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
- 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
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
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
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.
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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.