What's REALLY attracting CIOs to Off-Shore Development, and how to avoid OSD and keep America working

I’ll warn you all up front that this posting is pure opinion – but that does NOT make it INvalid, so listen up, because this is a topic that needs sincere, honest people to really start THINKING…

I’ve been in IT consulting now for well over 25 years, and seen all manner of bullshit flung around under the guise of wisdom. Perhaps the biggest (certainly the saddest) “new thing” is that beast called “Off-Shore Development”.

Just what IS it that is so enticing about OSD? After 15+ years as a professional IT consultant, I can candidly (I’m ALWAYS honest) tell it beats the hell out of me…

Based on having worked for or with numerous consulting firms over my career, I would challenge anyone to dare to prove me wrong when I make the following observations about OSD:
1. Many (I daresay “most”, but I’m trying to be INdisputable) of the OSD firms in Asia (India, China, Phillipines, Vietnam, and others) regularly flat-out MIS-represent themselves as having more depth and greater skillsets than they in fact actually possess. There are always one or two “gurus” who interface with the CIO and convince him the other 40 or 50 staff (which don’t really exist) are JUST like The Guru, but this is never the case.
2. When the OSD sends its staff over for training in the US with their new customer, that staff is made up of “The Guru” and “The Disciples”. The Guru claims to The Client that the entire team is made up of equals (The Guru may even claim that he is the LEAST of The Team)… but if you watch CLOSELY, what you will see is this:
– The Guru NEVER lets anyone talk to The Disciples without him being there;
– If you DO manage to corner any of The Disciples alone and ask them a question, they are typically vague and evasive; if you let them off the hook and watch them, they literally RUN back to The Guru, ask HIM that same question, get an answer, then wait for the next time you ask, so they can appear knowledgeable;
– Many of The Disciples sit at their computers all day appearing to work, but in fact they’re doing nothing but waiting until the end of the day when they can go ask The Guru a bunch of newbie questions, so they can do a little bit of genuine work AFTER-HOURS without being noticed by The Employees.

At this point I should state that I have seen this with my OWN EYES so many times it HURTS, so I DON’T need anyone telling me I’m being unfair or unrealistic or bigoted. I should also tell you that most of my friends are NOT Americans, that my BEST friends (akin to my brothers) are from Hyderabad and Cameroon, and that they ALSO see this behavior, so I KNOW I’m NOT misinterpreting what I’m seeing…

KNOW THIS – OSD is a double-edged sword; implementing it has consequences which most CIOs seem to completely ignore, but SHOULDN’T:
– Your American employees see their jobs/careers at risk;

What I see as the REAL enticing feature about OSD – whether CIOs realize it or not – is that it provides for something quite important which I term “The Luxury of Being Wrong”…

IF you have cheap labor, then it can be argued that you can AFFORD to be WRONG, SLOPPY and INEFFICIENT in your IT projects, and still not blow a lot of money (or so all you CIOs THINK)…

What an interesting statement, for in this claim I can also pull out a small nugget which is the SOLUTION to the OSD dilemma itself…

IF US companies only implement OSD because they think they MUST in order to “save money”…

IF there are indeed NEGATIVE consequences (with monetary value) associated with implementing OSD…

IF the REAL reason companies implement OSD is to have the “luxury” of being wrong, sloppy and inefficient…

THEN all American companies need to do to ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR OSD altogether is simply AVOID BEING WRONG, SLOPPY or INEFFICIENT.

:-O

Don’t laugh at that statement – it may be the most important one you read in a blog in the rest of your whole damn IT career…

America does NOT “NEED” Off-Shore Development.

America simply NEEDS to GET THINGS RIGHT, STOP BEING SLOPPY, and GET EFFICIENT.

IF we DO this, the following results are guaranteed:
– Our MONEY stays in AMERICA;
– Our JOBS stay in AMERICA;
– Our KNOWLEDGE stays in AMERICA;
– Our AMERICAN companies THRIVE because of AMERICANS
– Our ECONOMY needs must IMPROVE;
– Other countries follow suit; THEIR countries thrive;

This posting is NOT done, but I’m publishing it anyway, because there needs to be MORE people out there saying what’s on their minds instead of hiding it and worrying about their jobs…

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