30% Of Tech Jobs At Risk From Offshoring, Gartner Says - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IT Leadership // IT Strategy

30% Of Tech Jobs At Risk From Offshoring, Gartner Says

The number of I.T. jobs outsourced to low-cost countries such as India and China is a trickle compared with what's coming in the next 10 years, according to a report from research firm Gartner.

Less than 5% of IT jobs in the United States and other developed countries are sent offshore, the research firm says. That number will rise to 30% by 2015. "It's a tectonic shift," says Gartner analyst Frances Karamouzis, author of the report, which will be released this week at Gartner's outsourcing conference in Los Angeles.

Offshore GrowthDespite the magnitude of the shift, Karamouzis says she doesn't believe offshoring will result in a net loss of U.S. IT jobs. "There are a lot of people who are currently programmers who could transition to higher-level positions where you need to be close to the customer," she says.

Other observers see a similar shift occurring but believe the process will take longer. Cindy Shaw, an analyst at Moors & Cabot, says she believes 30% of IT jobs will ultimately move offshore, "but it's going to take 20 to 25 years, not 10," she says. Last year, Forrester Research analyst John McCarthy said 3.4 million U.S. services jobs--including a number of IT-related positions--would move offshore by 2015.

The rush to send IT work offshore also will result in an outflow of dollars from the United States and other Western countries over the next five years, Gartner says. Worldwide spending on offshore research and development and engineering will increase by a whopping 860%, from $1.25 billion in 2004 to as much as $12 billion in 2010, Gartner predicts. Offshore spending on infrastructure outsourcing will grow from between $100 million and $250 million to between $3 billion and $4 billion over the same period. Offshore spending on application-development services will more than double from $23 billion to as much as $50 billion.

Yet automation and productivity gains--not offshore outsourcing--are the greatest threat to IT jobs in the West, Karamouzis says. She predicts the effect of those factors on IT job displacement will be six times greater than the impact of offshoring by 2015.

And it's not just the rank-and-file technology workers who need to worry about their careers. Multinationals could soon be looking to emerging markets for CIOs and even CEOs, Karamouzis says. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 30% of the world's top CEOs will be from countries other than the United States.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Flash Poll