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Is Offshoring blown out of proportion?

 
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Do you believe that offshoring is a real threat to the US IT Industry or is it being blown out of proportion since it is an election year?
I am confused and need help in this complex topic.
Thanks,
 
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Take your pick. You'll find people and organizations at all levels who have convincing proof:
1. Offshoring is the only way to survive in the modern world
2. Offshoring is going to result in the total implosion of the global economy
There's validity to both points of view. The reality is much more complicated and much less clear. I first heard about offshoring software about the year 2000 and it wasn't then a threat to me. I first got bitten in 2001 when I was unemployed and hoping to find gigs telecommuting, which I couldn't because offshore groups were offering a whole team for rates that I couldn't drop to and still keep my house, buy groceries, etc.
Does this "prove" that offshoring is a purely destructive force? After all, it's great to take the party line and say "it's OK because lower labor costs make industry more profitable and products more affordable". However I can't #$%#@#!! afford these new affordable products if I have no income, and I can't afford to invest in these more profitable companies if I have no income. If enough people have no/insufficient income, companies have no one to sell to regardless of their competive advantages and the whole economy tanks, ultimately rebounding even on the offshore economies, since now no one can afford to employ them either.
So offshoring is definitely bad, right? No. I'm positing a worst-cae positive-feedback scenario. Something we should prepare in case things begin to spiral, but the end of the world is not imminent. Markets tend to have a lot of negative feedback in them that tempers such things. Salaries and costs rise in the cheaper countries, wages and prices deflate in the more expensive ones, and a new equilibrium is established. Until the next thing sets it off. The real danger is that since we've effectively breached what used to be a very high dike, there's a lot of potential to be equalized, and the higher the potential difference - whether in electricity or economics - the more likely things will blow out along the way.
The only thing we definitely know right now is that hiring has remained at a low level long past the point where it would have normally resumed in a classic boom/bust economic cycle and that salaries are under considerable downward pressure. But how much of that is truly due to offshoring, how much is due to the fact that employers can use the threat of offshoring to squeeze extra labor out of fewer workers, and how much is just the latest management fad, we just don't yet know.
We can draw a loose parallel here between current professional offshoring and the earlier manufacturing offshoring. The first stage was a wild rush to offshore everything. A lot of companies screwed up big-time. However, lessons were learned and another wave rushed offshore. A few more iterations and we eneded up where we are now, where a significant amount - but not all manufacturing is done overseas.
The question is, how much a parallel can we draw? After all, the idea was that displaced manufacturing workers would move into the knowledge-based professions. Nobody's yet told those of us in the knowledge-based professions where we can go.
Nor, for that matter, has it been definitively proven that the white-collar professions actually are all that profitable to offshore.
For that matter, there's a certain consumer (and, as you've seen, possibly voter) backlash that comes into play.
Simple minds already know the answer. Pick an ideology and you'll "know" because that's how things "should" work. And by golly, if those danged fools in the other camp would just quit screwing with the process it'd all work out and we'd have Paradise on Earth.
It's not a simple world, however. The rest of us are watching, waiting, and hoping.
 
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A fellow who places both contract and permanent IT people told me that while mass firings are still the exception, the bulk of new hiring is off-shore.
So the effect on you depends on whether you are currently employed.
IMHO, part of this resulted from those in our field who showed zero company loyalty and came close to outright extortion when www talent was scarce. Management paid what they had to but didn't forget. Now we all are paying the price.
 
Tim Holloway
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Originally posted by Mike Gershman:
A fellow who places both contract and permanent IT people told me that while mass firings are still the exception, the bulk of new hiring is off-shore.
So the effect on you depends on whether you are currently employed.
IMHO, part of this resulted from those in our field who showed zero company loyalty and came close to outright extortion when www talent was scarce. Management paid what they had to but didn't forget. Now we all are paying the price.


Well, some of THAT, I think came from the "perma-temping" craze that preceeded the labor shortage. When companies went crazy over "rightsizing" and started valuing employee long-term loyalty less than the ability to jettison people overnight for a quick budget fix.
What goes around comes around. And around...
 
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Hi,
Offshoring is helpful, if you happen to read/talk with someone who has money. It is not helping at all if you happen to talk to someone who do not have money or unemployed.
If your company is belonging in the Fortune 500, those offshoring sites will bendover backward to work with you. If your company is belonging in the mom&pop, you just want to send hitman over there and eliminate the project lead/whoever is your contact window.
Regards,
MCao
 
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Sounds as though you have had a frustrating (offshored) project, Matt....

Did the hit work?
 
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