Think Globally, But Act Locally

IT execs should reconsider offshore outsourcing-given the current state of geopolitics.

With the effects of the SQL Slammer worm still being felt last week and details of its origin still being unearthed, the fact that some of the code seems to have originated with the Honker Union of China raises questions of international geopolitics and computer security once again.

There is no clear evidence of politically inspired international mischief, but with international relations in more than their usual ferment, IT execs considering sending work offshore might want to run a fresh risk analysis on the country where the work would be done.

Indeed, Gartner analyst Allie Young says global outsourcing providers are starting to look askance at India. That nation isnt directly involved in the current crisis, but theres enough possibility for disruption spilling over from the Middle East that people should think twice about sending more work there.

That aberration notwithstanding, Gartner says, the market for IT infrastructure outsourcing is "hot on a grand scale around the world."

Maybe its time to cool things off. Has anyone noticed there are plenty of IT people in the United States looking for work?

And talk of offshore outsourcing doesnt take into account onshore outsourcing—another term for the H-1B visa program. Its annual quota remains 195,000 strong.

Gartner evaluates the risks associated with shipping IT work offshore, said Debashish Sinha, a Gartner analyst, in San Jose, Calif. A good source for assessing country risk is the International Country Risk Guide at

Its a good idea to ask where your outsourcer plans to have work done. But maybe its an even better idea to see if you can fill your needs here, at home.

Is an America-first approach practical? Let me know at