The best defense is a good offence. Here's how to make your department more competitive \n\nFocus on collaboration. Coding to spec can be easily outsourced; collaborating with businesspeople to develop a new technology-enabled process cannot. \nCompete on process. Consider being assessed on Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), a model for standard, repeatable development and project management processes. After all, that's how outsourcers compete. \nDevelop an enterprise architecture. A standardized architecture doesn't just save money on hardware, it makes your developers more flexible and productive across different areas of the business. \nSell service levels. Sure, offshore programmers may cost 35 percent less, but can they guarantee the quality of service your business has become accustomed to? (If they can, start worrying now.) \nRe-educate your staff. Give your developers training time and the opportunity to transform themselves into collaborators and designers. \nCreate a new career path. Promise and deliver more money and stature to developers who move into collaboration and project management. \nAugment, don't replace. Use outsourcers to make your staff more flexible and to meet demand peaks and valleys. \nGet transparent. If you can't show how much IT costs (people, projects, time spent), businesspeople will assume that you're more expensive than the outsourcer.