India Outsources Election To U.S. - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
4/7/2009
03:32 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
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India Outsources Election To U.S.

For those who believe outsourcing represents a one-way passage to India for American jobs, here's an interesting tidbit: Authorities on the subcontinent have hired a big U.S. software company to help manage national elections.

For those who believe outsourcing represents a one-way passage to India for American jobs, here's an interesting tidbit: Authorities on the subcontinent have hired a big U.S. software company to help manage national elections.Google's Indian Elections Center, established in partnership with the Hindustan Times, features tools that citizens in the country can use to monitor candidates, find polling places, follow news updates and gather other information about the election, which will be held across India from late April to early May.

The portal is a mashup of many familiar Google tools, such as Maps and Google News, that were developed in the U.S., by workers employed in the U.S. It didn't have to be that way. India could have gone with any number of homegrown developers--Wipro, TCS, or Infosys, for instance--but chose instead to opt for the best technology available for the purpose.

In the process, the country helped maintain demand for American made software.

What's the point of all this? Simply that hundreds of thousands of tech workers in the U.S. are engaged, right now, in developing products that will be exported to foreign countries. To nations that have, in effect, "outsourced" many of their IT requirements to U.S. vendors.

The U.S. could place limits on outsourcing and insist that all software that's available for purchase or use here be made by American workers, but the backlash from our trading partners would cost more jobs than such a move would save.

I know that's of little to comfort to someone who's just seen their job offshored, but it's a reality of our global economy.

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