Offshore Outsourcing: Should You be Worried Yet?
Commentary: Judging by data presented at a conference on business process outsourcing within the financial services industry, it's high time to be frightened of losing your job to offshore outsourcing.Nowadays, IT professionals who are not angry about offshore outsourcing of IT work are likely a) still employed and b) not scared enough about the imminent loss of their jobs. Judging by data presented at a conference on business process outsourcing within the financial services industry in Boston last week, it is high time to be frightened of the prospect of losing your job to offshore outsourcing. According to Forrester Research Analyst John McCarthy, the total number of U.S. jobs moving offshore will reach 3.3 million by 2015. Of that number, about 472,632 will be computer-related jobs. Many IT people think whats being outsourced are low-skill, entry-level positions such as data entryor what Shuhbro Sen, president and CEO of financial services company PowerShare Inc., referred to as the provenance of "the high-school dropouts of the United States." University of California/Davis Professor Norm Matloff, long an outspoken critic of the H-1B visa program and ageism in the IT industry, is of this mindset, recently citing in his e-newsletter various reasons why the United States will never outsource a substantial number of highly skilled IT positions such as that of software developer or software engineer. Most of the arguments against offshore outsourcing posing a serious threat to highly skilled IT workers boil down to difficulties in communication and project management in the offshore model.
Those are valid issues, but they are by no means stemming the flow of highly skilled IT work from our shores. Forrester research shows that 70 percent of enterprises that are turning to offshore outsourcing are sending out custom application development work. Sixteen percent are sending system analysis and architecture planning offshore. Thirty-two percent are using offshore outsourcing for system administration and support.