Balancing Business Against Career
Loss and Change"> Technology managers in the trenches may not agree completely with Binghams big picture outlook, but they see using talent on a for-hire basis in locales around the globe as a way to survive.
"You either do it and sacrifice some positions to save the bigger piece, or are you really going to drive the company in a less-competitive position and lose the entire organization," says James Fridenberg, vice president, policy management applications at Farmers Insurance Group. "Its the lesser of the two evils. The U.S. has always prided itself on the survival of the fittest, and if we are not the lowest-cost provider of software services we need to find a new niche."
Christopher Campo, 40, of Phoenix, is struggling to find his new niche. A former technology infrastructure manager, hes been looking for work for 10 months. He may soon choose a new career, going back to school for accounting. Another option: pharmacist, which would require six years of school.
"I like what I do and Im good at it, but I have to make a decision soon," says Campo, who says the salary at his next job is likely to be lower.
For Hira, tracking workers like Campo is key to determining the effects of offshore outsourcing. "I hear a lot of people say look at healthcare; theres a shortage of nurses," says Hira. "So youre saying to someone, you have your four-year electrical engineering degree, youve worked in the industry for 15 years and youre in your late 30s with kids and you now have to go back and study nursing. Is that the answer?"
"That is the $64,000 question," says Bradley Clark, manager of global resourcing at LexisNexis. "I dont know how to get around that situation."