AboutBI: Rural Outsourcing
Revealing the truth about outsourcing
Don't be fooled in the shell game.
When it comes to information technology, overseas outsourcing is a bait-and-switch swindle promising more than it delivers.
Consulting in the Business Intelligence industry for over 15 years, we have worked with many
large corporations and seen many outsourcing arrangements. Patterns emerge, myths abound.
They add up to a high-price con game, funneling billions of dollars out of the US economy.
Myth #1: Overseas Outsourcing saves money
This is the most tenacious myth concerning offshoring high tech jobs. While certainly it can appear true, and sometimes does happen, most often
this ends up being a classic bait and switch.
You don't get the workers you pay for. We've seen it happen over and over. You pay for 10 developers in a package deal,
but there is no accountability. You have to take their word for it while they bill out the same people to multiple companies. Maybe even
to your competitors.
You don't get the skills you pay for. You've seen the resumes and written the checks, so everything's good, right?
Maybe not. We've seen everything from resume baiting (you see resumes from senior developers but get junior developers on your project) to outright
resume fraud (stuffing particular worker resumes to fit the job description). When the workers are overseas and are insulated by an onsite
transition team, there is little way to know you're getting your money's worth.
You pay for constant re-training to deal with turnover. Constant retraining is tremendous drain when offshoring.
You get warm bodies on your project, train them, and they leave for greener pastures. So you train the next bunch on your data and the cycle continues... ad infinitum.
The biggest factor is the lack of training offshore workers have initially.
You pay for an onsite transition team. These are the people required onsite to funnel communications from you
to the offshore development team and back. Cost? $70 to $100 an hour or more. With Rural Outsourcing, this position is not necessary
as you can see in our next myth..."Around the Clock Development."
Myth #2: "Around The Clock Development" is good
This one is fun to bust. It sounds so good, but in reality it is just clever spin. It implies your project is worked 24 hours a day
and who wouldn't want that? Projects should get done faster with that kind of attention, but that's not what happens.
Communication with development team takes a day. The workers are halfway around the globe, so while you are working, they are sleeping, and vice-versa.
So you pose a question for a developer. The onsite transition team passes the question on to the developer who will get it later tonight. You'll get
your answer tomorrow via the transition team.
Communication from development takes another day.
A Developer has a question to ask of the business. Another round-trip.
See a pattern here? This is a case-study in inefficiency.
Rural Outsourcing? Pick up the phone and talk to the other party directly.
You get your answer today...in real-time. No transition team required.
Myth #3: Quality of work is better offshore
Communication barriers result in lower-quality work.
Ever play the "phone game" in school? You whisper into Sally's ear, and Sally whispers to Johnny. Three people into the game and
the message bears no resemblance to the original. This is a side-effect of transition teams vs. direct communication.
Language barriers result in lower-quality work.
It is easier to communicate complex business requirements to someone who speaks your own native language.
Even a foreign accent or lack of shared cultural milieu can block efficient communication.
Undertrained Developers deliver lower-quality work.
Junior Developers or untrained personnel are working the vast majority of high-tech offshore projects.
You can put a team of warm bodies on a project, but unless they have the experience and training
to handle your project efficiently, your deliverables will suffer.
High turnover results in lower-quality work.
We covered high-turnover in Myth #1, but one of the far-reaching effects is lower quality work.
Mastery is built up over time and quality gets trapped in the revolving door if you don't
have a stable work-force.
Americans still lead the world in quality IT work.
Information Technology is a field in which America shines. In terms of innovation,
productivity and quality, Americans lead the way. Our American technology workers
have been solicited repeatedly by foreign companies trying to staff their IT jobs.
Myth #4: Offshore Outsourcing is secure
You lose control when your data is exported.
Non-disclosure agreements are not enough to protect your trade secrets and intellectual property once they have been exported overseas.
You are left at the mercy of foreign governments, many of which turn a blind-eye to trademark and intellectual property rights violations.
Working with US citizens is inherently more secure.
American citizens are subject to US Law, and contract disputes can be settled in American courts. Many government agencies
require US citizenship as a prerequisite for outsourced projects. All employees at AboutBI are US citizens.