11 December 2006

outsourcing

Kevin Barnes wrote an interesting post about his experience with outsourcing. (he moved to India a while back.) being in IT, i am always under threat of seeing the axe if i can't provide, or seem to provide, greater value per dollar. what i can't fight as well are perception and political forces.

Like politicians, most CIOs and CTOs need to be seen to be doing the right thing. Right now that’s outsourcing. A lot of companies saved a lot by moving operations overseas and the late-comers are under pressure because of that. Unfortunately, the landscape today is dramatically different than it was only a few years ago and cost-effectiveness is notoriously hard to measure (with no one wanting to own up to having wasted money) so this pressure to cost-cut through outsourcing is likely to continue unabated in the mid-term.

[T]he shear number of projects that are in their early stages virtually guarantees that demand will continue to rise. Decisions to move projects take years to implement, and many are already underway. The people running these projects are strongly incented to make them succeed, or failing that make them appear to succeed. They also don’t like to admit they’ve made a mistake, so my expectation is that we’ll keep hearing how much people are saving for quite some time. What we won’t hear is how slowly projects are getting completed and how poor quality has become.

(emphasis added)

every last person i know closer to outsourced projects than their directors has seen the drop in quality, reported numerous issues, and been told to make it work. honestly, i think it's understandable to have VPs ship work elsewhere given the quality of some projects i've seen; however, this rush has created a false market in software jobs in India that draws too many unqualified people to this line of work. i've met my fair share of talented developers from India, but just like here, too many should really be doing something else.

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