Restricting Offshore Outsourcing

By Larry Dignan  |  Posted 2003-09-05 Print this article Print

So far, the debate about offshore outsourcing has been framed by free-market proponents who believe that the U.S. economy will adapt and any displaced technology workers will move on to a yet-to-be-discovered "next big thing." The aging of the U.S. populace, for instance, means that a large portion of experienced programmers and technology executives will be retiring over the next dozen years anyway; and there wont be as many homegrown replacements as in the past as the baby boomers give way to Generations X, Y and Z.

On the other side are groups such as the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, which wants Congress to impose limits on offshore outsourcing. According to executives using offshore outsourcing or pondering it, theres more nuance to the debate.

"To a certain degree, your competitors are doing it and delivering products more cost effectively. You get to a point where you have to jump in that game whether you like it or not," says Marge Putman, CIO of Relizon, a process-management company. "On the flip side, you look at what is that doing to the U.S. economy. Its an economic balance, conscience balance and a moral balance. Of late, the economic balance is at the forefront. If the prevailing mindset out there continues, you have to wonder what point is the stopping point, and is there one?"

Next page: Rapid cost-benefit adoption.

Business Editor
Larry formerly served as the East Coast news editor and Finance Editor at CNET Prior to that, he was editor of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive Investor, which was, according to Barron's, a Top-10 financial site in the late 1990s. Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine. He's a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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