ComputerWorld is running a brief interview with Jeff Anders, a 29-year-old graduate who recently returned from a 10-week internship with HP in India and shared his “perceptions.” (He’s studying for two concurrent master’s degrees — one in business at MIT and one in government policy at Harvard.)
His internship work consisted of developing a business plan to persuade HP’s CEO that it should set up a 500-really-smart-person operation in India to provide analysis services internally and as an outsourced service.
One observation he makes that’s worth noting:
I think were living in a dream world. We've got governments focused on whether software contracts can or can't be sent offshore. There are about 37 states considering legislation to that effect. It's a total waste of time and money. Every day they discuss that instead of how we win over the next 30 years is a waste of time.
The debate is focused on the wrong questions. Most people still seem to think outsourcing is about call center and data entry. Most seem to think it can be stopped. They say, "Should we allow it?" Well, it can't be stopped.
Outsourcing is an irreversible change in the way business is conducted. The Internet made it possible for work to be performed remotely. All these people could never compete, and now they can.