Get Used to Offshoring
The arguments of Don O'Neill of theCenter for National Software Studies remind me of the protectionist arguments of the early '60s and '70s.The arguments of Don ONeill of the Center for National Software Studies remind me of the protectionist arguments of the early 60s and 70s. Guess what? We should all check the labels on our T-shirts or the brand on our VCRs. ONeill devoted only two small paragraphs to the pros of offshore development and many more lines to the cons. His arguments are flawed. ONeill says, "Offshore outsourcing ... provides a direct boost to ... those countries." He is absolutely correct, but hes only looking at half the question. The economics of offshore software development work both ways. The United States benefits from lower costs, whether the product is software, trucks or televisions. A lower cost of production benefits businesses in particular and the public in general. Writing software in India is no different from manufacturing T-shirts in Guatemala or Jeeps in China. Can you imagine a T-shirt costing $50 rather than a tenth of this price?
"Offshore software developers are not vetted for trustworthiness," ONeill writes. This statement is ignorant and arrogant. Software companies, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia, are sensitive to this issue. Laws are on the books or are being written to tighten security in software development. As a matter of fact, the Asia Pacific Economic Council, of which the United States is a member, has a committee working on this very issue.