed to own them to do work, and each person should be allowed 1. Now I have someone going to work for me, and I get to stay home and enjoy my one, and only, life.

Flawed system (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965104)

I think if an alien came from an advanced planet and looked at us today it would think, "look at those idiots working most of their lives when they've already most of the tools to live a life of luxury!"

I think they'd be asking why most of the world doesn't have enough clean drinking water, while parts just dump it on the ground around their house.

We currently do NOT have all the stuff we need for everyone to live a life of luxury, there just isn't enough of it.

The current system does work, it works very well. But it isn't a riches for everyone system.

Bad Comparison (5, Insightful)

mopslik (688435) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964839)

From the article:

"A good American programmer will push back and say, What you're asking for doesn't make sense, you idiot," Zupnick says. "Indian programmers have been known to say, This doesn't make sense, but this is the way the client wants it."

What a bad comparison: compare a "good" local worker to a generic "bad" offshore worker, rather than comparing good-good or bad-bad. I look around and see plenty of local programmers who adopt the "build-to-specs-regardless" stance without hesitation. Similarly, many of the projects here that involve overseas development involve far more communications meetings to work out the details prior to building applications.

There is no shortage of poor programmers here. Blanket statements like the above only steer people toward looking for poor qualities in foreign developers, while ignoring those around them.

Re:Bad Comparison (4, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965113)

"A good American programmer will push back and say, What you're asking for doesn't make sense, you idiot,"

Overheard in offices all over America:

Programmer: This doesn't make sense, you idiot!

Pointy Haired Boss: Doesn't it? You're a professional and I trust your judgement. Do whatever you think is best. Thanks for pointing out my lack of understanding.

CIO Magazine on offshore IT (5, Funny)

woverly (223564) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964859)

As a nation with an MBA President, we should be prepared to outsource everything but our "core competencies". What are America's "core competencies"?

1. litigation
2. consumption
3. entertainment
4. warefare

This change will not change until we start outsourcing the two political parties.

Elite Warez is not a competency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964916)

4. warefare

Fair enough, so we like to download free stuff, but I can't it being as important as the other ones you mentioned.

Re:CIO Magazine on offshore IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965016)

5. spelling

Hidden agenda? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964866)

I think most people on a site frequented mostly by american IT workers may contain a few biased comments?

I wonder.... (1)

Tangurena (576827) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964869)

Currently, most information technology products are not covered by customs duties. Usually just the media and books have values for the purpose of duties (for an example look for an old IBM product in your closet/basement, you will find a page declaring the value of the book at $X and the disks at $Y for customs duties). How would the economics of offshoring research and development change if one had to pay customs duties on the information that crossed borders? Remember Johnny Mnemonic? Other than the bad acting, that is....Manufacturers get Duty Free Zones, and the Maquiladora program was set up to offshore manufacturing to Mexico. So far, the entire internet seems to be one large Duty-Free zone. The European Union seems to be getting interested in taxing it. Perhaps the way to kill off offshoring will be merely to remove it's current tax-free benefits. Or do we wish to continue our corporat welfare scheme here in the USA?

Re:I wonder.... (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965082)

It depends on what you want to tax. If a company is doing all its work in Mexico and then uploading to american servers, I would say tax it. But if you are just visiting some 12 yr olds webpage taht happens to reside in a server in europe, I would say no.

The company I work for just announced.. (5, Interesting)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964890)

..that they will be increasing their Indian workforce. They did it with quite a play on words too.

With the success of this initial stage and with our need for resources continuing to grow, we will be resourcing to grow this team substantially in the coming weeks.

While we are directly recruiting in India now, we would also welcome your recommendations of suitable external applicants that you may be aware of as potential permanent employees in Bangalore.

Applicants should have 3-5 years experience in billing system deployment with perl, SQL, Oracle and Unix skills. Willingness to travel internationally and to be based and paid in India is a requirement.


Here's what bugs me about my company specifically, and the trend of moving work to India generally:

1. My company is trying to do this covertly, like we wouldn't notice more and more layoffs in our offices in North America and Europe while at the same time increased staffing in India and a requirement that those Indian workers must be willing to travel internationally.

If you are going to farm your workers out to India , at least be honest about it and admit what you are doing, all in the name of a temporary increase to share price....which leads me to point two:

2. If your company will go bankrupt unless you move your workforce to India, then fine. But if you are going there to save a few bucks and make the share price jump 1/4 point, then fuck you. I get billed out at around $300 US per hour, of which I see less than $30 US. Isn't that enough of a profit margin? Maybe we should bring back slavery so that they can make that margin jump to a full 100% of the $300!

I don't hold anything against India workers, but I truly hate any corporation that farms work to India (and other cheap countries) all for the sake of a quick buck.

Love the numbers (2, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964895)

Scattered all over the article. Bottom line: expect to pay 6% to 10% on <whatever>. Bottom line: expect to pay 20% extra on <something else>.

No back up. No studies. Nothing. These numbers appear to have just been dreamt up. If they weren't - if there's some serious data behind it, then why not just present the data?

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Love the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965078)

Great, just what I want... Tons of data to wade through. And me, after a month of analysis, without a degree in statistics or economics, I'll draw conclusions myself.

True (3, Interesting)

Knunov (158076) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964898)

At least on a per case basis, if not on the whole.

Our staffing company, in all its brilliance, hired an Indian systems manager to run one of our overseas offices. they saved about $1000 per month in salary. Well, due to his one week of wrecking half the systems, that $1000 they save per month will necessitate his working at least 6 months just to pay for the phone bill.

You see, he crashed the e-mail server, basically irreparably. Needs to be redone from scratch, and he, of course, has not the first clue of how to do this. So who does he call past mignight to unfuck his system? Me! The only American sysadmin at the company.

While e-mail is down, the workers turn to fax/phone for communication, so our long distance and cell phone bills are now skyrocketing, just because of this twat. I wrote a nasty-gram to HQ about how whatever money they thought they were saving has just evaporated.

Going overseas is not always the answer. There is some superb, home-grown talent that even makes economic sense to employ, when all factors are taken into account.

Knunov

Re:True (1)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965081)

At least on a per case basis, if not on the whole.

What the hell does that mean, other than "I'm about to generalize ALL overseas development from ONE anecdotal example."?

Fixes on the fly have been a problem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964900)

The corporation I work for has it's "make or break" product being developed in India. What we have seen on the Betas is long delays in getting bugs and other issues fixed. Often they have had to fly in part of the Indian development team to the Beta customer inorder to get these issues resolved, because no one based in the US has been brought up to speed on the architecture.

Unfortunatly, these delays and lack of knowledge by the corp has made us look incompetent and word is getting out to other potential customers.

Re:Fixes on the fly have been a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965036)

John, is that you?

You can't hide behind that anonymous coward label. Blaming my decision skills, and exposing our cheap Indian labor. You're fired -

Sincerely,
Your boss

PS - Have your office cleaned out by the end of the day, or you will be in India!

It will cost even more ... (4, Insightful)

Giant Robot (56744) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964901)

CIOs must bring a certain number of offshore developers to their U.S. headquarters to analyze the technology and architecture before those developers can head back to their home country to begin the actual work. And CIOs must pay the prevailing U.S. hourly rate to offshore employees on temporary visas, so obviously there's no savings during that period of time, which can take months. And the offshore employees have to work in parallel with similarly costly in-house employees for much of this time. Basically, it's costing the company double the price for each employee assigned to the outsourcing arrangement (the offshore worker and the in-house trainer). In addition, neither the offshore nor in-house employee is producing anything during this training period.

In addition, the in-house employee will be quite pissed for being forced to train his replacement, and will not do so as a result.

Get an IT job in a non-IT industry (5, Insightful)

BanjoBob (686644) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964905)

There are a lot of positions available that pay very good - maybe better than at an IT company. The position requires you to do more than a single task and that makes you more valuable in the long run. You have a small IT staff but a lot of work. You're move valuable there than in a shop like at a telco. There's a whole lot of companies out there that needs top IT people to support their specialized industries and these jobs are all here in the USA.

Marketing Hyperbole (3, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964906)


Reminds me of ads in trade journals for various database products, showing a picture of a non-geek executive getting amazing results from the product, with a slogan that amounts to "Simple Yet Powerful!"

If it's that simple, it's not powerful.

If it's powerful, it's not simple. (Furthermore, it's not really powerful if you can't hurt yourself with it. A power saw that won't saw your arm off isn't much of a power saw; same as power-tool software.)

If offshoring is so simple ... is it that powerful?

... Probably, which is a bummer for American programmers like me. Welcome to the modern world, I guess. Still ... I expect the foes of offshoring to exercise due diligence in the discovery of hidden costs.

Re:Marketing Hyperbole (2, Funny)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965057)

A power saw that won't saw your arm off isn't much of a power saw

How true! I bought a power saw once, tried to saw my arm off, and not a scratch. So I took it right back and told the people at the store to give me one that could saw my arm off.

The name of the offshore game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964914)

It's called "capitalism".

Get used to it.

UGh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964919)

I worked at an American company that did a lot of business in Israel. I shudder to imagine the millions upon millions of costs in lost producitivity in trying to coordinate efforts with the people there, not to mention plane flights and training and the language barrier. What a disaster.

1) Pay Indians to learn your business. 2) Profit?? (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964933)


One hidden cost is you are paying Indian programmers to learn your business. After they learn well enough, Indians will certainly begin to compete against you.

They will cut out the middleman and the middleman is you. Indian global banking services, anyone?

Taxing information flow vs open source (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964939)

Others here have already pointed out the difficulties with taxing information flow in/out of countries.

But imagine that there was such a scheme. Open source would be dead in the water. What's the linux kernel worth? 3 dollars? 300 million dollars? Customs and governments could make up whatever number they wanted!

For Outsourcing to Work... (4, Insightful)

Serapth (643581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964940)

For outsourcing to work, you need a project that can be properly outsourced. This is the part that constantly boogles my mind, is when I see companies outsource work for perceived savings... when in reality, the product should never actually be outsourced to begin with.

Certain things can be outsourced, but the key it seems is for the item to be extremely well spec'd and self contained. If project A depends on project B being completed, and project A is done in house... project B should not be outsourced. The ideal things that can be moved over seas, are projects that can be completely managed at the other end, and have few dependancies on this end. In other words... all the design specing, etc... has been established already... the people doing the work will have *NO* questions as to what needs to be done, and what their deadlines/goals/etc... are.

Where an outsourced project seems to breakdown are:
Improperly defined specication for work needed or misunderstanding of said work
Dependancies on projects/information else
Poor communication structure between parent company, and outsourced branch
Lack of understanding of parent companies needs or function
No understanda engrish ( this one is bigger then you think )

Where I am at now, we are a manufacturing environment that is expanding. Now, we dont exactly outsource, we build new plants in other countries. As it stands now... *EVERY* time we set up a new plant... it was always a communication breakdown that was the primary problem. Also, setting up the infrastructure between China, US, Canada, etc... isnt even slightly cheap. Every new faucility costs a wack of cash. That said... not one of the expansion plants we have built overseas ( including Europe ), has approached the success level of the ones we have in North America. Additionally, local laws have all but resulted in closure of one remote faucility... and work ethic of one certain European country, is soon to result in another.

There are alot of hidden costs in dealing with countries outside of North America. Until you go down that road, you are going to be shocked to find out, just how many. ( For example... probrably 1000 man hours, atleast... and 100 cross continental flights... just for initial training/setup ).

Ahhh... The Hidden Costs... (1)

Mnemennth (607438) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964941)

So this is why the Fed is giving massive grants to help US companies develop overseas production of nearly everything you can imagine? Hmmm... It all becomes so clear now... hidden costs=hidden payoffs. Welcome to the GOBN, spearheading a new millenium of "The Same As It Ever Was." Mnem

Hidden problems with offshoring (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6964957)

There is another aspect to offshoring that everyone seems to be missing. It goes like this:

I send out a spec to my carefully chosen offshore vendor and they dutifully develop the application at a lower TCO than I think I can do it for.

While they're developing it, they have a secret 'shadow' team - maybe in a completely separate company - that takes my spec and produces an enhanced version 2.0 of my application. Now they can bypass me and market directly to my customers, competing with my (now out of date) v1.0.

Oh, they can't steal my Intellectual Property like that? Think again. And you think you're actually SAVING money???

T.O.R.A.W. (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964958)

I don't know what T.O.R.A.W. [toraw.org] is yet, but I think it's time to start learning.

Outsourcing is good, stupid. (3, Funny)

$criptah (467422) | more than 11 years ago | (#6964972)

I do not have problems with it as long as we outsource management along with the other workforce at 1:1 ratio.

Lovely ethics these folks have (3, Insightful)

hawkfish (8978) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965039)

From the "Backlash' article:
That CIO feels guilty, but he is insulated from the ethical and legal implications of the visa issue, indeed from the entire transition to offshore--as is his company. Its executives simply are not involved, except to make the decision in the first place.

But later on he says:
However, the Fortune 100 CIO who has that recurring nightmare is worried that it's too easy for companies like his to outsource overseas today. "Look, I can't wake up tomorrow and decide I'm going to move to Italy and get a job," he says. "So why should someone from another country be able to come here on a temporary visa and take jobs from Americans?

So here he is, richer and better educated than most of the humans who ever lived and he can't even handle basic moral action! He doesn't think something is right, but either can't be bothered or doesn't have the power to say or do anything about it. This makes him either a coward or a slave, neither of which is particularly admirable.

Don't you think it's about time we outsourced CEOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965041)

and CIOs and the other riff raff making millions or billions of dollars? Just imagine replacing them with some Indian labor. Might save a company a lot of money.

this is a good quote! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965043)

Quote "A man in the audience fumes that offshore outsourcing has the potential to wipe out the middle class. "Are our legislators aware of this?" he asks."

But what you do not reliaze is that your legislators have ben bought and paid for by most of these groups that are doing this! it is a sad reality.

going off on a tangent (core issue)
This is why we need to build into these public offices accountablilty (remember who you are working for?), fiscal accountablilty, and a REAL campain finance reform. NO SPECIAL INTREST, or PAC groups! NONE, GONE, BYE, BYE.... those are the real threat to american freedoms, and jobs.......

madd is a tool of the devil
riaa is a tool of the devil
statistics are a tool of the devil
john ashcroft is a tool of the devil

Banding together - joining TORAW? (2, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6965052)

The Backlash article mentioned a group called TORAW:

It's not hard to find reasons for CIOs to worry. "Do you want to do business with companies that take away jobs for U.S. citizens by outsourcing work to foreign countries?" asks The Organization for the Rights of American Workers (Toraw), a group of displaced, angry American workers laid off by Connecticut insurance and financial services companies.

I'm browsing TORAW's web site [toraw.org] now, and they look like an interesting organization. Not focused just on moving jobs offshore, they're also advocating a hard look at "non-immigrant foreign workers" - specifically, H1-B visa holders.

I like that TORAW explicity states that they're not against "permanent green card status immigrants", or against anyone based on ethnicity or country of origin. From what I've read so far, they address my concerns without hitting my Green Party [gpus.org] hot buttons. The US should be open to those who want to come, stay, and build a new life -- but we can't afford to export our jobs and livelihoods.

Unfortunately, I can't tell if TORAW membership is available to all concerned Americans. Their membership form is encoded in virus-friendly Microsoft Word format, as are their brochures, and the CIO article notes the local CT connection.

But an organization like this looks like just what we need to keep the IT industry from being the next textile industry [timesdaily.com] .

Cribs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965073)

When it comes to drumming up crib points, Americans seems to be the world's best. Tell you what, you are horribly subsidised, your economies are bloated by years of subsidies, and there is no reason in the world why any other country shouldn't take your place at doing things cheaper. That apart, as a society you are horribly paranoid and a little too dependent on what the media drums up for you. I see the anti outsourcing issue as a fad too, techies unite!! You could get together to have a commie revolution in the US!!!...

As a solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965100)

you could fence your economy off, ask for all products to be made by and for americans, and ask everyone else to get out...lol... the yankee jihad begins

I'm a conservative! (A poem) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6965119)

Oh, I'm a Republican
I got a small schling
I like to bomb niggahs
and make a lot o' bling

I got a bunch o' friends
in high up places
They helps me get dem
government graces.

You think I'm smart
I just know who's who
I couldn't run a fruit stand
without the red white & blue

I fancy myself
A brilliant tactician
But neither me nor m'buddies
Could even pass basic trainin'

See, I'm above all that
A fightin' and shootin'
I just say "Sic em!"
Then run the other direction

Don't need no history
Don't need no schoolin'
I got my ideology
To keep me a shootin'

Liberals! Faggots!
Commies and queers!
Socialist hippies
Full o' pussy tears!

I'll drop some crap
about Jesus the Christ
You'll buy it all
and vote for me twice

'Fact, Jesus is comin'!
Real soon, now!
So we gotta prop up Israel
That ol' sacred cow

Propaganda's m'friend
But I calls it "fact"
Even though I don't read
'Cept for Chick tracts

Facts? No! Don't need em here!
We're conservatives! We work on FEAR!
Don't like what we say?
Well FUCK YOU, bud!
We'll shove it down yer throat
and tell ya it's good!
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