VINNIE MIRCHANDANI has spent nearly two decades as a multinational consultant with Price-waterhouseCoopers, Gartner and now with his own Chicago-based company IQ4hire. These days he\u2019s casting an acerbic eye toward IT service providers, helping clients better manage their systems integrators and consultants. \n\n \n\n\n\n\nQ: Outsourcing software development to countries such as India is very popular. But you\u2019re more cautious. Why?\n \n\nA: The risk factor has increased. Buyers\u2019 expectations are going through the roof, and sellers are becoming very fragmented. The buyers who helped open the market were sophisticated, understood the risks and had strategies for dealing with them.\nNow we\u2019re seeing mainstream companies from places like the Midwest handing projects over to second-tier Indian firms that don\u2019t always have the required depth. And people are getting burned. Compared with software procurement, service procurement has never been very sophisticated. Companies take six months for software selection, yet jump into bed with the first Indian company that they meet.\n\n \n\n\n\n\nQ: So what exactly are the risks?\n \n\nA: The good news is that they are more managerial than technical. Indians tend to avoid confrontation and aren\u2019t as aggressive in terms of project management when things start to go wrong. The work ethic is different as well. Compared to the U.S. model, the Indian model is closer to the European work model?there are evening cutoffs, for example, and weekends are sacred.\n\n \n\n\n\n\nQ: What\u2019s your advice to U.S. companies that are contemplating outsourcing \n \n\nto India?\nA: More than ever, it\u2019s caveat emptor. It\u2019s still a compelling business model, but it\u2019s become so wildly successful that buyer and seller expectations are going to be hard to keep up. Buyers who think projects will come in at 20 percent of the U.S. cost are simply naive; realistically, the costs are 60 percent to 70 percent.