It's clear that the majority of development and support positions in IT will no longer be in the United States by 2010. I wonder if our citizens are prepared for a time (one or two generations from now) when large numbers of our children and grandchildren leave the U.S. for work?
It's time we start really assessing the long-term implications of this trend. Imagine 50 years from now when U.S. citizens comprise a portion of the illegal immigrants in China, India, Indonesia, etc. It seems certain to me this will occur if we continue on our present path. --Daniel Brow
I'd go in a minute. And I've been many times. Great opportunity to see parts of the world and do things you'd never do on a two-week vacation. It's an opportunity to develop some communication and organizational skills that would serve you well throughout your career. --Blair
The reason (at least the published one) for offshoring American jobs is to take advantage of the much lower labor rate, not necessarily better talent. Why would you uproot yourself and your family to go to a Third World country to possibly become a not-too-well-liked minority and make less money? Do you think that just because you're an American you would be able to command a U.S.-level salary? Think about it.
Also, as outsourcing becomes a bigger business for India, the workers' wages will increase dramatically, making offshoring less of a bargain for U.S. companies. And when they start bringing the work back home, I hope it costs them dearly. --Michael
There will always be certain people for whom this is an option, but you have to consider family commitments, children's education, health care availability and costs, and that most of India lives in extreme poverty. We have five Indian students working with us, and so far not one of them has gone back. --Steve
You bet! Assuming the compensation package was appropriate, I'd seriously consider moving. I have extensive experience working with Indian offshore development teams. The most challenging aspect of offshoring is communication.
The future will be very bright for anyone who can facilitate communications between U.S. companies and Indian offshore development firms. Living and working in India would enhance my ability to understand Indian culture and mind-set. This understanding would place me in a position to bridge the communication gap between U.S. and Indian organizations. The Indian (and Chinese!) "freight trains" are coming--jump on board or get run over! --Barry
I work to live; I don't live for work. I'm not willing to give up friends and family to move to another country for any extended period. I'd rather go back to school and start a new career. --Dave
Why move to India to make 8 bucks an hour when there are so many opportunities right here in the U.S. Fries with that burger? --Frank
Extra profits ... do you really think the customer is going to benefit? These companies will behave like the oil and gas companies and keep the earnings themselves. --Shirley
Companies don't automatically pass on savings from offshoring to customers. Microsoft doesn't lower the price of Windows over time. Nike still charges $90 for a pair of shoes. Companies just take all this cost savings and turn it into profits for shareholders. So now, companies have had record profits and are sitting on record amounts of cash. In return, prices for consumers haven't gone down. And American workers have had their economic prospects dimmed due to insecurity over their jobs. --Chris
Wow! Visionary article! I didn't realize companies saved money by offshoring their R&D. Back in the Oppenheimer days, that would mean that someone from India would have invented the A-bomb. Then India wouldn't have to trade mangoes for U.S. nuclear technology and inherit the most destructive technologies on the face of the Earth.
Companies choosing to outsource will be creating new superpowers that will obviously not be the United States. It takes employed tech people to create the next big thing--give it to India, and not only will we trade mangoes for nuclear technology, but our intelligence for stupidity. Anyway, outsourcing is so 20th century. Get into the 21st century. --Bill
If tech companies pay someone outside the U.S. to do work that was done in the U.S., the U.S. doesn't benefit. If the money freed up for R&D isn't used to hire U.S. workers in the U.S., the U.S. sees no net benefit.
One could argue that by giving these other countries good paying jobs, they would be consumers of our products One problem--we already buy the majority our goods from overseas. We can't export what we don't make so, no gains are to be had here.
The gains to consumers only materialize when we as consumers have money to purchase these goods. No job = no money, no money = no purchases, no purchases = no benefits.
You are right about one thing, the stock price of the company goes up, as do profits. The company saves money, but the benefit of that savings is seen by the stockholders and the executives. The average employee is happy just to have a job.
You want to hire cheap labor? Do it here. You want skilled workers? Train them here. You want to benefit the U.S. economy? Do it in the U.S. --Tony
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.