Readers Debate Offshoring Management

In a column earlier this month, Jeff Angus suggested that we offshore technology executives and managers and asked for “pro” and “con” arguments on the following resolution:

Resolved: That offshoring technology executive and/or development management will benefit project effectiveness and organizational competitiveness.

Below are some of the responses:

Subject: Con
You make this statement early in your article:

“If the basic problem in American application development is American management, we should in-source developers located here in North America (where their proximity to the users enriches software quality), and outsource executive and other layers of management to offshore companies.”

However, software developers rarely, if ever, have ANY contact with the end-users; that is performed by the very managers you would offshore, making this arrangement impractical.

Paul Baker. San Diego, CA

Subject: Pro
My company is outsourcing most of our programmers/tech support to China.

I asked management, if (when) Taiwan declares independence, and China invades, (the USA has promised to protect Taiwan) will our off-shored employees still be allowed to write code for us, even though we are at war with them?

I didn’t get an answer.

Howard Barker

Subject: Pro
Given that technology executives strictly adhere to the four-step management principle, it would save money and space to move this function offshore. Training on the four steps could be complete via email in under an hour.

Step one. Make promises you cannot possibly keep. Step two. Blame your predecessor. Step three. Reorganize without any regard for the company’s goals or staff resources. Step four. Prepare three envelopes.

Lest we be overly concerned about the executives who will be displaced, rest assured that they will start offshore consultancies, where they will teach people in Bangalore how to prepare to become four-step executives. Thus is born the ultimate win win win scenario.

Craig Herberg

Subject: Pro
1. Why just IT Managers? Why not the whole upper echelon?
2. I found a great sounding recipe for mutton. New Zealand here I come.
3. Why do I feel that one leg is getting stretched longer than the other?

Jim Musto

Subject: Pro
The concept of offshoring becomes popular because of the pressure of “reducing cost.”

Who is under this pressure and who is making the decision to reduce the cost? The answer is … “management.” Typical process to achieve this goal is starting from the bottom. Therefore, America corporations first move all bottom IT folks to India (many of them are just like tools in your toolbox; easily replaceable).

If this is not enough, they will cut the middle management and move the responsibility up in the chain (more painful to replace but doable). Eventually, they’ll outsource the entire IT dept. (perfect idea!). Going in the other direction won’t work because someone must still lead this group of highly paid IT folks.

King Hills

Click here to read Angus’ original column, The First Thing We Do, Let’s Offshore the Managers. Click here to read his most recent column, picking the best of the letters denouncing or supporting the proposition.

Subject: Con
Whether a project succeeds or fails nearly always depends on upper level commitment. To imply IT manager’s control this is a misnomer and scapegoating. Savvy CEOs may bite initially, but as expenses rise and services are itemized their choice will soon waver. More IT as a service spiel.

Unfortunately for some, it’s the future. The classic example is that VP who saves the company by cutting cost in year one, receives his/her bonus and leaves the contract negotiations for the next, neither of which have the knowledge or experience to manage. But what do I know.

Theochares, George

Next page: More pro, more con.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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