by CIO Staff

Reader Feedback On Issues of CIO Magazine: Offshoring Software Development

May 15, 20033 mins
IT Strategy

Offshore Software Development: Security Vs. Xenophobia

Editor’s note: We were inundated with responses to Publisher Gary Beach’s March 1 column, “Offshore Costs.” Here are excerpts from a few of them.

Your column shows your callous and complete ignorance of software development practices. All the companies that you mentioned in the article follow strict software quality practices, whether the software development is done on U.S. or on non-U.S. soil. The software developed by these companies goes through a series of functional, integration, regression and beta testing before it is released, which makes it very hard for a malicious piece of code to be injected and remain undetected in the public release of the product.

Your column not only lacks the technical maturity that is expected from a technical magazine, but it also exposes a xenophobic tendency on your part, and shows your ignorance on global economics. You say “American software.” Can you define “American software”?

Ashish Ray Why would we put the heart of our business systems in the hands of people who have no patriotic loyalty to the United States? Our enemies are probably drooling at the prospect of being able to buy this information at a very cheap price and then use it to disrupt our economy even more than the terrorist attacks did.

Richard K. Malcolm

Carolina Tractor & Equipment

Let’s not forget that the Sept. 11 terrorists learned how to fly on U.S. soil. Borders will not stop industrial espionage. Do we need to continue to build safeguards that protect users of critical systems? Absolutely. Will forcing critical systems to all be built domestically resolve this? Absolutely not.

Nate Lentz

President and CEO, Verticalnet

I agree with you 100 percent. The development of technologies offshore is a serious security problem. The one key factor, as you have mentioned, is the decreasing number of graduates the United States produces in the sciences. The end result of poor math and science curricula is coming home to roost.

Paul R. Shosho

New School University

Your argument is perplexing to me because it assumes that “bad guys” (as you call them), who may have a vendetta against American software, are only located offshore. Have you considered that there may be an equal threat right here within our borders?

Joseph King

Vice President, MindTree Consulting

We have tens of thousands of IT workers being laid off here in this country. I disagree with you that the solution is to improve our math and science curricula to solve this problem. We have plenty of highly qualified people. They are just seen as too expensive.

We will see how expensive things really are once the corporate code is infiltrated, subverted and sabotaged.

John Tullis

President, Iron Citadel

Publisher Gary Beach responds:

First, I want to make a public apology to the talented men and women who work for Indian software development companies in Bangalore, India. My column unfairly singled out this city, its companies and its workers?that was wrong.

I wrote the column based on conversations I had with CIOs who expressed fear of potential code corruption?either in commercial or custom applications developed here in America or anywhere else in the world. I am not now, nor was I then, in possession of evidence that shows the scenarios I describe in the column actually happened.