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9/2/2005
09:35 AM
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What Outsourcing Backlash?

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: What Outsourcing Backlash?
2. Today's Top Story
    - Bloggers, Citizen Journalists See Katrina From The Inside
    - Alabama Power Uses IT To Get To Katrina Disaster Sites
    - Katrina Scammers Try To Infect PCs, Steal IDs
    - Planning Ahead Helps Swimming-Pool Company Survive Katrina
3. Breaking News
    - Google Expands Into Offline Ads
    - Online Job Recruitment Shows Growth
    - Intel Says AMD Is To Blame For Its Own Problems
    - Army Chief Of Staff Calls For More Oversight Of Military Bloggers
    - Review: Google Desktop 2.0 Beta
    - Hitachi Claims Quantum-Computing Breakthrough
    - Case Study: How One Bank Is Beating Fraud
    - Microsoft Boosts MSN Toolbar
    - New Generation Of Anti-Spyware Targets Network Safety
    - Apple Drops Free 30-Day Trial Offer For Mac Mini
    - Trade Group Warns Oil Prices Could Harm Chip Market
4. In Depth: Personal Technology & Reviews
    - Review: Mobil Crossing's WayPoint 200 PDA
    - Securing The Home Wireless LAN With McAfee's Wireless Home Network Security
    - Review: Four Pocket-Sized Hard Drives
    - Search Engine Sneak Preview: X1 Technologies' X1 Enterprise Edition 2.0
    - Review: Macromedia Studio 8
5. Voice Of Authority
    - The Observer: Forget Fancy, Go With Functional--We'll Be Watching
6. White Papers
    - Software Platforms: Win Server 2003 Versus Linux
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Automized and computerized industry requires more and more young men and women who have white-collar skills but behave with the docility expected of blue-collar workers." -- Staughton Lynd


1. Editor's Note: What Outsourcing Backlash?

Earlier this week I got all riled up about a study that talked about the changing nature of application-development outsourcing and how it's mostly about saving money. (In the old days, which is to say the last time the survey was run in 2000, companies mostly used app-dev outsiders only when they needed expertise in a specific technical or business area.)

But now there's something even bigger going on. Since that study came out, ABN Amro, a huge Dutch bank, revealed what's reported to be one of the largest offshore-outsourcing agreements ever. The total is $2 billion with five separate vendors and, yes, app dev is said to be a large part of the mix being outsourced.

I just hope it all works out.

This past year has seen what I believed to be a backlash regarding outsourcing. Trade publications have been filled with stories about how offshoring in particular and outsourcing in general often aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Sure, there are savings--but they often come at a cost of decreased service levels, increased communication problems, customer dissatisfaction, increased complexity, and other issues. Travel and infrastructure costs--including, say, a dedicated telecommunications link from the outsourcer to the client's main office--can easily add equal or even surpass any savings in the wage rate. There are often resentments over being expected to work late or come in early on a regular basis, to do things like teleconferences with the team on the other side of the world. Customers say that managing in that distributed an environment can take its toll over time.

To read more about this issue, check out my blog entry. If you're an ITer who's been dealing with an outsourcing situation--either offshore or at home--I'm hoping you'll use that space to share your experiences and any advice about what you've done to make it work for you and your company.

Johanna Ambrosio
jambrosio@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

Bloggers, Citizen Journalists See Katrina From The Inside
As news organizations cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in broad strokes, bloggers and citizen journalists are reporting on the devastation while living its consequences.

Related Stories:
Alabama Power Uses IT To Get To Katrina Disaster Sites

The utility is using satellite communications, weather tracking, homegrown applications, and mapping technology to organize and dispatch response teams to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Katrina Scammers Try To Infect PCs, Steal IDs
Watch out for malicious Web sites posing as news sites, often advertised through spam.

Planning Ahead Helps Swimming-Pool Company Survive Katrina
For SPC Pools, a remote data center located outside of Hurricane Alley made the difference between survival and going out of business.


3. Breaking News

Google Expands Into Offline Ads
The company is testing response from print technology publications.

Online Job Recruitment Shows Growth
The Monster Employment Index shows a "promising snapshot of our current economy," says Monster North America.

Intel Says AMD Is To Blame For Its Own Problems
Intel denies wrongdoing and says AMD's problems are caused by weak investment in manufacturing, a bad reputation as a supplier, and a failure to deliver products on time.

Army Chief Of Staff Calls For More Oversight Of Military Bloggers
Certain members of the military are compromising U.S. operational security based on the material they're posting to blogs, the U.S. Army chief of staff warned in a memo to Army leaders. Some soldiers have been disciplined for postings that violate Army policy.

Review: Google Desktop 2.0 Beta
Google's upgrade to its Desktop application brings a lot more than search to your desktop.

Hitachi Claims Quantum-Computing Breakthrough
The experiment, done at the company's Cambridge, England, labs, is a step toward developing a new generation of highly powerful processors.

Case Study: How One Bank Is Beating Fraud
HSBC, a global bank and finance company, hired SAS to provide a single global system for quickly identifying payment-card fraud.

Microsoft Boosts MSN Toolbar
Microsoft unveils add-ins to its MSN Search Toolbar, including an anti-phishing filter and one-click access to MSN's online games site.

New Generation Of Anti-Spyware Targets Network Safety
The new anti-spyare products no longer rely on signatures, instead using technology that can stop new and unknown programs from invading PCs.

Apple Drops Free 30-Day Trial Offer For Mac Mini
The vendor changed its mind less than 12 hours after posting the deal.

Trade Group Warns Oil Prices Could Harm Chip Market
The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association expresses concern that rising oil prices could mean that energy costs would divert consumer spending away from electronics products.

-More News-

John Soat has 'Your Technology Minute' in Thursday's episode of "The News Show."

Also in Thursday's episode:

Don MacVittie On "The Pieces Of AMD's Puzzle"

Ivan Schneider On "Attack Of The Fraudulent Checks"


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4. In Depth: Personal Technology & Reviews

Review: Mobil Crossing's WayPoint 200 PDA
Though this GPS-enabled unit has some nice features, our reviewer gave it a thumbs-down in many areas.

Securing The Home Wireless LAN With McAfee's Wireless Home Network Security
Home wireless users, and the companies they work for, will find peace of mind thanks to this easy-to-use security package.

Review: Four Pocket-Sized Hard Drives
It's a small world for your data, as proven by these portable 1-inch hard drives from Archos, Imation, Seagate, and Sony.

Search Engine Sneak Preview: X1 Technologies' X1 Enterprise Edition 2.0
This search engine lets admins and users in Windows environments find missing information quickly, no matter where it was misplaced.

Review: Macromedia Studio 8
Macromedia's upgrade of Studio offers some important new Web tools in several of its apps but isn't an overall improvement.


5. Voice Of Authority

The Observer: Forget Fancy, Go With Functional--We'll Be Watching
It's time to vote with our access fees and our patronage if businesses that promise connectivity don't deliver, says Lou Bertin.


6. White Papers

Software Platforms: Win Server 2003 Versus Linux
According to this Yankee Group study, 88% of respondents indicated that Windows Server 2003 provides performance and reliability that are equal to or better than found with Linux.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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