And around and around. Apparently, India is outsourcing some of its backlog of work—sometimes even back to the United States. According to The Farthest Shore, an article in the September issue of CFO magazine, Indian telecom Bharti Televentures has outsourced all of its hardware, software and services to IBM (in France and the United States). The main thrust of the article is how India’s days as top outsourcing dog are numbered because incomes and worker expectations there inevitably will rise. And then the next hotspot will emerge, and likewise give way to a yet cheaper new hotspot.
Some of those spots are closer to home. Depressed manufacturing centers such as Detroit and Cleveland, as well as tired logging towns like Olympia, Wash., and Lewiston, Me., have plenty of unemployed, less-skilled workers ready to sit at call centers and the like for a decent, if not grand, wage. At-home outsourcing clearly offers advantages of political stability and sturdy infrastructure, plus beams a good corporate image.
The increasing number of destinations now made feasible by advances in grid computing, Web services and voice over IP telephone connections, and the worldwide need for work gives force to a trend of “more nuanced outsourcing strategies,” as CFO puts it. A company might have a call center in Argentina and Canada, help desk in Hungary and programming in India.
For a more detailed overview on global outsourcing, check CIO’s World Outsourcing Tour 2004, the global guide (with interactive map!) from our July 15 issue.